Welcome to Budgies Backpackers and Sight Seers.
I’m Alan and I want to make your stay on Haida Gwaii an enjoyable one. I opened my hostel in May of 2012 and a kayak guiding outfit in May of 2013 in Port Clements on Haida Gwaii. Mens-Dance.JPG
Budgies Backpackers and Sight Seers, a budget accommodation hostel I started in May of 2012, in order to meet people, and fuel my guiding outfit of the same name. We do tours of Juskatla inlet, the Yakoun river and Kumdis bird estuary, Masset inlet, and the surrounding area. Our local staff were born and raised in the area and can offer advice as well as tours to guests. We encourage socializing and playing music until bed and will do our best to teach you about the land and sea we call home. Nightly fire-shows happen on the back lawn, and lessons in juggling are common as well.
Tours are available by kayak, canoe, jeep, and by foot with interpretive trails and many different ecosystems to observe. We teach and practice sustainable wild food harvest, and provide recreational opportunities for all ages that cannot be found elsewhere.
Haida Gwaii, once called the Queen Charlotte Islands by the government of Canada, is a small archipelago off the west coast of Canada, and south of the Alaskan Pan Handle.
My home is made popular for a variety of reasons, most recently being voted Outside Magazines best island, but also for civil disobedience in ending the logging of Lyle Island in what is now the Gwaii Haanas National Park. The park also holds the famous hot springs, and Ninstints or SG̱ang Gwaay an Ebsco world heritage site. Later blockades stopped further logging on Graham Island during the Spirit Rising Blockade.
Haida Gwaii is the ancient homeland of the Haida Peoples a coastal first nation that brought massive cedar canoes trading and raiding from Northern Alaska to southern California. The Haida’s art is of legendary proportions as many ancient totem poles still stand on Haida Gwaii today, slowly returning to the earth from which they came. Village sites dot the coastline and the fabulous Haida Heritage museum in Skidegate known locally as the Quay (Kye) center.
Haida Gwaii today consists of between 6 and 12 communities depending on what exactly defines a community. Two Indian reserves are inhabited (Old Massett and Skidegate) each with close to 1000 population, neighboring communities of similar size include Queen Charlotte and Masset. Smaller communities below 500 are Sandspit, Port Clements, Tlell, Tow Hill, Miller creek, Lawn hill, and Sewall inlet. With abandoned town sites at Jedway, Rose Harbour, Juskatla, Buckley Bay and Shannon Bay. Many abandoned towns were once sites of logging or mining industry.
Fishing on Haida Gwaii is legendary, and Langara Island or North island houses many 4-5 star resorts, and is a short ride from the continental shelf. Salmon of every kind, halibut, red snapper, Alaskan black cod (or for those hip to marketing Sablefish) are just a few of the many delicacies we enjoy locally, throw in some crab, razor clams, butter clams, cockles, scallops, and muscles and you are halfway to a Haida Gwaii feast. Missing only salmon berries, huckel berries, black berries, Alaskan blue berries, thimble berries, cranberries, chanterelle mushrooms, boletus mushrooms, pine mushrooms, angel wing mushrooms, blue chanterelles, yellow foot mushrooms, venison, elk, licorice root, prawns, shrimp, sea asparagus, bull kelp, sea lettuce, green sea urchin, red sea urchin….. I’m off to make dinner
Learn More About Our Kayak Tours in the Beautiful Haidai Gwaii
Port Clements is a town of approximately 400 people, who reside in the middle of Graham Island on the archipelago that makes up Haida Gwaii. Port Clements boarders the Kumdis River Slough and the Kumdis Narrows to the east, with the Yakoun River Estuary to the west. Both tidal areas have huge numbers of migrant birds’ literally year round as well as resident species and a number of delicious trout and salmon.
Kiidky’aas grew on the bank of the Yakoun until he was cut down in his prime by Grant Hadwin. The young boy was turned into a spruce tree of gold by evil spirits when he disobeyed his tsinni, ((grandfather)) and looked back over his shoulder at a village being abandoned. The tree (less romantically) could have been seeded by a Sitka Spruce mother, and pollinated by a Sitka Spruce father, growing with a genetic mutation that effect his pigment. Legends say he will forever grow, return to the earth, and regrow on the banks of the Yakoun River.
The white raven died by electrocution and now rests at the Port Clements logging museum. When Raven first was, the Transformer was born white, he used his supernatural powers to steal the sun, and while escaping from his grandfather, he flew through the smoke hole (chimney) and was burned and coated in soot. While he gained the Sun for all of the planet, he lost his White coat.
Not everything in Port Clements is dead, the small community has a beautiful and top notch elementary school, recently rebuilt to share space with the local seniors, as well as the village council and administrators. The Yakoun River Inn, just a short walk from Bayview Market, the local library, and Budgies Backpackers complete the downtown core. Additionally, there a number of fishing charters that run out of Port Clements, and a food truck, A Fork in Port, on the South end that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Port Clements also has a gas station on the other side of town, Gas Plus, and a variety of local home based businesses to add to the predominant logging industry.
We encourage the participation in cultural, and community events for those staying at our hostel, we will provide rides and explain proper behavior.