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Zeballos, Golden Gate to the West Coast

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 Park.

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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