Things to Do in Haida Gwaii Island, Canada

Things to do on Haida Gwaii Island Canada include hiking, sightseeing, fishing, whale watching, beachcombing and ocean kayaking. One major attraction in Skidegate is the Haida Heritage Centre at Kay Llnagaay where visitors can learn about this nation that crafts totem poles out of rare black argillite into totem poles and jewelry pieces crafted by master carvers.

1. Hiking

Haida Gwaii offers hiking enthusiasts many exciting hiking opportunities, from short easy strolls to challenging treks through densely forested river paths smothered in green moss. Trails along Alliford Bay and Sandspit Road provide opportunities to spot wildlife such as porcupines, eagles and bears.

Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site is situated south of Sandspit and provides an oasis-like retreat where modern life seems far away; hikers can traverse old-growth forest trails, explore sea caves, encounter marine life up close or kayak along its coast in search of pods of whales!

Camping along the coast can provide many opportunities. Search for pullouts and camping sites equipped with tent platforms, tables, and pit toilets; ask locals for the best locations. Be mindful that many roads in parks do not meet public highway maintenance standards – therefore keep an eye out for logging trucks who should have priority when driving on public roadways.

2. Whale Watching

Haida Gwaii is one of the premier marine mammal viewing areas in North America. With nutrient-rich waters providing feeding habitat for minke whales, humpback whales and orcas; as well as Steller sea lions, seals and an assortment of coastal marine mammal species – Haida Gwaii is an unparalleled opportunity to observe marine mammallife!

Visit SGang Gwaay Llnagaay for an unforgettable experience, where you’ll witness a masterpiece carved by Jaalen Edenshaw as well as learn about Haida culture – including their ongoing struggle for sovereignty over unceded lands as well as its commitment to reconciliation and sustainability.

At the Haida Heritage Centre, 50,000 square feet of captivating exhibits await your discovery. Take your time exploring Carving House’s intricate totem poles, Canoe House and Haida Museum as well as buying authentic Haida artwork! It is truly an immersive experience not to be missed!

3. Sightseeing

Haida Gwaii is an idyllic wilderness of idyllic coves, silent forests, and miles-long beaches teeming with marine life. Its captivating natural beauty and profound native culture draw people in droves to this island chain in search of their own experience of this remarkable wilderness.

Since Haida Gwaii’s development over the past four decades has made Haida Gwaii more accessible, its rugged charm remains a magnet for adventurous travelers. Beachcombing, hiking, fishing, whale watching, boating, sea kayaking camping and sight-seeing are among many recreational activities available here.

One of the best times to visit Haida Gwaii is during May or June, when seabird watching is at its height and weather tends to be calmer for excursions to SGang Gwaay, a UNESCO protected World Heritage Site at Gwaii Haanas. Furthermore, village sites tend to be less busy during this period, allowing visitors to fully explore ancient Haida villages while learning about culture from locals more comfortably.

4. Boating

Gwaii Haanas Islands are an intricate web of bays, sounds and inlets filled with abundant wildlife and ancient Haida villages – providing boaters an exciting way to discover these picturesque landscapes and heritage sites.

Gwaii Haanas’ waters teem with life, from blue whales, sperm whales, minke whales, fin whales and humpbacks to Steller sea lions, halibut and salmon. You can explore them via powerboat or sail – either independently or on guided trips.

The southern islands are home to numerous ancient Haida villages such as K’uuna (Skedans), Cumshewa and SGang Gwaay (Ninstints). Here you can visit remnants of great long houses as well as some of the finest original totem poles still standing around today. Additionally, guided tours can give visitors invaluable local insight while taking them to lesser accessible spots within these islands.

5. Beachcombing

Haida Gwaii offers an exceptional blend of nature, history and cultural treasures that is unlike anywhere else on Earth. Discover mist-shrouded mountains, silent forests of moss-grown trees, miles of beaches and unique wildlife for yourself on this remote archipelago!

Camp on the beach, explore rugged coastlines and ancient forests, fish for fresh seafood while kayaking through waters, and experience nature like never before! Bring plenty of water and snacks, and stay vigilant on forest roads where logging trucks don’t always move as quickly.

Spring and fall are ideal times for hiking, whale watching and beachcombing on Haida Gwaii Island Canada, due to calmer seas enabling excursions out to SGang Gwaay (Gwaii Haanas).

6. Fishing

Haida Gwaii offers anglers ample fishing opportunities year-round. “From Chinook salmon and tuna fishing, to Halibut fishing and even Halibut spearfishing; this incredible coastline has long been considered legendary by sportfishing enthusiasts,” according to Fishing Booker.

Cast your line for trout, cutthroat trout and dolly varden in one of many creeks or head out on the ocean to jig for rockfish, lingcod and halibut – perfect fishing spots in spring and summer when salmon season peaks!

No visit to Haida Gwaii would be complete without experiencing its unspoiled wilderness and vibrant culture. Explore old-growth forests, miles of sandy beaches, kayaking through protected inlets or exploring historic Haida village sites with century-old totem poles; all can be experienced here on Haida Gwaii – this land of rare species, ancient traditions that have evolved independently for millennia – it truly represents the last frontier.

7. Boat Tours

Haida Gwaii – commonly referred to as the Queen Charlotte Islands – is one of North America’s richest biological and cultural regions, hosting ancient native Haida villages as well as lush forests, beaches and inlets of Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve. Watch for whales, orcas and Queen Charlotte Islands black bears while also keeping an eye out for bald eagles, puffins and herons on Island Roamer!

Gwaii Haanas’ rugged crags and pine-sheltered inlets provide ideal conditions for scenic boat tours. Visit UNESCO World Heritage sites of SGang Gwaay (Ninstints) and Tanu, where mossy depressions mark where great long houses once stood, while learning about Haida culture at the Haida Heritage Centre with totem pole carving demonstrations by local artists as well as witnessing totem pole creation first-hand.

8. Sea Kayaking

The Haida Gwaii archipelago is an aquatic adventurer’s delight. Kayak around its idyllic coastlines to discover abundant marine wildlife and Haida culture. These islands, situated off the continental edge, boast grand forests, unique wildlife species, and an enduring Haida culture which developed independently over 12,000 years.

Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site offer sea kayakers remote wilderness, breathtaking scenery, incredible wildlife encounters, as well as the opportunity to visit important cultural sites of Haida culture.

Skidegate’s Haida Heritage Centre should be on every island visitor’s itinerary. Showcasing living Haida culture through language, art and stories. Visit this landmark before heading out on a kayak tour of Gwaii Haanas to add context and meaning to what you experience there.

9. Camping

Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands), an unspoiled wilderness known for its indigenous culture and diverse wildlife, offers visitors miles-long beaches, dense moss-grown forests, ancient village sites and unique experiences that most remain unexplored by visitors.

Though Haida Gwaii is an ideal year-round destination, early summer is ideal. At this time you’ll experience peak seabird viewing (while enjoying a game of poker on sites listed at the and less visitors to village sites.

Fish in sheltered bays, hike to mountain peaks or kayak along rocky coastlines to experience Haida Gwaii Island Canada at your own pace during this period. Visit Naikoon Provincial Park and admire Jaalen Edenshaw’s 42-foot cedar Legacy Pole created from jade. This incredible piece of artwork illustrates the connections between land, sea and people and should definitely not be missed!

10. Museums

Haida Gwaii is Canada’s last frontier, an archipelago with peaceful coves and sandy beaches accompanied by ancient village sites with century-old carved poles. This wilderness area supports 20 species of whale and dolphin life including orcas while its 12,000 year-old culture was developed in isolation over that timeframe.

Garner Moody, an apprentice of Bill Reid who has become a master carver himself, maintains an expansive wood carving shed where mounds of red western cedar shavings fill the air with their earthy scent and play soft blues rock music through his headphones as he carves delicate wood slices in time with rhythm.

Visit Haida Gwaii is an opportunity to meet its people, experience their traditional art and culture, and support repatriation of artifacts taken away by colonial forces. Early summer offers ideal conditions for visiting; weather is more temperate, village sites less crowded.