British Columbia Travel Guide
The unofficial BC Travel & Tourism Guide
In a classic tale only possible in a country still exploring new frontiers, the town of Tumbler Ridge was planned from the ground up, and came into existence in 1981. Built to house the workers and families serving two large coal mines, the investment was made by the Provincial Government on the backs of an agreement by two large Japanese steel mills to buy 100 million tons of coal over 15 years.
Situated in the foothills of the Northern Rocky Mountains, on the doorstep of the Peace River plateau, recreational opportunities abound. Canoeing and fishing in Gwillim Lake Provincial Park or Moose Lake is extremely popular, as is the 50 km canoe route on the Murray River. Monkman Provincial Park provides access to superb alpine meadows and mountain vistas, as well as the very impressive 60-metre high Kinuseo Falls on the Murray River. Quality Creek Falls and Sukunka Falls are also well worth visiting. Bearhole Lake Provincial Park, and the Gwillim Lake Provincial Park are nearby, and the entire area is home to a wide diversity of life, including elk, deer, moose, mountain goats, stone's sheep, caribou, grizzly and black bear.
Sitting on the border of eastern and western ranges for numerous bird species, bird watchers will want to visit the Tumbler Ridge Bird Sanctuary. Dry snow makes for great cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. There is a 9-hole golf course and a recreation centre with lovely swimming pool as well as squash courts.
The discovery of dinosaur footprints and bones, Triassic fishes and Cretaceous plants in Tumbler Ridge, led to the establishment of the Peace Region Paleontology Research Centre.
In August, the town hosts The Emperor’s Challenge, a very scenic and challenging half marathon up Roman Mountain, as well as the Grizfest Music Festival, featuring progressive Canadian talent, as well as a parade, dance and art shows.
The population never reached its projected level of 10,000, due to fluctuating prices for coal, but the town has nevertheless prospered, and is now supported not only by the coal, but by other resource- based industries, including gas, oil, mining and forestry.
Location and access:
Tumbler Ridge is located approximately 700 km northeast of Vancouver and 120 km southwest of Dawson Creek.
Tumbler Ridge Accommodations
Tumbler Ridge Things to Do