G̱andll K’in Gwaay.yaay (Hotspring Island)

Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site

How to Pronounce G̱andll K’in Gwaay.yaay in Xaayda Kil

Visit for a soak, stay for the view. The hot pools experience on Gandll K’in Gwaay.yaay (Hotspring Island) is back!

Gandll K’in Gwaay.yaay traditionally provided food in abundance and waters that would comfort, heal and nourish body and soul.

Today, the Watchmen protect those values for future generations and look after one of the more unusual sites in Gwaii Haanas.

The springs seep from at least 26 small vents, at temperatures ranging from 32° to 77° Celsius (89° to 170°F). The water is not seawater, although its mineral content makes it distinctly salty.

What's new at Hotspring Island?

Two of the new pools on Gandll K’in Gwaay.yaay

In May 2017, the first Haida Gwaii Watchmen on shift at Gandll K’in Gwaay.yaay dipped into the three newly-rebuilt hot pools.

Their reviews so far: a divine hot soak with sweeping views.

The three pools were built thanks to a joint, 2016 funding announcement between the Haida Nation and Government of Canada and the elbow work of Gwaii Haanas asset management crew.

The three new hot pools delighted visitors from near and far, many happy to experience the hot pools once again.

The hot pools drained in October 2012 after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook Haida Gwaii. Hot water has been slowly returning to the area ever since and we look forward to once again offering natural hot water bathing.

The views south across Juan Perez Sound from the pools are amazing, with the odd spout(s) surfacing nearby from visiting pods of Sgaana (killer whales) or glimpses of globally rare seabirds such as Cassin’s Auklets or Ancient Murrlets flying or swimming by.

The Hotsprings are back!

Mystery source

The view from one of the pools at Gandll K’in Gwaay.yaay

The source of the water is not known. One possibility is that it first falls as precipitation on Lyell Island, which is the closest large landmass.

The water then makes its way through faults and fissures in the rock to a warm reservoir three to four kilometres deep somewhere between Lyell Island and Gandll K’in Gwaay.yaay.

As the water is warmed, pressure forces it back up to emerge on Gandll K’in Gwaay.yaay. Other springs may emerge on the seafloor in the area, but this has not been confirmed.

The vegetation on Gandll K’in Gwaay.yaay is influenced by the heat and water. It ranges from films of iridescent blue-green algae on the warm water seepages, to meadows of moss, to dense patches of salal and crab apple on rocky outcroppings. 

Bats of Gandll K’in Gwaay.yaay

Keen's long-eared bat

Humans are not the only ones to enjoy the warmth and relaxing atmosphere of this special place. The island is home to one of two known maternity colonies of Keen’s long-eared bat (Myotis keenii).

These small brown bats, with ears one quarter the length of their bodies, have only been found at a few locations on the Pacific Coast. (The only other known maternity colony is located near the town of Tahsis on Vancouver Island.)

The females emerge from their roosts to forage for food for their young shortly after sunset.

To help reduce disturbance to the bats, the hours for visiting the island are between 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.

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