The lower Skeena River where it enters into the Pacific Ocean is one of the most historic areas in this region but one of the most seldom visited. There are a few reasons for this.
The tides in this area fluctuate greatly each day and can expose sand bars and make access to some of the sites difficult. The timing of launching a boat and accessing the sites needs to be planned out to ensure the tides do not leave you stranded.
The area has limited access points to launch a jet boat which is needed to navigate this area of the Skeena
I don’t think people realize just how many interesting sites there are to see in this area
Here are some photos of past guests enjoying the unique sites and nature.
Join us for another tour of the remote and unique area May 15-18, 2018
The lower Skeena Estuary and coastal area is home to this region’s most historic sites. This seldom visited area has a a wide variety of unique sites related to the early history of this region. The area is home to the many abandoned canneries, boat building towns, mills, and fishing villages. There were over 30 canneries on the north coast in the early 1900’s and this created many associated towns and industry in the area. Touring this part of the NorthCoast is truly a memorable experience for anyone interested in a unique historical adventure!
Last summer were fortunate to tour a few Social Media Influencers around the Northwest Coast and one of the days was spent in the heart of the historic salmon canneries of the early 1900’s. We were also blessed to have Northern BC Tourism content creator Simon Ratcliffe along to assist and take some amazing photos of the area. Check out Simon’s website for some other spectacular photos from some of his other journeys. Below are a few of the photos as “Simon Sees” through the lense!
How SimonSees the Canneries of the North Coast!
Capturing the imagery and stories of people I meet on my travels.
The Skeena River and Northwest BC are one of the most beautiful places in the world. We were fortunate enough to share this region with writer Janet Gyenes who gave a very stunning account of her visit to the area. We incorporated a touch of many of our Northern BC Adventure Tours during the few days. Read the online article or the screenshots below.
The lower Skeena River on British Columbia’s North Coast was line with over 26 canneries starting in 1877 with the Inverness Cannery. Inverness was situated in the Skeena Slough or one arm of the delta of the Skeena River before it empties into the Pacific Ocean. This slough is also Known as “Cannery Row” due to the numerous canneries which lined it’s shores. North Pacific Cannery and Cassiar Cannery still have substantial remains with North Pacific now a national historic site. Other than these two relatively easily accessible canneries, many of the other ones are boat access only and at different stages of decay and remaining remnants. The hidden treasures that remain and the stories they tell are truly amazing. One of the best sources of information on the canneries is Gladys Blyth’s book “Salmon Canneries British Columbia North Coast”. We are fortunate to be able to deliver a 3 day tour to these sites plus many other fishing villages and historic sites in our “Canneries of the North Coast Tour”. Through the UNBC “Northern BC Adventures Program”
The lower Skeena River and the north coast is home to many weathered derelict fishing boats that have been abandoned or washed up on shore. They are truly a photographers paradise to capture that amazing photo unlike any other. Each boat has a one of kind story and history behind them from salmon fishing, gillnetting, crabbing or transportation. This seldom visited area has many boats lining the shores and just takes a keen eye and some tips on where to look. Here is our top 10 list with a couple of honorable mentions. If you know any specific history on any of these boats we would love to hear about them.
To see these boats and to have a chance to get up close and personal with them check out our “Canneries of the North Coast” tour where we visit these boats and many more.
One of the iconic towns of the Skeena River is the town of Port Essington. Founded by Robert Cunningham in 1871 and a fall camping spot of the Tsimshian known as Spokeshute this site has over a wealth of interesting sites and features that will truly amaze you! A jungly 100 year cemetery with hundreds of moss covered headstones, a grisly boneyard of cow skulls and bones, a one km long boardwalk falling into disrepair, pilings protruding out of the brackish river on their last legs, a boiler form the Cunningham sawmill, old bottles, trinkets, and remnants from over 100 years of habitation. The One day Port Essington Experience will jet boat you back in time to a place that few have visited and explored.
One of the most photographed items on our visits to Port Essington is the abandoned boat lying in the deep sedge grass. I was fortunate enough to find out some more information on the boat and acquire a photo of the boat when it was seaworthy. The boats name is the Hi-Lo and it was a small crab fishing boat that plied the inner water of the coast in search of crabs. The lady who told me about it said that she remembers fishing on it it with her grandfather and rolling out a sleeping mat on top of the warm engine compartment at night time to go to sleep. The boat looks a little worse every year we go back there but still stands out prominently in the dark green sedge grass. We visit Port Essington on a few of our tours and we are doing a Brand New one day tour to Port Essington May 27, 2017. Don’t miss this opportunity to visit the town that still “Stands Guard over the Mouth of the Skeena”
When most people think of Ringbolt Island on the Skeena river they think of the one in Kitselas Canyon. There is actually another on the Lower Skeena in the Salmon Cannery area. Directly in front of the remnants of the 1895 Carlisle Cannery lies another small island with a series of ringbolts lining the top. I am not sure of the exact purpose of the ringbolts but most likely they were used to tie off some sort of fishing boast that were used in the fishing industry. It was one of the first Canneries to be built outside of the protected waters of the Skeena River. This Cannery was built in 1895 and ceased operations in 1950. The cannery produced a high of 72 000 cases in 1941. It is one of the many Canneries we will visit on our Canneries of the Northcoast tour in May 2017. It is very seldom visited and one of the unique places we will explore on the tout
On all of our Adventure tours the chances of seeing some sort of wildlife are almost guaranteed. The places we visit are remote and relatively untouched with few visitors. The bird life is amazing with so many species and a variety depending on where we are. There is always a chance to see a bear or moose and the odds go op greatly when we target the species. Here are just a few photos of some of the wildlife.