Ocean Kayaking Resources - Destination Tips

Queen Charlotte Islands

Bella Bella
Broken Group
Clayoquot Sound
Desolation Sound
Gulf Islands
Howe Sound
Johnstone Straight
Kyuquot Sound
Nootka Sound
Queen Charlottes
Sechelt Inlet


Area Description:

"Not long ago the notorious stretch of water known as Hecate Strait was paddled by the Haida during raids on mainland tribes. Legend has it that following an attack, the Haida canoes would turn and head towards Haida Gwaii, the Queen Charlotte Islands, leaving their less seaworthy adversaries bound to the mainland for fear of crossing the strait. Times have changed, but even today the isolation of the islands continues to preserve their natural and cultural wealth. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Gwaii Haanas/South Moresby National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site in the southern third of the archipelago. Here the paddler can travel through sheltered bays and inlets, explore ancient forests and Haida villages, and gain a sense of the wilderness and society that have lived together since time began. Gwaii Haanas is an area so distinctive, both culturally and biologically, it is often referred to as the Canadian Galapagos. It is truly one of the world's great paddling destinations."  Taken from Kayak Routes of the Pacific Northwest Coast

Wildlife Possibilities:

  • Humback Whales, Grey Whales, Porpoises
  • Black Bears
  • Wolves
  • Racoons
  • Eagles, Ravens, Crows and other shore birds
  • Sea Otters, Sea Lions, Seals


  • Limited access, frequent weather changes, many area of potential rough water

Skill Level:

  • Intermediate to Advanced

Trip Length:

  • 7-45 Days

Water Availability:

  • Excellent

Camp Spots:

  • Excellent

Car Access and Parking:

  • Flights to Sandspit, Ferry to Skidegate from Port Hardy via Prince Rupert.


  • 3802 - 1:200 000 - Dixon Entrance
  • 3807 - 1:37 500 - Atlin Inlet
  • 3808 - 1:37 500 - Juan Perez Sound
  • 3809 - 1:37 500 - Carpenter Bay to Burnaby Island
  • 3825 - 1:40 000 - Cape St. James
  • 3853 - 1:150 000 - Cape St. James to Cumshewa Inlet
  • 3894 - 1:73 026 - Selwyn Inlet to Lawn Point

Guide Books:

  • Coast
  • Kayak Routs of the Pacific Northwest Coast
  • Canoe Trips of BC
  • Sailing Directions Vol. 1
  • Queen Charlotte Islands Vol. 1 or Vol. 2
  • The Beloved Island
  • A Guide to the QC Islands
  • Exploration of the QC Islands
  • Fishing the QC Islands
  • Islands for Discovery
  • BC Recreational Atlas
  • Ninstints
  • Haida Gwaii

Tide Tables:

  • Volume # 6

All these resourses and more available on our online store and in our retail store on Granville Island.

1668 Duranleau St, Vancouver, BC, V6H 3S4
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Phone - (604) 689-7575    |    1-888-425-2925    |   Fax - (604) 689-5926