Bella Coola

Overview

Introduction

Bella Coola, British Columbia, will appeal to Canadian-history lovers, anglers and campers. Located 630 mi/1,000 km northwest of Vancouver, it's the western terminus of the 279-mi/450-km Alexander Mackenzie Heritage Trail, named after the trader who went to the area in the late 1700s searching for a water route to the Pacific Ocean. It begins northwest of Quesnel and follows Mackenzie's trail via highways, access roads, local wagon routes and rivers. Visitors to Bella Coola who are interested in Native American culture will enjoy the exhibits in local museums.

From Bella Coola, you can take a charter boat or plane to reach the coastal island of Bella Bella (60 mi/95 km west), a popular fishing destination. The Discovery Coast Passage route run by B.C. Ferries (from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert) is another way to reach Bella Bella, as well as other small communities along the coast. Each village offers something special, and local residents often conduct walking excursions that provide a glimpse of their traditional lifestyle and culture. Ocean Falls (45 mi/70 km west of Bella Coola) is another destination for fishing excursions.

Tweedsmuir Provincial Park (the largest in British Columbia) lies east of Bella Coola amid a web of lakes, rivers and channels. Campers can set up along the Atnarko River and take hikes through the beautiful countryside—be sure to see the area's impressive waterfalls.

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