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Discussion in 'Canada' started by shearboy2004, Mar 22, 2019.
Cheers Mate thats a bit of excellent info !!
take your passports and cross into Hyder?
Explain this Mate , where what is Hyder?
I did a job for a few months there, in '89. Interesting place.
On the North East to is Rose point. At low tide, you can ride out to Rose Spit. Which puts you golfing distance from the whales. Real really cool.
Pay attention to the incoming tide, or you'll end up under water. You really only have a small window to do this.
There's some ship wrecks you can check out too, if you're in to that.
Be nice, be respectful, and you'll get along fine with the locals. Nice people.
If you ride to Stewart BC, Hyder Alaska is just across the fence........
Attached is my track from Vanderhoof to Stewart/Hyder to Prince Rupert on the way to Haida Gwaii.
......unless you have a boat, there is only one way in and out through the fence.
Were you going to take the ferry from Pt Hardy to Pr Rupert after finishing the TCAT? You'll need to make reservations as it's often full. Depending on whether you take the ferry, or arrive or depart via Highway 16 from the east, detour as others have said to Stewart and Hyder. Spectacular ride through Bear Pass into Stewart.
Past Hyder is the Salmon Glacier, well worth seeing. So is the Fish Creek bear viewing area on the same road as to Salmon Glacier. Stewart has a good town campground and there are a couple of hotels (Ripley Ck. Inn, King Edward Hotel), restaurants and a number of b n b's. It's a small town so limited services. There is fuel at Meziadin Junction and in Stewart.
Ride from Stewart to Pr Rupert via the Cranberry Connector into the Nass Valley. Hotsprings, campground, regular fuel, b n b's, totem poles, lava flow, waterfalls, etc. Good paved ride from there to Terrace, which also has a town campground, premium and regular fuel, hotels, restaurants, biggish box stores, etc. Ride from there to Pr Rupert is straightforward and scenic. Rupert has a campground near the ferry terminal and hotels, restaurants, etc. Ferry can be rough but in summer it can be dead calm too.
On Haida Gwaii, go to Rennell Sound on the west side of Graham Island. As others have said, a lot of the logging roads on those maps are probably overgrown and/or just take you into logging shows. North Beach is huge and very worthwhile to check out. There's also a campground at Tlell and some good beach walking just north of there.
You could try for a Zodiac boat trip south into the national park while you're there. Excellent for whales, orcas, other marine life, etc. Check at the visitor's centre in Queen Charlotte City. They'll give you lots of ideas of things to do. Ride to Gray Bay south of Sandspit; sometimes whales right offshore (and a putrid bloated one onshore one time I was there!!).
Yes it rains there but they get far less rain in the summer than does Pr Rupert.
Guys I can't thank you enough for the input ! Bloody fantastic !
It could almost be added to the TCAT by leaving it and running up to Prince George ! Fodder for brain matter !
As @uncle milkbone and @OceanMtnSea have said it's a great place for dual sport riding. The locals will point you in the right direction. My only comment is the nickname for the ferry I work on (till Wed morning then I retire). The Northern Adventure which serves the Haida Gwaii was nicknamed "The Vomit Comet" by the locals soon after it was put into service.
She rolls a little
A good tip in regards to reservations, even for MC's, the NADV has less deck space than the Northern Expedition, the ship that sails from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert and is often fully loaded due to the freight that is hauled back and forth.
I've never seen the troughs expose the seafloor and suspect that might be shit scared fishermen talking but it can get rough out there. It's very shallow so the waves build up fast, steep, and real close together. The Adventure Bridge windows are about 40' odd feet from the water and on the rare occasions when we have been caught by a storm I have heard that they have taken green over the bridge.
It's more better in the Engine Room.
The summers are usually fine. Always ask the Purser for a tour of Bridge and ER. It's hit or miss but depending on how the Captains panties are , you might luck out!!
Enjoy, it's pretty spectacular country.
And then take the ferry south to Pt Hardy and finish the TCAT on Vancouver Island southbound!
If you do decide to go here are a couple of suggestions/comments:
1) based on what I planned, but changed due to weather (it rained when I was in Stewart, I was on a solo trip and I had a reservation for the ferry in Rupert so unfortunately I had to bail on the Nass Area). Here is a map pic and attached are 2 tracks worth checking out - particularly if the weather is good when you are there and you are traveling with someone.
2) Hwy 16 from Prince George to about Hazelton is one boring stretch of highway on a bike. Doing it one way will be sufficient for anyone! After you are done with Haida Gwaii go back to Rupert and book the ferry south to Port Hardy on Vancouver Island.
There is lots to see on Vancouver Island and you can work your way south to a small town called Sydney (not the downunder one). Here make a reservation and get on the Washington State Ferry thru the San Juan Islands to Anacortes Washington. From here you can go west then south along the coast, or east across SR20 (a prize road across the Cascade Mtns), or wander from volcano to volcano in the mtns heading south toward Portland. Wa and Or have great secondary roads for motorcycles.
If you want some gps track for my travels, let me know.
3) The ferry to Haida Gwaii is a lovely sail when the weather is fine (as you can see from some of my pics). If you can work out the ferry crossings so you do a daytime crossing over to Queen Charlotte City and the night time ferry back to Rupert so you can ride on or take the Port Hardy Ferry south - Prince Rupert itself can be best described as an underwhelming destination.
4) Reservations on the Ferry system are always recommended (I have travelled many times as I have a daughter who worked and lived in Queen Charlotte City for sometime) but much of the transport to and from the island are the TRAILER part of big riggs (all supplies are transported via the ferry) and I have travelled on several occasions without a reservation with other motorcyclists where the bikes are tied down under or in front of the loaded and locked trailer units. There is a lot of room under tractor trailers for smaller ADV type bikes (less if you bought into a BMW1200ADV).
5) Much like doing the trip to from Port Hardy-Bella Coola-Williams Lake, ........the trip to Stewart-Nass-Rupert-Haida Gwaii is a definite ride for anyones ADV bucket list.
Cheers & have fun, plan many alternate routes, cause you will need to be flexible as "stuff" happens when you are on the road.
PS.......looking back thru some photos of Haida Gwaii, here is what happens if you sit too long in one place.....
I was in Prince Rupert for the past few days. Sunshine and calm seas. It was great! I chatted with a local whos been to Haida Gwai a few times on his XR and said you can ride the beaches for miles and miles.
It's not possible for the sea floor to be exposed in the troughs of waves. The maximum height of a wave is limited by the water depth. So they break long before that happens. It does get rough there in the fall though!
An absolute wealth of information guys , I thank you all.
Im on my season of work right now that just about takes me to all States 7 days a week , living in motels so there is time to think about where and why I'm going to ride somewhere in my off season .
Lost Aussie and I have spent a few pleasant years doing the TCAT a month at a time , stopping when we want for as long as we want , we have never had an agenda on this ride and that's the way we like it . We have rough camped probably 95 percent of the time and enjoyed about every mile .
Just a damn fine ride !!! Oh and we rode it all no short cuts except the odd bypass when a bridge was washed out .
AHRRRRRRRRRRR........Have you ever been to sea, Billy?
Well, I've only been a guest on the wonderfully maintained ferry across the Hecate - BTW .............kudos to the excellent engineers that make sure they make it back and forth every day!!!!!!!!! ..........................................but reading the section below, one does get the idea that if sea-bottom viewing from the bow of a boat was indeed possible, this just might be the place to look for it. One of those instances thou, where if you got to actually see it, you likely would not have the opportunity to tell anyone else?
Whatever the case.....it just has to enhance the sense of adventure! Ahrrrrr, what-a-ya say, BILLY!
Vicious water: Hecate Strait as depicted in “The Golden Spruce”
“The water in Rupert is boiling, rough water and that’s just by the dock… It’s vicious that water, just vicious.” — Pat Campbell
Before and since my 2015 R2AK = Race Towards Alaska, I’ve enjoyed reading novels and non-fiction that take place along the race route: the coasts of Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska. While my favorite is still Ivan Doig’s “Sea Runners” (inspiration for our team name), the most recent good read was John Valliant’s “The Golden Spruce” in which the main character attempts to kayak from Prince Rupert across Hecate Strait to Haida Gwaii — in February. The question of whether he perished in the process, or staged an accident and disappeared into the woods beyond Ketchikan is an intriguing one, but what caught my #R2AK-eye was the author’s description of the oceanography of Hecate Strait and Dixon Entrance.
…Hecate Strait is arguably the most dangerous body of water on the coast. The strait is a malevolent weather factory; on a regular basis its unique combination of wind, tide, shoals, and shallows produces a kind of destructive synergy that has few parallels elsewhere in nature. From the northeast come katabatic winds generated by cold air rushing down from the mountains and funnelling, wind-tunnel style, through the region’s many fjords, the largest of these being Portland Inlet, which empties into the strait 50 km north of Prince Rupert. Winter storms, meanwhile are generally driven by Arctic low pressure systems born over Alaska, and they tend to manifest themselves as southerlies along the coast. It is because of these winds that the weather buoy at the south end of Hecate Strait has registered waves over 30 meters high. One of the things that makes the strait so dangerous is that these two opposing weather systems can occur simultaneously. Thus, when a southwesterly sea storm, blowing at 80 – 160 km/hr collides, head-on, with a northesasterly katabatic wind blowing at similar strength, the result is a kind of atmospheric hammer-and-anvil effect. Veteran North Coast kayakers tell stories of winds like this lifting 180 kg of boat and paddler completely out of the water and heaving them through the air.
NOAA chart showing Prince Rupert, Masset, and Ketchikan.
But this is only one ingredient in Hecate Strait’s chaos formula. Tides are another; in this area they run to 7 meters, which means that twice each day vast quantities of water are being pumped in and out of the coast’s maze of inlets, fjords, and channels. The transfer of such volumes in the open ocean is a relatively orderly process, but when it occurs within a confined area like Hecate Strait that is not only narrow but shallow, the effect is of a giant thumb being pressed over the end of an even larger garden hose. The scientific name for this is the Venturi effect, and the result is dramatic increase in pressure and flow. A third ingredient is a frightening thing called an overfall which occurs when wind and tide are moving rapidly in opposite directions. Overfalls are steep, closely packed, unpredictable waves capable — even a modest height of 4-5 meters — of rolling a fishing boat an driving it into the sea bottom. They can show up anywhere but their effects are intensified by sandbars and shoals like the one that extends for 30 km off the end of Rose Spit between Masset and Prince Rupert. Under certain conditions, overfalls take the form of “blind rollers,” which are large, nearly vertical waves that roll without breaking; not only are these waves virtually silent, but under poor light conditions they are also invisible — until you are inside them. If one then factors in the prevailing deep-sea swell that in winter surges eastward through Dixon Entrance at heights of 10-20 meters, and the fact that a large enough wave will expose the sea floor of Hecate Strait , the result is one of the most diabolically hostile environments that wind , sea, and land are capable of conjuring up.
Also......Passage from Hell....https://svviolethour.com/2018/06/28...te-strait-from-haida-gwaii-to-milbanke-sound/
..........It was June 15 and we were crossing Hecate Strait from the south of Haida Gwaii to the Central Coast of BC. With a forecast of NW 20-30 we thought we’d have a tough but manageable day, but ended up having a steady 30-35 knots and 6 to 14 foot waves at a 6-7 second interval (very short interval, with confused tidal interactions in some places)...........
Go check it out. Ive been there a couple of times. Camping at North Beach is what Tofino was like 50 years ago before the rich and famous started buying it up. Head out to Rennel Sound also check out Gray Bay and Moresby Camp. Good info here
The sun does come out in Haida Gwaii
Culturally modified tree Mosquito Lake
Good fishing too
I worked there for 3 1/2 years, "logging". The people there are very nice and hospitable. One year my wife and I brought our travel trailer there and spent a month on the beaches. North beach, Tlell and Grey bay are really nice. At north beach people drive there cars on it, as the sand is hard packed, do the hike up Toe hill. If you get a chance , ride out to Renald Sound. As for the weather, 18c is a nice day in July, can get higher. Tlell area seems to be the driest. Oh ,and watch for the deer.
This I'm sure is going to be a dumb question to locals but bugger it I'll ask it anyway.
Is there any way north towards Prince Rupert or even Prince George without having to deal with that whistler shit up 99 and maybe even avoiding ph 97?
I've got thick skin so if I'm being a tosser tell me.
Probably just take the ferry up from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert but just thought I would ask.
There are backroads that stay west of the Fraser River running from Harrison Lake north to Vanderhoof that avoid Hwy 99 and 97. There are also backroads that keep you off Hwy 16 from Vanderhoof almost to Hazelton, then take Helen and Mitten FSR's to Cranberry Jct., then west into the Nass valley, south to Terrace and then west to Pr. Rupert.
Canada's post-Impressionist painter Emily Carr painted on Haida Gwaii. You can see some of that work at the Vancouver art gallery. Vancouver's museum of anthropology has a pretty amazing collection of first nations art work. If you stop over in Vancouver check those things out. We try to bring something to the table other than the provinces natural beauty and micro breweries.
Would you by chance have tracks of those roads Mate ? I'm looking around on my mapping program and seeing mazes of roads here and there but damn hard to figure what goes where.