Dogfish Bay Hiking Route
Though Dogfish Bay is not really the destination of the hike in itself, it is the name given to that particular hike, that essentially starts either from Sheldens bay, or from the Secret Cove trailhead. This hike is not really listed anywhere, and it is a somewhat harder hike, that requires some navigational skills, a bit of common sense, scrambling on rocks, watching for the tides, and having at least a half day ahead of you. This route description is taken from a blog entry published on this website, which features more images and detailed description.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This suggested hike is a route and as such is not along a formal trail. Access to the trailhead can be difficult, the hike itself can be strenuous, require some navigational skills, special gear and people attempting this hike need to be well prepared.
To make things easier, a look at the excellent waterproof Haida Gwaii Backroad mapbook, that I recommed to anyone visiting or living on island (available at Visitor Centres and other stores islandwide), will show you the basic outline of the hike that is described here.
A low quality snapshot of the backroad map area described
It is preferable to start from Secret Cove, or it is also possible to start right from Gray Bay.
From Secret Cove, (this walk is listed on the excellent Guide to recreation sites and trails of Haida Gwaii), if you go to the left of the cove and into the forest, you will find a trail, marked with pink tape.
The trail follows the coastline and as long as you can stay on that trail, it will be relatively easy going, through salal patches, between rocks, overlooking the water... At one point though, you will have no choice but to get down onto the "beach", which is really more like a boulder field. This is where a lower tide is better, as it gives you more options to find a suitable route.
Once you are past the boulders, the going gets easier as the hike takes you on sandy beaches.
Beaches follow one another and past the eponymous Dogfish Bay and at one point, when progress gets too hard as you come across some very beautiful rock formations, you may want to veer straight into the woods, where you will soon find an old logging road, still passable by quads, that you can follow all the way to Sheldens Bay. Sheldens bay is also on the Guide to recreation sites and trails of Haida Gwaii. This is also the alternative starting point for that same hike, and going the other way round.
Hikers then have to follow the main road out towards Gray Bay road.
It is of course possible to walk all the way back to Gray Bay on the main road, but there is an alternative to that. This is a harder part of the hike to describe. Once you leave Sheldens Bay and hike up the road, you will at one point, after maybe 1.5km, have reached the saddle, or higher part of the road. The road then flattens, and eventually goes down towards a valley where the main Gray Bay road is. Just as you start going down sharply, there is deactivated logging road on your left, that hikers can take. It is closed off by boulders, so vehicles cannot go through.
If you take that old logging road, you will end up at your starting point at the Secret Cove trailhead.
This hike is especially interesting as it takes you through very varied landscapes, from beaches to forests; from exposed coastal rocks to moss covered stumps. It is a harder route, where there are often no marked trails to follow. Very sturdy footwear is essential. And as always, pack water, snacks and warm clothes...