Bella Coola is located right in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest, on the Central Coast of BC. There are fishing spots, hiking trails, rivers to drift down, guided wildlife watching, petroglyphs and totems to tour, ocean cruises, air tours, heli-hiking, even swimming among salmon!
Woodcarving, painting and ceremonial dress artisan craftsmanship is what Bella Coola seems known for by their First Nation people, Nuxalk, who date back 10,000 years. Their art is displayed in museums the world over.
Bella Coola is known as a jewel of British Columbia’s Central Coast, surrounded as it is by snow-covered mountains, majestic green forests & world class rivers that are home to plentiful salmon.
In the early mornings, wolves are often spotted along the water sources and then at night, when you’re just about asleep, you can hear their eerie howls over the water. But they’re not the only wildlife – you’ll be amazed to see bald eagles, seals, sea lions, otters, dolphins, humpback whales, orcas, and of course, the bears.
• Enjoy learn-to-sail adventures or glacial fjord tours that include spectacular wildlife viewing including black and grizzly bears, crabbing, hot springs adventures – the photo memories will be astounding!
• Visit the Bella Coola Valley Museum and pick up a brochure on the self-guided walking tour exploring historical landmarks around the village, including the Hudson Bay manager’s home, the House of Numst’ with its totem pole entry and tiny cabin that once served as Bella Coola’s first jail.
• In July and August there the popular Wednesday Night Market includes musical entertainment, art and local produce.
• Share in a pioneer experience at the Norwegian Heritage House or the historic Augsburg Church, ending with a quiet walk through the Hagensborg Cemetery.
• Tweedsmuir Park is said to be where Alexander MacKenzie reached the Valley floor after his trek across the continent and the Coast Mountains. He nicknamed Nuxalk Village ‘Friendly Village’ for their hospitality.
Bella Coola’s temperate climate features warm summers, cool winters and significant rainfall – 1,735 mm (68.3 inches) annually.
Driving: From Vancouver, Bella Coola is approximately 1,000 km (620 mi) north via Hwy 97 to Williams Lake, continuing west on Hwy 20 for a four-hour drive to Anahim Lake. Finally, travel another 40 minutes on a packed, dirt road to the top of what is known as ‘The Hill.’
Flying: The Bella Coola Airport is on Highway 20, 12km (10 mi) east of Bella Coola. Private planes and helicopters can land at the airport. Pacific Coastal Airlines has year-round daily flights from the South Terminal of Vancouver International Airport. Fights are about 1 hour.
Sailing: Aboard BC Ferries, from the time you leave Port Hardy, on the northern tip of Vancouver Island, you’ll float along the stunning coastline of granite cliffs, misty green forests and deep fjords, seeing marine life all along the way. Travel time varies and a reservation is recommended.
Dream now, travel later. To plan for future adventures here and throughout the West Coast, visit westcoasttraveller.com