With deep moss-covered rainforest and ancient village sites, Haida Gwaii can feel mythic.
This storm battered archipelago of 150 rocky islands off British Columbia’s West Coast is Haida territory and tricky to access, only adding to its allure. The area is nicknamed Canada’s Galapagos for its diverse plant and animal life, and the totem pole and longhouse remains are some of the oldest authentic examples of coastal First Nations villages.
The islands are home to dramatic landscapes, abundant wildlife, and some of the world’s richest heritage treasures with more than 500 archeological sites. Haida Gwaii’s climate produces lush vegetation and abundant wildlife. Groups of Sitka deer feed on the grassy clearings along the Queen Charlotte Highway, and eagles—often hundreds at a time—can be seen flying overhead in spring and summer.
The largest communities on the islands include Queen Charlotte City, Skidegate and Massett, all located on Graham Island. Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve is located in the southern islands of Haida Gwaii, and is accessible only by boat or seaplane.
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