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 Home > Travel BC > BC Cities and Towns > Cariboo Chilcotin Coast > Bella Bella

Bella Bella
Bella Bella is situated on Campbell Island south-west of Ocean Falls, north of Port Hardy and west of Bella Coola with the small First Nations' community, Klemtu, 83 km (52 miles) farther to the north.

'Great Bear Rainforest'
Bella Bella, or called by the traditional name of 'Waglisla,' is located in an area of the central British Columbia coastline called the 'Great Bear Rainforest.' This vast landmass contains very dense rainforests and was put aside as a wilderness-protected zone through careful negotiations with the various stakeholders including several First Nations' affiliations and the British Columbia government.

Fort McLoughlin
European settlement in the area started in 1833 with a Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) post called Fort McLoughlin named after John McLoughlin, who later became an American citizen and is credited to be the 'Father of Oregon.' Fort McLoughlin was later abandoned by HBC and, in 1843, burned to the ground.

Heiltsuk Tribal Council
Bella Bella is home to the largest First Nation population on the central coastline of BC with the Heiltsuk Tribal Council and Reserve 1 having a population of 1,066 (2006 - Census). The Heiltsuk Tribal Council also has smaller reserves on Denny Island and has a strong presence in the immediate area and has developed various industries based on fisheries and eco-tourism including kayaking tours and exploring in the 'Great Bear Rainforest.'

Local Bella Bella Services
Some services that you'll find in Bella Bella include a bank, the post office officially named 'Waglisla,' an RCMP detachment, the RW Large Memorial Hospital, a medical clinic, a small pharmacy and a general store that offers a wide array of products including a few hardware items.

Heiltsuk Cultural Education Centre
For an introduction into the history and traditions of the Heiltsuk Tribal Council, go to the Heiltsuk Cultural Education Centre which is situated inside the Bella Bella Community School building. Here you can find an array of local teachings and First Nation heritage regarding the ways of the land and ocean.

McLoughlin Bay
Throughout the community various carvings are on display showing the Heiltsuk. One place of learning about First Nation tradition is at McLoughlin Bay where there is a 'big house,' along with an interpretive centre concerning the history of the Heiltsuk.

First Nation Artists
Bella Bella (Waglisla) is also home to a number of noted British Columbian First Nation artists including J. Bradley Hunt and his son Bradley. J. Bradley Hunt has brought the heritage and pride of the Heiltsuk alive through his surreal computer animations in the award-winning film called Totem Talk, a story depicting three First Nation teens living in an urban setting.

Shearwater is a small fishing resort community located across Lama Pass from Bella Bella on Denny Island by around 5 km (3 miles). The small community can be accessed from Bella Bella by private boat, private aircraft using the small air strip or by the Shearwater Seabus a 33-passenger water taxi that commutes between the government wharf on Campbell Island and Denny Island more or less on a scheduled service every 1.5 hours depending on flight conditions and schedules.

Shearwater Resort and Marina
For entertainment close to Bella Bella there is the Fishermen's Bar & Grill at the Shearwater Resort and Marina. The Shearwater Resort and Marina, a well-managed facility, also has moorage for pleasure craft, a small grocery store and has the local RV Park and Campground.

BC Ferries
Unfortunately there are no roads into Bella Bella and the central BC coastline but you can take a vehicle aboard BC Ferries from either Prince Rupert, Port Hardy on Vancouver Island or summer-only sailings from Bella Coola. Just remember that once on Campbell Island or Denny Island there are very few roads to explore and respect to the Heiltsuk Tribal Council lands must be maintained.

Pacific Coastal Airlines
You can also take daily air service offered from Pacific Coastal Airlines departing Vancouver's South Terminal via Port Hardy to the Bella Bella Airport.

Information on Bella Bella




Not to be used for Navigation
Not to be used for Navigation


Government Dock at Bella Bella
Government Dock at Bella Bella


Outside General Store in Bella Bella
Local Art Work

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