The coast of British Columbia is known for its glaciated landscape of small, forested islands offset by the impressively eroded horns and domes of the B.C. mainland. One of the many hidden gems of this archipelago is a place called Princess Louisa Inlet. Situated about a 40-minute floatplane ride (or a two-day sail) north of Vancouver, B.C., this, at first blush, unassuming incision into the coast range eventually reveals a landscape and forest for the ages.

Purchased and championed by mining prospector “Mac” MacDonald in 1919 as a landscape to protect for future generations, it changed hands a couple times after his death. First it went to an ambitious developer who built a resort named the Malibu Club. The club welcomed the likes of John Wayne, John F. Kennedy, and Bob Hope. Then it went to a Christian summer camp program. Through the ownership changes, Mac’s intended legacy of protection and preservation of this “Yosemite of Canada” carried through and still stands strong.

We had the honor of spending half the day within the steep fjord walls of the inlet. Long, slow, thoughtful Zodiac cruises within these protected waters were followed by remarkable hikes through towering, old growth stands of Douglas fir, western red cedar, and bigleaf maple.

Glass calm waters persisted on our way out, topping off a visit that was one to remember.