Kayak Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, voted as the #1 wilderness park destination in North America by National Geographic. Visitors to this area are limited, due the remoteness and a strict quota system implemented by Parks Canada.
Isolated from British Columbia by the infamous Hecate Strait, Haida Gwaii (formerly, the Queen Charlotte Islands) are ecologically unique. These emerald isles are often referred to as the "Canadian Galapagos." The 100 kilometres of open water has isolated the archipelago from the BC mainland, to the extent that there are at least 39 distinct subspecies of plants and animals that are found no place else in the world!
In the native tongue, Haida Gwaii means "Islands of the People," for this area is rich in First Nations historic sites and heritage. The Haida were a seafaring culture, well adapted to oceanic life. The pristine nature of this National Park means that exploring their unique world by kayak is like stepping back in time. View life before Western Civilization, as an array of marine and forest life flourishes around you, unbridled by human development. Float over the startlingly beautiful Burnaby (Dolimite) Narrows, which holds over 300 different species of marine invertebrates. These clear, shallow waters filter a brilliant palette of colorful sea stars in nature's vivid canvas. Visits to ancient native sites unearth the echoes of stories, traditions, and monuments like the famous standing poles at Ninstints (UNESCO World Heritage Site). No trip to Haida Gwaii is complete without a visit to Hot Spring Island, named for the many pools that form a natural spa. A soak in these healing waters is said to cure any ailment.
Haida Gwaii is a singular destination to visit on its own, or combine it with an orca paddle through Johnstone Strait.
The totem poles at the Skung Gwaii (Ninstints)