Keats Island (Lheḵ’tínes) is a small, scenic island in British Columbia’s Howe Sound. It’s located just offshore from the community of Gibsons, within the traditional territory of the Skwxwú7mesh Nation.
The densely forested island is mainly a recreational getaway for those with summer cabins, and only about 50 full-time residents between the two primary communities of Keats Landing on the west coast, and Eastbourne on the eastern shore. Locals and visitors can access Keats Island with BC Ferries’ foot passenger service from Langdale, private water taxi from Gibsons, or private boat.
Facilities on the island are limited. Make sure you bring adequate supplies with you (including a supply of drinking water) before embarking on a trip to Keats. Respectful visitors are welcome—be Wildsafe and practice the principles of Leave No Trace.
Things to Do
Keats Island is a popular spot for day trips. You can take a ferry or water taxi, or if you’re an experienced paddler, you can kayak to the island from Gibsons. Some paddlers opt to circumnavigate the island—it takes about 3 hours from Gibsons Landing Harbour, though you may want to stop and enjoy some time on the island.
Plumper Cove Marine Provincial Park is the main attraction on the island. Here, you can spend a relaxing day disconnecting from daily life. The pebble beach is excellent for exploring and picnicking, and those with a fishing license can cast a line. Stretch your legs on one of Keats Island’s few short hiking trails.
Where to Stay
There are 20 packed dirt and gravel campsites in Plumper Cove Marine Provincial Park. Facilities include pit toilets and a drinking water handpump (but note that the water handpump is only available from mid-May to mid-September and is under a boil water advisory). There are no garbage facilities in the park, so remember to pack out what you pack in.
Barnabas Family Ministries operates a variety of retreats for families and adults at their Barnabas Landing facilities, which include meeting and lounge spaces, a dining room, and a commercial kitchen.
Food & Drink
Food and drink options on Keats Island are minimal at best, so you’ll want to come prepared—including bringing enough drinking water for your trip.
In July and August, the Barnabas Landing General Store opens to the public and is located on a sprawling farm and family retreat centre at the north end of Keats Island. This community gathering place serves up refreshing drinks, farm-fresh produce, and more, but in keeping with the relaxed pace of “island time,” the store’s limited hours and selection of goods may vary.
Getting to Keats Island
Visitors to Keats Island will need to take a ferry from the Langdale Ferry Terminal or a water taxi from the Gibsons Landing Harbour.
BC Ferries operates a foot passenger ferry from Langdale (Gibsons) to Keats Island (Keats Landing or Eastbourne). The sailing duration varies depending on the number of stops but typically takes approximately 15 – 30 minutes.
- 611 School Road
Offering a Water Taxi and Tour service from Gibsons to Horseshoe Bay and everywhere in between. Two boats, one slow 10-passenger and one high-speed water taxi.