Skip to content

Bella Coola is a truly remote community of only 600 people and the only settlement in the 500 km 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 400 kilometers 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 meter 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 among the old growth rainforest which have been rediscovered in recent years.

Speak to someone
who's been there

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Bella Coola by contacting one of our Canada specialists

Map of Bella Coola

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Bella Coola

    Our expert guides to exploring Bella Coola

    Written by our specialists from their own experiences of visiting Bella Coola, these guides will help you make the most of your time there. We share both our practical recommendations and the best ways to appreciate Bella Coola at its best.

    • In the path of the grizzly: bear watching in Canada
      Grizzly bear, British Columbia

      In the path of the grizzly: bear watching in Canada

      In the path of the grizzly: bear watching in Canada

      Canada is well-known for its wildlife, but the stars of the show are arguably its resident bears. These often solitary creatures can be difficult to find, but our Canada specialists can recommend intimate bear-watching experiences that allow you to see them in their natural habitat.

      11 min read

      Read this guide

    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.

    • Tweedsmuir Lodge grizzly bear viewing
      Tweedsmuir Lodge

      Tweedsmuir Lodge grizzly bear viewing

      Tweedsmuir Lodge grizzly bear viewing

      Tweedsmuir Park Lodge offers some fantastic opportunities for bear watching within Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. The scenery is simply stunning and encompasses the Coast Mountains, pristine river valleys and the remote Chilcotin Plateau.

      View details