Cougar Annie's Garden

2016 Visiting Opportunities

Introductory Offer celebrating: 100th Anniversary of Cougar Annie’s Garden

After seven years, Boat Basin Foundation again invites a limited number of guests on pre-scheduled day trips and short-term visits.

The Foundation stresses that neither the garden nor the Temperate Rainforest Field Study Centre is a tourist destination.  People who visit are in good physical condition, highly motivated, and have a keen interest in the natural and cultural histories of the West Coast.

Travel for pre-scheduled visits is by floatplanes based in Tofino.  Flights will be organized by Boat Basin Foundation.


Day Visits: Pre-Scheduled

Day visits will be offered on Fridays and Sundays, within the season.  Group size 8.   As flights must be full (4 per aircraft) it is advisable for an individual to travel with another.  Boat Basin Foundation will endeavor, but cannot guarantee, to fill empty seats with a second couple.

Your flight will land on Hesquiat Lake, near the garden. The guided garden tour begins on the beach where Cougar Annie first landed 100 years ago.  A raised boardwalk leads you to the five-acre garden through ancient forest and past a 1200 year-old cedar tree.  You will lose all sense of time and direction, passing many haunting reminders of Cougar Annie on the way.

After the garden tour you will visit the Temperate Rainforest Field Study Centre, perched on a hill overlooking the garden and Rae Lake and out to the Pacific Ocean.  You may then elect to explore trails and boardwalks through the densest rainforest of the world.  Your return flight from Hesquiat Lake arrives Tofino approximately four hours after your initial departure.

  • Day Visit (Pre-Scheduled) Introductory Rates:
  • $225 per person, return; no GST in 2016
  • Departures Fridays and Sundays: Spring, Summer, Fall
  • Group size 8
Cougar Annie Garden Entrance 2015

Entrance to Cougar Annie's Garden, 2015

Cougar Annie Garden

Map of the Garden


Day Visits: Custom Scheduled

During weekdays, in the season and fine weather periods during the ‘off-season’, groups, size 4 to 8, are invited to enquire about day trips on short notice. (Other activities on site will determine if a visit is possible).

Larger groups are possible -- please inquire if your group is larger than 8 people.

4.5 hours (approx.), Tofino/return.

  • Day Visits (Custom Scheduled) Introductory Rates:
  • 1 – 4 people: $1000
  • 5 – 8 people:  $2000
  • Group Size: Variable, but 4 or 8 guests is most economical
  • No GST in 2016
Cougar Annie Garden Entrance 1983

Entrance to Cougar Annie's Garden, circa 1975


Day Visit (Unscheduled / "drop-ins")
For drop-ins: boaters, kayakers, hikers

All visits must be guided.  There is no guarantee that a Boat Basin Foundation representative will be available to provide a guided tour to unannounced visitors.  Best to email your expected arrival time at least one week ahead:  boatbasinfoundation@gmail.com.

If a guide is available and should no guests be in residence, the tour, 2.5 hours, includes a visit to the Temperate Rainforest Field Study Centre and educational buildings at Rae Lake. If guests are in residence, the guided tour is 1.5 hours and includes Cougar Annie’s Garden, and Annie’s Trapline and Walk of the Ancients trails.

The drop-in fee is $30 per person.  Under certain conditions, the fee may be waived in exchange for a minimum two hours per person of volunteer work on the garden property.

  • Day Visit (Unscheduled / drop-in) Introductory Rates:
  • Drop-in Guided Tour Fee: $30
  • Group Size: No limit
  • No GST in 2016
Drop in visitor to Cougar Annie's Garden

A drop-in visitor explores the garden


Overnight Visits: Small Groups, two night visits

Groups, 4 to 8 guests, primarily Friday to Sunday, will be offered exclusive use of Temperate Rainforest Field Study Centre, staying in cabins (two guests minimum per cabin) that are insulated and have a wood stove.  All groups are pre-formed and cook and eat together at Central Hall.

Visiting priority is given to 'members' of Cougar Annie's Garden Club, a loose network of Boat Basin Foundation volunteers and donors. Preference is given to group size 8 (four couples).

Groups arrive mid to late afternoon, depart mid to late morning.

Transportation, arranged by Boat Basin Foundation, is included.

  • Overnight Visits (Small Groups) Introductory Rates:
  • $425 – two nights  -   4 or 8 guests
  • $50 extra per per person for group sizes 5, 6, or 7 as additional flights are required
  • Meal costs and food preparation not included
  • Group Size: Variable but 4 or 8 guests is most economical
  • No GST in 2016
Central Hall & Cabins

Central Hall & Cabins at the Field Study Centre

View from a Cabin

View from a cabin


Overnight Visits: Custom Group Facility Rental

The facility has seven cabins; each with at least one double bed and two or more covered sleeping benches.  Ideal for garden and other club visits.

Transportation, arranged by Boat Basin Foundation, is included.

  • Overnight Visits (Custom Group Facility Rental) Introductory Rates:
  • $400 per person - two nights for minimum group size 12.
  • For a group size over 12, the cost is $440 pp. as extra flights are required
  • Meal costs and food preparation not included
  • Group Size: Variable up to 18 guests
  • No GST in 2016
Cabin at Boat Basin

A cabin at the Field Study Centre


Overnight Visits: Volunteer Work Parties

Two work parties of three nights will be offered; one early to mid May and one early to mid October.  Preference will be to donors to Boat Basin Foundation.  Work parties will consist of three groups of four individuals.  Each group is to appoint a ‘captain’.  The captains together plan the menu.  Each group is responsible for food and preparation of one day’s meals.

Transportation arranged by Boat Basin Foundation is included.

  • Overnight (Volunteer Work Parties) Introductory Rates:
  • $400 per person - three nights
  • Meal costs and food preparation not included
  • Group Size: 12 (three groups of four individuals)
  • No GST in 2016
Volunteer group around a big cedar

Volunteer Work Party celebrating successes with a hike


Summary: Visiting Cougar Annie’s Garden

  • A summary of pre-scheduled day trips and events will be posted here early spring, 2016
  • All bookings to be through this website
  • Email:   boatbasinfoundation@gmail.com
  • Boat Basin Foundation will be pleased to assist in your visit planning.
  • Payment by VISA or MasterCard.  No GST payable on visits in 2016.
  • Cancellation and refund policy will also be posted early spring 2016.
  • All visitors must be in good physical condition and sign a waiver of liability.
  • Pre-departure information: what to expect, recommended list of supplies, where to check-in, baggage limitations, etc. will be provided upon booking.
  • All net proceeds to Boat Basin Foundation, a registered charity.

After your visit

Boat Basin Foundation asks you to reflect upon the significance of the cultural and natural history you experienced.

Donations are required for the survival of the garden.
Tax receipts are issued.