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6-2448-totems-Haida-Gwaii
Ancient Haida poles, Haida Gwaii
(Tom Ryan photo)

Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte Islands

Camping

 (Albert Normandin photo)

(Albert Normandin photo)

Camping is a popular activity on Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), especially between May and September.

Recreation sites here, located in gorgeous, green rainforests, perched overtop of rocky beaches, or situated along sandy ocean beaches, are easily accessible and often free. Many also offer relaxing seclusion.

Agate Beach Campground

North Beach's Agate Beach Campground, about 20 minutes east of Masset in Naikoon Provincial Park is a favourite visitor destination. The site has 30 vehicle sites and more for tents, mostly all with views of the ocean. It also has running water, picnic tables, fire pits, outhouses, and a day-use shelter. Set up camp for a few days and explore the area.

Surf the waves or fly a kite on North Beach, hike Tow Hill and the Blowhole Trail, or stroll along the beach to Rose Spit, Haida Gwaii's most easterly point. Lay crab traps for dinner. When the tide is low, many travellers will drive along the beach but watch out for the rising water ocean. Many vehicles have gotten stuck.

Gray Bay

Another favourite camping destination is Gray Bay, just south of Sandspit on Moresby Island. It has 20 sites, all on the beach, with pit toilets, picnic tables, and day-use shelters. Gray Bay is great for beachcombing, flying kites and playing Frisbee and campfires at night. The access road here is gravel but the drive passes through gorgeous scenery, past streams and lush forest. To get from Sandspit to Gray Bay should take about 30 minutes, without stops. Watch for bears and deer in the area.

Wilderness Camping

Wilderness camping is also in abundance on Haida Gwaii. Tent near Rennell Sound or hike into Naikoon Provincial Park for a private spot. Gwaii Haanas, the National Park Reserve with its hundreds of remote, rugged islands and islets, is an ideal place to sleep, but requires a well-planned, multi-day excursion involving permits, an orientation session and a flight or boat ride into the area.

Community Campsites

Each community has a campsite, most of which can accommodate tents, campers and RVs, but be aware that amenities are limited. Most have the minimal amenities – picnic tables, fireplaces, and outhouses. Some of the campsites also have covered shelters. Dogs are usually allowed.

Practical Points

  • Always be prepared for rain. It rains in summer as often as it does in winter. Storms can also roll in quickly.
  • It is best to come to the islands with camping gear, though basic supplies are available at local general stores.
  • It is not necessary to have camping spots planned before arriving, but it is a good idea to call ahead and ask about availability.

For more information and camping spots on Haida Gwaii, pick up a visitor guide at Sandspit Visitor Centre or Queen Charlotte Visitor Centre.