Monday, 2 January 2012

Bicycle Touring on Haida Gwaii

It seems a bit odd to be writing about biking in December, however, we are generally able to ride bikes year round albeit a bit wet in the winter months - nothing that a good set of fenders won't take care of.

Bikes are becoming increasingly popular on Haida Gwaii for commuters and for recreational use. Most of the roads on Haida Gwaii are relatively 'flat' and traffic-free, yielding great cycling opportunities. There are also numerous opportunities for mountain biking on the islands' many unpaved logging roads.

Visitors often transport bikes on BC Ferries from Prince Rupert ($5-subject to change). Bikes can also be boxed and brought on the plane or rented on island. See for more information.

There are approximately 150 kms of paved road on the islands. Highway 16 from the Village of Queen Charlotte to the Haida village of Old Massett is primarily flat, is a two lane highway and has very little traffic. Tow Hill Road from Masset to Tow Hill (15km) is a paved and gravel secondary road through Naikoon Provincial Park with beautiful forest and ocean views.

A local cycling club, Derailleurs in the Mist hosts an annual 'Race at the Edge' in early August. This 100 km road cycle race is open to all levels, and attracts novices as well as serious competitive cyclists. Check out their Blogspot or contact Jeremy Hyatt at for more information.

A popular route includes cycling Graham Island from Old Massett to Queen Charlotte, checking out the attractions along the way. Check our map at the end of this page and also

The BC Ferries terminal is located just west of the Haida village of Skidegate and east of Queen Charlotte.   The Kwuna ferry crosses from Skidegate Landing (Graham Island) to Alliford Bay (Moresby Island), throughout the day and evening. A paved highway connects Alliford Bay to the community of Sandspit, 14kms/9miles to the east. This stretch of highway is breathtaking and worth the extra few kilometers of travel.

If you have a bike that can handle gravel roads, the opportunities are endless. There is an extensive network of logging roads on both Graham and Moresby Islands. Many of these roads are no longer used for active logging, and some have ditches across them that prevent vehicle traffic. There is also an unpaved logging road connecting Port Clements to Queen Charlotte. Maps are recommended for back road travel.

Explore the backroads leading you into abandoned pioneering sites, old railway and logging sites! Many of the logging roads on Moresby Island and the southern part of Graham Island ascend mountains, providing spectacular views.

Come visit our world!

1 comment:

  1. This is wonderful. I love bike friendly-places because there is less traffic and the air is cleaner. Haida Gwaii is the kind of place where I would like to live till old age.

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