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Graham Island is the largest island in the Haida Gwaii archipelago of British Columbia, Canada. Separated from the mainland by a narrow channel, it has a population of roughly 5,000 people.
Formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, Hada Gwaii is composed of 1,884 islands including two main landmasses: Graham Island, situated to the north, and Moresby Island, to the south.
The largest of them all, Graham Island spans 2,500 square miles and is defined by a flat, sweeping east coast, making it the most accessible island by ferry in the archipelago, from the mainland. Crossing over to the west coast, the shoreline views offer nothing but the magnificently vast Pacific Ocean, undisturbed all the way to Japan. Also, given how sparsely populated the island is, you can usually enjoy the serene vistas all to yourself.
Along the rugged west coast is also where you will find the largest colonies of sea lions, particularly upon Joseph rocks, which can be explored by boat or kayak; over a third of the sea lions in British Columbia reside in Haida Gwaii.
Moreover, just north of Rennel Sound is a haven for approximately 40,000 breeding pairs of the threatened Ancient Murrelet, the second largest colony in the province. Other local seabirds include tufted puffins, bald eagles and peregrine falcons.
Hikers should head further north and delve into the wonderful Naikoon Provincial Park, containing four different trails ranging from a couple of hours to a few days in length. The park also has plenty of camping sites including some rustic wilderness options in areas of complete tranquillity.
Ferries to Graham Island run five times weekly from Prince Rupert on the northern British Columbian coast. Operated by the province’s main ferry company, BC Ferries, the route usually lasts seven hours, affording beautiful views of the numerous inlets and forested islands.