After a long trip through the Cariboo and Chilcotin, we arrived at the heart of British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest – Bella Coola. At the end of Highway 20 – the only road access to the BC central west coast, this beautiful fishing destination offers an exceptional combination of wild forest, sheer-sided granite mountains, and the exquisite Bella Coola river that flows into the ocean inlets.Become a Patron!
Although my morning didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped for (watch the video for the fishing line nest), this valley of rare beauty never disappoints, if you just step foot outside.
After making my bed and breakfast as the sign suggests, I took a slow stroll to the riverside at the end of Rip Rap Campground before heading out towards the mountains.
Clayton Falls was just a short walk from the shoreline picnic site. There’s a viewing platform behind the BC Hydro station that puts you right in front of the cascading falls. Depending on the season and weather, the volume of the falls varies. I’m guessing spring may be the best time to see waterfalls as the glacier melts from atop. Here in the middle of autumn, we’re still getting a good stream through the grooves.
Several groups were BBQing at the picnic site as I walked by. Since I’m not very good with balancing, I’m not going to attempt the log walk. But kids were playing on the other side of the marsh so I used a little help from Photoshop to imagine myself walking on it.
Driving on a long and kinda dreadful skinny forest road, the track got significantly narrower after 17km with trees brushing both sides of the vehicle. Finally. we saw the rustic alpine campsite.
Blue Jay Lake sits one mountain range apart from the south Bentinck arm. A glimpse of the pacific ocean as the inlet eventually combines with the vast ocean once it flows through the central coast peninsula and islands.
At 1000 meter elevation, there’s a magical feeling hard to describe as I come to the realization that we’re standing at the boundary of land and sea, beyond these mountains.
You can find cutthroat trout here. But I try not to remind myself of my frustrating morning, stuck inside the cabin with a mess of birds’ nests.
Fishing? eventually. Just not today.
Life is too short to stay in frustration. If I only have one day, I’d spend it the way I enjoy the most. And I’m doing just that – Roaming into the mountains and finding wild blueberries to graze on.
I only need to acquire fishing skills one day to complete my package to become a grizzly and forever belong here, I already got the golden hair. maybe just one shade too light.
Anyways, I digress, I made a quick lunch and dreaded the way back. Partly because I didn’t want to leave this beautiful site.
another part was purely agnizing the drive. around 2 hours of narrow rocky track and countless cross ditch. I probably should’ve studied the map scaling better before coming here.
Back to the campground cabin, I took some time for household chores. Got my laundry going.
It rained a little in the evening. Just as I thought the view couldn’t get any better with a Landcruiser against the mountain, Cariboo gave me a double rainbow. It just keeps getting better.
The next day, I took my last view of the valley and hit the road. Back onto Highway 20, headed east. We are going north from here. Stay tuned.