HAIDA GWAII TRIP PLANNER

How to get here

Haida Gwaii is a remote archipelago located ~80km offshore of British Columbias North Coast. Consequently, the only way to get here is by air or by ferry. Below are details about each option.

Travelling by Air

  • There are two airports on Haida Gwaii the southern Sandspit and the norther in Masset.
  • Air Canada offers flights directly from Vancouver to Sandspit. These are small aircrafts and only one flight is offered a day. It can occasionally sell out, so confirm your booking well in advance of your departure
  • If you decide to fly Air Canada to Sandspit you will still need to meet us at our launch point in the Village of Daajing Giids. 
  • From the airport it is 15-minute drive to the ferry terminal that transports you across the inlet to the Village of Daajing Giids.
  • The ferry scheduled is from Alliford Bay to Skidegate Landing on the BC ferries website
  • If you don’t have a vehicle rental arranged prior Eagle Transit offers and airport shuttle service from Sandspit to Daajing Giids
  • Pacific Coastal flies into Masset airport located on the northern tip of Graham Island about 1h 15 minutes from Daajing Giids via car.
  • From here you can hire a car or taxi for the drive to our launch down south

Travelling by Ferry

  • All of our tours begin from the commercial hub of Haida Gwaii of the Village of Daajing Giids (formerly Queen Charlotte City)
  • If you decide to travel via ferry you will leave from Prince Rupert BC to Skidegate Landing Haida Gwaii. From here we are short 10min drive to Daajing Giids
  • If you’d prefer to take the scenic route and drive through interior BC and Alberta from Vancouver, Calgary or Edmonton expect to drive 16-19 hours before arriving in Prince Rupert. From Prince Rupert you will still need to board the 7-hour ferry to Skidegate Landing.
  • You can also travel solely by ferry from Port Hardy on Vancouver Island to Prince Rupert followed by the ferry to Skidegate Landing
  • If you are taking vehicle on the ferry, be sure to reserve your space well in advance as it can get busy in the summer.
  • We recommend Gwaii Taxi and Tours to transport you from the Skidegate Ferry terminal to your accommodation in either Skidegate or Daajing Giids if you have decided to walk onto the Ferry. 
  • With enough notice Haida Gwaii Kayak can arrange a pick up and drop off to and from your accommodation. 
Staying in Haida Gwaii

Haida Gwaii is full of charming and picturesque accommodations for any length or style of visit. We advise our guests to stay on Graham Island before and after the day of their tour – travelling to Northern Graham Island or Moresby Island is totally doable upon returning from tour, but it makes for a longer day. Below, we’ve listed our local accommodation reccommendations.

Sandspit/ K’il Kun

Daajing Giids

Skidegate/ HlGaagilda

Tlell/Tll.al

Food & Drink

HGK supplies all of our multi-day tours with three meals a day, some light snacks and non alcoholic drinks to share after a day’s paddling. However, if guests would like to supplement this with their personal snacks and beverages they are encouraged to do so.

All meals are prepared nomadic style on the shoreside. We source local ingredients whenever possible to support the community we operate in and to minimize our carbon footprint.

We can accommodate most dietary restrictions for little to no extra charge – please consult with us prior to your trip so that we have time to source ingredients.

Haida Gwaii Pledge

Haida Gwaii is a spectacular place full of life and culture. Everyone in Haida Territories shares a responsibility to care for the Air, Ocean, Land and People. Please take a moment to sign the Haida Gwaii Pledge here before your visit.

Thank you for choosing us as a small, locally owned and operated business. We are proud to protect the lands and waters we explore, and as such, we ask that while you’re travelling around Haida Gwaii, you:

  • Respect the wildlife: There are plenty of animals on the shores of Haida Gwaii and below the surface of its seas. We ask that you respect their space to preserve their natural behaviours and well being.
  • Shop local: We are only a small drop in the bucket of Haida Gwaii’s economy. There is plenty to do and see here that by doing so supports us islanders. 
  • Leave no trace: We emplore our guests to practice leave no trace principles before and after their trip with us to. A step further would be to leave this place better than you found. Thus if you are enjoying the backcountry please treat it with care. 
  • Pack eco-consciously: Pack light and consider what we supply and what you can realistically obtain on island. Minimize bringing types of single use plastics.

There is a stewardship fee of $15 from every trip that goes towards conserving the areas we operate in. We work with the Council of the Haida Nation in through their Marine Planning Program, designed to provide operational direction for marine uses in the Haida Gwaii marine sub-region, including marine tour activities and a spatial management plan for species at risk.

What to pack

Please see below for our Day trip packing list.

  • Paddling jacket
  • A pair of water shoes that have ankle support (crocs, sandals, natives, neoprene booties etc.)
  • Water bottle
  • Brimmed Hat, toque, or beanie
  • Camera
  • Insulating synthetic or non cotton mid layer (like fleece or wool)
  • A base layer or longsleeve shirt
  • A pair of quickdry or synthetic pants or shorts
  • A pair of light rain pants
  • Personal snacks
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Bug repellant

Please see below for our Multi day tour packing list.

Paddling Clothing

  • A full set of rain gear, jackets and pants
  • Paddling jacket
  • x2 long sleeve synthetic or merino shirts
  • x1 quick dry pants/shorts
  • A pair of water shoes that has ankle support ie crocs, sandals, natives, neoprene booties etc. 
  • x1 Brimmed hat
  • x1 Pair of sunglasses
  • x1 Buff

Camp Clothing

  • x2 shirts
  • x1 fleece or sweatshirt
  • x1 puffy or thermal vest
  • x2 Synthetic or quick-dry pair of pants for camp
  • x2 Synthetic or quick-dry pair of shorts
  • x2 pairs of long underwear
  • x4-5 pairs of warm socks
  • Underwear (cotton & synthetic)
  • x1 bathing suit
  • x1 quick dry towel
  • x1 a toque or beanie
  • x1 pair of camp shoes runners or light hikers

Other Items

  • Headlamp and spare batteries
  • Personal Toiletries (ecofriendly)
  • Bug repellant 
  • Sunscreen
  • Medication
  • Water bottle 1L
  • Personal mug and thermos
  • Brown paper bags
  • Wet-wipes 
  • Hand sanitizer

Camping Equipment

  • Camp Chair
  • Sleeping bag (available for rent)
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Tent (provided)
  • Sleeping mat (provided)
  • Ikea bags or collapsible duffle bag
  • Drybags (available for rent)

Optional Items

  • Binoculars
  • Spare batteries
  • Battery bank
  • Paddling gloves
  • Book/Journal
  • Fishing gear & license
  • Personal alcohol or carbonated beverages
  • Personal snacks
  • Guide team gratuity

Packing Tip #1 

  • Cotton is rotten! Try and avoid bringing cotton, if possible, on tour as its poor material for staying dry and warm. 

Packing Tip #2

  • We provide you with one 20L dry bag and two 10L drybags. All of your equipment should fit in here and be carried with an ikea bag.

Packing Tip #3

  • Sleeping bag can be placed in compression sacks and lined with a heavy-duty garbage bags. Shoes, tent poles and bottles are best suited for the bow or stern of your kayak. 

Please note, guests will also receive a Tour Handbook that outlines what to pack, inclusions, and policies after booking. This can also be referred to under each tour page.

What’s included?
  • Optional pick up and drop off pre and post tour
  • Seaward and Current Design expedition grade kayaks
  • All safety and paddling equipment (PFD, spray skirts, paddles, and rescue equipment)
  • Complete set of dry bags (1x20L, 2x10L, 1x5L) and Ikea bag for carrying
  • Personal camping equipment (tent, sleeping mat, tarps)
  • Group camping equipment (group tarps, cookware, stoves, tables, first aid kit, emergency equipment)
  • All meals while on a multi day tour
  • A small library of books on all things Haida Gwaii
  • Two certified Sea Kayak Guide Alliance of BC guides
What’s not included?
  • Air travel to Haida Gwaii or any ferries
  • Accommodation pre and post trip
  • Travel Insurance
  • Paddling Clothing
  • Guide gratuity (optional)
  • Personal snacks or beverages
  • Sleeping bag (available for rent)
Terms & Conditions

Pricing: All tours are priced in Canadian Dollars. All tours are subject to an additional 5% goods and sales tax. Online booking is subject to a 3% booking fee for added convenience. 

Payment Schedule: A deposit is required at the time of booking for all tours. 

For day tours: Final payment is required before departure. 

For multi day tours: 15 days before scheduled tour final payment will be collected with information on file.

Cancellation Policy: In the unfortunate event you need to cancel your booking the procedure will follow these steps:

Email notice provided to Haida Gwaii Kayak

30 days or more notice: full refund less $75 admin fee per person for multi day tours or per booking for day tours.

29-15 days notice: 50% refund (deposit not refunded).

15 days or less: no refunds issued.

All refunds will be made in CAD and exchange rates will be issued by your credit card company.

Rescheduling

If you have to reschedule your tour, please give us as much notice as possible and we will do our best to accommodate you. Although it is on an availability basis and if we are unable to reschedule you our cancellation policy will apply. HGK is not responsible for any travel delays on route to Haida Gwaii. 

HGK Cancellation:

If we are forced to cancel your booking for any extreme weather, unforeseen circumstances, insufficient bookings or other safety concerns, we will offer you the choice to reschedule your booking or receive a full refund of all payments made to Haida Gwaii Kayak. Unfortunately, we cannot be held responsible for any other costs incurred by you.

Travel and Medical Insurance

We strongly recommend all of our guests to purchase travel and medical insurance for coverage including COVID-19, trip interruptions, medical coverage and evacuations and any loss as a result of our Cancellation Policy. Haida Gwaii Kayak is not responsible for ensuring you are adequately covered for your trip. If you’d like suggestions on providers that are well suited to our activities, please give us a call. 

Medical Release and Liability Forms

Each participant is required to fully fill out a Medical Information Form and Liability Release Form in order to join the tour. Haida Gwaii Kayak Corp must receive the completed forms prior to tour departure. If forms are not completed sufficiently in advance Haida Gwaii Kayak may not be able to accommodate dietary or medical requests.

COVID-19 Responsibility

You recognize and accept that Haida Gwaii Kayak cannot guarantee that you will not be exposed to communicable diseases/illnesses. You will respect and abide by the procedures, recommendations and directions of your guides and Haida Gwaii Kayak staff at all times. If you are feeling or showing any signs or symptoms of illness before your tour you will not travel and will not attend the tour. If you are feeling or showing any signs or symptoms of illness including COVID-19 during your tour, you will disclose this to the guides and follow their instructions.

You will take responsibility for how you interact with others on the tour. You recognize and accept that if the guide determines you may be ill, you may be put into strict isolation until such a time that you can be safely transported from the tour and to a place for continued isolation and testing. You recognize and accept that this may mean not participating in the remainder of your tour, incurring travel expenses and being responsible for any other costs associated with isolation measures after leaving the tour eg. Hotel rooms, meals, car rentals etc.

Special Requests

Haida Gwaii Kayak aims to provide you with a trip of a lifetime. While we make every effort to do this through all of our general operations, if you have additional exceptional needs regarding meals, equipment, guides or route please communicate that to our staff well in advance so we can properly address them.

Media Release

Haida Gwaii Kayak reserves the right to take and collect photographic, film and video content from any of its tours. Haida Gwaii Kayak guests should consider that we may use this content for promotional materials and commercial purposes without compensation to trip participants.

For any other questions or concerns please consult our FAQ page and booking team. 

Thank you and Haawa for choosing Haida Gwaii Kayak for all your sea kayaking needs while on island. We look forward to paddling with you!

Photography by Unsplash

We respectfully acknowledge that we live and work on the unceded territory of the Haida Nation.
We are grateful for the opportunity to bring guests to this territory, and ask that all review and commit to the Haida Gwaii Pledge to respect Haida Gwaii and Haida ways of being during your stay.