Big Tribune Bay Beach

Big Tribune Bay

The beach is a safe oasis on which to bathe and relax for the thousands of visitors who congregate from all over the world each summer. Kids can wander through the warm shallow waters and build sandcastles. Boats amass in the Bay. Visitors can use the public tennis court and eat lunch at the picnic shelter.

To get to the main parking lot, turn left at the Co-op intersection (if driving from the ferry) onto St. Johns Point Rd.. Take the first right after the gas station.

Most of the beach is within Tribune Bay Provincial Park and dogs are not allowed in that area. Dogs are allowed on the portion of the beach that is not in the Park (to the right of the big post as you reach the beach from the parking lot) and are allowed on leash in the rest of the park.

The beach is a safe oasis on which to bathe and relax for the thousands of visitors who congregate from all over the world each summer.

The 600 m of beach at Big Tribune Bay is south facing and (like neighbouring Little Tribune Bay) the water can be among the warmest on the BC Coast, with south-easterlies blowing straight in.

The beach provides spawning habitat for Pacific Sand Lance, small forage fish that are an important food source for many larger species. Offshore in the Bay, eelgrass beds support biodiversity by providing food and shelter for fish and invertebrates.

Behind the beach are trails passing through meadows, wetlands and forest that are habitat for a variety of species. Morning, before the beach gets busy with people, can be a good time to observe shorebirds, including sandpipers and a heron or two. In late afternoon, osprey and bald eagles are often fishing in the bay. The evening can bring a large presence of Canada geese. When the tide is out, you will see a profusion of sea dollars (if they are black and “furry” they are alive). Early summer brings the relatively harmless moon jellyfish and water jellyfish; in later summer, the bright orange and larger lion’s mane jellyfish (which does sting) can be abundant. Warm moonless summer nights can be a great time to experience bioluminescence in the Bay.

Behind the beach are trails passing through meadows, wetlands and forest that are habitat for a variety of species.

Spray Point (the rocks between Big Tribune and Little Tribune bays) is a good place to see otters, with many tide pools to explore. Seals are occasional visitors to the Bay and there have been rare visits by an elephant seal.

As you walk in the meadow behind the beach, expect to see deer (with fawns in the summer) and to encounter snakes catching the sun on the trail. The Katimavic trail, which parallels the entry road into Tribune Bay Park, passes through three types of forest ecosystems; there is a good chance you will hear and/or see barred owls in this area.

The Bay is important to many migrating birds and the far sandstone cliffs are a nesting ground for the pigeon guillemot.

Big Tribune Bay