Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte Islands BC
The mystical landscapes of Haida Gwaii have been home to the Haida Nation for thousands of years.
The islands were once known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, but they are now officially called Haida Gwaii in recognition of its long aboriginal history.
The remote archipelago off the north-east coast of British Columbia lies around 770km from Vancouver and 120km west of Prince Rupert.
The land varies from beaches and bogs, to sand dunes and old-growth forest and is home to an abundance of wildlife including the world’s largest species of black bear, otters, killer whales and dozen of different species of seabirds.
Haida Gwaii highlights include:
Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve
Naikoon Provincial Park
Around 150 islands make up Haida Gwaii. The largest islands are Graham Island in the north and Moresby Island to the south.
Before European contact around 10,000 people lived in Haida Gwaii. Disease and social disintegration brought by traders, explorers and missionaries devastated the aboriginal communities
but today the islands are flourishing again with around 5,000 people living in a few small communities dotted mainly on Graham Island and Moresby Island.
Haida Gwaii inspired the Canadian artist Emily Carr
to produce some of her most iconic works. Today, visitors are still drawn to make the journey to experience the enduring Haida heritage, raw wilderness and opportunities for solitude.
If you plan to visit Haida Gwaii as an independent traveler make sure your navigational and survival skills can handle true wilderness. There are few roads and services and signs of civilization are minimal outside the few villages.
Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia