Monday, 1 June 2015

Haida Gwaii

Photo by: Guy Kimola
North of the Vancouver Island, along the west coast of British Columbia, on the North Pacific Ocean, lies the Haida Gwaii, or Gwaii Haanas, an archipelago formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands. With its breathtakingly landscape and natural habitat, it is clearly one of the most beautiful group of islands in the world. It gets its name from Haida, a local tribe that has inhabited the islands for thousands of years.

Haida people comprise over half of Haida Gwaii population. Not just the islands’ natural beauty, but its strong culture, argillite carvings, totem poles and ancient Haida villages attract visitors from around the world. The islands are mystical, and what adds to its ethereal attractiveness is the ocean.

The four main towns of Haida Gwaii are Masset, Queen Charlotte City, Sandspit and Skidegate.
The archipelago is an ideal place for outdoor activities such as whale-watching, hiking, mountain biking, relaxing on beautiful beaches and numerous natural trails. Plus, many freshwater streams provide excellent opportunity for the avid angler. Northern Haida Gwaii is, however, one of the best places for sports fishing. Haida Gwaii are considered to be the best Chinook Salmon (or King Salmon) and Northern Coho Salmon (Silver) fishing grounds in the world. This area is considered the starting line for salmon migrating southwards between May and October.

During this period, thousands and millions of spawning Herrings pass through the islands, and therefore the waters are brimming with salmon feeding on the Herring as they prepare their bodies to be strong enough to endure their long journey down the British Columbia coastline towards the rivers. As a result, you will find a number of salmons that are over 30lb in size. These salmons are called Tyee.

In fact, you can find scores of salmon feeding on Herrings just five minutes from the Escott’s lodge just near the harbour in Masset, which is at the northern tip of the Haida Gwaii archipelago.
There is something for everyone at Haida Gwaii, be it sport fishing enthusiast, an explorer, a cultural enthusiast, or someone looking to spend some calm time with the nature. Besides the Haida people, there are a number of communities with unique cultures, customs and art forms.

So welcome to Haida Gwaii and once you are here the cozy accommodations and a 5 star dining experience at Escott’s lodge would guarantee this to be the best vacation of your life.