Seasonal Travel Tips

Prepare for Your Hornby Visit

On Hornby, there’s magic in every season. No matter when you find yourself here, make sure you’re prepared and know about our island’s regulations.

Spring & Summer Visits

Seasonal highlights include incredible birdwatching and mountain biking in the spring, while Hornby’s sandy beaches, markets, and concerts draw visitors and residents in the summer.


  • Camping, glamping, and vacation rentals book quickly, particularly in the summer, so book your accommodations in advance to secure your spot.  

The Hornby Bus operates during the summer months, offering by-donation, scheduled rides during the day. and check under the CONNECTIONS link for the cross Denman bus.

New for 2024: Hornby Island Water Taxi Scheduled Summer Weekend Service, Comox Marina to Shingle Spit. FMI:

Float Plane Service, Seasonally, Vancouver to Shingle Spit:

Personal transportation – Cars & Bikes: The island can get crowded in the summer, so please be careful when driving and parking, especially around the Ringside Market, the Farmers’ Market and Ford’s Cove. Obey the speed limits, watch out for deer, and share the road with pedestrians and cyclists. 

Ferry service: During the summer, visitors should expect ferry overloads and travel delays, especially on weekends. For accurate sailing waits, call BC Ferries toll free at 1-888-223-3779.

Fall + Winter Visits

On Hornby, the fall and winter provide a quieter time for visitors and locals. Embrace the slower pace by hiking through lush green forests, observing wintering waterfowl and sea lions on the coast, and relaxing in a cozy cabin.  


  • Many businesses will have reduced hours and some services may be harder to access during the fall and winter seasons. Restaurants are few and far between, so be prepared to do some of your own cooking!
  • Hornby Island has a unique microclimate, with less rainfall and warmer temperatures during the winter months than surrounding areas. Even so, come prepared by bringing a raincoat and appropriate footwear for forest hikes and walks along the beaches. 



During our long, dry summers, the threat of forest fires is real. Please be extremely cautious by always disposing of your cigarette butts in a safe way, being careful with any open flame, learning about fire bans and restrictions on machinery such as chain saws, and never smoking in our forests. 

As for beach fires, we understand the allure of a fire in the sand at sunset. That being said, strictly follow local fire bans. If you are permitted to have a fire, follow these simple rules: 

  • Don’t have fires on the sandstone.
  • Use the fire rings provided on the beach.
  • Ensure that the fire is supervised by a competent person (16+) to control and extinguish the fire.
  • Keep the fire under control.
  • Keep buckets of water close by and ensure that fires are completely extinguished before you leave.
  • Finally, be sure to pack out all your things and your garbage.

On Hornby, our water is limited and very precious. Most summers our little island suffers drought…and it’s up to everyone to help make a difference! You can help by using water and flushing toilets only when necessary, taking fewer and shorter showers, and letting your lawn turn a beautiful shade of gold in the summer. 

Reuse and Recycle

We value sustainability and encourage you to reuse and recycle to keep our island and planet clean. Visit our Recycling Depot to drop off your garbage and recycling, then shop for a new, free outfit in our unique Free Store. You can also drop off your bottles and cans at the Hornby Island Preschool, with all the money from the returnables going towards our preschool program, or return them to the Co-op for a refund.