Montague Harbour is a provincial marine park located on Galiano Island, one of the Gulf Islands off the southeast coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The island is 17 miles (27.5 km) long, 3.7 miles (6 km) at the widest point, and 1 mile (1.6 km) across at its narrowest point. It is located on the west side of the Strait of Georgia and separated from Salt Spring Island by Trincomali Channel. The island is northwest of Mayne Island, northeast of Salt Spring Island, and southeast of Valdes Island.
The provincial park at Montague Harbour starts 16 feet (5 m) below sea level and climbs 590 feet (180 m) to a steep rocky precipice. Located within the park is the Gray Peninsula, which was inhabited by Penelakut First Nation and used by other Coast Salish nations before the arrival of Spanish explorer Dionisio Galiano in 1792. Skirting the northwest edge of the peninsula is a spectacular rock ledge that was carved into rippling patterns by the movement of glaciers thousands of years ago. White shell beaches, open meadows, tidal lagoons, towering forests, craggy headlands, and abundant birdlife are just a few of the attractions for visitors.
The white shell beach on the north side of the park marks one of several prehistoric middens – evidence of native occupation dating back more than 3,000 years. Wave action erodes the middens, crushes the shells, and redeposits them to create Montague Harbour’s white beaches. Archaeological excavations of these protected middens have unearthed arrows, spearheads and stone carvings, helping to unravel the stories of earlier cultures. Read more here and here. Explore more of Montague Harbor and Galiano Island here: