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Waterfront Accommodation in Alert Bay, B.C.

Activities, Tours and Events in Alert Bay, BC


Welcome to Alert Bay

Welcome to Alert Bay

Welcome to Alert Bay

Welcome to Alert Bay

At Alert Bay Lodge, one of the most common complaints we hear is that our guests haven't set aside enough time to take advantage of the many self-guided and guided opportunities on the Island. After all, Cormorant Island is only 3 1/2 miles long - how much can there really be to do? Well, as we discuss below, and as you'll see in the sample itinerary, Alert Bay is sound testament to the fact that great things can come in small packages!


Self-guided Experiences

The best way to experience Alert Bay is on foot, either by walking the 13-km (8-mi) shoreline, or hiking and biking the Big Tree Interpretive Trail and the boardwalk into the Ecological Gardens. A guidebook available from the Visitor Info Centre in downtown Alert Bay contains information on each of Big Tree's 15 interpretive stops, as well as descriptions of the rest of the island's trails.

The Ecological Park is located at the top of the island next to the Big Tree Trail system. While this swampy, eerie bog is nicknamed “Gator Gardens” it doesn't harbour alligators; rather, its moss draped pines and buyouts lend a strong resemblance to the Florida Everglades. Boardwalk, chip and dirt trails interweave throughout the first growth timber, ghostly, gnarled trees, and a plethora of bird and plant life.

Alert Bay is an island community rich in First Nations culture. The 'Namgis First Nations Burial Ground is near the centre of the Village and the world tallest totem pole stands 173 feet next to the Big House. A carving studio, the origin of world-class native art, is located in the basement of the Island’s former residential school.

The U'Mista Cultural Centre houses a remarkable collection of historical artifacts depicting the Potlatch Ceremony of the Kwakw a k a 'wakw people as well their historic and contemporary artwork. The Centre is located at 1 Front Street, about three kilometers along the ocean shore road from Alert Bay Lodge. Tours of the Big House, including demonstrations of native dancing, can be arranged through the U'Mista Cultural Centre. U'Mista is open seven days a week during the summer and from Tuesday to Saturday during the winter.

Several shops in the Village sell native art including the Tourist Information Centre, located in the Village at 116 Fir Street. The Alert Bay Library Museum, next door at 118 Fir Street, displays old photographs of native and settler populations dating back to the 1890s.

Like a better idea of what's in store for you at these and other unique attractions on Cormorant Island? Check out our Virtual Tours.  


In addition to its many cultural attractions, Alert Bay offers great access to a pristine marine environment. When you book accommodation at Alert Bay Lodge, please ask us about the tour operators we work closely with. Tour themes include:

  • Whale watching. Tours range from three to five hours and depart Alert Bay, Telegraph Cove and Port McNeill.
  • Wildlife viewing. Grizzly and black bear tour, by boat and on land.
  • Kayak Tours. Let us whisk you away by zodiac into the heart of the Plumper Islands for an exciting overnight kayak trip. Multi-day tours are also available.

As well, we can organize you to fish for salmon or halibut or tour the island’s ancient villages in the company of an experienced First Nation skipper and guide. A full day tour (12-14 hours) costs $600 and a half-day (6 hours) is $400. Prices include fishing gear and lunch. 40’ former trawler with an onboard washroom. Eight person capacity.

We also recommend the services of Vancouver Island Kayak. This company offers a wide selection of kayak tours of Vancouver Island and has a particularly good selection multi-day kayak trips of Johnstone Strait. Call 1.800.255.5057.


Calendar of Events

For a current list of annual events and activities taking place in Alert Bay, please go to Alert Bay Lodge's home page and scroll down to the bottom of this PDF. As you'll see, there are two major events that are held in Alert Bay during the summer. These are:

Seafest, Artfest and Music Fest. Beginning the end of July these three events coalesce into one grand time!

Early August marks the Alert Bay 360 Eco-Paddle - A slow mo, non motorized race around Cormorant Island. In the few short years since it's been established, this event has gathered a huge following. Go to

Accommodation During Events 

For major events such as these, accommodation providers in Alert Bay are often stretched to meet demand.  For the sake and sanity of everyone, we recommend you book well ahead.

Alert Bay Lodge is booked solid during these events - please book well ahead. Located less than two kilometers from the Village, we're close to the action, but far enough away to enable a good night's sleep. During major events we have a three night minimum and during the 360 Eco-Paddle we have a two night minimum. 

Please contact us if you need more information regarding our accommodation in Alert Bay. Request a reservation.