The ecologically unique Masset Inlet is a large protected saltwater inlet with a rocky shoreline located to the south of Masset Sound in the centre of Graham Island in Haida Gwaii, formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands.
Masset Inlet, connected to Dixon Entrance by Masset Sound, features many rivers, estuaries and bays, including Juskatla Inlet and Delkatla and Kumdis Sloughs. Kumdis Island is the largest island in the inlet.
Location: Masset Inlet is located in the centre of Graham Island in Haida Gwaii, accessed from the Pacific Ocean via Masset Sound. Road access to Masset Inlet is at the village of Port Clements, situated just off Highway 16, 45 minutes north of the Queen Charlotte City.
The Haida Gwaii islands are accessed by ferry from Prince Rupert to the Skidegate Landing Ferry Terminal on Graham Island, by air from Vancouver to Sandspit on Moresby Island (770 km), and by air from Prince Rupert to Sandspit. Other commercial air services (including float planes and helicopters) are available at Sandspit, Queen Charlotte City and Masset.
Masset Sound (25 miles/40 km long) is a fast-flowing connection between Dixon Entrance, the body of water between Haida Gwaii and the Prince of Wales Island in Alaska, and Masset Inlet.
The Haida village of Old Masset, also known as Haida, is located on the east shore of Masset Sound on the site of three ancient Haida village sites, five minutes up the coastal road from Masset. The small village of Masset is the largest town on the Haida Gwaii islands. Located at the northern end of Graham Island at the mouth of Masset Sound.
The small village of Masset is the largest town on Haida Gwaii. Located at the northern end of Graham Island, the largest of the more than 150 significant islands that comprise the Haida Gwaii Islands, Masset is the northern gateway to North Beach and Naikoon Provincial Park.
At the estuary of the Yakoun River, on the northeast shore of Masset Inlet, the logging and fishing village of Port Clements, once known as Queenstown, is a wonderful place to observe the giant trees of the temperate rainforest.
The logging camp of Juskatla on Mamin Bay in Juskatla Inlet, off Masset Inlet, was established in the 1940s to supply spruce for warplanes. Most loggers employed at the Juskatla logging camp commute back and forth to Port Clements. While in Juskatla stop for a look at the log dump and log sorting grounds at the logging camp, where huge machines move huge logs around like matchsticks.
The old Haida village of Yan, also spelled Yaan, on the west shore of the mouth of Masset Inlet, is a 30-minute boat ride from Old Masset. The large village of seventeen houses built along the shoreline was established in the late eighteenth century, and occupied by two Haida clans – the Eagles and the Ravens – before the villagers left the site and moved back to Masset. Yan village belongs to the Stlangng Laanaas clan. For approved tours by boat, please enquire at the Visitor Centre at 1395 Christie Street in Masset.
Fishing: Masset Inlet and the rivers emptying into Masset Inlet provide excellent sportfishing, including most species of Pacific salmon, world-famous steelhead, trout, and Dolly Varden char. Top spots are the Kumdis River, Mamin River, and the Yakoun River. Salmon species in the Kumdis River include coho, pink and chinook salmon. Cut-throat trout, Dolly Varden and steelhead trout are also present in most of the small streams entering Kumdis Slough and Kumdis River.
Kayaking: The sheltered waters of Masset Inlet provide excellent exploring for paddlers in protected waters and quiet bays, a pleasant change from open ocean paddling. Port Clements is a convenient launching spot for Kumdis Slough, or paddlers can drive south to Juskatla and launch on Juskatla Inlet. The attractive south shore of Juskatla Inlet is a favorite with local paddlers.
Wildlife: The sheltered, scenic waters of Masset Inlet attract wildlife photographers and birders. Delkatla and Kumdis Sloughs teem with waterfowl, both migrant and resident populations. Kumdis Slough and the Yakoun River Wetlands provide important habitat for migratory waterfowl, being one of the few remaining over-wintering areas for Pacific brant geese. Sandhill cranes nest in the high intertidal areas, and trumpeter swans overwinter here. Wildlife such as river otter, marten, weasel, peregrine falcons, bald eagles and great blue herons frequent the area.
The largest log barge in the world operates in Masset Inlet and Masset Sound. The self-propelled and self-dumping barge, the Haida Monarch, is 129 metres (423 ft) long and 26 meters (85 feet) wide, and can transport 15,000 tons of felled trees per load – equal to the contents of 400 logging trucks, or 12,000 telephone poles. The self-loading barges are fitted with enormous cranes and water tanks that are flooded during offloading, causing the barge to list and dump its load into the water, to be manoeuvered into log sorting grounds by tugs. The smaller Haida Brave is 121 metres (397 ft) long and 25 metres (82 ft) wide, with a load capacity of 10,000 tons.
Circle Tours: See the best of Northern BC and Haida Gwaii on one of the Circle Tours that capture the wonders of the north. The Inside Passage Circle Tour and the Native Heritage Circle Tour include Haida Gwaii by catching a ferry from Prince Rupert to Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands).
Circle Tours in British Columbia.