Hello again and welcome to the third in our Top 12 Beaches of British Columbia series. In this post we’re featuring Agate Beach.
Agate Beach is in Naikoon Provincial Park on Haida Gwaii, formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands, and is an archipelago on the North Coast of British Columbia. It is a remote, beautiful, and wild chain of islands. The remoteness is part of its appeal: sprawling beaches, forests dense with growth and shaded by giant trees, and an abundance of wildlife, surrounded on all sides by the Pacific ocean.
Wide open sandy and pebbled beaches spilling over with driftwood along the northern coastline of Graham Island. North Beach makes up a big portion of the hundreds of kilometres of beaches available to explore in the Naikoon Provincial Park. It is easy to access by foot or car which is a big reason why this beach attracts people to the area for beach combing, hiking, fishing, clam digging, and relaxing. Sounds like my kind of place.
While it’s not exactly known for sunny weather, Haida Gwaii is still a beach destination. Beachcombing is a popular activity, hunt for agates, or glass fishing floats. At low tide on North Beach, wade through water with net in hand in search of fresh crab. Further south, a rocky beach is home to the precariously perched balancing rock.
HIT THE HIKING TRAILS
Once you’ve had your fill of relaxing and puttering on the beach, the Tow Trail will bring you to breathtaking views.
A different vantage point of the dramatic volcanic cliff can be found on the Blow Hole Trail.
This Trail leads you to the base of Tow Hill.
From there you can wander on the rocks and observe the feature known as the Blowhole. A cavity fills up as a wave is pushing water in, and the pressure creates a “geyser” of seawater. This phenomenon is best observed at certain moments of the tide. You can inquire locally as to when the best time would be.
Meander through giant trees along the Tlell river
and onto sprawling beaches and grassy sand dunes to reach the shipwreck of The Pensuta. The Pensuta washed ashore during a winter storm in 1928 and remains firmly lodged in the white sands of East Beach.
Waking up to the sound of surf rolling in on a beach is a unique pleasure. The camping is exquisite. Free from snow most—if not all—of the year, there are plenty of options for exploration from a tent.
There are official campgrounds – Agate Beach and Misty Meadows—and includes North Beach, Rose Spit Ecological Reserve and several amazing trails. You can camp on North Beach for free, but you have to be self-sufficient and always remember to respect the natural ecosystem.
There are also several cabins, lodges and bed & breakfast choices. For more information, click here.
The islands are accessible by scheduled flights from Vancouver and Prince Rupert, and by BC Ferries between Prince Rupert and Skigegate. Highway 16, which connects and island communities, also provides access to Tlell, Mayer Lake and Masset, which are the closes communities to the undeveloped interior of Naikoon Provincial Park.