Canadian Coast: Prince Rupert to Bella Bella

Paddle the northern mainland coast from Prince Rupert to Bella Bella. Several variations on this sea kayak trip are available from the protected waters of the inland passage to the remote west coast of the islands. The distance is roughly 220 nm.

Launch Points

The major communities on this route can be accessed by BC Ferry service from Port Hardy.  Contact BC Ferries for information about managing kayaks on the ferry and launch sites near the ferry docks.

northern terminus

The northern terminus is Prince Rupert.  Ferry service runs most days of the week. Prince Rupert Rowing and Yacht Club may have facilities for storing kayaks and equipment if you plan to stay overnight.

southern terminus options

  • Bella Bella the the main central coast stop and has fairly frequent ferry service.
  • Shearwater is a near Bella Bella and also a ferry stop.
  • Klemtu is a native village about 2 days paddle north.  Ferry service is less frequent. 
  • Call the Port Hardy government to ask about safe car storage while you are on your trip.  


The best source of information is the BC Marine Trails website. They negotiate with the landowners and will have up to date information on the most appropriate sites. However, even their information on camp sites is relatively sparse. Scouring other sources such as guide books and trip reports will help you build out a list of potential camp sites.

On the Water

There are many route options. The two main ones are inside or outside.

Inside Passage

The inside passage is the classic route from mainland to southeast Alaska in protected waters.  This is used by commercial and private vessels.  Many sea kayakers have paddled this route as well. Look for trip reports.

Outer Coast

Most of the islands have complex outer coastlines with many protected inlets and bays. There is less information about this less traveled route.


  • Difficulty: Sea Kayak V
  • Length: 220.0 nm
  • Land Manager: Land Manager Varies
  • Parking Permit Required: see Land Manager
  • Recommended Party Size: 6
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
  • see Notes
Trip Reports

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Inside Passage: Bella Bella to Prince Rupert

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