Gwaii Haanas

Queen Charlotte, British Columbia

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Not long ago the notorious stretch of water known as Hecate Strait was paddled by the Haida during raids on mainland tribes. Legend has it that following an attack, the Haida canoes would turn and head towards Haida Gwaii, the Queen Charlotte Islands, leaving their less seaworthy adversaries bound to the mainland for fear of crossing the strait. Times have changed, but even today the isolation of the islands continues to preserve their natural and cultural wealth. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site in the southern third of the archipelago. Here paddlers can travel through sheltered bays and inlets, explore ancient forests and Haida villages, and gain a sense of the wilderness and society that have lived together since time began. Gwaii Haanas is an area so distinctive, both culturally and biologically, that it is often referred to as the Canadian Galapagos. It is truly one of the world’s great paddling destinations.

Gwaii Haanas Professional Review and Guide

"Not long ago the notorious stretch of water known as Hecate Strait was paddled by the Haida during raids on mainland tribes. Legend has it that following an attack, the Haida canoes would turn and head towards Haida Gwaii, the Queen Charlotte Islands, leaving their less seaworthy adversaries bound to the mainland for fear of crossing the strait. Times have changed, but even today the isolation of the islands continues to preserve their natural and cultural wealth.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site in the southern third of the archipelago. Here paddlers can travel through sheltered bays and inlets, explore ancient forests and Haida villages, and gain a sense of the wilderness and society that have lived together since time began. Gwaii Haanas is an area so distinctive, both culturally and biologically, that it is often referred to as the Canadian Galapagos. It is truly one of the world’s great paddling destinations."

Activity Type: Sea Kayaking
Nearby City: Queen Charlotte
Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
Duration: 7 days and up
Season: Best spring through fall
Local Maps: 3807: Atli Inlet to Selwyn Inlet; 3808: Juan Perez Sound; 3809: Carpenter Bay to Burnaby Island; 3825: Cape St. James to Houston Stewart Channel; and 3853, 3855, and 3894
Driving Directions: Directions to Gwaii Haanas

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May 2018