Queen Charlotte Sound
photo by Rick Cox

The Queen Charlotte Islands or Haida Gwaii (Islands of the People) are in British Columbia, Canada. Comprised of over 150 islands, the two largest Graham and Moresby make up the bulk of the archipelago, and the visitor's itinerary.


This is a remote area with very little development. Do not expect grand resorts choked with tourists. The main reasons to come to the islands are to explore the vast untouched wilderness, comprised mostly of first-growth rainforest, and to commune with the native Haida people who have made this their home for thousands of years. In fact, the native name Haida Gwaii translates as "islands of the people".


Other than the four towns listed here, there are mostly only smaller Haida communities.

  • Masset - population 1470.

  • Queen Charlotte City - population 950.

  • Sandspit - population 734

  • Skidegate - population 470

Other destinations

  • Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve

  • Naikoon Provincial Park

Getting there

The only way to get a vehicle to the island is on the six hour ferry from Prince Rupert. There is also direct flights from Prince Rupert and Vancouver.

Traveling around

The islands do not have highly developed highway infrastructure, in fact there are only two traffic lights on the islands. Highway 16 travels from Skidegate to Masset on Graham Island. Other than this there are only a few dirt roads reaching a few smaller communities.

Transportation between Skidegate Landing and Alliford Bay is provided by the Kwuna ferry. The ferry schedule is available on the BC Ferries website .

Taxi services are available from two companies on the islands:

If these options don't work for you, try sticking out your thumb. Hitch hiking isn't uncommon here.

Things to do

The Queen Charlotte Islands are the site of some excellent sport fishing opportunities. Salmon weighing over 50 lbs as well as halibut ranging to over 100 lbs are routinely caught.

  • Commercial Marine Charters , +1-250-624-9452, +1-250-624-9452, 424 4th Avenue East, Prince Rupert, BC V8J 1N7, Chartered fishing trips on the **Jennifer Gayle**, a 65-foot converted fishing boat which can carry 7 people. The crew are happy to help you find good fishing, and then pack it up so you can fly it home.

  • Moresby Explorers , 1-800-806-7633, 1-800-806-7633, Box 127, 365 Beach Rd, Fun, educational and safe tours of the waters around Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site. We also provide Kayak rentals and transportation throughout south Moresby.


The official language is English, but sometimes Haida, the language of this First-Nations People, may be heard, although very few people now speak it.

Contact & location

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The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:

Rick Cox, Mike Beauregard, Sam Beebe, Nick Bramhall, Rick McCharles, Anne

Some photos courtesy of: . The photos provided by Flickr are under the copyright of their owners.

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

Shaund, Ryan Barber, Jim DeLaHunt and Darren Kirby, Copesisl and Jonboy

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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