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Olsen's Landing Shoreline Camp

A Favourite Camping Spot

It's always a real treat to discover an unexpected gem, particularly way off the beaten path in a whole new area: in this case, Theodosia Region, part of the wider Desolation Sound area, north of Powell River along the mainland coast (see map below). This is up and beyond the east side of Okeover Arm, across from Malaspina Peninsula (where there are a couple of fav rides north from Powell River, one for all, and one backroads ride, along with an honourable mention Fav campground).

I arrived at this shoreline camp along the far NW shores of grand Powell Lake on a brilliant, hot, sunny day, after a real tough backroads ride (complete with some pushing/hauling; definitely not for everyone). It was mid July, but I still had a whole little sandy point to myself, with stunning views and the best swimming I found all summer.

Here's some real good reasons why you should check Olsen's Landing out:

  • a chance to visit little known Theodosia Inlet and the NW shores of Powell Lake

  • rough, challenging backroads ride, including decommissioned stretches 

  • stunning views

  • chance to have your own fabulous swimming beach, way out at the end of the road

Olsen's Landing Campsite | bikepacking Powell Lake | bikepacking Theodosia

Here's my campsite & beach, looking east to the interior Coastal Mountains. Behind me is my 'table' (see pic below) and the mouth of Olsen Creek. ~1/4km along the shores to the left is the actual 'Olsen's Landing, with a dock and area for vehicles to be left while the owners are off working. Just check out the views!

This Fav campsite comes with a few cautions. The rather exposed shoreline could be a problem in stormy weather. I could see others sometimes camped here, so the best spot at the point, just east of the mouth of Olsen Creek, might already be in use by others when you show up. There's some possible tenting options along the trail following the creek (~300m west from the Landing), though this could block access for quads. In winter, one could find sheltered tent spots either at the Landing proper, or just up the hill.  

Olsens Landing is 60+kms, heading north from Powell River to Theodosia Inlet, then NE along the Theodosia River, and finally SE along Olsen Creek - reachable in a hard day's ride. See the Fav backroads ride, North to Theodosia, for details on the ride & route in (or check the shorter Blog post).

The dock and water bus at the Landing, ~300m east of the camping spot (reached via a basic trail). Behind me is a clearing / parking area, that had 3 pickups, a fuel tank and a truck cab when I was there. The water bus headed back (to Powell River, I assumed) that late afternoon, and showed up again early the next morning (though I never actually met anyone).

Olsen's Landing | bikepacking Powel Lake | bikepacking Theodosia

See the map below.  On one's way in, it would be possible to camp along the south shores of Theodosia Inlet (see pic below map), with water to be found from one of the many creeks along the way. Closer to Olsen's Landing, you'll follow the Theodosia River until you pass Olsen Lake, then turn SW down to the shores of Powell Lake. At the north end of Olsen Lake, there is a basic little Rec Camp with fire pit above the gravel shores, that can serve if you need a place to camp. There are short access tracks down to the lake on either side of a creek bridge.

As with the Powell River area, the region around Theodosia is part of traditional Tla'Amin (formerly known as Sliammon) First Nations land. 

Theo Olsen map
Theodosia Inlet | bikepacking Theodosia Inlet

The south shores of Theodosia Inlet, looking east. If you look closely, you'll see an active (and growing) log boom at the centre right. There were several pickups parked along this seaside stretch. 

See the pic below. There's a stretch in the ride north before one reaches Theodosia Inlet where the track gets very rough. The road gets a little better, but just before reaching Theodosia Inlet, one navigates a stretch with ~15 decommissioning trenches dug into the road, some that have to be pushed through. Once you reach the south shores of the Inlet, you'll be on decent logging roads all the way out to Olsen's Landing. Be alert for trucks.

I'm not clear how the other trucks and pickups I saw made their way up to Theodosia - whether on a different route I haven't heard about, or by barge. But I wasn't able to find anyone to ask.

One of a number of nasty stretches on the road north to Theodosia Inlet. I had to push or haul my bike through a few stretches.

Track to Theodosia Inlet | bikepacking Theodosia

Below is one more pic from the Olsen's Landing shoreline camp, this time looking west. You'll see I even had something of a table, along with a fire pit (though it was much too hot for a fire). 

A real treat to camp here in the summer weather I had.

Olsen's Landing camp | bikepacking Theodosia

Looking east from my tent along the beach. It was real hot, but there were fine breezes, and I had my best swim of the summer here.

The final pic below shows a couple of ghosts from alongside the rough track north to Theodosia. Remnants from bygone days.

Ghosts along the road to Theodosia | bikepacking to Olsen's Landing
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