Haida Gwaii, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia

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Haida GwaiiAncient Totems on the Queen Charlottes

Haida Gwaii: This triangular archipelago known as Haida Gwaii "islands of the people" to the Haida People is located 80 km (50miles) from the B.C. mainland. Once known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, Haida Gwaii is comprised of more than 150 islands, many small and uninhabited. Graham to the north and Moresby to the south, are the largest of the islands. To reach Haida Gwaii you may travel by air or ferry from Prince Rupert. Direct air service from Vancouver is also available.

Some of the largest trees on earth are found in the ancient temperate rain forests of these islands. They include Sitka spruce, western hemlock, giant red cedar and yellow cypress. Some 218 species of birds live on these islands. The Haida, whose rich cultural traditions means living in harmony with nature, number about 2000. The islands offer hiking, mountain biking, beach combing, sea kayaking, whale watching and excellent freshwater and saltwater fishing.

Graham Island:
Graham island is the most populated and accessible of the islands. The BC Ferries terminus is located at Skidegate; ferries to and from Prince Rupert and Moresby Island dock here.

The Yellowhead Highway (Highway 16) continues here from the BC Ferries terminus at Skidegate west to Queen Charlotte City and then north to Masset. Rich in Haida culture and art, visitors may visit traditional longhouses, totem poles and view art by the famous Haida artist, Bill Reid.

Queen Charlotte City:
With logging and fishing as its major industries, Queen Charlotte City was the first registered townsite on the island. Full services and accommodation are available here. The city is located just west of Skidegate on Highway 16.

This farming area was first settled in 1904. Nearby Naikoon Park, miles of sand dunes and good fishing are just some of the attractions here. Tlell is located 36 km (22 miles) from Skidegate on Highway 16.

Naikoon Provincial Park:
Naikoon is a Haida word meaning "long nose" and indicates Rose Spit, an ecological reserve. This long finger of land juts out into the sea and is the northeastern tip of the island. Camping is available throughout the park

The Pesuta, is an old wooden log barge that ran ashore in a storm in 1928. To reach this site hike 5km (3miles) through the forest and along the beach.

Tow Hill:
Take the north-end access (from Masset causeway). From the parking lot hike 15 minutes through heavy rain forests to the top of the hill. The view to the mainland and Alaska is amazing.

From Tlell, Hwy 16 continues northwest from the coast.

Port Clements:
Located on Masset Island, 21 km (16 miles) northwest of Tlell, this area's main industry is logging. Port Clements was a major centre during WWII for airplane construction.

40km (5miles) north of Port Clements at the end of Hwy 16 is Masset. Located on Masset Sound, this is the largest community on the Islands. The Canadian Forces Base is a big employer and fishing is the other industry. Halibut, salmon and crab fishing trips can be booked here. Masset is fully equipped with accommodations.

Old Masset:
Located just north of Masset, this is the largest Haida village in Haida Gwaii. Visit the Ed Jones Haida Museum with Haida artifacts and information which is located at the old schoolhouse.

Moresby Island:
Moresby can only be reached by ferry from Graham Island, or by air from Prince Rupert or Vancouver.

This village is the Moresby Island terminus for ferries from Skidegate and also has the main airport for the islands. Sandspit is fully equipped to meet traveler's needs.

Before you travel any logging roads on North Moresby, check with local logging concerns..

Gray Bay:
21km (13mi) southeast of Sandspit this is a very quiet campsite with hard sand and gravel beaches.

Mosquito Lake Park:
These 11 rural campsites are 44km (27miles) southwest of Sandspit. Just beyond is the Pallent Creek Hatchery.

Moresby Camp:
To visit Cumshewa Inlet and the Moresby Islands launch your boat 2 km (1 mile) past the hatchery.

South Moresby/Gwaii Haanas:
Officially declared a reserve in July 1988, the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve encompasses over 15 percent of Haida Gwaii. Access to this beautiful wilderness and the abandoned Haida villages found there is possible by air or boat. Tours are available or register with Parks Canada or the Haida Gwaii Watchmen office or base camp.

Anthony Island:

Anthony Island was first inhabited by the ancient Kunghit Haida until massacres by fur traders and a small pox outbreak. Ninstints is located on the island and was declared a UNESCO world cultural heritage site in 1981. Permission to visit the island is available through the Parks Branch or the Haida Gwaii Watchmen in Skidegate.

After leaving Haida Gwaii and the Misty Isles, continue inland to the Stewart-Cassiar Highway which connects to the Yellowhead Highway 16 and the Alaska Highway.

The following BC Adventure members would like to serve you:
Queen Charlotte Lodge: For those seeking the ultimate sport fishing adventure, the waters of the Queen Charlotte Islands and Naden Harbour are legendary for an abundance of Chinook & Coho – plus Halibut, Lingcod, and groundfish! We pride ourselves in comfortable lodging, friendly ... more
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Hwy 37 Stewart Cassiar:
Queen Charlotte Islands:
Queen Charlotte Islands
Hwy 16 Prince Rupert to Prince George:
Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat (Skeena)
Hazelton (Babine) Smithers (Bulkley Valley) Houston (Morice)
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Vanderhoof (Nechako) Fort St. James Prince George
Hwy 97 North from Prince George:
Hart Highway
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McBride to Wells Gray Park

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Haida Gwaii, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia