Getting to Sandspit
You can get to Sandspit by air or boat. Air Canada has regular scheduled flights from Vancouver to Sandspit, daily in the winter months and twice daily in the summer. The airport is located within walking distance of most accommodations and services. Another option for flying to Sandspit is by floatplane from Prince Rupert on the mainland coast. North Pacific Seaplanes flies three times a week from Prince Rupert to Alliford Bay near Sandspit.
BC Ferries sails from Prince Rupert to Skidegate Landing on the south end of Graham Island. The ferry transports passengers and vehicles, and can easily accommodate bikes and kayaks. This journey takes about six hours, though delays due to weather are always possible. From Skidegate Landing, a 20-minute ferry ride brings you across to Alliford Bay, an another 10-minute drive brings you into Sandspit.
Experienced boaters and sailors often choose to bring their own vessel to the islands, especially to explore Gwaii Haanas. Sandspit has a large modern marina with fuel services which is a great stop for boaters coming across the Hecate Staits.
The main road on the islands, Highway 16, runs for 113km/70mi north to south along Graham Island, passing through each of the communities from Masset in the north to Queen Charlotte in the south. A 20-minute ferry transports vehicles and passengers between Skidegate Landing on Graham Island (near Queen Charlotte) and Alliford Bay on Moresby Island, connecting the communities of Graham Island to Sandspit. The 22km/13mi road from Alliford Bay ferry terminal through Sandspit is the only paved road on Moresby Island.
There is an extensive network of gravel roads on Moresby Island, which access a variety of hiking trails and campgrounds. Some of these roads are used by logging traffic, so it is important to have up-to-date information before heading out. The Visitor Centre in Sandspit is a great resource for road information and maps.
It is difficult to fully explore the islands without a vehicle. You can bring your own car on the ferry from Prince Rupert or rent one on island. If renting, try to find a vehicle you can take on the gravel roads so that you are not restricted to the highway.
There is no public transit on the islands, although a shuttle does go from the Sandspit airport to the communities of Graham Island after every flight. Taxis can be found in Sandspit and on Graham Island, but it is best to book these in advance whenever possible. You can also find van tours of the islands.
Biking is another great way to get around. Bikes are available for rent in Sandspit, and are especially popular for day trips to the Haida Heritage Centre in Skidegate, a hour bike ride and a 20-minute ferry ride from Sandspit.
Water based transportation is also available in Sandspit. Various businesses offer sightseeing tours and fishing trips throughout the summer months. You can also charter boats for transporting work crews to remote locations or custom water-taxi runs.