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Race Rocks Ecological Reserve
January 29, 2024

Race Rocks Ecological Reserve

Prince of Whales

Nestled just off the southern tip of Vancouver Island, the Race Rocks Ecological Reserve is a testament to the natural wonders that grace the Pacific Coast. Established to safeguard intertidal and subtidal communities thriving under the influence of robust tidal currents, this reserve has become a sanctuary for diverse marine life. Join us on a virtual exploration of this hidden gem, which is closed to the public but is a frequent destination on our whale-watching tours.

Race Rocks Lighthouse:

The Race Rocks Lighthouse is an iconic landmark and one of the earliest lighthouses built on Canada’s west coast. Funded by the British Government and lit in 1860, this structure holds historical significance as the only lighthouse in the region crafted from Scottish granite and topped with sandstone quarried on Gabriola Island. Its striking black and white stripes make Race Rocks even more characteristic!

Ecological Reserves:

Race Rocks Ecological Reserve exemplifies the vital role of ecological reserves in preserving unique ecosystems. Closed to the public, Race Rocks fosters research and education initiatives, ensuring its rich biodiversity can be continuously studied and safeguarded.

Marine Life:

The Islands of Race Rocks, enveloped by strong tidal currents, boast an extraordinary array of marine life. Join us on our whale-watching tours to witness sea lion colonies, birthing rookeries for harbour seals, and the northernmost birthing colony for elephant seals on the Pacific Coast. The high tidal current area fosters an unparalleled diversity of marine mammals, sea birds, fish, invertebrates, and marine algae. We often see humpback and killer whales in the Reserve, making it a one-stop-shop for whale watchers!


While Race Rocks Ecological Reserve remains off-limits to the public, its mysteries can be unravelled through webcams that offer real-time views of the area and its conditions. Explore the ever-changing conditions of the reserve and witness the dynamic ebb and flow of marine life against the stunning backdrop of the Pacific.

Race Rocks Ecological Reserve, with its rich history, ecological significance, and captivating marine life, stands as a beacon of conservation in the Pacific!

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