— Expedition Kayaking —

Central Gwaii Haanas Explorer

— Expedition Kayaking —

Central Gwaii Haanas


Isolated from British Columbia by Hecate Strait, the islands of Haida Gwaii are ecologically unique and provide a kayaking experience like no other. The jewel of the islands, Gwaii Haanas, provides the adventurous kayaker with stunning scenery, remote wilderness, fantastic wildlife, natural hot springs, and the opportunity to visit important Haida cultural sites. 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. 

Our Central Gwaii Haanas Explorer kayak tours operate within Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site. The Government of Canada and the Council of the Haida Nation cooperatively manage Gwaii Haanas through the Archipelago Management Board.

The five day Central Gwaii Haanas Explorer tour has a more relaxed pace than our longer Gwaii Haanas Explorer kayak tours and is a great way to experience some of the best features of Gwaii Haanas without the same time and energy commitment.

We begin our tour with a zodiac boat ride into Gwaii Haanas where we have the opportunity to visit the Haida village site of K’uuna Llnagaay (Skedans) with it’s big house remains, standing memorial, and mortuary standing poles. Additional highlights of this tour include soaking in the natural pools at Gandll K’in Gwaayaay (Hot Spring Island) and kayaking the wildlife rich waters of Juan Perez Sound.

The central section of Gwaii Haanas provides numerous kayaking routes to choose between, and we may paddle sheltered channels, secluded bays, and exposed coastline. Being a more relaxed trip does not mean that we spend less time kayaking, but instead that we can take the time to more fully explore the bays, inlets, and channels. We usually camp at three different sites during this tour and while the last site is less than ten miles in a straight line from our first site, there is over one hundred miles of coastline and dozens of islands to explore along our circuitous route.

Wildlife viewing opportunities are abundant throughout Gwaii Haanas. Kayaking quietly along the shore we may come across deer, black bears, and pine martens. Humpback whales may be seen throughout Gwaii Haanas and are often seen feeding in Juan Perez Sound, and with 750,000 nesting seabirds and more bald eagle nests per kilometre of shoreline than anywhere else in Canada, Gwaii Haanas is a birder’s dream.


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