Access remote archipelago at this Canadian getaway
BY HILARY NANGLE — Spring 2019
aida Gwaii seduces adventurous and inquisitive travelers. For more than 12,500 years, the indigenous Haida have inhabited the lush rainforests blanketing this 150-plus-island archipelago about 140 miles southwest of Prince Rupert on British Columbia’s northwestern coast. Craggy mountains drop to a jigsaw-puzzle shoreline salted with driftwood-littered beaches. Waterfalls gush from hillsides, whales breach, eagles soar, bears prowl, sea lions bask, and deer tiptoe. Ethereal mists waltz with towering lichen-draped cedars, spruce, and ancient totems conjuring images of elusive spirits floating across moss carpets. Haida Gwaii defines remote, but the Haida Nation-owned, upscale Ocean House at Stads K’uns GawGa floating lodge, which opened last May, makes it easier for eco-conscious guests to immerse themselves in this enchanted realm.
The 12-room, fly-in, cultural tourism lodge honors Haida heritage with traditional architectural and design elements while pampering guests with a spa, theater, library, sauna, steam room, and lounge. It’s anchored in sheltered Peel Inlet, near the base of 3,819-foot Mount Moresby, Haida Gwaii’s tallest peak. This location, on the archipelago’s rugged west coast, provides easy access to the combined Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site. This massive preserve protects southern Haida Gwaii’s remarkably diverse ecosystem from the mountains to the sea. SGang Gwaay UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the world’s best examples of a Northwest Coast First Nations village, lies within the reserve.
Ocean House opens up this remarkable landscape to guests and introduces them to the heritage and culture of those inhabiting it.
Details: Three-night inclusive package from $3,500, including round-trip transportation from Vancouver. 855-605-3785; oceanhouse.ca
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