Malcolm Island is located on the British Columbia coastline, just off the coast of Vancouver Island. Like much of the region, our small island is covered in a lush temperate rainforest. While most of Sointula’s visitors make their way to the island during the height of summer, don’t let this fool you into thinking that the rest of the year is host to bad weather. In fact, some of the best times of year to visit Malcolm Island are in the mild shoulder seasons!
Planning your own visit to Malcolm Island? Keep reading to learn more about what you can expect during each season of the year.
Winter on Malcolm Island
Many first-time visitors to Canada think that harsh winters are a reality across the country. But this isn’t the case. Winters in much of British Columbia, including Malcolm Island, are actually pretty mild. From December to February, the average daily high is around 43 degrees Fahrenheit, with a daily average low of 35 degrees. Snow is a rarity, though the island does see more rainfall during the winter months.
Despite this mild weather, you won’t find many tourists on Malcolm Island during the winter months. While this is a beautiful season on the island, the town’s small number of year-round residents and the cold weather means that few people make the trek to the island this time of year. As a result, services may be limited for much of the winter months. Many businesses close or limit their hours this time of year, which can make it more difficult to plan a trip. If you’re thinking about visiting during the winter, reach out ahead of time to your hotel or vacation rental to make sure that they will be open.
Spring in Sointula
Much like the winter months, spring is a pleasant season in Sointula. The island sees less rainfall this time of year, and temperatures begin to climb towards the upper 40s by mid-March. Seeing the island come to life makes it well worth a visit this time of year, though its important to keep in mind that services and business hours may still be limited in early Spring. But by May, things typically begin to open up. May and June both have daily high temperatures in the mid to high-50s, with lows staying above freezing.
This time of year, you’ll want to pack layers to wear. This will allow you to stay warm on cold mornings, and shed layers as the temperatures rise and the sun comes out later in the day.
Summer on Malcolm Island
Summer is by the far the most popular time of year to visit Malcolm Island — and for good reason! The weather is the warmest of the year, shops and businesses extend their hours to welcome the crowds of visitors, and the days are long. This is also the best time of year to visit the island for salmon fishing or whale watching, two of Sointula’s most popular activities.
It’s important to note that not every month of summer will be the same. What time of the summer you visit will have a big impact on the weather that you experience. For instance, June has a daily average high of 59 degrees, while that daily high climbs to 74 degrees by mid-July. In August, the temperatures stay higher, but the average rainfall increases, meaning that you might spend more time wearing your rain gear. Later in August, the famous fog rolls in, which can make for some stunning photos but will obstruct your view of the water early in the day.
Fall in Sointula
Fall is truly a hidden gem on Malcolm Island. As the crowds of summer begin to fade, this time of year brings mild temperatures and some stunning colors. The leaves start to turn to various shades of red, yellow, and orange by early October, while daily average highs remain in the 50s. If you bundle up, this can still be a great time for fishing and for spotting wildlife. It’s also a great season for enjoying the island hiking trails.
One downside of visiting Sointula during the fall is that this season experiences the most rainfall. November in particular sees an average of around 10 inches of rain each year. But if you don’t mind wearing a raincoat or packing an umbrella, this can be a great time to experience Sointula in a whole new way.
Planning a Visit to Sointula
Whether you’re eager to visit Sointula Lodge and need to visit when they’re open during the summer months or are looking for a unique off-season visit, understanding what to expect each season is important. But with Malcolm Island’s mild year-round weather, with a little smart packing and planning, it’s possible to enjoy a fun and memorable visit any time of year!
Ready to start planning your next Malcolm Island adventure? Check out our lodging guide to get started!