Zeballos, Golden Gate to the West
Historically a west coast gold rush village, Zeballos still
has many of the false-fronted buildings from the earlier days
when the "roads were deep with mud but the streets were paved
with gold". Those in the know say that about 300,000 ounces
of gold was shipped from Zeballos, worth close to $100 million
at today's prices. Visitors can still try their luck panning
for gold from Zeballos area streams.
Zeballos is shouldered
between towering, green-cloaked mountains and the sparkling
inlet from which it draws its name. It provides a northern
route to Nootka Sound, known to fishermen around the world
for its superb fishing. This unique community was named by
Captain Alejandro Malaspina in 1792 after one of his lieutenants,
Ciriacco Cevallos and is built around the mouth of the clear
and swift-running Zeballos River.
An hour away by
road is Fair Harbour, on Kyuquot Sound. From the Forest Service
campsite there, boaters can explore the clear waters of Tahsis
and Amai Inlets, scoot over to the small community of Kyuquot
or the beautiful ocean beaches of Rugged Point Provincial
The area abounds
in wildlife - it's a rare event not to see at least one bear
on the drive to Zeballos, eagles, Stellar jays, blue herons,
and the annual migration of hummingbirds and trumpeter swans
are but a few. An armada of mergansers sweeping the coves
and rivers for salmon fry is a sight to remember. During salmon
spawning in the fall, the Zeballos River teems with fish,
attracting bears and eagles in great numbers.
Zeballos is reached
by vehicle traffic by taking a gravel road from Highway 19.
The M.V. Uchuck also travels to Zeballos along the west coast
departing from Gold River May to September.
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