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Haida Gwaii Attractions and Things to Do

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Where to Go When Visiting Haida Gwaii
Haida Gwaii Attractions and Things to Do

Colorful starfish are a common sight among the rocks in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve

© Chloë Ernst

Mysterious, ancient, and isolated, the islands of Haida Gwaii are a bit of an enigma on a first visit. There are only about 125 kilometers (78 miles) of roads on the islands, making hiking, flying, and boating the only way to see much of the landscape.

About half the island territory (more than 150 islands make up the archipelago) falls under the national park reserve area, known as the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site. The long name reflects the various groups involved in the management and stewardship of the area.

The other half of the archipelago comprises a mix of modern-day Haida communities, logging towns, tourism services, and other parks and wilderness.

Until 2009, the islands were formally known as the Queen Charlotte Islands. But the Haida people return that name to the British Columbia premier, officially changing the name to the original: Haida Gwaii. The name means “islands of the people” and it’s the most westerly part of Canada.

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