Located north of Comox, Kye Bay is situated between the Salish Sea and the Comox Valley Airport. Within Kye Bay, you will find Air Force Beach to the north and Kye Beach at the bay’s south end. A 2km shallow sandy beach is between the two that offers warm water tidal pools with beach access points at each end. Air Force Beach is a private paid beach, and Kye Beach is a public beach. Below you will find information to help you decide which one is best for you.
Hidden behind the Comox Valley Airport is one of the nicest beaches on Vancouver Island, a 2km stretch of white sand worth visiting. Air Force Beach is a private beach at the end of Kilmorley Road in Comox. Once the road ends, the sign reads, “Passes only at this time.” Continue through the gate to the office, where you can purchase your daily or yearly parking pass.
Kilometres of white sand beach awaits you. Operated by the Canadian Military, this privately run beach and campground are home to the best beach in the Comox Valley and arguably Vancouver Island.
The primary function of Air Force Beach and TEE PEE Park Campground is to provide camping and beach areas for authorized military personnel, family members, and guests. Luckily for us, with the purchase of a parking pass, civilians can enjoy crystal clear water and a stunning sandy beach. As you pull up to the entrance, it’s evident that the military owns and operates this area. You will quickly notice the fencing and signage you might expect a military operation to have.
The gates are open all year round and although it doesn’t look very welcoming, drive through until you reach the main camp office. Here you can purchase a day parking pass or a yearly pass. Two parking lots are available. The lower lot is closer to the beach but is smaller. The upper, larger parking lot is big enough to park a trailer or motorhome.
Throughout the summer, the food kiosk next to the camp office offers hotdogs, chicken fingers, ice cream, and drinks at a reasonable price. The office building also houses well-maintained and very clean restrooms. They have running water and showers. During the winter months, portapotties are located at the pavilion.
Fires are allowed on the beach with a proper permit and following the park guidelines. Burning of beach driftwood is prohibited.
Walking along the Airforce Beach, you will notice large driftwood structures that look like Westcoast cabanas thrown together along the edge of the beach, offering protection from the wind and elements.
Airforce Beach gets its name from the airport and the fact that the Canadian Airforce operates out of the military base on the property. It is an operating airport but not a busy one. There is a chance you might have the opportunity to spot fighter jets, the Snowbirds or other military craft.
Elks and Royal Purple Park are at the southeast end of the beach, home to a small parking lot, picnic tables, a kids’ park, and washrooms. During the busy season, it’s common to see a food and icecream truck parked there feeding all of the visitors.
You will find a rockery shore and isn’t as pretty, but in just a short walk along the bay, you’ll get to the same white sand you find at Airforce Beach.
Kye Bay Beach’s biggest benefit over Airforce Bech is it’s FREE. Although the access point is only 2km away, it’s located on the other side of the airport. To reach the other side of Kye Bay is an 11km drive around the Comox Valley Airport.
If you are planning to stay the day and wonder what beach is best for you. If you look at the affordable $5 cost for parking at Airforce Beach, you get better washrooms, more space and an all-around better experience.
Whether you decide to visit Airforce or Kye Beach, you won’t be disappointed as Kye Cove is known for being close to the top of the list of Vancouver Island Beaches. It’s recommended to head out during low tide to get the full ‘beach life’ payoff.
WHAT DOES IT COST?
Kye Beach is FREE.
Air Force Beach requires either a Yearly Beach Parking Pass or Daily Beach Parking Pass that may be purchased a the TeePee Park Office.
ARE FIRES ALLOWED?
Yes, there are fire rings available, and fires are allowed on Air Force Beach with the proper permit.
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Vancouver Island is a land of natural beauty and abundant wildlife. Please be aware of your surroundings and take the usual precautions for personal and wildlife safety.
Black bears, cougars and even wolves are common on Vancouver Island for more on Wildlife Safety Click Here
Tide and Seasonal Safety:
Changing seasons and tides can have a drastic effect on most locations on Vancouver Island. Please be cautious as the information in this post may vary depending on the time of year and weather. Make sure to check for current weather and tide information before you make your journey!
When visiting the beach, it’s essential to pay attention and stay safe! Please be cautious walking on the shore during high tide. At this time, some areas may not be accessible. Click here for the tides in your area. Be aware of ocean currents before swimming, paddle boarding or kayaking.
We would like to acknowledge the land we appreciate daily within the 50 First Nations that make up the traditional territories of the Coast Salish, Nuu chah nulth, and Kwakiutl–the first peoples of Vancouver Island .
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