Location: Northeast end of Moresby Island, between Shingle Bay and Hecate Strait. Population: 600. Visitor Information Centre: In Sandspit Air Terminal (May-September), PO Box 482, Sandspit, BC V0T 1T0; Phone: (250) 637-5362; Website: www.qcislands.net
Many visitors arrive on the Islands by scheduled daily flights from Vancouver and Prince Rupert to Sandspit’s modern air terminal, at the gateway to Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, encompassing the southern half of Moresby and adjacent islands. Public and connecting logging roads end at Moresby Camp, some 30 miles north of the Park Reserve, which is accessible only by water or air.
Other visitors arrive in the Queen Charlottes by sea after a six-hour voyage from Prince Rupert aboard either the Queen of Prince Rupert or the Queen of the North, and then take a 20 minute ride on the Kwuna from Skidegate on Graham Island, to Alliford Bay on Moresby Island.
Amphibious or float planes and helicopters may be chartered and vehicles rented at the Sandspit air terminal. Boats may be chartered for sportfishing and sight-seeing into the Park Reserve or about the islands, and kayaks are offered for rent in Sandspit. A full-service hotel is adjacent to the airport. Restaurants and a number of bed and breakfast facilities are within walking distance.
Scheduled tours of the working logging areas are free and educational, offering unusual photo opportunities. Visitors are welcomed at the Pallant Creek Salmon Hatchery 27 miles south of Sandspit where personnel work year-around to enhance many of the Charlotte’s salmon streams for sports and commercial fishing. Sandspit’s boat haven has a capacity for 80 boats and a cruise vessel of 35 meters length.
On the 4-mile hike around the Spit at any time of year one may sight a variety of birds, seals and porpoise. In late spring and early summer gray whales are often seen in the waters between Sandspit, Skidegate and Queen Charlotte.
A curving 7-mile drive from Sandspit follows the accessible shores of Hecate Strait to Copper Bay where the Haida seasonally net and smoke salmon. Continue on to Gray Bay to frolic in sun and sand or select one of the numerous camping spots to laze beside a campfire and watch a variety of birds. Relax with a hike along this scenic shore. On weekends or after working hours, hundreds of miles of logging roads are available for your exploration.
Drive the Circle Route past Copper Bay and Skidegate Lake, continuing around to the log sorting grounds at South Bay then on to the Kwuna ferry landing at Alliford Bay—connecting to Graham Island—or return to Sandspit.