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Celebrating 35 Years of Award Winning Sea Kayaking Adventures

Haida Gwaii Kayaking Tour Morning Approach to Burnaby Narrows Gwaii Haanas Park

Haida Gwaii Kayaking Trips

Seasons
July - August
Trip Length
8 Days
Airport
YZP ( via YVR )
Skill Level
Easy-Intermediate
Starfish display, Burnaby Narrows, Haida Gwaii kayaking tour.

An Ecological Gem - Canada’s Galapagos

Our Haida Gwaii kayaking tours explore Gwaii Haanas National Park and offer both a remarkable environment and rich cultural heritage. The Islands of Haida Gwaii are referred to as Canada’s Galapagos because of their unique ecology. You will stay at beach camps where generations of Haida paddlers have landed their magnificent cedar canoes and where the rainforest floors are covered with a thick carpet of moss.

Sea Stars at Burnaby Narrows

The Best of the Park

We run our Haida Gwaii kayak tours in the remote southern portion of Gwaii Haanas National Park. The trips are timed for the best weather and structured as a journey between what we feel are the two most compelling features of the Park, the tapestry of brightly-colored sea stars at Burnaby Narrows, the highest density of intertidal life on the planet, and the standing totem poles at the SGang Gwaay village (Ninstints), a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Haida Watchman Telling the Story of a SGang Gwaay Totem Pole

A Haida Place

Located 80 miles off Canada’s extreme northwest coast, the islands of Haida Gwaii (meaning Haida Place) are home to the Haida, an indigenous people with a formidable sea-going lineage and a remarkable artistic tradition. Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve (Gwaii Haanas means Place of Wonder) was founded to protect the natural and cultural integrity of the remote southern portion of the archipelago.

Kayakers Photographing Haida Gwaii Black Bear, Gwaii Haanas Park kayaking tour.

A Wilderness Kayak Journey

Sea kayaking routes on the west coast of Canada are some of the best in the world, and experienced paddlers regard Haida Gwaii, formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands, as the best of the best. You’ll travel the Islands in style using the best equipment available. Each day, your guides will surprise and delight you with freshly prepared meals that reflect Tofino Expeditions’ reputation for high-quality trip food and campfire cuisine.

Beach Campfire Haida Gwaii Kayaking Tour

An Internationally Recognized Destination

National Geographic rated Gwaii Haanas National Park as the top park destination in North America — “Beautiful and intact. A great model for other regions.” Outside Magazine Travel Awards rated Haida Gwaii as “Best Islands.” UNESCO has declared the village of SGang Gwaay with its intact totem poles a World Heritage Site. Selected as one of the New York Times "52 PLACES TO GO IN 2020".

Bald Eagle in Cedar Tree, Haida Gwaii

Northwest Coast Wildlife

Your guides take you on a multi-day kayak camping journey through the southern portion of Gwaii Haanas, a place where sea lions lounge on rocky haul-outs; gulls, petrels and tufted puffins perch on cliffs; humpback and orca whales glide through the channels and straits; and tidal shallows are scattered with brightly colored sea stars.
Haida Totem Poles at Skung Gwaii Village

A Powerful Experience of History, and Culture

Feel the silent power of the standing totem poles at the SGang Gwaay (Skung Gwaii) UNESCO World Heritage Site. Float through the richest inter-tidal life on the planet at Burnaby Narrows. Experience the incomparable blend of landscape, cultural history, and wildlife that make Gwaii Haanas National Park truly a place of wonder.

Haida Gwaii

Haida Gwaii Selected

Haida Gwaii was selected as one of the New York Times "52 PLACES TO GO IN 2020".

"On this isolated archipelago off the coast of British Columbia, you’ll see more bald eagles than people on hiking trails and experience powerful Indigenous sites in near solitude. That’s by design: The Haida First Nations people who live here fiercely protect their natural and cultural resources with sustainable, small-group tourism. Visitors are rewarded with a deep connection to place and people, especially at SGang Gwaay (Ninstints), an extraordinary UNESCO site in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, accessible only by boat." — ARABELLA BOWEN for the NY Times.

Happy kayakers in camp on Haida Gwaii

The Client Experience

"I have been a mountain guide for more than 30 years, but know nothing about ocean kayaking. So, I booked a trip for my 63-year-old sister, her partner, my 13-year-old daughter, my partner, and myself. Grant and Jess took us from the ancient totem poles of SGang Gwaay to the tidal flats of Burnaby Narrows in Gwaii Haanas National Park and Haida Heritage Site, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada. It was an immersion in a totally different world, facilitated by a fellow guide whom I salute. We encountered whales blowing, sea lions bellowing, and salmon jumping. Needless to say, the organization, the food, and the guiding were smooth and well thought out. We got great food, we had very good kayaks and tents, and decisions were made at the right time and communicated well. Grant always knew where the group was at and was generous in sharing his knowledge, and I learned a thing or two about guiding from him. I recommend this operator in general and this trip in particular." — Christoph Dietzfelbinger, Bear Mountaineering Smithers, BC

Tofino Expeditions

Guiding Matters

Tofino Expeditions has been operating trips in Haida Gwaii since 1992. As one of the most experienced kayak guide teams working in the Gwaii Haanas, we know the Park in a way few paddlers do - Meet the Haida Gwaii Guide Team.  All of our trips are run with tandem expedition kayaks because their added speed (at least 25 percent faster than singles) and stability ensure safety, comfort, and route success. Our Gwaii Haanas program is operated by the same Canadian company that I founded in Tofino in 1988 and has been running trips on the BC Coast ever since. Have questions? Call me at 800-677-0877 — Grant Thompson, Founder and Owner, Tofino Expeditions

Haida Gwaii Kayaking - What the Forest Knows

Writer's Perspective

Travel writer Jayme Moye and her partner came on our Heart of Gwaii Haanas trip in 2018. This year, Jayme won the prestigious Keith Bellows Award for Excellence in Travel Journalism, the first woman to do so. From the North American Travel Journalists Association press release: “Jayme personifies Keith’s passion for travel and using the power of journalism to create awareness and appreciation of people, cultures, and nature.”

Jayme’s piece about her Haida Gwaii paddling trip with Tofino Expeditions appeared in the award-winning travel journal Hidden Compass -  "What the Forest Knows"

Testimonial

 Tuffed Puffins in Gwaii Haanas Park Reserve, Haida Gwaii
Just a quick note to say “thank you” for an outstanding trip. Jess and Peter were the greatest: professional, fun, safety conscious, caring, and hard workers!!! Never a dull moment for them. All the new equipment was a treat. The food was fantastic and Moresby is another great company with superb drivers. With the weather being blue skies and sunshine, despite some wild winds, we covered all the territory and saw lots of wildlife of all kinds. It was worth the 3 years wait to enjoy such an outstanding trip. Diane Brockway, ID View Trips

National Geographic Award

Best Outfitters on Earth - National Geographic

Tofino Expeditions was the highest rated sea kayaking adventure travel company in a National Geographic Adventure survey of international outfitters based on:

  • Quality of Service
  • Education
  • Sustainability
  • Spirit of Adventure
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