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Trip 245 - May of 2022

Galiano Island Visit

Southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia

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Galiano Island Location: Southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia. About a 55 minute ferry ride from Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in Delta.

Liked: Great views of the shore and islands from numerous locations, a peaceful and relatively quiet environment, several very fine hikes, free Wi-Fi at the local library, Montague Bay Marine Provincial Park. 

Of Note: A small island with very limited services, roads have no shoulders and are often narrow and winding, frequent noise from ship horns, single engine aircraft, and boats, especially in the southern part of the island.

Vancouver Island, Victoria & Gulf Islands Backroad Mapbook (9th edition) Galiano Island BC Coordinates: Page 20 (Galiano Island) - main map and inset.

Related Websites: Wiki - Galiano Island, Galiano Island Chamber of Commerce.

 

Galiano Island is part of Southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia, and is a very fine island to visit for camping, hiking, and general exploration. A ferry from Tsawwassen Terminal in Delta or Swartz Bay Terminal in Victoria gets you and/or your vehicle to Galiano Island. For campers, the most obvious choice aside from some B&Bs and other accommodations is Montague Bay Marine Provincial Park, located about 8 kilometers from the ferry terminal. Despite having the word "marine" in it, this provincial park has camping for vehicles/tents as well. It features very fine views from the day use parking lot, a short scenic trail, a boat launch, and potable water. A nearby Montague Bay Marina has a restaurant and a very handy small general store, with groceries, ice, and many other useful items. As well, you may rent a scooter at the marina, and, should you miss the Lower Mainland sooner than you anticipated, a regular floatplane flight will take you from that marina straight to YVR water aerodrome.

Since it's only home to under 2,000 people, Galiano Island has very limited services. It does have a gas station (right by the Sturdies Bay Ferry Terminal) with an attached small grocery store, a bakery (just down the road), a bookstore (adjacent to the bakery) and a few other small stores. The islanders would certainly welcome you spending your money at their businesses.

For those of us with limited phone data plans, Galiano Library has password-free 24/7/365 Wi-Fi available. Just park outside, if the library is closed (it has very short hours of operation). There is even a gym in an office trailer-like building next to the library, but we are not sure how one gets to use it. There is certainly no receptionist there, and it appears each user has their own key and comes whenever they want.

As far as what to see on Galiano Island, there is a lot. The two most impressive hikes are Bodega Ridge Trail, and Mount Galiano Trail, both of which will have their own trip reports. Another very cool thing to do is visiting shore access points, of which there are 31 throughout the island. Pick up a map at the information kiosk to your right just after you exit Sturdies Bay Ferry Terminal, where all of the shore access points are listed. We will have a separate trip report on shore access points too - there are many fine views there!

The only more-or-less serious issue which bugged us during our stay at Galiano Island was the noise from single engine aircraft and ferry horns, especially in the southern part of the island. Those ferries work like alarm clocks when they blow their super loud horns while leaving the terminal and also when going around a blind corner further away. The sound carries very well, and the first ferries leave shortly after 6 AM, so get ready to be woken up, unless you are a really good sleeper. And the seaplanes taking off or flying by are also quite noisy. The noise from the ferries is less and less obvious the further North up the island you go.

Overall, it's been a very pleasant visit to Galiano Island. This trip report contains random photos we took here and there, as well as the photos from four short hikes/visits: The Bluffs, Matthews Point Regional Park, Bellhouse Provincial Park, and Collinson Point Provincial Park. Bodega Ridge Trail, Mount Galiano Trail, Montague Bay Marine Provincial Park (Gray Point Trail), Retreat Cove Cave, and Galiano Island Shore Access Points have their own trip reports.

1. Here is a Google map of Galiano Island.

2. We start with us driving off Sturdies Bay Ferry Terminal, where we arrived from Tsawwassen aboard BC Ferry Salish Eagle.

3. At the end of the terminal, an information kiosk with "Welcome to Galiano" sign has several useful maps, including the one which lists shore access points, which has a separate trip report.

4. Madrona Road is located on the left side a few hundred meters after Sturdies Bay Ferry Terminal, and features the only gas station on Galiano Island with an attached small grocery/convenience store, called Galiano Garage (seen in this photograph). A bakery is just down the road, and a bookstore is the next building down. A post office and another small store are located across the street from the gas station.

5. Sturdies Bay Bakery, next door to Galiano Garage.

6. Galiano Island roads have no shoulders and are often narrow and winding. Watch for pedestrians, cyclists, and deer.

7. This is a very typical Galiano Island road. Most of the island looks like this road-wise. Very green.

Here is our video of driving on Galiano Island (Sturdies Bay Terminal to Montague Harbour Park).

8-9. Galiano Community Hall is located at 141 Sturdies Bay Road. There is an EV charging station and a map of the island on a large board there. A pit toilet is located about 50 meters closer to the ferry terminal, just to the left of the Galiano Recycling Depot.

10. Various events are held at Galiano Community Hall.

11. At 1769 Sturdies Bay Road there is this very useful turnoff on the left side. A short road leads to a school, a gym (in a small office trailer-like shack) and library with 24/7/365 password-free Wi-Fi access.

12. A short road after the turn.

13. Drive past the school.

14. Right after the school, there is Galiano Island gym partially seen on the left side (unclear how one gets access, as there is no receptionist), and the library.

15-16. The library is open only 17 hours a week, but Wi-Fi takes no breaks. Thank you, Galiano!

17-18. North Galiano Island has a Community Hall of its own on Porlier Pass Road past Devina Drive. There is a pit toilet just as you go past it - on the right side.

19. A picnic area by North Galiano Community Hall.

20-21. Also on Porlier Pass Road (on the corner of Cook Road) there is North Galiano Volunteer Fire Department.

22. A fine pond is located on Cook Road about 1 km from Porlier Pass Road.

23. On Cottage Way, which is a road leading to Bodega Ridge trailhead, about 700 meter from Porlier Pass Road there is a self-serve fresh egg dispensary. Leave $7 in the box, and take the eggs. Very convenient!

24. That's it for random Galiano Island photographs, and now we will cover some short trips which do not get to have their own trip reports. We start with Montague Harbour Marina, a very fine place, featuring, aside from moorage, all the things listed on this board.

25. Too get to Montague Harbour Marina, follow signs to Montague Harbour Marine Provincial Park, and go straight just past the sign which shows 1 km to the park. The road to the park will turn right - you can see that far ahead.

26. Having gone straight, the marina is there within several hundred meters. It is located at 3451 Montague Park Road.

27-28. Here is the marina and the harbour.

29. More to the right.

30. Montague Harbour Marina general store.

31. A rental shack.

32. Mopeds for rent.

33. And kayaks.

Our Galiano Island Visit Continues on Page 2.


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