Skookumchuck Narrows

This river in Canada changes direction each day creating a spectacular whirlpool

One of the greatest natural spectacles occurs in the Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park, found along British Columbia's Sunshine Coast. 

Skookumchuck Narrows is the channel of water that forms the entrance of Sechelt Inlet. Before broadening into the Inlet, more than two hundred billion gallons of water from both the Narrows Inlet and Salmon Inlet flow together and pass through the Sechelt Rapids. 

Twice daily, nature puts on a show as the direction of its flow completely reverses the power of these incredibly turbulent rapids. At peak times, waves, swirling whirlpools and frothy rapids form along this stretch of water even in calm weather. 

Height differences from one end of the rapids to the other can reach nine feet, and the water can churn at speeds of nearly 30 kilometres per hour, making them some of the fastest tidal rapids in the world.

The rapids can be easily reached by an accessible and easy four-kilometre hike along a well-developed trail through the park, which usually takes about just over one hour to walk. 

Once at the Narrows, the best view can be seen from Roland Point lookout, located at the water line.

There's also North Point. Found atop a small bluff. This lookout provides a wide-sweeping view of the inlet below. 

For some, looking at these raging waters from afar isn't enough. The intense rapids tend to draw in daring kayakers, surfers, and divers. 

If you're interested in checking out this spectacular whirlpool and natural wonder, the best viewing times are available from Sunshine Coast Tourism

Lead photo by


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Travel

10 places in Canada with the most breathtaking fall colours

This massive corn maze might be the largest in Canada

Canada's 4 biggest airports will now check temperatures of domestic passengers

Barbados wants Canadians to work there for a year

These are the interprovincial travel restrictions in Canada this summer

You can now take a virtual tour of some of Canada's most beautiful national parks

United Airlines just suspended all flights to Canada

10 of the most remote places in Canada to get away from it all