About Bella Coola

bella coola nuxalk art totem polesBella Coola defines the Central Coast of British Columbia, located within the Cariboo-Chilcotin Coast tourism region of BC, and dramatically nestled  within the soaring Coast Mountains approximately 400 km by air north of Vancouver, this vibrant community represents the true pioneering spirit of west coast living, with entrepreneurial spirit and creative existentialism the norm for most business plans...

There are three main travel opportunities to arrive or depart Bella Coola, including:
We also encourage alternative options to arrive at our lodge such as self powered bicycle, kayak, boat or hiking (Mackenzie Trail...) and will gladly give a discounted price to anyone that arrives by these alternative methods.

Some Recent History

In 1793 the explorer Alexander Mackenzie put Bella Coola Valley on modern maps by making it the western terminus of his overland trek across Canada, the first European crossing of the North American continent by land. Historically inhabited by Coast Salish Nuxalk people, colonization by Europeans began in the 1800s. In the 1850s and 1860s the Bella Coola Valley became a route to the Cariboo gold fields, with a permanently established Hudson's Bay Company trading post built in 1867 marking modern community development. In the 1890s Norwegian colonists arrived in Bella Coola beginning the first agricultural and rural development of the Central Coast.  Be sure to visit the Bella Coola Museum for more information on these historic times.

Hagen Christenson, an early Norwegian settler, first established the settlement of Hagensborg near the site of the present Bella Coola Mountain Lodge (formerly Brockton House Inn bed and breakfast). And during recent (1980) renovations, documents recovered in a 'time capsule' from the original walls of our lodge confirmed that the hand hewn log structure was an original settlement building within this community. Farming, lumber, and fishing industries began shortly after Norwegian settlement of Bella Coola and Hagensborg.
The Nuxalk people of Bella Coola historically used the Bella Coola River and well established ‘Grease Trails’ as trade corridors between coastal and interior regions. The Bella Coola and Atnarko Rivers had several villages along their length and interior native people traded furs and leather for salmon and eulachon (candle fish) grease, regionally abundant in coastal areas. Remnants of pre-contact Native culture include the site of Friendly Village, visited by Alexander Mackenzie in 1793, pictographs near Big Rock, a burial ground and smokehouse near Stuie (Stuix), and aboriginal trade trails. There are also obsidian quarries on Tsitsutl Peak.

With Luxury lodging and hospitality our lodge offers affordable guided tourist activites for allUntil 1953, without a connecting highway, Bella Coola remained isolated from conventional over-land contact, relying solely on boats, horse travel over the Chilcotin Plateau and more recently airplanes. From 1951 to 1953 residents of Bella Coola donated their time, energy, equipment and money to develop a portion of highway over Heckman Pass to connect the Valley with Highway 20 at Anahim Lake. In August 1953, the Freedom Highway was finally completed allowing overland travel from Bella Coola to Williams Lake and beyond. The spectacular stretch of Highway 20 east of Bella Coola, known locally as The Hill, is 43 km of steep, narrow road with switchbacks, gaining approximately 1,600 m (5000 ft) elevation with gradients up to 18%. The Hill is worth considering for daytime travel on your first journey.

Bella Coola Valley Today

Modern travelers can drive scenic Highway 20 for 450 km west across the Chilcotin Plateau from Williams Lake, through the Coast Mountains to a network of inlets leading out to the Pacific Ocean at Bella Coola, the only port with inland access between Vancouver and Prince Rupert. Upon arrival at Bella Coola you can board BC Ferries' Discovery Coast Passage route to travel to small coastal communities (Ocean Falls, Klemtu, Bella Bella and Shearwater) before arriving in Port Hardy on the northeastern tip of Vancouver Island. Vacations in this area create cherished memories for all that indulge themselves...

lodges motels and hotels offer bear viewing activities and information for your vacations needsAir travel to Bella Coola can be arranged on regularly scheduled Pacific Coastal Airlines daily flights from Vancouver or from Sharp Wings Air in Williams Lake. Within the Valley Bella Coola Air provides flight-seeing tours and charter flights throughout the Central Coast and West Coast Helicopters provides excellent helicopter charters for all of you sightseeing or adventure needs. 
The climate in the spring and summer is ideal for hiking throughout the high mountains or exploring the valley floor trails. The valley is  home to a variety of wildlife. Grizzly bears, deer, bald eagles and mountain goats are often spotted daily. The Bella Coola Valley is truly some of British Columbia's most spectacular scenery and is the gateway to the Great Bear Rain Forest.
Queen room, Coast Mountain Lodge one of the romantic places to stay in Bella Coola BC Canada was brockton Inn Bed and breakfastWith comfortable accommodations, lodging and hospitality Bella Coola Mountain Lodge is one of the Valley's most romantic places to stay. Our friendly and helpful staff at the lodge can also provide information on local tours and activities, and can assist with arranging vehicle rentals.

We look forward to your visit.