Bella Coola is a truly remote community of only 600 people and the only settlement in the 500km expanse between Vancouver Island's Port Hardy and the northern port town of Prince Rupert.
On Canada's west coast between the north end of Vancouver Island and the Alaska border, a wilderness region larger than Belgium winds through four hundred kilometres of forested islands and inlets. It is the largest tract of intact temperate rainforest left on earth and is known as the Great Bear Rainforest. This area, popular with cruise ships, is known as the 'Inside Passage' and is renowned for the stunning scenery and prolific marine life.
Wildlife around Bella Coola
In its heart, the Bella Coola valley is the meeting point of the ancient Rainbow Mountains (weathered and rounded peaks) and the younger Coast Mountains (jagged peaks). 2,600 metre crags divide great valleys that are all their own unique and delicately interwoven ecosystems. Salmon migrate up the rivers to spawn in the late summer and early autumn before dying in their millions. Bears, eagles and wolves descend from the mountain sides to feast on the carcasses before the winter arrives while, traditionally, the First Nations would also reap the harvest of salmon.
First Nations culture
The first inhabitants of the valley, the Nuxalk people, still live in the town of Bella Coola. Petroglyphs (rock carvings), many thousands of years old exist in large numbers on moss covered boulders amongst the old growth rain forest which have been rediscovered in recent years.
Map of Bella Coola
Places & hotels on the map
Places near Bella Coola
- Princess Royal Island 94 miles away
- Port Hardy 119 miles away
- Northern Vancouver Island 158 miles away
- British Columbia 159 miles away
- Campbell River 177 miles away
- The Sunshine Coast & Desolation Sound 188 miles away
- Prince Rupert 198 miles away
- Prince George 199 miles away
- Vancouver Island 200 miles away
- Tofino 227 miles away
- Whistler 229 miles away
- Haida Gwaii 248 miles away
- Vancouver 269 miles away
- Wells Gray Provincial Park 277 miles away
- Salt Spring Island 288 miles away
- The Cariboo 293 miles away
Accommodation choices for Bella Coola
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Bella Coola. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
Ideas for experiencing Bella Coola
Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Bella Coola, and which use the best local guides.