One of the remarkable characteristics of Barkley Sound is the division between the Broken Group Islands and the Deer Group – two very different archipelagos set within the same body of water. Whereas the Broken Group Islands are a maze, the Deer Group is linear. The Broken Group is in a national park; the Deer Group is a mishmash of reserves, First Nations treaty land, private property and Crown land. This means unregulated campsites instead of national park sites, and mixed uses such as a resort on Tzartus Island and a yacht club outpost in Robbers Pass.
But for exploration, the Deer Group can have as much to offer as the Broken Group: fewer secluded passages but a highly complex shoreline, a scattering of casual camping locations plus a good chance of meeting up with whales, which are regular visitors in Trevor Channel.
Options for destinations are numerous. Bamfield is the most common starting point, though kayakers could easily cross Imperial Eagle Channel to mix a Broken Group trip with Deer Group destinations.