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Haida Gwaii Tours for Seniors | Ultra Small Groups

8 Days

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Trip Summary

Trip Length: 8 Days
Packages from $6,395 + GST*
Bed and Breakfast Stays
7 breakfasts, 4 dinners and 1 lunch
Return air from Vancouver
Small groups of 6 people
Full time guide with first aid

*This price is in effect for 2025 bookings made before March 31, 2025.

Note: We have two remaining seats on the August 21, 2024 trip. Please ask us about special pricing on this departure. Email tours@midnightsuntravel.com or call Scott at 250.888.7936.

Excerpts from Reviews

“David with us every step of the way and took us to places I’m sure not many get to see”.

“He was quick to adjust our schedule when needed to provide us with the best experience of Haida Gwaii. You could feel his love for the Island and its people.”

“We would never have met these artists without the knowledge and good relationships they had with David our Midnight Sun guide/driver.”

“Another, highlight was being educated by Haida members in the art of crabbing on North Beach at Taw Hill. Haida Gwaii has little infrastructure for independent travel on the islands, and with few roads and even fewer rental cars, taking a tour such as this one ensured that we got an immersive experience into the Haida Culture.”

We are honored to live and work on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Haida People.


Welcome to our cultural exploration of remote Haida Gwaii, a name that translates to “Islands of the People.” 

Your  trip Leader is David Hopper, Masters in Environmental Studies (MES). Born in England, grew up in Singapore, and immigrated to Canada with his parents and siblings in 1967. David’s’ working career began in mineral exploration which took him to remote areas throughout British Columbia. In 1980 he moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he started a long career as an environmental planner with provincial departments of natural resources and environment. He contributed to establishing conservation protection to over 12% of the land base of Nova Scotia. Now retired from civil service, David enjoys teaching environmental geography part-time at St Mary’s University and returns to the west coast to guide tours of the Canadian Rockies and Haida Gwaii for Midnight Sun Adventure Travel.

Our small group of six follows David to delve into quaint shops and galleries. Here we meet the Haida artisans and guides we have come to know over the last decade. Haida People including carvers, Watchmen, and interpreters provide an understanding of their traditional way of life and how the Haida have adapted to changing times, including tourism. Experience SG̱ang Gwaay), the village of Skedans (Haida name is Ḵ’uuna), St. Mary’s Spring, Tow Hill, Balance Rock and the site of the Golden Spruce. Immerse yourself in the wild, ocean-swept landscape of Naikoon Provincial Park. Visit with Haida Watchman at remote SG̱ang Gwaay Llnagaay.

As a small group of six, we tread lightly on this land, our steps taking us to closer to an immersive experience. Please see our videos showing a traditional pole raising.


Day 1 - Dajiing Giids formerly known as Queen Charlotte City :
A Taste of Haida Culture

Our travel to Haida Gwaii begins at Vancouver Main Terminal Airport when we board our flight to Sandspit. The 1.5 hour fight skirts the Coastal Mountains, swings north-west over Hecate Strait and then crosses over Gwaii Haanis National Park and Reserve.

At Sandspit Airport, your Midnight Sun Driver/ Guide will load your luggage and then escort the group to Ailford Bay where we take the 20 minute crossing to Skidegate on Graham Island. A stop the Dajiing Giids, formerly known at Queen Charlotte, Visitor Centre will give us “the big picture” and we load up on local maps. From here we’ll check into our bed and breakfast and tour the village of Dajiing Giids and Skidegate.

In the evening we experience a taste of Haida culture and lifestyle by dining in a truly unforgettable way. At Keenwaiis Kitchen our Haida Chef, Roberta Olson who specializes in traditional Haida and local foods, will prepare an authentic three course dinner for our group. From her home, Roberta, whose Haida name is Keenawaii, has served dignitaries, government officials and celebrities. The seafood and venison are locally harvested as are the berries, mushrooms and other wild edibles.

Accommodation:  One or two queen beds and private bathroom.

Day 2 - Dajiing Giids formerly known as Queen Charlotte City :
Visit S'Gaang Gwaay Llinagaay

After an early breakfast, we make our way down to the boat dock for a 15 minute briefing. Here, our 30 foot aluminum catamaran awaits with its heated closed cabin, bathroom and open deck space. Guests are issued gear including rubber boots, toques and floater jackets. Then, off we go to the Haida villages of Ḵ’uuna Llnagaay (commonly known as Skedans) and T’aanuu Llnagaay for walks through two distinctive village sites. Ḵ’uuna Llnagaay (Skedans) was a village of 26 to 30 longhouses at its height.

In this remote corner of the world, we view these ruins as structures that evoke and summon the past to an encounter with contemporary reality. At Ḵ’uuna Llnagaay, guests follow the network of clam shell trails to view the remains of the village. The poles that remain and the depressions of several longhouses give one a sense of the former grandeur of the village, splayed out along Skedans Bay. Along the way, Haida Gwaii guides incorporate storytelling, songs and local history to give guests a glimpse into the heritage of the Haida People and how they protect the land and waters.

After lunch, we board our boat and head to the village of Tanu. The Eagle and Raven Wolf village of T’aanuu Llnagaay translates to Eelgrass Town in reference to the eelgrass beds nearby. This village was once populated between 25 and 40 longhouses. Though no standing poles remain at T’aanuu, the house depressions and moss-covered house posts provide a vivid reminder of the history this place holds.

Accommodation:  One or two queen beds and private bathroom.

Breakfast, Lunch

This morning we head to the village of Skidegate and the Haida Culture Centre at Kay Llnagaay. More ambitious passengers may want to walk the six k’s along the coastal road to the Centre.

Here at the Centre, guests will get a guided tour of this award winning Haida Gwaii cultural tourism attraction. The Centre sits on the ancient site of Kay Llnagaay or “Sea Lion Town,” and is designed to resemble the traditional Oceanside Haida Village that once stood in its place. The Centre houses a museum which contains thousands of Haida artifacts including the largest argillite collection in the world. We’ll also see poles, traditional and ceremonial clothing as well as everyday household objects.

At the Performance House stories, drumming and traditional dances are performed. We’ll also visit the carving house/ Gyaa K’id Naay and Tluu Naay Canoe Shed / Skaajang Naay. The large open-walled building of the carving house is designed to hold monumental poles, canoes and any other work that would be too large to fit in the enclosed space of the carving shed. Guests are invited to walk around and tour Haida artists at work in this work space. Currently, the Skidegate Pole carved by legendary Haida artist Bill Reid is housed in the Carving House until it’s ready to be raised again inside the walls of the Haida Gwaii Museum.

At the canoe shed, learn about the Haida mode of travel, transportation, food/resource gathering and trade by exploring the history and importance of canoes in Haida lives.

Haidas were fierce warriors and well-known coastal travellers, having ventured to Victoria for trading purposes in earlier times during the 1800s. Critical to the sustainability of Haida culture was the canoe which the Haida depended on in order to trade with neighbouring coast First Peoples and travel between communities.

Those guests feeling the need to get out and stretch their legs can elect to take a walk around Spirit Lake. This hiking trail is hard packed and well maintained rated easy to moderate with some steep parts at the beginning.

After lunch at the local bistro we’ll head north on the Yellowhead Highway. Along the way, nestled behind a stand of tall cedars, a narrow trail leads to the ocean and one of the most mysterious and uniquely photographed sites in all of Haida Gwaii: Balance Rock. Here, we stop and explore the area known to the Haida as a spiritual site. Enroute to Tlell we stop at the Jungle Beach and St Mary’s Spring where those who take a sip are destined to come back to Haida Gwaii. We check into our local B&B and enjoy dinner at the local restaurant.

Accommodation:  One or two queen beds and private bathroom.

Day 4 - Tlell :
Tlell Stone Circle

Enjoy a quiet morning, take a walk on the beach, watch the sun rise. After a leisurely breakfast we head out to the village of Port Clements, and the protected lands of Yaaguun Gandlaay. Here we’ll visit the site of Kiidk’yaas, also known as the Golden Spruce. An easy hard packed hiking trail takes us to the banks of the Yakoun River where this mighty tree once stood. The Golden Spruce was a Sitka spruce tree that had a rare genetic mutation that caused its needles to be golden in colour. This tree was considered sacred by the Haida People.

On the trail you will learn about the tragic end of this tree and the efforts today to save and create a new Golden Spruce and visit the new Golden Spruce growing in Port Clements.

After lunch we head out to the Crystal Cabin, a small gift shop founded by the Dutheil family of jewelers 25 years ago. This shop is home to the Tlell Stone Circle, an outdoor exhibit of Haida Gwaii’s Geological Past. These stones, which are arranged in a medicine wheel, mark the intersection of two harmonic leylines and an entryway for light into the universe. We can stand in the middle of the circle to become more spiritually connected to Haida Gwaii.

Inside, guests can discover local and international selection of crystals, and gemstone jewelry. Be sure to pick up the Dutheil Family local signature specimens, including the Serenity Stone, Star Spirit Thunder Eggs, or Island Mist Agates.

At the end of the day, guests have the option to relax at their accommodation or follow a hiking hike to nearby Misty Meadows in Naikoon National Park. This trail leads to the Pesuta Shipwreck and takes three to four hours, there and back.

Accommodation: One or two queen beds and private bathroom.

Day 5 - Masset, / Tow Hill B.C. :
Village of Yan or Kung

After breakfast, we continue with another big adventure day. We head to the Village of Masset where we meet our local guide for a marine tour to the Village of Yan or Kung (depending on weather conditions).

Unlike Ninstints/ S’Gaang Gwaay Llinagaay, in the south, there is not much left of these villages but the giant moss covered poles of the long houses. Yan was once one of the larger villages of the north in Haida Gwaii and had up to seventeen long houses but was abandoned in the late 1800s. Kung was also once a thriving village of fifteen long houses with a rich history. We’ll have time to visit one of these places with our local guide and enjoy the stories, surroundings and atmosphere. Later, we check into our local bed and breakfast to enjoy a delicious dinner.

Accommodation:  One or two queen beds and private bathroom.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Masset, / Tow Hill B.C. :
Naikoon Provincial Park

Everyone needs a chill day and today is it. After a relaxing morning we’ll check the tides and head out to explore Tow Hill and Naikoon Provincial Park. We’ll walk along the boardwalk trail up Tow Hill with panoramic views of the sandy beaches and Masset Inlet. Naikoon National Park encompasses 72,640 hectares along the Northeast tip of Graham Island with 97 kilometres of sandy beaches, making it a beachcomber’s delight. The park is mostly lowland forest with stunted lodge pole pine, red and yellow cedar, Sitka spruce and Western Helmlock.

After our visit to Tow Hill we’ll walk along North Beach and sink out toes into the soft sand and do some beachcombing. We take refreshment at a funky local bakery set in the forest. In the afternoon passengers can visit the Dixon Maritime Museum and Delkatla Nature Sanctuary.

Accommodation:  One or two queen beds and private bathroom.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Masset, / Tow Hill B.C. :

Our last full day on our Haida Gwaii vacation is spent touring the village of Old Masset. We visit the local chiefs’ Big House and then are guided by a local through the canoe shed. For a first hand and personal understanding of the Haida People we visit local carvers of argelitte, cedar and painters in their homes.

We’ll tour the more recent poles put up in the village and enjoy lunch with the locals at their favourite eating place. Other stops will include Sarah’s Gift House and the Raven Gallery. We stop for pictures of the local sites whenever and wherever possible, watch the eagles ride the wind along the shoreline or enjoy the treats thrown out to them by local fishermen.

By the end of this week you will have slowed down and become tuned to the unique rhythm of this place, of the peace and quiet that is Haida Gwaii. Your spirit will be renewed and love of nature awakened.

Accommodation: One or two queen beds and private bathroom.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Fly out :
Back to Vancouver

Alas, today is the last day of your Haida Gwaii vacation. After breakfast, we get an early morning start and load our luggage and checkout of our accommodation. Your driver/guide will drive us to meet up with the airport shuttle back to Sandspit. Check in at the Sandspit Airport and fly back to Vancouver, B.C.


We include: 

  • Return airfare from Vancouver to Sandspit
  • Fully escorted with knowledgeable driver/guide
  • Tours of local villages, escorted walks and hikes
  • Transportation by air, van, and ferry
  • 7 nights accommodation in hotels, motels and inns
  • 7 breakfasts, 4 dinners and 1 lunch
  • All entrance fees to provincial, national parks and protected areas
  • Local excursions, ferries and museums and more! Please refer to our pre-departure information for all the details.
  • During breakfast, David will review the day's itinerary, ask you to check your gear and provisions in your day pack (e.g., water, meds, rain gear) and answer questions.
  • While we include most meals, we set some evenings aside for guests to explore for dinner on their own; David is always willing to share his opinions.
  • As part of our travel to Graham and Moresby Islands we stay in three communities: Skedans, Tlell and Masset. Our goal is to immerse you as much as we can in local culture and not have you stay in one place.

Not Included:

  • Meals where not indicated
  • Gratuities for activities and driver/guide 
  • Optional activities
  • Travel and cancellation insurance (highly recommended)
  • 5% GST
How many guests and guides are on tour?

Our small group trips of Haida Gwaii are limited to five guests plus one guide per departures. This is due to a number of reasons including our desire to tread lightly on this land, unobtrusively visiting quaint shops and local artisans and the included seaplane trip to Ninstints. This plane seats a maximum of five passengers.

What is the population of Haida Gwaii?

Around 4,500 people live on the islands with about 50% of the population being indigenous people (Haida). Most indigenous people live in two communities at Skidegate and Old Masset.

What does Haida Gwaii mean?

B.C.’s Queen Charlotte Islands were officially renamed Haida Gwaii in 2009 as part of a historic reconciliation agreement between BC and the Haida Nation. “Haida Gwaii” means “islands of the people” or “islands of the Haida” in the local language.

Which islands on Haida Gwaii do you visit?

We tour Graham and Moresby islands by van and fly into Anthony Island.

How long are the days?

The days generally begin after breakfast, about 8:30 to 9:00 am, and conclude about 5:00 pm, or after dinner, if dinner is included. While organized activities are included each day, there is time to strike out on your own.

What are the guide's qualifications?

David Hopper has a Masters in in Environmental Studies and has been guiding Midnight Sun’s trips to Haida Gwaii for since 2012 (with the exceptions of the 2020 and 2021 seasons). David has many connections on the islands and enjoys sharing these with our guests.

Can certain dietary preferences be accommodated?

We’ve yet to meet a diet we can’t accommodate! Please make these known to us on your booking form. The restaurants we frequent are all flexible, but some require advance notice.

How do meals work?

We include seven breakfasts, one lunch and four dinners all of which will be paid for in advance. Regarding other meals, David will advise available places to each in each location (sometimes there’s only one place). Guests have the option to dine together or in group.

How do I pack?

As you’ll fly commercial air (generally Air Canada) to Haida Gwaii, your luggage limitations are set. We do not provide portage services to and from our van, so please keep this in mind when you pack. We recommend you carry a daypack for your water bottle, camera, medication, binoculars and raingear. And, please pack using the “layer method” – waterproof / windproof jacket on top, with a fleece liner over your shirt. Running shoes or hiking boots should have good grip soles and don’t forget your hat!

Please see our videos from 2022

Haida Gwaii

Overall Trip Rating:
- Based on 6 travel reviews
Very Good
  1. Highly recommended!
    By Helen Parsons February 2, 2023
    Helen Parson (Google) 1 review 2 weeks ago I was part of the July 15, 2022, Haida Gwaii tour run by Midnight Sun. This was a very small group with four participants along with first Nina and then David as guide. It was apparent that they have close contacts in the local community and they drew ably upon this wealth to provide us with a wide experience of local Haida culture including: a superb boat trip to SGang Gwaay and Windy Bay; a tour of the Haida Cultural Centre and Museum; explanation by a Haida guide of local artifacts including poles and longhouses … a trip to the abandoned village of Yan; a great dinner of Haida items at Keenawaiis’ Kitchen; visits to carving sheds; hikes on interesting trails to scenic locations and stops at many other local attractions. The tour was comprehensive, educational and fun. I highly recommend it.
    Date of Experience: September 01, 2022
  2. A Safari Indeed!
    By Joan WV February 2, 2023
    JoanWV wrote a review Aug. 2022 (Trip Advisor) West Vancouver, Canada22 contributions9 helpful votes Haida Gwaii Safari Review of: Haida Gwaii Haida Gwaii “Safari” conjures up African Wildlife Parks and searching for wild animals. However, the term derives from both Swahili and the Arabic word Safar meaning “to journey”. With this definition, our recent 8 day trip to Haida Gwaii, was indeed a journey into the world of the Haida. Our plans to visit Haida Gwaii started in 2019 for a trip in 2020. Covid changed those plans but in 2021, We took small group tour to Haida Gwaii … with Midnight Sun Adventure Travel with only 5 guests. In the time of Covid the small group appealed to us very much. Our tour concentrated on Graham and Moresby Islands, rather than the more popular southern area of Gwaii Haanas, due to scheduling issues with float planes and the availability of pilots. However, our journey introduced us to members of the Haida Nation who were more than willing to share their culture and traditions with us. We had the privilege of meeting and visiting with three well respected carvers in Old Masset, who shared their current work and explained the significance of each. We would never have met these artists without the knowledge and good relationships they had with David our Midnight Sun guide/driver. In addition, we met jewellers, painters, and musicians. We met two jewellers at Haida Arts who made me a pair of red beaded earrings. We also enjoyed the amazing beaches, where we were able to enjoy walks everyday. In fact, everyday included a hike into the forest or on a beach or even in a cemetery. We enjoyed the food of renowned chef Roberta Olsen in her cosy beachside home, as well as food in our accommodations. We had three different accommodation experiences. A local motel with its lovely attached rooms that served the most delicious breakfasts: Smoked Salmon breakfast bagels and their homemade scones were a must. A bed and breakfast by the beach on Hecate Strait, introduced us to the ingenuity of people who live on Haida Gwaii, where resources are limited and infrastructure for visitors not fully developed. And a lovely lodge located in the rainforest overlooking the beach for our final three days where we had a personal chef provide dinners and lunches. One of the highlights of this week (there were so many) was the trip to Skedans or Kuuna Linagaay, on the Northeast Corner of Louise Island. This village is outside the boundary of Gwaii Haanas National Park but is still a Haida Heritage Site with a resident Watchman. We enjoyed the site, a picnic on the beach, and on our way back, pods of Orca hunting seals on a neighbouring beach, and Sea Lions sunning themselves on a rocky outcrop. We were accompanied on this trip by Vera, a Haida elder, who sang traditional Haida songs, provided traditional tobacco to the Orca and drummed a “thank you” for presenting themselves to us. Another, highlight was being educated by Haida members in the art of crabbing on North Beach at Taw Hill. Haida Gwaii has little infrastructure for independent travel on the islands, and with few roads and even fewer rental cars, taking a tour such as this one ensured that we got an immersive experience into the Haida Culture. A Safari indeed!
    Date of Experience: August 22, 2022
  3. Tour was Excellent
    By Jim Hill February 2, 2023
    Jim Hill – August 4, 2021 (Google) one review My wife and I attended the Haida Gwaii tour from August 4 to 11 of this year. The tour was excellent overall. We could not have had such a rich experience without the guide aspect of the tour. Our group was very small, 2 couples, and our guide, David Hopper, did a tremendous job helping to ensure that our individual objectives for the tour were met. We visited many interesting places and met Haida guides, watchmen and artists that David had made connections with over the years he has been guiding. Logistical issues … like accommodation, meals, transportation, tours and walks were all expertly managed by Midnight Sun. We would definitely book tours with Midnight Sun again.
    Date of Experience: August 15, 2022
  4. 5 stars. Excellent
    By Valerie February 2, 2023
    ”My travels to Haida Gwaii were most memorable for the range of experiences, acquired knowledge about Haida history, art and culture and the people with whom we interacted during our journey. I would rate this trip a 5 (excellent!). TY so much”.
    Date of Experience: September 28, 2019
  5. An amazing trip
    By Paul Zubick February 2, 2023
    "We had an amazing trip to Haida Gwaii guided by David Hopper from Midnight sun Adventure Travel. David went over and above our expectations. He was quick to adjust our schedule when needed to provide us with the best experience of Haida Gwaii. You could feel his love for the Island and its people.”
    Date of Experience: March 15, 2019
  6. What a memorable time
    By Sandy Bryson February 2, 2023
    We recently Toured Haida Gwaii with Midnight Sun Adventure . It was an awesome time with beautiful scenery , tons of history , great accommodations and food , amazing culture and people . Our Tour Guide , Dave , couldn’t have been more informative , friendly or helpful . He was with us every step of the way and took us to places I’m sure not many get to see . Inside personal Long Houses . carving sheds with totems and war canoes being worked on , watching carvers making jewelry etc. , museums …… and believe it or not , Chinese Food . What a memorable time .
    Date of Experience: September 17, 2017

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Haida Gwaii Tours for Seniors | Ultra Small Groups
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