it is not on the coast, the village of Bella Coola, British
Columbia, has the distinction of being on salt water.
sport fisherman's dream, this village is located
in the strategic position where the Bella Coola River joins
with the salt water of the Pacific. A great many adventures
and sights open up to those who find their way to this western
terminus of Highway 20.
Coola serves as a major port between Vancouver,
BC, and Prince Rupert.
At any time the port will be host to anything from fishing
boats to pleasure craft travelling BC's Centra Coast. Canneries,
log sorting and loading sites and tidal flats are all located
in the port area along with facilities such as a restaurant.
area was first settled because of the trade in oolichan grease
for furs, hides and tools from inland. In the late 1800s,
Norwegians established Hagensborg just east of Bella Coola,
in the Bella Coola Valley. The communities of Bella Coola
and Hagensborg share a number of facilities, accommodations
Provincial Park, to the east of Bella Coola, provides
a wilderness setting for a number of outdoor adventures including
hiking the Alexander Mackenzie Heritage Trail. (contact BC
Parks for more information).
nearby communities of Bella Bella, Shearwater and Ocean Falls
can be accessed by water to explore British Columbia native
culture, experience kayaking and explore numerous inlets and
Coola & Area Accommodations & Adventures
Bella Coola Grizzly Tours: We’re home to some of the worlds largest Grizzlies & Mountain Goats. Summer and Fall spawning Salmon, a natural food source for Grizzlies & other wildlife, return to the Bella Coola River. We offer Grizzly & Wildlife viewing, Eco Tours, Hiking Fishing, and m... more
Eagle's Nest Resort: Beauty and comfort in the wilderness. Elegant suites or cozy log cabins. Lakeside dining room, breathtaking views, hiking and birdwatching, and the natural splendor of the area. more
Pacific Coastal Airlines: Enjoy scheduled service from Vancouver's South Terminal to Anahim Lake, Bella Bella, Bella Coola, Campbell River, Comox, Cranbrook, Kamloops, Klemtu, Masset, Port Hardy (float & amphibious aircraft to coastal communities), Powell River, Trail, Victoria, & Will... more
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Industries: fishing, forestry, tourism
Bella Coola, British Columbia, can be accessed by land
or by water. This scenic 440 km (272 mi.) trip across BC's
Chilcotin Country from Williams Lake (1,000 km from Vancouver)
becomes quite spectacular when you drive the steep hill into
the Bella Coola Valley.
Freedom Road" as it once appeared.
Hill: The famous Bella Coola hill is the point on Highway
20 where the Coast Mountain Range begins and the descent
into the Bella Coola Valley starts. At Heckman Pass - the
highest point - drivers reach an elevation of about 1524 m
(5000 ft.). Approximately 30 km (20 miles) of winding, narrow,
unpaved road precede the hill. 'The Hill' itself consists
of one 10 km (6 mile) stretch of switchbacks, with grades
to 18% in that section.
Hill was once called the "Freedom Road" because
it provided a route out of the Bella Coola Valley. In the
1950's, the provincial government refused to build this section
of the road, so valley residents built it themselves. Outsiders
said it couldn't be done, but on Sept 26, 1953, two bulldozers
- one pushing east, the other pushing west - actually met.
steep incline and hairpin turns afford a panorama view of
the changing scenery of mountains and valleys. Commercial
air service is available to the airport in Hagensborg, but
charter airlines will fly to most areas.
Attractions: Alexander Mackenzie Heritage Trail; fish
hatchery; giant Western Red Cedars; ancient petroglyphs; Alexander
Mackenzie monument; Bella Coola Museum; Tweedsmuir Provincial
Park; Colonel R. F. Lindsell Tombstone
Mackenzie Heritage Trail Association
P.O. Box 425, Stn. A, Kelowna, BC, V1Y 7P1
Highway Tourism Association (seasonal)
Toll Free Telephone: 1-888-863-1181
Centre (seasonal) Bella Bella