The Place

Sonora Resort is a true marine playground – teeming with wildlife, breathtaking scenery, and unbridled adventure. The waters surrounding Sonora are home to an incredible ecosystem influenced by the strong tidal currents that flow between the Discovery Islands.

Discover the abundance of wildlife and natural beauty makes Sonora Resort a hidden gem in the pristine wilderness of British Columbia. View suggested seasonal trip itineraries to enjoy the best of Sonora’s Nature & Wildlife viewing opportunities and learn what wildlife is most likely to be visiting during your stay.

Marine Wildlife

Sonora is home to crystal clear waters where Orca and Humpback whales feed, Stellar sea lions bask in the sun, Dall’s porpoises and Pacific white-sided dolphins frolic, and sea birds swoop to pluck fish from swirling whirlpools. All five of the main Pacific salmon varieties swim the waters around Sonora; Chinook salmon are the star attractions, Pink, Sockeye, Coho and Chum salmon also pass through our waters.

Our marine and ecological tours support and encourage the protection of nature, wildlife and local communities. Join an Eco Adventure Tour in search of incredible wildlife up close and from the water, or try the Helicopter, Whale and Glacier Tour for views from the sky. A Charter Cruise is an idyllic way enjoy the water and the Tide to Table Tour is designed to sample the best of the sea’s seasonal harvest.

Resident Orca (Killer) WhalesR/C
Transient Orca (Killer) WhalesRCCCCR
Humpback WhalesCVCVCVCVCC
Pacific White-Sided DolphinsCCCCCR
Dalls PorpoiseCCCCCC
Harbour PorpoiseCCCCCC
Stellar Sea LionsVCRRR/VCVC
RRarely or occasionally sighted
CCommonly sighted
VCVery Commonly Sighted
R/CRare in first half of month, common in second half of month
BlankAlmost never sighted, or in very small numbers
Humpback in the waters off of Sonora Resort
Flora & Fauna

Sonora Island and it’s surrounding neighbors are home to a variety of animals and plants that are yours to discover. Peer at soaring eagles, grazing black bears, lush coastal rainforest, and stunning fall foliage. Explore old-growth rainforest and towering ancient cedars with your wilderness guide on the Blind Channel Tour, or learn the local flora and fauna of Sonora Island on a custom Guided Hike. Search for edible berries or delicate flowers along the many hiking and biking trails at your leisure.

Grizzly Bear
* Located in Orford Bay, not Sonora Island
Black BearCCCC
Blacktail DeerCC/RRRR
Douglas SquirrelRCVCVCVCC
North American RobinVCVCCCR
Stellar's JayCCVCVCCC
RRarely or occasionally sighted
CCommonly sighted
VCVery Commonly Sighted
R/CRare in first half of month, common in second half of month
BlankAlmost never sighted, or in very small numbers
Bears foraging at the water's edge
Plants & Trees

Western Red Cedar - Cedar is recognizable by its stringy bark- buttressed trunk and absence of needles. These trees can live for eight hundred years and reach over ten feet in diameter, although the cedars found at lower elevations on Sonora Island are much smaller. This tree was vitally important to the native peoples of the area as its bark and wood provided the raw materials for everything from clothing to canoes and houses.

Fir - These trees can be identified by their needle-like leaves, which are attached to the branch by a base that looks like a small suction cup. The bright green tips of this tree are very tender in spring and have a mild flavor when the shoots are young.

Western Sword Fern - This fern grows in the moist and shady areas of the forest and is the most common plant on Sonora Island.

Western Hemlock - Very common in North America, the hemlock is distinguished by its drooping crown, drooping branch tips and soft needles.

Sitka Spruce - Spruce trees have a distinctive blue-ish tint to their stiff needles. They also grow very tight streamlined cones, which are quite flexible.

Edible Berries

Blackberries - An introduced species native to Europe, these large and delicious juicy dark purple berries tend to grow in open areas by roads and buildings.

Salmonberries - Named after their resemblance to orange salmon roe or fish eggs, these berries mark the beginning of spring. Salmonberry plants may sprout their pink blossoms as early as February and are a delicacy for black bears.

Thimbleberries - This tall, woody plant with attractive white blossoms grows in dense stands by the sides of trails, blossoming mid to late summer. Ripe once they are bright red, these tasty berries are shaped like a thimble.

Red Huckleberries - Ripening in late summer, this bush with delicate oval leaves bears dozens of bright red berries. Often mistaken for blueberries, the huckleberries have larger seeds.

Salal - This low bush with glossy rounded green leaves favours light and dry areas of the forest, and bears tasty blue-colored berries in early summer. This plant is a dominant shrub in many BC forests, and was a major food source for BC First Nations.

Oregon Grape - Similar in appearance to the salal plant (but with prickly edges on its leaves), this low bush is found in drier areas of the forest and has small blue-coloured berries that tastes like grapes.