Nicola Anderson is a photographer, writer, and adventurer based in Vancouver, BC, Canada—the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
A small township in British Columbia's Bella Coola Valley is home to Firvale Wilderness Camp, a new glamping resort for lovers of nature, adventure, and relaxation. Surrounded by the Coast Mountains and situated in BC's Great Bear Rainforest, the home of the Nuxalkmc People—the first inhabitants of the land 10,000 years ago—the camp's setting is unique, and perfect for off-grid adventure.
Earlier this past summer, we had the opportunity to visit the camp for a five-day trip. The first thing to greet us as we arrived was the flora—an abundance of wildflowers in full bloom. Then we noticed the architecture: the property boasts two A-frame cabins, three luxury glamping domes, a communal lodge for dining, a cedar hot tub and hammock lounge, and a handcrafted sauna with views of a nearby river.
Firvale Wilderness Camp offers a few options for your stay, whether what you're after is adventure or leisure. You can simply reserve a few nights in one of the A-Frame cabins or glamping domes and explore the surrounding area on your own, or you can choose between one of the camp's two Adventure Packages, where five days of activities and home-cooked, farm-to-table meals are included.
The Great Bear Rainforest Adventure includes a float down the Bella Coola River, a scenic flight over the Monarch Icefield and Hunlen Falls (with a once-in-a-lifetime floatplane pit stop on one of the glacial lakes), a full day sailing trip through the fjords with a visit to natural, boat-access hot springs, and a lot more. Visitors traveling in late summer or early fall can also check out the Grizzly and Wildlife Adventure, which includes excursions in search of grizzlies, whales, wolves, and more. When you're not having the adventures of a lifetime, you can relax in the hot tub or sauna, or explore around the camp.
But the foremost question remains: A-Frame or glamping dome? The luxury glamping domes are spacious, include high-end amenities, and are the perfect option for star-gazing at night. Though we opted for the A-Frame for our trip, and our favorite details included the reading nook loft with a second bed and lookout window, and the large one-person soaking tub placed outside on the deck.
Firvale's location is stunning, but what makes the camp so special is the effort and consideration that owners Jen and Bobby have infused into every inch of the place, from the curated (and expertly-guided) menu of exclusive adventures to the design and decor of each built space, which, combined, afford visitors a whole and earnest picture of the area, even during a short trip.
Firvale Wilderness Lodge is seasonal, and shuts down for winters as the location is remote and local climate extreme. While the wait may feel like an eternity, now is the perfect time to book a stay for Spring 2022, before the few, finely curated rooms fill up for the season.