Critter Cove is in Nootka Sound, on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. The nearest town is Gold River. Guests arrive at Critter Cove by boat or floatplane.
Tlupana Inlet, Nootka Sound
Driving directions from the Mainland to Critter Cove:
If you’re driving from the mainland you’ll need to take a ferry to Vancouver Island. For those of you coming from the United States, a good ferry to catch would be the first Tsawwassen/Nanaimo ferry in the morning. The drive from Nanaimo to Campbell River takes about 2 hours, and the drive from Campbell River to the boat launch at Gold River takes about 1.5 hours. Check the BC Ferries web site for line up conditions or reservations.
Once on Vancouver Island, follow the signs heading north to Campbell River. From Campbell River follow the signs to Gold River and head west on highway 28. Note there is no cell phone service past Campbell River. There is cell service in the town of Gold River itself.
Here’s a picture of the sign in Campbell River you should look for to lead you to Highway 28 to get you to Gold River:
Some GPS’s will have you turn off Highway 28 and onto a gravel road – don’t trust your GPS here – between Campbell River and Gold River stay on the paved road Highway 28. On Highway 28 you’ll make one right-hand turn. Here’s a picture of the sign below you should look for to direct you to turn right. Just before this turn, there’s a pullout with a large wood elk and “Strathcona Park” and the turn is just after the Elk.
Once in Gold River, go through the town and head to the government dock where there are boat launch and parking, and where Air Nootka is located. From the boat launch, it is 18 miles up Muchalet Inlet then Tlupanna Inlet to Critter Cove. Via Air Nootka it’s a 15 minute scenic flight, or less than an hour by boat. There are scheduled fixed wing flights to the Campbell River or Comox airport. There are shuttles available for hire between either airport and Gold River where Air Nootka is.
If your arrangements have you driving to Critter Cove Landing, directions are here: Cougar Creek Directions
- Air Nootka 250-283-2255
- Scheduled flights from Northwest Seaplanes 1-800-690-0086
- Kenmore Air 1-866-435-9524
- Harbour Air 1-800-665-0212
The MV Uchuck III is a 136-foot passenger and freight boat that services Nootka. This is one of our favorite Critter Cove pictures…our friend Luna visiting with the Uchuck…so had to include the photo! If you are not bringing your own boat to Nootka – the Uchuck is another transport possibility. You might see the Uchuck at our docks delivering groceries during summer months.
Get West Adventures (M.V. Uchuck III)
Some guests like to stay a night in Gold River, then get an early start to Nootka the next morning. There are two motels in Gold River that have ample parking if you’re towing your boat.