May 22 , 2011

 

North To The Rockies and then West to the Pacific

From Wells Gray we headed north to Mt. Robson and then west to Bella Coola, a trip we've wanted to take for years.

 

Mount Robson Provincial Park

Mount Robson is Canada's highest peak. It's on the western edge of the Rocky Mountain chain, as far east as we'll be going for now.

More about Mount Robson.

 

Mt Robson PP Entrance

Entrance to Mt Robson Provincial Park

As you might guess, that's Mt Robson dead ahead.

Admiring the View

Hiking the Berg Lake Trail

The most popular hiking trail in the park is the Berg Lake Trail. Some say it's the best hike in the province.

Kinney Lake

Relaxing at Kinney Lake

We only walked as far as Kinney Lake. There was quite a bit of snow on the lower trail, and reports of much more above.

Photographing the Lake

Photographing Kinney Lake

The glacial lake was so blue under a clear sky that the color was hard to get right in a photograph. But we tried!

 

View of Kinney Lake

View of the Lake

Some snow around the lake, and a light skim of ice at one end.

 

Kinney Lake Shore

Another View

 

Blue Lake

One Last Try Before Heading Home

 

Bella Coola

Bella Coola is on the coast. From Williams Lake it's 280 miles out and 280 miles back. That's a big commitment in time - and diesel.

More about Bella Coola.

For us the best part was the drive itself. Lots of wildlife. And then there was "The Hill".

Black Bear

Black Bear

Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, which you pass through east of Bella Coola, has an extremely high concentration of bears - blacks and browns. So does the Bella Coola valley.

More about Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park

 

Brown Bear

Brown Bear

This guy was right at the bottom of The Hill, waiting to welcome us to the valley.

 

Black Bear two

Black Bear

 

Red Fox

Red Fox

 

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird

 

Campsite in Hagensborg

Campsite in Hagensborg

The Bella Coola Valley has two main towns, Bella Coola itself and Hagensborg a few miles to the east. All of the commercial campgrounds are in Hagensbord.

 

The Ocean in Bella Coola

Bella Coola's Beach

The town is located far inland from the Pacific, at the end of the 60 mile long Burke Channel (really a Fiord).

 

Clayton Falls

Being a Tourist at Clayton Falls

 

Bella Coola Museum

Unfortunately, The Museum Opens Later In The Summer

That's OK. Most people come to Bella Coola for the fishing, and to see the bears.

 

The Hill

The Hill

The most interesting part of the drive is the hill. It's no problem if you're in one of those zippy little cars, but for RVs it's a challenge, particularly going down.

The Hill descends from about 4,800 feet to a little over 1,000 feet in 20 kilometers. There are many kilometers of 11% grade, and some short sections are said to be 18%. There are also some very tight hairpin curves - with no runaway ramps. This section of the highway is gravel, it's part of a 37 mile section of gravel from Anahim Lake to the bottom of The Hill in the Bella Coola Valley.

 

The Road to Bella Coola

Shot Of The Road

 

Big Rig On The Hill

Big Rig On The Hill

This was the largest rig we saw in Bella Coola. Actually, we met him coming down as we were driving out. We could smell his brakes for a mile after passing him.

 


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