at Zeballos. Photo courtesy of Kathie Woodley
among towering forest-cloaked mountains on the West Coast
of British Columbia's Vancouver Island, Zeballos sits at
the head of Zeballos Inlet, gateway to Nootka Sound, world-famous
for salmon fishing and kayaking opportunities. The inlet
was named by Captain Alejandro Malaspina in 1792 after one
of his lieutenants, Ciriaco Cevallos. The discovery of gold
in Zeballos in the 1920's resulted in a massive influx of
miners and adventurers. The historic buildings in the village
are a living reminder of those frontier days.
Inlet. Photo courtesy of Kathie Woodley
From Port Hardy by Route 19 (78 kms -- 55 mins).
Turn Right at Zeballos Junction and follow the directional
From Campbell River by Route 19 (151 kms 1 hr --
Turn Left at Zeballos Junction and follow the directional
From the water:
Putting in at Zeballos is easy, with a cement, all-tide
launch ramp. Adjacent floats provide moorage for transient
as well as resident boaters. A harbour manager looks after
the moorage on a daily basis.
There is an RV park, campsites and several lodges
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Photo courtesy of Miro Mircovsky
village is fast becoming a favourite destination for kayakers,
sportsfishers and nature lovers who want to leave the crowds
behind and experience the wild west coast of Vancouver Island.
Comfortable accommodation and several cafes welcome visitors.
Tour the waters aboard your own vessel or arrange for an
excursion with a local charter guide. Those with more time
may want to arrive as a passenger on the M.V.Uchuck III,
a working freight ship. The Uchuck sails weekly during the
summer months from Gold River to Zeballos, with stops along
the way at Tahsis and Friendly Cove.
In April and May, bears are a common sight on the forestry
road leading in to Zeballos. Elk are occasionally seen along
the road. In the woods around Zeballos are deer, bears,
cougars, elk, marten, squirrels, raccoons, beavers and river
otters. During salmon spawning season in the fall, the river
teems with fish. Bears and eagles that arrive to partake
of the annual feast can be watched safely from the Sugarloaf
Bridge. Trumpeter swans drift down the river, competing
with the seagulls for newly laid salmon eggs. With the river
running through the center of the village there's not much
need for a nature channel on TV. Charter a boat in the spring
to catch a glimpse of the grey whales passing by Nootka
Island on their annual migration north. Rafts of sea otters
can be seen throughout the year.
Otter. Photo courtesy of Miro Mircovsky
the more adventurous, Rugged Mountain and the Slab in the
Nomash River valley are well-known to rock-climbing enthusiasts.
Some of the best cold water diving on Vancouver Island can
be found just a short boat ride away from Zeballos. The
waters are especially clear in the winter months. Colorful
anemones sway in the currents while Puget Sound king crab
scuttle below. Purple hinged scallops, soft corals and abalone
cling to the rocks. Curious six gill sharks glide past in
the clear waters. The steep walls of Zeballos Inlet and
Kyuquot Sound provide for exceptional wall dives. Tahsis
Narrows and the Gardens are well known local diving sites.
122 Maquinna Avenue
September to June - Open by appointment
July and August - open Saturday to Monday
Artlish Caves Provincial Park, Nuchatlitz Provincial Park,
Catala Island Marine Park, and Rugged Point Marine Park
Information: There is no actual visitor info centre.
In the summer time, people come to the museum for local
info and for the rest of the year they stop at the Village
Association of Vancouver Island
#203-335 Wesley Street, Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 2T5
Telephone (250) 754-3500 Fax (250) 754-3599