Trip Itineraries &
Style of Travel
- We offer two categories of trips:
- Accommodation Tours - Heated, indoor lodging every night.
- Wilderness Kayak Journeys - Tent camping most nights.
We provide three trip ratings, suitable for different levels of kayaking ability:
- Accommodation Tours
- Kayak Guesthouse Vacation Enjoy the comforts of this remote facility. Our guided 5-day Kayak Guesthouse Vacation is suitable for both relatively inexperienced paddlers and accomplished kayakers.
- Wilderness Kayak Journeys
- Waters of SGang Gwaay This 8-day guided wilderness kayak tour is suitable for relatively inexperienced paddlers, as well as accomplished kayakers. Visit the ancient Haida village of SGang Gwaay (Ninstints).
- Cape Freeman Expedition Our 8-day Cape Freeman Expedition explores the outer coast. This unique journey is designed for kayakers who have accumulated some experience and developed reasonable boat-handling abilities.
- Evolution Expedition Join us on this 7-day self-propelled educational adventure of a lifetime. The Evolution Expedition is for kayakers with some experience.
Our Style of Travel
The "Butterfly way" refers to our style of travel. It is based in communication, cooperation and the eternal principles of seaworthiness. The Butterfly way evolved during well over a quarter-century of sea kayak tours and expeditions on Haida Gwaii. It is a considerate method of wilderness travel and appropriate conduct, most appreciated by team players.
Your guide Gord is a talented, life-long professional guide dedicated to facilitating quality sea kayaking experiences with expedition participants and tour guests. His grounded, insightful approach to wilderness exploration is uniquely adapted to remote marine environments.
Our kayaking trips are designed for participants who are reasonably able-bodied. Dependable reflexes, as well as practical levels of balance, fitness and coordination are necessary, yet there is no need for our guests to be accomplished athletes.
Paddling a fully loaded single touring kayak in the North Pacific feels quite different than propelling an unloaded vessel on placid waters. A properly loaded kayak provides excellent ballast and momentum, yet requires some effort to initially achieve optimum cruising speed.
Our guides are experienced kayak instructors; we help people develop efficient paddling techniques. Each guest is provided with the opportunity to learn how to effectively propel a single kayak. With a positive attitude and reasonable physical capabilities, most paddlers can enjoy touring at optimum cruising speed in our single kayaks.
Kayaking on Haida Gwaii requires a flexible itinerary in order to appropriately adapt to changing conditions. We generally paddle up to five hours in a day and take occasional rest stops on shore to stretch our legs. Summer storms are possible. If it becomes too windy, we remain on shore.
People who become comfortable with "being in the moment" tend to gain more pleasure from our trips, compared to those whose attention may be continually focused on reaching some other destination. Kayakers who prefer paddling vast distances may find our expeditions do not satisfy their long-distance cravings. Those seeking extensive daily paddling are encouraged to consider a self-guided trip.
There are a number of licensed tour operators in Gwaii Haanas. We encourage the process of informed selection that occurs while people decide which outfitter to choose. Most Butterfly Tours participants are unmistakably drawn to Haida Gwaii, seeking more than simply "crossing it off a bucket list." If you are a team player who is able-bodied, open to learning and willing to adapt to changeable conditions, please consider joining us.
Butterfly Tours has refined an unparalleled style of travel which emphasizes adventure, freedom & flexibility, appreciation of nature, aesthetics, history, health & enjoyment and of course, professional risk management.
Meet the challenge of self-propelled travel in this remote wilderness environment. Paddle a single kayak while experiencing the moods of this distant archipelago. Ride the current through a channel, cross a bay into the wind, or sail effortlessly down an inlet. Land a salmon, ride the surf, or appreciate the power of a summer storm from the shelter of our campsite. Witness the elements and realize the expanse of mountains, sea and sky.
Freedom & Flexibility
Coordinate yourself with the schedule of the tide, sun and wind rather than the wristwatch. Enjoy the liberties and rewards of paddling a single kayak. When on shore, guests are free to beachcomb, whale watch, enjoy a nap, explore the rainforests, or relax by the campfire sharing stories and reflections with new friends.
Appreciation of Nature
Experience the rhythms of the sea. Feel the timeless quality of wandering through old-growth forests. Live in harmony with the natural world as you quietly paddle through this remote wilderness.
Unique metaphysical qualities exist within Gwaii Haanas. This wilderness archipelago is able to cultivate deep and positive effects on people. For decades, intangible elements have helped evolve our unique style of travel. Our preference for smaller groups, single kayaks, campfire cooking and ergonomic paddles are some of the aesthetic benefits of this evolution.
Explore the hereditary home of the Haida Nation. Visit ancient Haida village sites with standing totem poles and longhouse beams. Our guide's knowledge of anthropology and local culture enhances the trip with stories of village life, chiefs and slaves, explorers and traders, shamans, potlatches, wood paddles and the cedar canoe.
Health & Enjoyment
Enjoy tasty, balanced meals professionally prepared over driftwood beach-fires. Enhance your personal well-being with daily exercise and fun in the fresh sea air. Build friendships through participation and laughter.
Professional Risk Management
Our trips operate on a solid foundation of professional risk management. Your guide Gord is certified by the Association of Canadian Sea Kayak Guides as a Class III full guide, Leadership course instructor and Guide examiner. He complies with the ACSKG's professional operating standards and advanced wilderness first aid & medicine qualifications. Each trip is equipped with two Icom marine VHF radios, an Iridium satellite phone, as well as an ACR ResQLink+ PLB emergency locator beacon. More notably, the risk management techniques Gord uses have provided a long history of incident-free adventure travel.
Enjoy the many advantages of traveling with the most experienced sea kayak guide in Gwaii Haanas National Park.
For more information, please see: Personal Preparation