Cruising the Inside Passage on the MV Northern Expedition
(BC Ferries photo)

Great Bear Rainforest

Transportation & Maps

Travelling to the Great Bear Rainforest can be as much a part of the adventure as the destination.

Most of the 64,000 sq km/24,710 sq mi that make up the Great Bear Rainforest consists of roadless wilderness, making transportation to and within the area very limited. Most accommodation and tour operators provide detailed instructions on how to reach their location.

Car Travel

Bella Coola, known as the "Gateway to the Great Bear Rainforest," is accessible by car via a 6.5 hour-drive (450km/280mi) from Williams Lake along Highway 20. This route, combined with BC Ferries' Discovery Coast service, is a popular way to explore British Columbia by land and sea. 

Ferry Service to the Great Bear Rainforest

BC Ferries offers scheduled car and passenger service to the area via the Inside Passage route and the Discovery Coast Connector route.

Inside Passage Route

The Inside Passage route connects Port Hardy, on Vancouver Island, and Prince Rupert on BC’s northern mainland coast.  The scenic, 16-hr journey is popular during the summer months. The ferry stops at Bella Bella, allowing access to the Discovery Coast Connector service.

Discovery Coast Connector Route

The Discovery Coast Connector route offers seasonal service between the communities of Bella Bella, Shearwater, Klemtu, Ocean Falls and Bella Coola. The ferry serving this route is small and has limited amenities, but it offers a unique, up-close journey to small coastal destinations.

Travellers should note that reservations are mandatory for both routes. It is strongly recommended that you make advance reservations for accommodation in your departure and arrival port communities.

Visit BC Ferries for more information on ferry routes, schedules, fares and reservations.

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Transportation & Maps

Great Bear Rainforest