Visitors 28
20 photos

Distance: 34 km; more possible
Elevation gain: Zero - it's along a beach!
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Rose Spit is the spit of sandy, pebbly beach that extends several kilometers into the ocean at the northeast corner of Graham Island. It separates the expansive east and north beaches of the island. As a majority of the spit is underwater at high tide, you should start your hike on a receding tide and be careful that you're not caught out on the end as the tide starts to come in.

The trail begins at the end of the Tow Hill road, just a few hundred meters beyond the Tow Hill parking area. There is a small parking area just before the road transitions to beach. Don't block access to the beach as many people take their trucks onto the beach for clam digging and/or trips along the beach. (Theoretically you should be able to hitch a ride at least part of the way along the beach, but as it's an absolutely gorgeous beach walk we didn't see the point). One truck made the trip out to Rose Spit while we were there, so it's not exactly crowded.

The north beach is perhaps the nicest beach I have ever been on. The sand is hard, meaning it is very easy to walk on, there is ample driftwood for shelters, seats, and firewood, and the beach is very gently sloping so wading in the surf is easy and safe. Near Rose Spit the upper reaches of the beach become gravelly and difficult to walk on, but if you hit that point within 2 hours or so of a low tide you'll have sand to walk on instead.

From where you start near Tow Hill, Rose Spit is about 12 km away and takes about 2.5 hours to reach. A small shipwreck at the 5 km mark is quite photogenic in the morning light. At low tide the spit sticks at least 7 kilometers into the ocean from the last trees at this point, with the last few kilometers being submerged at high tide. We hiked 5 km out on the spit before turning back, choosing this distance on the logic that it would make for a 34 km round-trip to match our age. While the hard sand (it's like concrete) and absence of any elevation gain makes this an easy hike, the same factors ended up giving me severely sore ankles; the same hike on more typical trail wouldn't have caused a problem.

Categories & Keywords
Category:Lifestyle and Recreation
Subcategory Detail:Hiking
Keywords:Haida Gwaii, North Beach, Rose Spit, hiking