Visitors 165
32 photos

Statistics: All are less than 1 km in length with no elevation gain.
View map (all beaches)
Download GPS track (Bonanza beach)
Download GPS track (Gregory beach)
Download GPS track (Five Mile beach)

Rennell Sound is the only vehicle-accessible region of the west coast of Haida Gwaii and as such is quite popular. Access to the area is via a 45 km long active logging road departing from Queen Charlotte City; be careful not to miss the turnoff from the paved road (it's signed) as there are many logging roads in the area. From where the road deposits you on the shoreline near the head of Rennell Sound, a further 15 km of logging road in similar condition takes you to Bonanza, Gregory, and Five Mile beaches and several official and unofficial camping areas. It is important to note that many officials believe the 25% grade on the section of road leading down to the water is impossible in anything but a 4x4, but we did it in my Honda Civic in the pouring rain (muddy!) without even spinning once on the return ascent. I do have a manual transmission and know how to drive, but I imagine it would be possible for all but the most inept drivers.

There are four easily accessible beaches in Rennell Sound - Five Mile Beach (named for its distance from the head of the sound, not its length), Gregory Beach, Riley Beach, and Bonanza Beach. We hiked all but Riley Beach, which is more difficult to find due to the absence of a trailhead sign. Five Mile Beach is the smallest of the three we hiked and is rocky, but this means it is also the best for marine life. Even though the tide was near high while we were there, we still saw a few starfish and several smaller creatures. Gregory Beach is larger than Five Mile and seems to attract more garbage from the Pacific than the other two. While unattractive, it is covered in mollusk shells which appear to have been using it (and anything else that floats) as habitat. Bonanza Beach is the largest of the three beaches and is separated into two beaches by a section of rock. The more westerly beach is nearly entirely sand, while the eastern beach is a mix of sand and pebbles. We found lots of shells along here.

Both Bonanza and Gregory beaches are also user-maintained camping areas, and if you like beach camping, I can't imagine an area more spectacular than this! There is ample driftwood for fires and shelter as well as a few good areas on each beach to pitch a tent. Deer tracks, the complete absence of any light sources, and the likelihood of having the place to yourself all suggest it would be a remarkable camping experience provided the weather cooperated.

Categories & Keywords
Category:Lifestyle and Recreation
Subcategory:Outdoors
Subcategory Detail:Beach
Keywords:Bonanza beach, Five Mile beach, Gregory beach, Haida Gwaii, Rennell Sound, beachcombing, hiking