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Bella Coola this summer?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by spuh, Jul 28, 2020.

  1. spuh

    spuh Been here awhile

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    Greetings, in this summer of everything being turned upside down, I'm looking at doing some trips which haven't been possible for me before. One such is a loop north to Bella Coola, taking the ferry to Port Hardy and back eventually to the mainland. I see the locals have blocked the road to Bella Coola. So no stopping there. But I can't determine whether one can continue past the blockade to the ferry. The rest of my planned route looks open and feasible ; just this one impediment stopping up the whole plan. I'd hate to reserve and pay for a ferry only to be denied access. Does any one here have local knowledge? Please and thank you.
    #1
  2. soberjoe

    soberjoe Been here awhile

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    What about riding in to Bella Coola via highway 20 and ‘The Hill’
    I realize it likely adds a ton of riding, but highway 20 from Williams Lake is a great ride and riding ‘The Hill’ is an experience you’ll never forget
    #2
  3. spuh

    spuh Been here awhile

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    That's in my plan. Guess I wasn't clear in my post that I want to loop up the mainland, out the Chilcotin and down the hill, take the ferry to the island and then back onto the continent again. All of that loop is open except for one tiny stretch which has been blocked by locals. No detour is available. Or is there a workaround? That's what I'm asking.
    #3
  4. Holaday

    Holaday Man of Leisure

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    There is only one road to the ferry terminal. You must go right thru Bella Coola. Call the folks at Rip Rap campground in Hagensborg they will know what's going on. This is where you will want to stay if you are camping. I spent 3 nights there last summer. Great campground. Its about 13 minutes up the highway from Bella Coola. An out and back to Hagensborg would make a great ride. The ferry is pretty expensive IMO. Having seen the coast from ferry to Prince Rupert on a previous trip I decided to save some $$ last year.

    http://riprapcamp.com
    #4
    Lycan1 likes this.
  5. shanekingsley

    shanekingsley Motoman

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    Thank you for this. I was hoping to be in Bella Coola for around Sept 1st and was looking for a place to stay. This place looks awesome.
    #5
    Holaday likes this.
  6. 150miler

    150miler Adventurer

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    BC
    Road access was opened up to travelers last week so you will be able to ride through the valley to the ferry. Not sure if the campgrounds like the Riprap are open though. Some people are probably a bit on edge out that way since a reported Covid case at Nimpo Lake a few days ago. Apparently someone from outside. Still best to check before heading out.
    #6
  7. Sandy346

    Sandy346 Adventurer

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    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    If you are looking for decent lodging, I suggest below:
    We stayed there in 2017 while dealing with wildfires in the area, great people, and good food.
    Limited rooms so suggest call ahead. Just out of town.
    https://www.eaglelodgebc.com/
    #7
  8. BoGaRa

    BoGaRa Adventurer

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    Nov 23, 2007
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    Location:
    WIndsor, Canada
    Hi Guys,

    Is there a gas station between Bella Coola and Williams Lake? Seeing it's 450 clicks between
    #8
  9. Sandy346

    Sandy346 Adventurer

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    #9
    BoGaRa likes this.
  10. PEIslander

    PEIslander OK then

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    Dec 28, 2012
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    Location:
    Vancouver, B.C.
    Yes and there is also a new, well new to me since my trip to Bella Coola a few years or so ago... https://goo.gl/maps/T6Jhq9XNApv3keur8 never been but seems perfect, I'd call prior to be sure

    That trip to Bella Coola I got gas a bit further along HWY 20 in Lees Corner but that option burned up in a wildfire since that time. I joined HWY20 from the Farwell Canyon Rd, that day with dual-sport tires and dry Chilcoltin Dirt :-) I rode up the West Pavilion Road along the Fraser then crossed at Big Bar up to the Jesmond Fire Lookout Tower then camped that night near Gang Ranch, next day to Bella Coola via Farwell Canyon...beautiful country. Rode through clouds and rail going down the hill...the next morning was amazing with beautiful sun and fall colors...WOW :thumb
    #10
  11. 150miler

    150miler Adventurer

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    BC
    Yes. Anaham reserve, Redstone, Tatla Lake, Nimpo Lake, Anahim Lake. All have gas but expect to pay dearly. Redstone has new pumps and premium now.
    #11
    BoGaRa likes this.
  12. BoGaRa

    BoGaRa Adventurer

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    WIndsor, Canada
    Great...thank you.

    #12
  13. shanekingsley

    shanekingsley Motoman

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    Just a heads up for anyone out of province heading to Bella Coola. I called Rip Rap and they are not allowed to have out of province visitors stay with them right now. I spoke at length with the owner (really nice guy) and he was saying how it was something to do with the restrictions in that whole valley. So other private campgrounds in the province seem to be allowed, but some specific communities in the north like this one have restrictions placed on them at this moment. I was able to book a room in a motel in Bella Coola no problem - just for some reason no campgrounds are allowed. Although unlikely, if rules change between now and the end of the month then I will cancel my other reservation and book in with him.
    #13
    Holaday likes this.
  14. spuh

    spuh Been here awhile

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    That doesn't make sense to me : unless the problem is the common toilets at a campground versus a private privy in your own room? Or maybe there's a worry about not keeping your distance around a campfire? Are restaurants allowed to open? I'm guessing they are no longer running a checkpoint at the entrance to town if you can get in to a motel?
    #14
  15. shanekingsley

    shanekingsley Motoman

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    My understanding is that the checkpoint previously only allowed emergency services into the town. Now the checkpoint is still there as a matter of contact tracing efforts, but is allowing people to pass through and stop in, including non residents. I looked around for info on the BC provincial website and came up empty.

    When talking to riprap, he was also confused why a place that might be 50 or 100 km away could be open to non residents but he couldn’t in the valley. He was disappointed because it’s obviously hurting his business.
    #15
  16. spuh

    spuh Been here awhile

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    Not only is it unfair; I question the legality of keeping the public out of public spaces.
    #16
  17. shanekingsley

    shanekingsley Motoman

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    This is what I was able to find specific to Covid: https://bellacoola.ca/covid-19-guidelines/
    I have emailed Bella Coola Valley Tourism to get clarification and will probably call the local RCMP detachment there for their take.
    #17
  18. shanekingsley

    shanekingsley Motoman

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    I spoke with Bella Coola Valley Tourism and they said at this time, no out of province visitors are allowed in Bella Coola. BC residents are fine to visit and stay in any lodgings there, but not out of province residents. I also spoke with a different person at the motel I booked at and they also stated the same thing - so a mistake was made when I booked originally.

    If it's safe to do so in a couple weeks, then maybe I can just do the ride to the checkpoint and back as a day trip from Williams Lake to see the beauty of it all.
    #18
  19. Tytan

    Tytan Been here awhile

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    Following this thread, three of us from the lower mainland are planning a three night four day trip to Bella Coola for one night over the September long weekend leaving Saturday with Sunday night staying in Bella Coola, accomodation is booked and all are BC residents so hopefully there will be no issues. The original plan was a loop over to Vancouver Island then ferry from Port Hardy but the direct ferry from Hardy to Bella Coola is not running this season.
    #19
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  20. spuh

    spuh Been here awhile

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    Clarification, please : are you a BC resident?
    If you're looking at a down-and-back in a day, what fuel range do you need? (i.e. where is the closest reliable gas station in case you can't enter the valley after all)?
    #20