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Tlell, British Columbia

Pesuta Shipwreck

The stunning remnants of this wreck emerge from an otherworldly backdrop of rainforests. 

The Haida Gwaii archipelago is a dreamy place tucked away in British Columbia’s North Coast. Here, in a land dotted with temperate rainforest, secluded villages, and an ancient air, a ship washed ashore on a remote beach a long time ago.  

Today, the Pesuta Shipwreck Trail leads hikers ten kilometers through the forest of Naikon Provincial Park to a remote stretch of beach near the Tlell River, where the 264-foot log barge ran aground during a winter storm in 1928. Like many vessels during the steam boom, the Pesuta began her life as a steam ship before being converted to a log barge in the early 1900s.

During a particularly wicked tempest, the Pesuta finally came to rest along this long stretch of pebbly sand, known locally for a proliferation of agates. The ship’s bow remains intact, listing hard to port, after nearly a century of erosion from the punishing North Pacific’s wind and waves. The showing portion of the ship is mainly rotting timbers, but there are also still some metal portholes and such rusting away in their original spots on the ship.  

What has survived is a stunning wreck that ranks among the most approachable and explorable on Earth (despite a bit of a hike to get there), while contributing a sense of human scale to a landscape that can, at times, feel so ethereally removed from the rest of the world.