Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia – National Geographic Sustainable Destinations Resources Center organized a panel of 300 experts who surveyed 55 national parks in the U.S. and Canada and chose British Columbia’s Gwaii Haanas National Park and Haida Heritage Site as the number 1 National Park! Environmental conditions and cultural integrity were factors in the judging.
Gwaii Hannas is known for its relationship with the local Haida nation and its ancient native village, Ninstints, a World Heritage Site on tiny Anthony Island (the location of the largest original group of totem poles in the world). Because of the park’s abundant flora and fauna it’s been referred to as ‘the Galapagos of the north’. Six of the top 16-ranked parks in the survey were located in Canada. The survey appeared in the July/August 2005 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine.
The Queen Charlotte Islands can be reached by air, or six-hour ferry trip from Prince Rupert on the British Columbia mainland. Located in the Southern Queen Charlotte Islands, the park is visited by only about 3000 people per year, who all have to get there by boat or float plane. On Dec. 11, 2009 Premier Gordon Campbell announced that the Queen Charlotte Islands would be officially renamed Haida Gwaii.
Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve & Haida Heritage Site, British Columbia