Sea Kayak Haida Gwaii - Butterfly Tours Sea Kayak Haida Gwaii - Butterfly Tours
Kayak Guesthouse

Trip Itinerary
Kayak Guesthouse Vacation   5 Days

Group size is six guests plus two guides.
Each person is equipped with a single kayak.
Seaward and Necky double kayaks are also available.
This tour is suitable for relatively inexperienced paddlers,
as well as accomplished kayakers.
Personal Preparation

KayakThe Kayak Guesthouse Vacation provides an opportunity to explore the remote wilderness of Gwaii Haanas, while enjoying the overnight comforts of indoor accommodations.

Nights are spent in the rustic Rose Harbour Guest House, near the southern tip of the archipelago.  This wilderness facility was carefully hand-built by resident musician and guesthouse proprietor, Götz Hanisch.

The tiny, charming homesteader community of Rose Harbour is our base for kayak explorations.  The Kayak Guesthouse Vacation allows for plenty of flexibility.  Guests have the option of joining guided kayak day-trips, or staying in Rose Harbour to relax at the guesthouse.  Butterfly Tours guide, Gord Pincock, leads daily kayak excursions and serves as interpretive host while guests interact with Rose Harbour's unique residents.

Enjoy wood-fired hot showers after your kayak day-trips.  Savour delicious meals hosted by the local residents.  These friendly homesteaders are happy to provide a glimpse into their unique self-sufficient lifestyles.  For photos, please see our Rose Harbour album.

Speedboat transportDay One - Kayak Guesthouse Vacation

The tour begins in Sandspit, British Columbia.  Participants are picked up at Seaport B&B (or another Sandspit accommodation of your choice) for the one-hour van ride to Moresby Camp.  Here, you board a speedboat for transport to the southern tip of the archipelago.

Arrive in Rose Harbour around midday and move into the guesthouse.  Two guests share each room in this informal and rustic establishment.

GuesthouseGuesthouse amenities include a common room with a table, chairs, couch and woodstove.  Enjoy great views from the spacious sofa on the covered deck.

A selection of three well-maintained composting outhouses are situated a short walk from the guesthouse (there are no flush toilets in Rose Harbour).

The guesthouse's indoor sink has running cold water.  The hot running water is located at the ingenious wood-fired shower facility a few steps away.

Meals are served at a facility near Susan's place - the neighboring house in Rose Harbour.  Alternatively, we may pack a lunch and enjoy our midday meal on a remote beach during an extended kayak day-trip.

Sea Kayak Haida Gwaii

After lunch in Rose Harbour on day one, we provide an orientation to the kayaks and embark on an afternoon paddle.

Days Two to Four

There are numerous and varied day-trip possibilities from Rose Harbour.  Kayaking options include sheltered local excursions, as well as slightly more challenging adventures to Hecate Strait, or toward the Pacific coast.  Ride the tide through Houston Stewart Channel as we explore the many beaches, islands and waterways within this vibrant, remote region.


Walk along shorelines to witness the vast array of marine life clinging to inter-tidal zones.  Discover the rich bio-diversity thriving in the surrounding old-growth rainforests.

Visit the ancient Haida village of Ninstints on Anthony Island.  This extraordinary historical settlement is a United Nations World Heritage Site, also known as SGang Gwaay.  Numerous totem poles overlook the village and longhouse ruins are still visibly prominent.

Haida Watchmen on the island can explain the carvings on the poles and provide insightful interpretations of the village and their ancestors who once lived there.  We spend several hours exploring the island and experiencing the sense of mystery that lingers in this ancient village.

The Kayak Guesthouse Vacation offers a uniquely comfortable Gwaii Haanas experience.  Days are spent kayaking remote waterways, walking old-growth forests, exploring pristine beaches and enjoying the Rose Harbour community.  The craftsman-built guesthouse provides the option of cozy, warm shelter any time of day or night.

Day Five

After a morning paddle on our last day, the speedboat arrives in Rose Harbour.  The group transports to Sandspit, touring the coastline of Gwaii Haanas along the way.  At the end of the day, you are returned to Seaport B&B, or another Sandspit accommodation of your choice.

This map shows the Waters of SGang Gwaay tour and Cape Freeman Expedition.
The Kayak Guesthouse Vacation explores regions closest to Rose Harbour,
which is depicted by the little house with a flag:

Reload MapGoogle MapsView Entire MapNorth Pacific MapGwaii Haanas Map

The Kayak Guesthouse Vacation is an extraordinary trip, yet it is not designed to be suitable for everyone.  If you require flush toilets, electrical outlets and multiple pillows, this vacation is not for you.  (Rose Harbour Guest House provides our five-day guests with clean sheets, one pillow per person, well-maintained composting outhouses and no electricity.)
Guests on this five-day vacation will stay in Rose Harbour Guest House's detached accommodation facility.  (Some visitors who stay only one night may be provided a guest room inside the proprietor's house.)

This vacation is based in the tiny, isolated community of Rose Harbour, which is populated by a handful of friendly maritime homesteaders leading a fascinating, organic lifestyle.  Our guide Gord has worked with the Rose Harbour residents for decades.  Butterfly Tours has developed specific hospitality practices that enrich our guests' Rose Harbour experience.  A Butterfly Tours vacation in Rose Harbour includes a broad spectrum of services; from colourful interpretations of the rich folklore surrounding Rose Harbour's history, to ensuring each guest has an adequate supply of toilet paper.  Butterfly Tours guides serve as interpretive hosts while our guests interact with Rose Harbour residents and their unique homesteading lifestyle.

The Rose Harbour Guest House is a remote wilderness accommodation with limited space available.  Two guests share each room in this informal and rustic establishment.  Guests traveling alone may be provided with a room-mate.  A vacant room in the guesthouse may become occupied by a visiting traveler during your stay.  Alternatively, Butterfly Tours guests have the option of sleeping in a private tent and using the guesthouse during the day.

Accurate expectations are important.
Prospective guests are encouraged to read Gord's review of the Rose Harbour Guest House.

This trip is suitable for relatively inexperienced paddlers, as well as accomplished kayakers.  Even with skilled kayakers, we ask each group member to cooperate with our professional risk management guidelines.  Our groups remain with the guides when on the water; there are very limited opportunities to paddle without the guides.  Those who may not appreciate this style of group-oriented risk management are encouraged to consider a self-guided trip.

Routes and itineraries remain very flexible to accommodate changeable west coast conditions.  Alternate boat or floatplane transport may be substituted.  In order to confirm this trip, two people must register in advance.

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Moresby Island Salmon Rose Inlet
© Butterfly Tours ~ Sea Kayak Haida Gwaii
Updated by Gord on September 9, 2018