Pemberton to Bella Coola route?

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roverdevin
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Pemberton to Bella Coola route?

#1 Post by roverdevin » Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:19 pm

I am planning a trip From Squamish up north through Pemberton to Bella Coola, then returning south on Vancouver Island via Port Hardy ferry. Actually, we're leaving Monday.

Can anyone recommend a route that's a must see? We are well prepared, but traveling solo so I don't want to get into anything too tricky or technical. It would be nice to travel some of the beautiful backroads in that area though.

We would like to hit Goldbridge, and from there I am open to suggestions. I understand the route via Mud lakes and Swartz lake is pretty remote and difficult/impassible? East along Carpenter lake to Yalokom road? Is there anything in particular to watch out for or avoid?

I would love to hit the Big Bar ferry, but I think it's closed with the high water. We have all kinds of time (7 days to get to Bella Coola).

Thanks for any suggestions, and hope everyone is enjoying their summer!

Devin B

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ANDYD
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#2 Post by ANDYD » Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:45 pm

Hi Devin,
It's a great area to explore, a few places jump to mind like Seton lake, Poison Mountain, China Head, Mud Lakes, Big Bar Ferry and lots of off shoots on the way over to Bella Coola. Unfortunately all the times I have headed up that way i was following someone so I cant really help with directions.
A few members have GPS coordinates but I think they are already on route to the Overland event so wont see this posting until they return next week.
Best idea to take a good back roads map book of that area and explore a bit.
Have a great trip and share your photos when you return...
Cheers, Andy
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roverdevin
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Re: Pemberton to Bella Coola route?

#3 Post by roverdevin » Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:28 pm

A follow up (a year or 2 later).

We did the trip, and it was great. There is a passable route beyond mud and swartz lakes straight through to the hwy 20 Bella Coola road, staying west of the Fraser. We kept heading north, and the road got smaller and smaller till it was little more than a quad trail through an old cut block. Then it started getting bigger and bigger-finally onto the FSR "superhighway" that passes by gang ranch. Nothing too tricky or difficult. A stock LR with decent tires would have no problems.

We spent another few days exploring the roads west of Williams lake and then onto Bella Coola. A highlight was the campsite way up the mountain just beyond Bella Coola. We met a Swiss couple driving the world in a very well prepared Td5 Defender there, we were the only 2 camp groups at the lake.

The ferry to Port Hardy costs a fortune, but we had dolphins swimming with us much of that way, and amazing. Then a drive down the island and home to Squamish. All in all a beautiful trip. I recommend it!

Devin B

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Re: Pemberton to Bella Coola route?

#4 Post by Greg S » Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:59 pm

Erica and I did it a couple years ago but stuck to the paved road pretty much. I started planning almost a year in advance, partly because I had to book my vacation time almost that much ahead of time. I check ferry schedules carefully and planned stops and visits along the way. Two day s before leaving I checked current ferry schedules to make sure of the timing because the ferry only goes out of Bella Coola on certain days, twice a week I think. I wanted to time it right with the camping and B&B. So much for planning a year in advance. I used the regular fall schedule for the ferry in my pre-plan. When we were going, the ferry was out of service for two or three weeks for maintenance. We drove both ways and visited family a bit more on the way back. I still haven't been on that ferry. It's still on my bucket list.

Bella Coola and the trip is awesome! I recommend it to everyone! A word of warning though! I DID NOT tell my wife about the hill before we were going down it. She still hasn't forgiven me. I think that not telling her was the right way to do it or she would have worried about it the entire trip and weeks before hand too.

Oh! Did somebody not tell you there is a hill?
Greg S
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