“My interest in Haida Gwaii spiked when I mentioned it to a few more worldly adventure writers than myself — folks who spend their weekends traversing Mongolia on skis — and got a collective “Haida what?” in response. Can’t blame ’em. Though it’s only 80 miles off Canada’s Pacific coast, Haida Gwaii (previously known as the Queen Charlotte Islands) gets perpetually bypassed for the cruise-ship-frequented shores of nearby Alaska, just 50 miles to the north. Getting to the island chain is also logistically challenging enough that the spoils remain a step removed. . . . If you’re looking for a Lost World, these islands — isolated since the last Ice Age — fit the bill in every way that counts: geographically, biologically, and culturally.”
Ted Alvarez, in “Canada: Treasure Island,” in Backpacker (Jan. 2013)
(Photo credits: Upyernoz per Wikimedia; Map credit: Koba-chan per Wikimedia)
It really is so nice around there. It’s also really great up in Alaska along the south west panhandle. Juneau is my favourite!
Exploring that area, including Alaska and even further north up into the Yukon, is up there on my travel to do list.
Ya do it up! Petersburg AK is good too. I haven’t made it up to Anchorage yet, but hopefully one of these days 🙂
Anchorage is breathtakingly beautiful (my hometown although i live in texas) and your incredible photography would def. do it justice…thank you for liking my blog post, have a great day! emmy
Emmy, Anchorage along with many other parts of Alaska are on my must-see list — and my camera will be nearby! Other than its size, Texas is quite a contrast from Alaska! Best, Brett
Thank you for looking at my blog, Brett.
You should go – Haida Gwaii is magical….
Cheryl, your artwork is terrific. About Haida Gwaii, it’s on my list next time I get back up to B.C.
I might go back this summer – it has been 10 years – I found my old ferry ticket for the ill-fated “Queen of the North” just the other day…
And now I have a good camera..:)
Really nice post! Might have to put that one on my list!
Thanks. Would be a nice area to explore on a road trip, with a sea kayak close at hand.
Just started kayaking, I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lots of kayaking opportunities. If you kayak in the inlet chances are you will be followed by seals. 🙂
That would be interesting.
Thanks for stopping by at my blog. I hope some day I can visit Canada! 🙂
Thank you for visiting catnipoflife 🙂 I found this post so interesting. My husband and I had planned a cross country trip ending with an Alaskan cruise before he became ill. [We live in southwestern Georgia.] Not giving up! Tomorrow is another day 🙂
Sharla, thanks for your comments. I hope your husband recovers well. Visiting Haida Gwaii and doing an Alaska cruise would both be amazing.
Oooh I really want to go to Haida Gwaii someday!
Cameron, I hope you make it there.
I love this part of the world… when i was going to E. Carr College, they taught us that the Haida Gwaii actually kidnapped a couple of artists from Japan in their big seagoing canoes… thus the singular curvalinear designs so treasured by their people, unlike any other coastal tribes… thank you, i’ll be back for more…
That detail from their past is an interesting aspect of the Haida Gwaii culture andf helps to better understand their art. Thanks for sharing that.
I had not heard that. Their art and culture is fascinating!
So glad to be introduced to your blog. I know I will enjoy following. Thanks for the like on my blog. Appreciate.
Another place to add to my bucket list! 🙂
Thanks for stopping by my blog!
Definitely one for the list.
I use to live in BC for 9 years; adolescence. That’s an archipelago that I never got to see.
Haida Gwaii! the most fantastic trip of my life. We went last year and I have hundreds of photos, but only one post so far: (http://bit.ly/19rtB9C.)
Beautiful solitude. Lush green and wonderful people. Took me 10 years to get there. Don’t wait that long!
Sounds like it was a wonderful trip!
Nice! Always wanted to visit. Hope to get the chance in the next few years, perhaps through Outward Bound’s programs for adults. I’ll have to check out the article in Backpacker…
Have you been yourself? Does it live up to its reputation as a “power spot”?
Aaron, I’ve not been there myself — it’s on my list.
Hi Brett. Thank you for visiting me at: http://www.beautifulcourageousyou.wordpress.com May you be blessed abundantly and I look forward to following your journey also X
Hey, Lauralee, thanks. Endless blessings to you as well.
This is one traveler who does know! But you had me stumped until I realized it was the Queen Charlottes. World class sea kayaking!
Nice to hear. A great place for photography too.
Looks amazing. I hope to visit Canada one day. Thanks for liking my post.
I didn’t know that this place existed! Thank you for teaching me something new about my own country!!
There are so many amazing places to explore in each of our countries! Best of luck with your travel blog — looks like it will be a fun undertaking!
We have been on the inner passage cruise, and it was awesome. But I did not know of this place until your post. Viewing it on Google Maps intensifies my curiosity. I can see exploring and photographing for a week or so. Thanks for liking my blog as well.
Brett, These islands are amazing. I first discovered them while researching the coastline of north America, then I googled the islands and explored the photos of this wonderland, I was hooked. Since then it’s been my dream to visit. If Robinson Crusoe wound up on these island he never would wanted to leave. Please don’t tell anyone. They need to remain a secret 🙂
The double edged sword of discovering a beautiful place and wanting to share it, which risks it being spoiled. Tricky proposition! I agree that the islands are gorgeous.
Reblogged this on Life in Russia and commented:
If Robinson Crusoe had got shipwrecked here, he never would have wanted to leave.
Can you get there by ferry?
Yes, BC Ferries operates to there.
I’ve never seen it myself in person, but I have relatives who say it is one of the most beautiful areas in Canada. Haida Gwaii was also recently featured on the program “Canada Over the Edge”, which airs on the Smithsonian Channel. Thanks for bringing to light such a precious gem of the West Coast, Brett. 🙂
breathtaking, added to my bucketlist
Oh! More! I lived in SE AK. Would love to explore these! -renee
Great post! I’m always looking for new places to explore and this area looks wonderful! Thanks for the likes on Messy Kitchen, Happy Belly! Looking forward to more of your great posts in the future!
Reblogged this on Wordy Rappinghood and commented:
one day i will check these out
Haida Gwaii is definitely a treasure as is the whole of the BC North Coast. When you go make sure to visit the people, meet the local artists, get to know and enjoy the local culture.
Richard, thanks and this is great advice!
Reblogged this on Travel and commented:
This is one blog I really loved
Brett, truly lovely venture. I loved the way you put things together about Canadian culture and places. Thanks for liking the post on my blog…
Brett, this is a nice piece. You are right that most people are unaware of this treasure – even a lot of Canadians skip Haida Gwaii, opting for Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, and ignoring everything just a few kilometres north. You might be interested in a new book, published this year, called “Searching for the Origins of Haida Gwaii” by a Canadian geologist. I read his book, it has a nice mix of culture, history, and geology.
Here is a short review: http://mountainmystery.com/2014/05/25/searching-for-haida-gwaii/
Thanks so much!
Wonderful blog, Brett! I lived in Alaska for 15+ years. I’ve been up the Inside Passage and into some of the communities there, but have never backpacked or hiked in those areas. I used to spend a lot of time in the high Sierras in California. Alaska is a whole other story.
Thanks! Those places — Alaska and high Sierras — are quite beautiful from what I understand. I’m sure you’d have some good stories of Alaska after 15 or so years.