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 Home > Travel BC > BC Cities and Towns > The Islands  > Zeballos

Zeballos is a small village located approximately 42 km (26 miles) west of the Hwy 19 junction found just north of Woss and south of Port McNeill on northern Vancouver Island.

Lieutenant Ciriaco Cevallos
Zeballos is named after Lieutenant Ciriaco Cevallos by the Spanish explorer, Captain Alejandro Malaspina, in 1792.

Gold is Discovered
During the 1920's, gold was discovered in the creeks and riverbeds throughout the Zeballos area. The gold ore was of such a high quality that the name 'Zeballos' became synonymous with new gold activity throughout the mid-1900's in North America.

After World War II, the gold industry never recovered in the Zeballos region and both logging and later an iron mine became the main job creators. The iron mine eventually shut down in 1969 leaving logging as the main economic means for the locals in Zeballos.

Gravel Road to Zeballos
The turnoff to Zeballos is located just north of Woss on Hwy 19 just south of Nimpkish, usually taking around 25 minutes from Woss. The gravel road in to Zeballos from the junction point on Hwy 19 usually takes around 1.5 hours to drive.

Nimpkish River
Once you're on the Zeballos Road you'll first pass over a one lane bridge across the Nimpkish River. If you enjoy a good refreshing swim there is a nice swimming hole just below the bridge where the river flows through a rock canyon.

Turnoff to Anutz Lake
Just past Nimpkish River is the turnoff for Anutz Lake which offers some good fishing. After Anutz Lake there is Dianne Lake, Little Hustan Regional Cave Park and Hustan Lake. Other fishing lakes in this area off the Zeballos Road include worth exploring include Mukwilla, Artish and Atluck.

Little Hustan Caves
Little Hustan Caves offers self-guided tours along a very large limestone system called the Quatsino Formation.The caves make a great introduction for the novice caver featuring some canyons, rock arches, sinkholes plus a river which disappears, then reappears, amongst the limestone formations.

Esperanza Inlet
Zeballos is situated at the end of Zeballos Inlet that happens to be an arm of the larger Esperanza Inlet. Esperanza Inlet borders the north side of Nootka Island and opens up into the Pacific Ocean and the West Coast of Vancouver Island. This closeness to the Pacific makes Zeballos just ideal for excellent saltwater fishing and unreal boating around Nootka Island.

Zeballos Services
You can find the Zeballos General Store which has a liquor outlet plus fuel near the public dock. Close by to the waterfront by a short walk is also some public washrooms, the Zeballos Community Centre, Village Office, Zeballos Museum, Zeballos Hotel, Rosa Island Lodge and the Iris Lodge Motel. The hotel has a pub,the lodge contains a restaurant and general store, the motel a fully licensed restaurant called Carrie's Cafe.

Cevallos Campsite
There is also a rustic campground in Zeballos called Cevallos Campsite with a maximum stay of 14 days. Cost is an unbelievable $5 a day per unit to be paid at the Village Office.

Excellent Wildlife Opportunities
There are a couple of hiking trails which start right out of Zeballos. One is the Little Zeballos Trail which serves as an evacuation route in case of a tsunami, the other is the Zeballos River Estuary Trail where you can find lots of boardwalks with excellent bird watching opportunities especially at the wildlife platform found near the marsh areas.

Artlish Caves
The Artlish Cave Provincial Park is located just north of Zeballos - these are some of the biggest caves on Vancouver Island. They can only be accessed by guided tours. Check with the Zeballos Chamber of Commerce for more information on operating conditions and accessing the entrance to the caves.

Granite Mountains
There are some very impressive large granite-faced mountains on the road into Zeballos. Some areas are quite popular for rock climbing or rock hounding especially near Rugged Mountain which is just outside the south boundary of Woss Lake Provincial Park.

Nomash River Forestry Road
You have to take the forestry road found east of town up the Nomash River. The rough gravel road goes up into the Nomash and Wapiti Valleys where you can find Rugged Mountain. A favourite rock climbing face found here is called the Nomash Slabs. The Dale Earnhardt Dome has an amazing rock face appearing right out of the mountains.

Cougars and Bears
The forest and bush around Zeballos is very beautiful with lots of trails and roads found throughout the area. One thing you'll want to be on guard for is the possible encounter with cougars or bears. Be prepared and always watch your children or dogs, especially when exploring the remote areas.

Logging Roads
Remember when you are travelling into and around Zeballos area by forestry road that most of the roads are owned by private logging companies. Please keep in mind that logging trucks have the right of way, so drive with your lights on and keep in mind that vehicles must use pullouts and yield to logging trucks at all times.

Canyon Hill
If you are driving into Zeballos there are signs present required to have chains. The road passes through a narrow steep gorge along the Zeballos River called Canyon Hill which can prove to be quite treacherous during the winter time. From Canyon Hill there is a beautiful view of 1,576 metres (5,170 feet) high Zeballos Peak.

Fair Harbour
For those of who want some more adventure try continuing on the Zeballos Road to Fair Harbour about another hour away. The 32 km (20 miles) gravel road goes along Espinosa Inlet, inland to Kaouk River then down the river valley to Fair Harbour. Fair Harbour sits on the eastern side of Kyuquot Sound with good boat access to the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation village of Kyuquot. You can find a goverment dock, a very rustic campground and primative boat launch at Fair Harbour.

Marine Parks
If you do happen to bring a boat of some kind, try and view some of the provincial marine parks situated nearby where you can find excellent sightseeing, exploring and kayaking. A couple of favourites to visit are Bunsby Islands situated south of Brooks Peninsula Provincial Park, Kyuquot Sound and Nuchatlitz Inlet.

M.V. Uchuck III
To service the various coastal communities on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, the M.V. Uchuck III sails through Nootka and Kyoquot Sounds. The M.V. Uchuck III offers passenger service weekly service from Gold River to Zeballos with stops along the way at Tahsis and Yuquot (Friendly Cove) through the summer months.

Upana Caves
If you happen to be in the Zeballos area for the caving, you might also want to try the Upana Caves. These are located east of Campbell River near Gold River. The Upana Caves have both an organized tour and self-guided tour available taking you through the various caves that join up through 15 known entrances.

Nootka Island Trail
For real serious hikers who enjoy going out for a number of days at a time, try the Nootka Island Trail located on the south side of Nootka Island. The hike is very challenging, quite remote and requires being well-prepared. Zeballos Expeditions, a local operator, offers water taxi service to get you to either of the two trailheads.

Information on Zeballos




Zeballos, British Columbia
click map for larger image


Photo of  Rugged Mountains
Very Rugged Mountains


Photo of the Nimpkish River
Nimpkish River


Photo of Mukwilla Lake
Mukwilla Lake


Photo of the Zeballos Waterfront
Zeballos Waterfront


Photo of the Zeballos Hotel
Zeballos Hotel


Photo of the Zeballos River Estuary Trail
Zeballos River Estuary Trail


Photo of the Zeballos Museum
Zeballos Museum


Photo of the mountains in the Nomash Valley
Nomash Valley


Photo of the  Beautiful Zeballos River
Beautiful Zeballos River


Travelling on Canyon Hill
Travelling on Canyon Hill


Photo of Gravel Forestry Roads to Zeballos
Gravel Forestry Roads to Zeballos


Photo of the Zeballos River Headwaters
Headwaters of the Zeballos River

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