The K’yuu Aanagung / Spirit Lake Connector is a user-maintained point-to-point trail in Skidegate. The route is relatively short, clocking in at just over 2 kilometers one-way. Depending upon one’s fitness level, and how long you spend at each of the lookout points, the entire trail can be completed in about 2 hours.
While this hike can be accessed along the Spirit Lake Trail (watch for the “Lookout Trail” sign along the main loop), the usual starting point is directly across the road from the Parks Canada offices at Kaay. You will see the worn trailhead marker near a “No Overnight Camping on the Reserve” sign. From this point, it’s about a 500-meter trek through a beautiful forest of ferns, alder, spruce and cedar until you reach a “fork” in the trail. Once at the “fork,” going to the RIGHT will take you along the lookout “loop trail” and going to your LEFT will take you along the Spirit Lake Connector route. The major reason to do this trail, though, is to observe the various lookout points and the views they provide of the Kaay and Skidegate Inlet. Trust us, this alone is worth the hike!
The Spirit Lake Connector portion, which is approximately one kilometer in length, takes you through dense forest along a fairly rough trail all the way to Spirit Lake. As you approach the end of the Connector (or the beginning, if you started at Spirit Lake) there are a number of slippery log crossings which, in our view, represents the most challenging aspect of this trail. The route isn’t the most picturesque on Haida Gwaii, but there are a few old growth giants to be seen.
Once you reach Spirit Lake, walk the loop trail, admire the lake and then make your way down to the Spirit Lake trailhead. From here, just walk back along Highway 16 to the gravel pit where you started your journey!
The trail – K’yuu Aanagung / Spirit Lake Connector – is well marked with flagging tape the entire way. Be advised that there are a couple of rope sections, but these aren’t overly strenuous.
TOTAL DISTANCE: 2km (approx.)
TIME: 2 hours
ELEVATION GAIN: 100 meters