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Hartley Bay - Home of the Gitga'atas



Hartley Bay is located at the mouth of Douglas Channel, about 630 kilometers north of Vancouver and 145 kilometers south of Prince Rupert.  It is a First Nations community along the British Columbia coast.   There are only about 200 band members (Gitga’ata of the Tshimhian Nation) in this village, and another 500 members who live or work in Prince Rupert, Vancouver or other regions.   

Hartley Bay is accessible only by air or by water.   There is a passenger ferry and seaplane service from Prince Rupert.   It is a recommended stop for boaters traveling the inside passage to Alaska.  In 2008, a cell phone tower was installed so boaters can have cell phone receptions and wireless internet.

A very pretty village, it has a church, community center, school.  The entire community is built with wooden boardwalks.  There are no gravel roads.  Residents travel by scooters, ATV – all terrain vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles.  Houses are kept very neat and clean.  Residents are very friendly. 
Another notable feature is that the village is declared "dry" - no alcohol.

church of Hartley Bay at the background

community center hall at Hartley Bay

It was the people of Hartley Bay who went to the rescue of the passengers (before the arrival of the Coast Guard) when the BC Ferries  Queen of the North went aground on March 22, 2006.  Passengers were taken to the Community Centre, kept warm and fed.

On May 3, 2006, Hartley Bay was awarded the Canada Governor General's Commendation for Outstanding Service, for "initiative, selflessness and an extraordinary commitment to the well-being of others" in the rescue; the honour also cites the town's "tremendous spirit and the remarkable example it has set."

When you visit Hartley Bay, remember to commend them for their heroic efforts in helping the ferry passengers.

Other worthwhile stopping points for boaters cruising the inside passage to Alaska are:
Blind Channel   Lagoon Cove   Ocean Falls   Eucott Bay  Hartley Bay
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