Princess Louisa Inlet is one of those places where seeing truly is believing.  Surrounded by rain forest, it’s the home of North America’s highest waterfall – James Bruce Falls, Chatterbox Falls and the hidden Trapper Falls.  Through the forest, dozens more waterfalls cascade down the steep inlet slopes making this a lush and abundant ecosystem.

Our first full day in Princess Louisa Inlet was my birthday and it was an amazing way to wake up at the base of Chatterbox.  We had rafted up to Wendy and Alan’s boat Blue Fin and had an awesome day planned.  Alan was the crack of dawn collecting fresh oysters from a secret stash on shore for fried oysters later.

Tim and I dinghyed ashore for hike while Andy and Demeree explored the shoreline from their sea kayaks.

The BC rain forest glows in the sunlight

 

Blue Fin and Journey off shore

 

At the base at  Chatterbox –  It’s a great Birthday!

 

Moored in Princess Louisa

 

After our hikes and paddles, we all gathered together for a lazy afternoon.  The weather was perfect and we took turns diving into the pristine water.  Wendy fried up perfect oysters for an appetizer and we topped off the day with homemade pizzas.  Tim brought all the fixings for my favorite-as-a-kid Watergate cake, an incredible treat in the middle of the remote wilderness.   We all gathered for candles, champagne and green pistachio deliciousness.

 

Watergate Cake – a beautiful use of pistachio pudding and Cool Whip

 

Happy Birthday Prep – wow that is a lot of candles!

 

Cake flameup – 41 candles creates quite a glow

 

Early next morning, Tim and I hopped into our dinghy and paddled with Alan over to the secret stash of oysters which low tide exposes.  We gathered a few more for that night’s dinner.  This time it was our turn to do the shucking…

HUGE oysters are abundant in the Inlet

 

Our next adventure for the day was to hike to the Trappers Cabin, an old cabin from the 1800’s that sits high above the Inlet.  The trail was impressively rugged and though it was only a mile, it was almost literally straight up.

 

1 mile straight uphill to the Trappers Cabin

 

Overlooking the ruins of the Trappers Cabin – high over the Inlet

 

Trapper Cabin’s views

 

Trappers Falls – we were glad for the watercooled air!

 

Glad for the rope

 

Our kind of trail

 

We were feeling pretty good about ourselves by the bottom and were tempted by homemade ice cream from Malibu Rapids.  It was a several mile dinghy ride, but Andy and Demeree took on the challenge and brought some back in a cooler.  It was the perfect treat after a rigourous day.

 

Andy dangles between Blue Fin and Journey
Andy dangles between Blue Fin and Journey

 

The next morning it was time to go.  Tim and I woke up early and started paddling out the Inlet on the sea kayaks while Andy and Demeree would follow behind several hours later.  It was a magical morning of seals, eagles, waterfalls and serenity.  We were awestruck by the beauty around us.

 

We snuck up on this baby seal on the shore

 

Exploring the Inlet by Kayak

 

Early morning paddling

 

Just another waterfall

 

It’s like kayaking down a waterfilled Yosemite

 

Heading out the inlet

 

Another of the Inlet’s residents

 

Blue Fin begins motoring out of the Inlet

 

We start paddling out to be picked up by Journey

 

That’s my ride!

 

The sun breaks through

 

Our last views of Princess Louisa

 

Malibu marks the entrance

 

Wait, who’s driving the boat?

 

We sailed all day on our way back to Smuggler Cove for the night.  We got back just in time for yet another spectacular BC sunset.

 

Sunset back at Smuggler Cover