Visitors looking for a camping experience in and near Bella Coola will find a multitude of campgrounds and prices.
Within the village, the Bella Coola Motel has a private campground with some camping services. The location makes this campground unique in that it sits above and along the Bella Coola River with views of the First Nations fishing grounds. Also on the campground are the remnants of a former Hudson Bay Company factor/manager's residence. This building, once owned by the formidable trading company, has been renovated as a rustic shower/kitchen facility.
Five minutes east of the village, Eagle Lodge has a small campground with spectacular mountain vistas offering level tenting platforms and RV parking. Campers may enjoy breakfast in the lodge if they don't feel like cooking their own.
Hagensborg and Area Camping
There are four private campgrounds just 15 minutes east of Bella Coola, in Hagensborg. Each are unique and offer exceptional camping experiences.
Gnome's Home RV Park & Campground has a beautiful interpretive forest walking trail and campers will find tenting as well as serviced RV sites and a sani-station. Rip Rap Campsite has built a spectacular viewing platform overlooking one of the Bella Coola River's best fishing spots. Rip Rap also offers tenting sites, serviced RV areas and several simple and small cabins (bring your own linens for the bunkbeds and stay warm by a wooden stove).
Bailey Bridge Campgrounds also has a handful of quaint cabins and campsites that border the Bella Coola River, where fishermen will find one of the best fishing spots in the Valley. The campground itself offers fishing licenses, a boat launch and shower houses.
Campsites within Tweedsmuir South
For the more independent camper, there are two vehicle-access campsites within nearby Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park. The Atnarko Campground is east of Bella Coola along Highway 20 (at the foot of what the locals call "The Hill" that descends into the Bella Coola Valley) and has sani-dump near by.
Fisheries Pool Campground, also within Tweedsmuir, is where the locals, and occasionally bears, can be seen enjoying a swim. Both have basic amenities and are situated on the Atnarko River. Visitors are cautioned that both campsites may be closed in September due to high bear activity in the area. During the early and mid summer months, it is strongly recommended visitors bring mosquito repellent. Check the BC Parks Tweedsmuir page for more information.
Bear and Camping Safety
- Grizzly and Black bears are common through out the Bella Coola. For their own safety as well as the safety of the bears, visitors are cautioned to be especially stringent about storing and disposing of food and food-related items and must never approach bears. Visit the BC Parks Bear Safety page for more information.
- For this reason, camping is also discouraged along the more deserted back roads and in some, more sparse, municipal campgrounds.
- Hikers camping in the back country will need to manage their own protection. Carry bear spray and radio/satellite phones and tell someone where you intend to be and when you expect to return.
- Cell phone coverage is only available from the Bella Coola wharf to just east of the village of Hagensborg. Service between the two villages can be spotty.