Looking For A Sandy Beach On Quadra Island? Try Open Bay!

Do you want to get sand between your toes while on Quadra Island? Open Bay beach is where you need to go. Off the beaten path and stunning! Here’s everything you need to know.


Featured Image: Wilf Ratzburg- Beaches of Vancouver Island

“Daddy, remember that video we watched last night on youtube? I just saw it happen in real life!”

She said this just after watching a clam dig its way under the sand.

This, and so many more reasons, are why I absolutely love visiting Open Bay Beach on Quadra Island.

We heard Quadra Island had one beach with sand and we took off in search of it. After a few wrong turns, and an easy hike through a tower fir tree forest, we found ourselves at Open Bay.

What’s the secret to find the only sandy beach on Quadra Island?

You may think we have misled you when you come out of the woods and see yet another Quadra Island rocky beach… but here’s the secret:

At low tide only and on the far West side of Open Bay, you can find sand.

And with sand come many shells, crabs, tide pools and bare feet with and between your toes.

But probably the biggest surprise came in the form of warmer ocean waters at Open Bay!

Most of the water around Quadra is quite cold even during the summer months.

This has something to do with the water living in a small channel as it makes its way down the eastern side of Vancouver Island. Open Bay, however, is so long and narrow that the water has a chance to warm up. And it’s lovely. In fact, during the warmer months you won’t have trouble wading, swimming or snorkelling in these refreshing waters.

Open Bay is off the beaten path, but that’s part of what makes it so special. In fact, when we visited, we had the beach to ourselves for the day.

Traveling Islander Quick Tip! Make sure you bring plenty of food and water because there are no facilities.

While on Quadra Island we highly recommend making time for a 1/2 day or full day Quadra Island kayak trip! Quadra Island and surround Discovery Islands is one of the world’s premier kayaking destinations. With serene water, calm coves and untamed wildlife it’s hard to resist a kayak trip!

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Directions to Open Bay on Quadra Island

Directions to Open Bay is a bit sneaky and you need to have a Quadra Island map with you as there is no cell reception in the area. Grab a map on the ferry as you make the crossing or most accommodations on Quadra Island should have them.

Step #1 – Just follow Hyacinth Rd. on the north part of the island until it turns to gravel. (Don’t be alarmed by the gravel road, it’s common on Quadra Island for off the beaten path locations)

Step #2 – Turn Right onto Valdez Rd. This is a well maintained gravel road.

Step #3 – Turn right onto Marina Dr. (it is not named on the Quadra Island tourist map we had) and follow all the way to the dead end (Turn-around). Park here on the side of the road and take the 10 minute trail to the Open Bay beach.

Gowlland Harbour Resort

Spectacular… Breathtaking… Peaceful… Experience the magic of Gowlland Harbour Resort! You'll feel the specialness the moment you step onto the grounds. Escape from the every day and enjoy a world class vacation destination on Quadra Island. Recommended in National Geographic “Canada’s 50 places of a lifetime”.

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