Skidegate is located 58 km (36 miles) south of Port
Clements and 9 km (6 miles) east of Queen
Charlotte City on the Trans-Canada Hwy 16.
Skidegate is situated near the eastern opening of Skidegate Inlet
at the south end of Graham Island. The community sits near the edge
of the ocean at Rooney Bay and has a population of just under one
thousand people. To the south of Graham Island, across Skidegate
Inlet on Moresby Island, is the community of Sandspit.
Skidegate is home to a large community of the Haida First Nations
and is governed and administrated through an elected body called
the Skidegate Band Council. The First Nations people generally have
made a living based on logging and commercial fishing. Today the
Haida First Nations, because of a very diverse Haida culture, have
put more emphasis relying more on cultural-related work and eco-tourism.
Haida Gwaii Museum
The First Nation heritage at Skidegate is rich with artists and
carvers in the traditional Haida culture. Displays and carvings
can be found throughout and especially at the Haida Gwaii Museum
in the Heritage Centre at Kaay Llnagaay formerly Qay'llnagaay. The
Haida Gwaii Museum is housed in one of the magnificent cedar longhouses
present at the site.
Skidegate is home to a number of famous First Nation artists who
have trained in the traditional Haida way of life. Bill Reid is
one of these people and his work can be found on display at the
Qay'llnagaay Lodge and Heritage Centre. Look for the longhouse featuring
Bill Reid's totem plus the beautiful carving of a 15-metre (49-feet)
long cedar canoe called 'Loo Taa.'
The eco-tourism potential around the Skidegate, southern Graham
Island and to the south on Moresby Island is incredible. Areas that
you might consider visiting and exploring include hiking into Naikoon
Provincial Park at Tlell, ocean kayaking
from Moresby Camp south into Gwaii
Haanas National Park reserve and scuba diving or fishing the crystal
clear waters at Rennell Sound north-east of Queen Charlotte City.
and Walking Trails
For areas to hike on trails near Skidegate there are both the Balance
Rock and St. Mary's Spring north of town on Hwy 16 and Spirit Lake
Trail that leaves right from Skidegate. The Balance Rock features
a large balance rock right on the edge of Skidegate Inlet, St. Mary's
Spring has a beautiful trail leading to a wooden Madonna carving
and the Spirit Lake Trail has three walking routes to various panoramic
A good time to visit Skidegate is during the annual Skidegate Days,
which happens during the later half of July. This fun filled event
is entertaining for the whole family starting with a War Canoe race
and includes food kiosks, carnival, baseball tournament, salmon
barbeque all followed with a dinner and dance.
For services and places to stay there is Queen Charlotte City that
is only 9 km (6 miles) east of Skidegate. Here you can find most
services including accommodation, service stations, grocery stores,
a number of cafés including a Chinese food restaurant and
Howler's neighbourhood pub.
For RV camping there are a few rustic campgrounds in the near area
around Skidegate. Located at Tlell there is a campground found at
Misty Meadows, the old forest service site west of Queen Charlotte
City across from Lina Island at Kagan Bay and two spots at Rennell
Sound, one called Cone Head and the other Rennell Sound.