Grizzly bear cubs in Bella Coola at Tweedsmuir Park Lodge. Photo: Mike Wigle.
Engaging Locals

Garrett Newkirk - Bella Coola naturalist and hiking guide

Garrett Newkirk, Tweedsmuir Park Lodge

Garrett Newkirk is Swede’s right hand man on the property. As our general maintenance worker, his goal is to make sure Tweedsmuir Park Lodge is in top shape.

Born and raised in the Bella Coola valley, Garrett has a passion for outdoor recreation and tourism. As a wildlife and river guide, he enjoys sharing his knowledge of the valley and of the forest with our guests. Underneath a relaxed and easy going persona lies a talented athlete and serious outdoorsman. In the late 90's, he followed his passion for snowboarding to Whistler. There he lived and trained in the resort for a number of years as a member of the Canadian National Snowboard Team, competing in the discipline of half-pipe. After his experience on the national team, he went on to coach the BC Snowboard Team. It was around that time that he heard about a heli-skiing company starting up in his beloved hometown and, without hesitation, he returned home to join Bella Coola Heli Sports in 2001.


Garrett is happiest while exploring the backcountry around the valley and pursuing the many sports and outdoor activities the region has to offer. He has completed a number of first aid and avalanche safety courses, whitewater rescue certification, CBVA assistant bear viewing guide and is a member of the Bella Coola Search and Rescue team. He is patiently “chipping away” at his goal to become a certified mountain guide.