A Kayak Adventure: Tallheo Cannery via the Estuary

We are often asked for options on kayaking around Bella Coola and one of my suggestions for experienced paddlers is an overnight camping kayaking trip to Tallheo Cannery. The Cannery is one of my favourite places to go and visit in the summer time. The property itself is a joy to wander around, with meadows, fruit trees and gardens to explore, as well as a great beach to relax on and enjoy the summer weather.

For those of you who can convince us here at Glacier Creek Outfitting that you have the skills and experience to kayak over to the cannery. (This involves answering our self guided kayaking questionnaire and possibly performing a wet exit and re-entry test) We can fully outfit you with both kayaking and camping equipment for your adventure.

Bella Coola is an absolutely stunning wild remote place to paddle and exploring it by sea kayak is a lot of fun. That being said it is definitely not a beginners play ground and we recommend having plenty of kayaking experience before tackling the area.

Note: The wind and weather in the inlets combined with the rock walls make it difficult to find emergency take out landing sites . Similarly the beautiful glacial blue waters are very cold making self rescues difficult. There is a high risk of hypothermia if you capsize.

Bellow is an itinerary with some ideas and cost estimates for creating a Tallheo Cannery Kayak Adventure

Evening Day 1: Outfit yourself with the required equipment onsite at Glacier Creek Outfitting. Spend the evening with us – We will give you a beer on the deck (or an iced tea!) and we’ll go over the maps and things to do on your trip, as well size up, and outfit your equipment. This includes kayaking equipment and any camping equipment you may need as well as a wet exit and re-entry test (wet suites and sauna provided!) –

  • Logistics fees $75- includes trip planning, trip outfitting, self rescue test, boat delivery/pick-up, vehicle and gear storage and optional campsite
  • Day Kayak rental ($125 a day for two single kayaks fully outfitted, or $100 for a double)
  • Camping equipment outfitting packages available – price varies on equipment requirements

Day 2: A very early start. We recommend getting on the water before 7:00 this ensures that you will beat the summer weather (high winds and waves) that typically pick up and begin at 11:00. – we advise clients to plan on being off the water by 11:00am

We can meet you at the Bella Coola Wharf with all of your equipment . We then suggest following the shoreline around the inlet and through the estuary. There is usually a ton of wildlife on this route (bears, eagles, salmon, dolphin, seals, swans and more).

Following the shoreline passing the mouth of the Bella Coola, and paddling up the Northern shore, you’ll get views of the rockwalls and numerous waterfalls. – We recommend spending your time paddling through here enjoying the scenery and wildlife, with a plan to land on the beach at Tallheo Cannery just before lunch

Day 2 afternoon and evening: Once at the Cannery you’ll have time to unpack your equipment and set up camp for the night. Enjoy the lunch you’ve brought and if interested I definitely recommend paying for a Cannery tour of the old buildings

Day 3: An early morning wake up, to pack up camp and paddle back to Bella Coola, arriving before noon to beat the winds!! – We will meet you at the wharf and help you return any equipment you rented from us.

We then recommend lunch and a fancy coffee at the Dragonfly Cafe or a burger at the Rooster!!

When planning for a Tallheo Cannery Trip here are some options and costs:

  • $25 per tent

if you want to skip morning food planning opt for a continental breakfast (not necessarily bacon and eggs!) but is is a good spread $ 15 per person

  • Cannery tour without boat transport is $ 40 per person.

($60 for a full cannery tour with Tallheo Cannery Water Taxi transport)

If you wanted to skip the camping piece and stay in the bunk house guesthouse instead of a tent the cost is $160 for their Bed and Breakfast rate

Please contact us at Glacier Creek Outfitting for a custom itinerary and quote for a Kayaking Adventure to Tallheo Cannery


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