The Skookumchuk Rapids could easily be considered the Eighth Wonder of the World. Twice a day, over 200 billion gallons of water flow through the narrow and constricted opening of the Skookumchuk Narrows, creating a tidal current that is rated as one of the world’s fastest and most dangerous.
Experienced boaters will carefully consult their tide tables, often checking a second and even third source, before entering the Narrows. They are waiting for “slack tide,” that precise moment when the tidal flow changes direction, from flood to ebb and the current subsides. However, it’s those extreme currents which can sometimes approach 16 knots, that attract a daredevil group of white water kayakers, .
During a Flood Tide, the water flows through Skookumchuk Narrows at a far greater volume than the narrow and constricted opening can handle. As the waters back up they create a series of standing waves and it’s these waves, that attract the kayakers, who attempt to surf in their small vulnerable craft. (check out this YouTube video)
It’s an incredible experience to witness the raw power of Nature and this is what makes the Skookumchuk such a great experience. At the end of your hike there are two viewing areas to choose from. If it’s a flood tide you’ll want to carry on to Roland Point, while if the tide is ebbing, North Point is the preferred site to see the large whirl pools.
Ebb Tide occurs when the tide is flowing out of Sechelt Inlet and that’s when the large whirlpools are created. They’re strong enough to suck down a large log and send it popping into the air as it frees itself from the swirling vortex. It was an ebb tide that was responsible for the tragic accident that took the lives of two Auxiliary Coast Guard members in 2012, as they attempted to travel through the waters during a practice session.
You need to time your hike to see the tidal surge at its strongest and you can use this tide table link to determine the best time for this. The hike itself takes about 40-50 minutes along a wide and well maintained trail, that is easy for most abilities. If you arrive early you can watch the current building up.
From early June to mid-September, the little bakery is open at the trail head where you can pick up panninis or sticky buns to munch on while you’re watching the show. Once you arrive, take your seat and watch the Skookum Lady strut her stuff.
We hope you enjoyed this. If you’d like to learn more about other Sunshine Coast attractions and our award winning Vacation Rental follow this link http://www.coraclecove.com