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Go Haida Gwaii


Rose Spit - where the Hecate Strait meets Dixon Entrance - Photo: Owen Perry

The rainforest experience - moss carpeted paths, a lingering scent of fresh cedar and the sounds of silence - Photo: Owen Perry

Step into another world as you tour ancient Haida village sites in Gwaii Haanas - Photo: Owen Perry


White Creek Trail & Haida Gwaii’s Serengeti!

Photo Credit: Maryanne Wettlaufer

Recently I saw a painting of the White Creek Trail by local artist Maryanne Wettlaufer . The scene ‘haunted’ me and I was inspired to take a drive to the Masset area and spend some time on the trail.

We drove approximately 17.5 kms from the Masset turnoff (bridge) along Tow Hill Road to the bridge at White Creek and parked at the pullout.  The White Creek Trail is a peaceful walk through rainforest, pine copses and peat bogs. It takes approximately 30 minutes to reach the top of the ridge overlooking Tow Hill and East Beach.

Photo: Guy Kimola / Haida Gwaii Photos

The unmarked trailhead is located on the west side of the bridge (the side closest to Masset). Based on Fern Henderson’s ‘Trail Hikes and Beach Walks’ (1990), the trail is actually the old wagon road used by settlers in the early 1900s.

Stepping down from the gravel road, we entered into a rainforest of mixed conifers and alders.

A walking path led us through salal bushes and under clumps of thick moss and ferns attached to second growth hemlock and spruce. Shallow streams trickled down the trail.

Photo: Guy Kimola / Haida Gwaii Photos

Our first challenge was to cross a pond…over a log.  Brutus demonstrated how to do it – it wasn’t so bad after all!

Photo: Guy Kimola / Haida Gwaii Photos

We followed the old wagon road up a gentle incline through ever changing eco-systems ranging from second growth rainforest, bog and ‘scrub’ pine reminiscent of bonsai trees. The trail abruptly ended at a creek surrounded by brush and we backtracked down the path until we found an easy creek crossing on the east side of the trail. 

Photo: Guy Kimola / Haida Gwaii Photos

We stepped out of the brush into what my walking partner aptly described as ‘a Serengeti’ of Haida Gwaii. The small ponds surrounded by grassland and copses of oddly twisted and dwarfed pine trees provided stunning imagery suggestive of an African savannah.

Photo: Guy Kimola / Haida Gwaii Photos

We continued to walk in a south-easterly direction around numerous ponds and through boggy grassland until Tow Hill and East Beach greeted us from a distance. I think it might have been possible to continue walking until we had reached Tow Hill – but far more practical to head back to the parking lot while we were ahead!

The White Creek Trail was a fascinating walk through varying eco-systems. Taking the time for this trail is a highly rewarding experience – remember to bring your camera.

Note: Hikers should be prepared for walking in the bog (ie: wet feet!) and be comfortable walking in an unmarked area when off the trail.


Contact Us

Queen Charlotte Visitor Centre

email: | telephone: 250-559-8316

Sandspit Visitor Centre

email: | telephone: 250.637.5362

Port Clements Visitor Centre

email: | telephone: 250-557-4576

Masset Visitor Centre

email: | telephone: 250-626-3982

Haida Gwaii Tourism

Destination Marketing Organization

Super Natural British Columbia