Guiding in National Parks

SKGABC certification is accepted for commercial sea kayak guides in the three coastal National Parks in BC. Certified guides will adhere to all local regulations when operating in National Parks (i.e. low-impact guidelines, guide-client ratios, wildlife management practices). All commercial operations must hold a valid National Parks Business License.

National Park Website

For more information about the national parks, please visit the Parks Canada website:

Guide to Client Ratios (updated September 2018):

PDF Available

Trip Area

Doubles Only*

Singles Only

Singles & Doubles**

Maximum Group Size including guides

Broken Group Islands

1:5 or 2:10

1:4 or 2:8

1:5 or 2:10


Gulf Islands National Park

1:6 or 2:10 for overnight trips.



1:6 or 2:12 for day trips.

1:4 or 2:8

1:5 or 2:10

12 for overnight trips. 


14 for day trips.

Gwaii Haanas Class 1, 2, 3





Gwaii Haanas Class 4





* Guides may paddle single kayaks in a “doubles only” group.  All clients must be in doubles at all times.

** To qualify for the maximum “Singles & Doubles” ratio, a minimum of two doubles must be used for a full group with two guides.

** In a “singles & doubles” mixed group, a lead Level 2 or Level 3 guide must paddle a single kayak.

Guide Requirements

Broken Group Islands
Minimum of one Level Three certified guide for trips of any length.

Gwaii Haanas
Two certified guides are required for all groups; at least one of these guides must be Level Three certified.

Gulf Islands
Minimum of one Level One SKGABC guide for day trips in Gulf Islands.
Minimum of one Level Two SKGABC guide for multi-day trips in Gulf Islands.

Business Licensing:

All sea kayak companies operating in National Parks in BC must hold a valid National Park Business License. Guides shall carry a copy of this license when operating in the National Park.

For information on attaining a National Park Business License, please visit:

Guide Certification

Certification must be current and up-to-date. All relevant documentation (first aid/CPR C, etc) must be submitted, and membership shall be current. Guides must operate in water classifications respective to their certification. In Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site guides must attain a Guide Card from the park reserve.


All guides of businesses licensed to operate within National Parks are required to attend an orientation session. The orientation session will include the role and responsibility of Parks Canada, natural and cultural history information, and review emergency protocol, park-specific regulations, and low impact standards (for camping, managing human waste, etc.).