Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve
Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada
Gwaii Haanas National Park
A massive 1470 square km wilderness park which
includes evidence of a deep spiritual history of the Haida people
throughout the park. As, far back as 10,000 years ago, the land
of Gwaii Haanas was home to the Haida people.
Today, there are remnants of old ancient villages, Haida Totem
Poles and CMTs (Culturally Modified Trees) located throughout
the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve. These
are trees with removed bark strips - an art of the Haida First
Nation people of removing a strip of bark from a cedar tree (so
not to harm the tree). The bark then would be used for building
baskets, tools, mats and much more.
Some of the more popular destinations in the park is the Village
of Ninstints. From a boat you can spot the spiritual totem poles
standing at attention paying tribute to the Haida culture. "Archaeological
and historic artifacts are left to their natural process as per
All access to this area is patrolled by the Haida Gwaii
Watchmen. Please show the utmost respect for the park
and the traditions of the Haida people by reporting to the Haida
Watchman Office in Skidegate your intentions when visiting this
In the beginning, the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve was scheduled to be logged. A public uprising soon followed as
the lands had a large cultural, historic significance and was
a breeding ground for many species of wildlife. The Haida people
and the Canadian Government came to terms to protect the ecological
treasure in 1993.
The Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve accounts
for about 15% of the Haida Gwaii Islands land mass covering
138 islands stretching from Tasu Sound / Laskeek Bay to Woodruff
Bay / Cape St. James. The island park is referred to as the ‘Canadian
Galapagos’ because of the number of endangered species that
The Gwaii Haanas Park is one of the last ecological
wilderness parks left to explore where history has been respected
and kept in tact. the Haida Gwaii Islands' park is also home
to many significant eco systems. In the Burnaby Narrows the ocean
waters contain more protein per square metre than any other place
The park is also the breeding home to colonies of the red-beaked
Puffin bird. The shorelines of the Gwaii Haanas National
Park Reserve enjoys the highest concentration of Bald
Eagle nests per kilometre of shoreline than anywhere else in Canada.
The Peregrine Falcons thrive in the park also, as there are more
of them then anywhere else in the world! And they wanted to log
the area? What were they thinking!
In 2005, Gwaii Haanas was rated #1 Park Destination
in North America by a panel of experts polled by National Geographic
Traveler magazine. The park is, no doubt, a prime location for
adventure seekers as the area draws a large number of people interested
in sea kayaking, photography, camping, boating, hiking and fishing. Gwaii Haanas is known as one of the top sea kayaking
and boating destinations in the world.
Boating and sea kayaking in the area has proven to be a life
experience. Not only is there the intense Haida culture and historical
artifacts but sightings of whales is very common in the area,
especially Humpback and Minke Whales. The Gwaii Haanas
National Park Reserve also has the largest breeding colony
of Steller sea lions.
How to Get to Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve :
Accessed by boat, floatplane or helicopter only. Must inform the
Haida Watchmen of your trip to the Gwaii Haanas or enjoy the islands
through a tour company.
Drive east for about 7 km from the Alliford Bay BC Ferry Terminal
on Moresby Island to Sandspit Village. Prior to arriving arrange
a tour with one of the boating, floatplane companies to escort
you out to the park.
Gwaii Haanas, Queen Charlottes, BCeh!