Tow Hill Hike
Tow Hill is a fascinating landmark of Haida Gwaii. It is a basalt outcrop that seems to rise out of the sands of North Beach.
This scenic "Hill" has a trail that leads to its top. It is not a particularly long or strenuous hike, but a reasonnable level of fitness is required, as there are some steep sections.
This hike is listed on the brochure "Guide to Recreation sites and Trails of Haida Gwaii".
To get to the trailhead, you have to go along Tow Hill Road, that starts in Masset and is the main road going East. It is approximately 25kms between masset and Tow Hill. Once you enter Naikoon Provincial Park, the road turns to gravel. It is not a logging road, but you should still be aware of oncoming traffic. Most rental companies will allow you to drive on this unpaved road. There is no fee to enter Naikoon Provincial Park. Some rules apply.
Just before Tow Hill, is the Agate Beach Campground, where visitors can camp. There is a fee to camp there. Sites cannot be booked in advance and site allocation is on a first-come first-served basis. Each site has picnic tables and a fire pit, there are pit toilets in the campground, and a tap in the summer season. You should carry your drinking water in.
At Tow Hill, which is almost the end of the road, there is a hard-to-miss parking lot just before the bridge across the Hiellen river. You should park there to start your hike.
The hike first follows a gravel trail, before it becomes a boardwalk, with stairs climbing to the top. There are 2 lookouts, one approximately halfway up offers views of the Eastern part of North Beach and one can see all the way to Rose Spit on a clear day. The second lookout is at the very top and offers views of the Western part of North Beach, looking towards Masset. The lookout is overlooking Agate Beach, and one can see bogs and muskegs in Naikoon Provincial Park. On a clear day, the islands you can see in the distance looking North, are actually located in Alaska.
Return via the same trail.
Hikers can explore the other trails of the area such as the "Blowhole" or start walking on North Beach.
Bear in mind that even though it looks close, it is a long 10+kms hike in the sand to get to the end of North Beach and to Rose Spit.
This popular landmark is also the subject of multiple blog entries on our site, such as: the "Legend of Tow Hill" or "Tow Hill Hike". Tow Hill is also a growing community and there are a few other attractions, accommodation options and places to eat in the area. Visit our Tow Hill Road section.