Kayaking - Bella Coola area

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Byron, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. Byron

    Byron Paddler

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    In searching the archives for trip reports for the Bella Coola area, I was surprised not to find any. So here's some pictures of our trip last summer. If anyone else has ventured into the area feel free to post as well.

    Driving in one eventually has to descend from the Chilcotin Plateau into the valley via "The Hill". It's a gravel road with multiple switchbacks glued to the side of the mountain. Here's a picture looking over the edge. Note the white car far below.

    The town itself looks like this.


    Lot's of wildlife. On the mountains.


    Or from the water.






    Plenty of places to explore




    Great scenery



    And always afternoon winds (I'm dead ahead about 20 feet and there's a double just to my left...both invisible...although my friend scored points for trying to get a picture with waves towering above eye level.)


    Not really for beginners as takeout spots are sparse and limited with fierce afternoon winds. You'll often find yourself going the wrong way down the channel and not by choice. The inlet is long, narrow and deep. The mountains are high, vertical, dropping straight into the sea. When the native name for an area of water is "Dancing Waters" or "Devils Nose" and the best sheltered location you can find is called "Windy Bay" one is wise to expect trouble!

    All in all, great kayaking especially if you like the wild west coast and are prepared to put on some miles.
     

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  2. can't shake the bug

    can't shake the bug New Member

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    Any one been out to the Bella Bella area?
     
  3. WaterMark

    WaterMark Paddler

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    Spectacular photos!

    What camera are you using?
     
  4. Jurfie

    Jurfie Paddler

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    Agreed; especially the wildlife shots! Thanks for sharing, looks like an interesting place. :big_thumb
     
  5. Byron

    Byron Paddler

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    For cameras, I had a couple point and shoots and my SLR.

    Yes, it's an interesting area.
     
  6. KelsieM

    KelsieM New Member

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    Hi Byron,

    I was wondering what your route and a few more trip details for your adventure in the Bella Coola area? Was it day trips out of Bella Coola or camping?

    Kelsie
     
  7. Rodnak Kayak

    Rodnak Kayak Paddler

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    Great shots!
    That poor bear looks like he needed a few sandwiches, I hope it was early summer, he looks skinny!!
    Thanks for sharing
     
  8. Pawistik

    Pawistik Paddler

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    I was thinking he looked like an ungainly teenager.

    And I too really enjoyed the photos.

    Cheers,
    Bryan
     
  9. carsten

    carsten New Member

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    Thank you for posting such beautiful images of Bella Coola! If anyone has any questions concerning paddling the Bella Coola Area
    just ask!
     
  10. carsten

    carsten New Member

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    Location:
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    Paddlers visiting the Bella Coola Area - Check out the amazing cabin in Green Bay. It is fully furnished with wood stove, LP stove,
    fresh water and some bunks.
    The cabin is decorated with interesting artifacts found in the area. It's very warm and comfortable.[​IMG]
    There is no charge for using the cabin, it's on crown land- just respect it and leave it clean![​IMG]
    You can spend days exploring the estuary and surrounding rainforest.
    I've seen Grizzly Bears, Black Bears, Otters, Golden & Bald Eagles, Wolves, Seals, Dolphins and many unusual sea birds.[​IMG]
    The Noosesseck River can be explored by kayak during high tide, while a beautiful sand beach is exposed during low tide.
    It is a very active salmon stream. This is one of my favorite places in the world - a wildlife paradise!
    Land on the beach west of the pilings. There is a trail following the west side of the estuary that leads to the cabin.
    Oh... and don't forget your Bear Spray!
     

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  11. Glacier Creek

    Glacier Creek New Member

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  12. designer

    designer Paddler

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    Would you please describe "how to get there" in just a little more detail. I put "Bella Coola" in Google Earth and ended up at a point near a town. It looked like there was a bay, but it was pretty far inland. If this location (and cabin location) are described in one of the books describing B.C. kayak sites, you could just let me know that.

    At first glance it looks way too far for me to travel and keep my goal of spending more time on the water than in the car driving to the launch point. But still, maybe someday I'll be able to take a real long trip.
     
  13. eriktheviking

    eriktheviking Paddler

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    It is a pretty spectacular drive to Bella Coola. From Williams Lake you head west on Hwy 20 that slowly climbs through the ranch country of the Chilcotin Plateau as it approaches the Coast Mountains. It can be done in a day (450km) but why would you want to?
    P9010063.jpeg
    I would recommend setting some time for a longer trip to paddle in some of the lakes along the way and also hike up into some pretty spectacular wilderness just off the side of the highway. There are quite a few BC Forestry campsites spread along the route and a number of lodges on the lakes on the plateau, especially near the western end.
    P8032336.jpeg
    P8032335.jpeg
    After slowly climbing as you head west, you then reach the precipice of "The Hill" that drops a couple of thousand feet in a few miles- this connects to the Bella Coola Valley, and after passing through a few small towns you reach Bella Coola.
    P8310029.jpeg
    One could easily spend a week if you mix the paddling with some hiking and other sightseeing. The long inlet out of Bella Coola is notorious for wind and waves but with time and caution is navigable as well. It's also worth mentioning that the ferry from Bella Coola connects to Bella Bella and Shearwater on the Central Coast- so would make a very worthwhile extended paddling trip. It is also possible to make a circle tour using the ferry as well- ending at Port Hardy on Vancouver Island (south route) or Prince Rupert (north route).
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
    JohnAbercrombie likes this.
  14. designer

    designer Paddler

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    Thank you; that give me a few more points of reference.