Chilcotin - Discovery Coast Tour
This fall, I traveled with Mom & Dad and a group of their friends through the Chilcotin - Discovery Coast region of British Columbia. This is a remote section of B.C., with scenery ranging from the fantastic Fraser Canyon to open range country on the Chilcotin plateau to classic coastal rain forest around Bella Coola. This year's trip was organized by the West Coast Railway Association, the same folks that put together last year's great trip across all of the BCRail system up to Fort Nelson. You can see pictures from last year's trip here.
This year, we were able to take one last train ride on those fantastic Budd cars between Whistler and Williams Lake. BCRail is expected to terminate all scheduled passenger services on October 31 of this year. Little did we know that last year's trip was very likely the last time that a Budd car would ever be seen North of Prince George!
From Williams Lake, we traveled by bus some 450km to Bella Coola. We made our way down the "Big Hill" where the unpaved highway descends sharply through hairpin turns at an 18% grade from the Chilcotin Plateau to the coastal villages of Hagensborg & Bella Coola. A 14-hour ferry trip on the "Queen of Chilliwack" took us from Bella Coola to Port Hardy on Vancouver Island. After a short bus ride to Courtenay, we boarded VIA's Malahat Dayliner Budd car service to Victoria. From Victoria, most of the group ferried back to Vancouver for a ride on Amtrak's Talgo train back to Seattle. I took the Victoria Clipper fast ferry directly to Seattle.
For ease of viewing, I broke the pictures into three pages: Days 1-3 (Vancouver to Bella Coola), Day 4 (Bella Coola), and Days 5-7 (Bella Coola to Seattle). You can easily navigate from one page to another by following the links at the bottom of each page.
Traveling with our group:
We had the good fortune to again travel with Frances Woodward from Vancouver, who was also with us on last year's BCRail system tour.