Trip to Bella Coola: Part Three

The Bella Coola Valley is about 50 miles long.  It is much wilder at the upper end.  We stopped there to walk in the coastal forest.

Coastal Forest in the Bella Coola Valley

And I was delighted to see wonderful displays of the Calypso Orchid, Calypso bulbosa.

Calypso orchids growing in the Bella Coola ValleyThe Bella Coola Valley is spectacular.

The Bella Coola Valley is spectacular

Eagles soar against the peaks.

bald eagle soaring against the peaks

The cottonwood balm scent was still heavenly, but a little further down the valley we met another spring aroma.

skunk cabbage in the Bella Coola ValleySkunk Cabbage!  Actually, the smell is not that bad – just different.  And it is such a wonderful sign of spring at these lower elevations.  The flower cluster and its attendant yellow leaf is also known as Swamp Lantern.

Now the valley becomes more inhabited, and we drove through the little town and beyond the fishing docks and ferry wharf to a little picnic area beside the salt chuck.   Bella Coola is still about 80 miles from the open ocean so the water is not very salty here.

The salt chuck near Bella CoolaSo within a few hours we had driven from a cold late spring, back into winter, and down into the soft warmth of the coast.  The Bella Coola Valley has to be the prettiest place in the world in the spring.  It is a lovely community, too, and I would live there like a shot if it wasn’t for the gloomy, rainy winters!

Just to round off our day of adventures, on our way back up to the bottom of The Hill, we encountered two representatives of a very common resident of the valley who have just got out of bed –  black bears.  This one is crossing Highway 20.

black bear crossing highway 20 in the Bella Coola Valley



One thought on “Trip to Bella Coola: Part Three”

  1. Hi Chris, I have been reading your blog since you started it, I found your other website when you posted the pictures of the McClinchy taking the road out, very interesting, thank you. Thank God that bank did not fall down while you and the couple from CRS were walking on it!!
    We live in Duncan but have a cabin near you on Clearwater Lake and I especially enjoy the pictures and commentaries that you post as I am familiar with the area but have only ever been there in the warmer months.
    We are planning to leave here on Monday and arrive there on Wednesday. Is there anything that we could pick up for you on our way?

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