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Go Haida Gwaii


The Pesuta Shipwreck Trail will lead you along East Beach to the remains of the Pesuta, a log barge that ran aground in 1928 - Photo: Owen Perry

Roadside whale-watching in May is a popular activity in Skidegate - Photo: Owen Perry

The Rennell Sound area offers exceptional wilderness camping and short trails for accessing remote west coast beaches - Photo: Owen Perry

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

The Looking Around and Blinking House at Windy Bay was built to provide shelter for people during the 1985 blockade against logging on Lyell Island - Photo: Owen Perry

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

Visit the award-winning Haida Heritage Centre and Museum at Second Beach in Skidegate - Photo: Flavien Mabit


Natural History

Photo Credit: Haida Gwaii Photos

Situated in isolation off the west coast of British Columbia, the Islands occupy a unique location in world geography. The most remote archipelago in Canada, the Islands consist of about 150 individual islands of various sizes lying alongside the edge of the continental shelf. Here, within only a few kilometers of land the ocean floor drops from a hundred to more than 1,000 meters and provides an upwelling of currents rich in marine life.

Photo Credit: Flavien Mabit

Photo Credit: Haida Gwaii Photos

The Islands found their current geographic location about 20 million years ago but are comprised of materials as old as 250 million years in age. Several geologic transformations and adaptations have occurred contributing to the development of the present landscape including plate tectonics, seismic activity, glacial erosion and a continuously changing sea level.

Photo Credit: Haida Gwaii Photos

Photo Credit: Flavien Mabit

Similar to many of the landscapes found on mainland British Columbia, the Islands include alpine mountains, sub-alpine plateaus, forest plains and muskeg bogs. While the Islands share many similar landscapes with the rest of the Province, the Islands are home to about 40 unique species or sub-species of plants and animals.

Photo Credit: Haida Gwaii Photos

Much of this uniqueness has been explained through the theory that the Islands served as a refugia, or escape, from the last Ice Age that wrapped most of Canada and the United States in a blanket of ice 15,000 years ago. It was within these ice free areas that many of the plants and animals of the Islands adapted characteristics separate from their mainland counterparts today.

Haida Gwaii is located along the Queen Charlotte Fault and holds the dubious record for the largest recorded earthquake in Canada (M8.1 in 1949) and more recently, a M7.7 which struck the islands in late October, 2012.

The Islands are separated from mainland British Columbia by Hecate Strait, a shallow body of water averaging about 100 km between shores. During periods in the Islands’ history a portion of this area was exposed and a large grassland stretched at least half way across the Strait.

Photo Credit: Cacilia Honisch

Today the Islands draw tourists from around the world lured by the isolation, landscape, and outdoor activities that are offered here. The scenery of the Islands is diverse and spectacular and offers remnants of a time before human arrival.

Photo Credit: Haida Gwaii Photos

The rugged shorelines, stands of huge trees and kilometer upon kilometer of vast, sandy, unpopulated beaches offer the visitor a relaxed atmosphere where one can easily find solitude in natural surroundings.

Photo Credit: Flavien Mabit

Photo Credit: Flavien Mabit


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