Open seas & sunsets on the outer shores of BC
Sail to the Edge
If you yearn for open seas and sunsets, then Haida Gwaii (formerly Queen Charlotte Islands) and Vancouver Island West are calling you. While Haida Gwaii offers protected waters and there are many ports on Vancouver Island West, there is nothing but water between you and Asia.
Voyage to where the ancient still lives and traditional ways endure
Haida Gwaii is the preserve of the most ancient coastal rainforests in the world. Trees get really big on “The Misty Isles.” In the 1980s, the Haida Nation successfully advocated for creation of Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, which preserves the marine and terrestrial environments of the southern islands and protects the traditional way of life of the Haida Nation. Not surprisingly, marine wildlife is abundant, the seas are full of salmon and the rivers filled with Steelhead trout. Please observe the local fishing regulations and consult the guide to Travel in First Nations Traditional Territories.
The nearest jumping off points for Haida Gwaii are Prince Rupert on the mainland and Port Hardy and Port McNeill on north Vancouver Island. Circumnavigate Haida Gwaii. Take advantage of the marinas and communities on the east side of the islands. The west coast of Haida Gwaii is truly the open ocean, but there are countless safe anchorages. If you are en route to Alaska, take a side trip and experience the world Haida style. Make sure to get in touch with the culture of Haida Gwaii, learn about the living connection to sea and land. Slow down, find yourself. This might be the best adventure you ever had.
Explore the Edge
The west coast of Vancouver Island is rugged, thinly populated and exposed to the Pacific Ocean expanse. Vancouver Island West region begins at the seaside village of Sooke and extends to Cape Scott at the north end of Vancouver Island. Along the way are long uninhabited stretches of coast, two of the most popular visitor destinations in BC (Tofino and Ucluelet), and deep fjords with welcoming communities at the end. Once you get half way up the west side, it’s really wild, but the resort marinas know how to take care of a traveller. The fishing is awesome.
Chosen as one of National Geographic's 20 Best Trips 2015, the serenity and cultural richness of Haida Gwaii make it a place like no other.
Vancouver Island West
The decision to tackle the Outer Reaches challenge of exploring Vancouver Island’s wild west coast is the first step in a grand adventure.
Main image at top of page: On an adventure tour charter near Haida Gwaii, photo courtesy Kevin J. Smith/Maple Leaf Adventures