Set up your basecamp in the remote British Columbia interior, where rivers and mountains collide.
It’s difficult to imagine a more idyllic and rugged landscape than that in Tumbler Ridge, a small community surrounded by wilderness on every side. Situated in the foothills of the northern Rocky Mountains, the location is central to several river confluences and numerous trail systems that cover a diverse set of transitional ecosystems. Here, you can find yourself traversing a big river valley or a steep peak within a convenient driving distance of town. Campers will find four seasons of adventure and an inviting town with all the services and camping options needed for a great trip.
Take a hike through one of the world’s great geological wonders. The rock towers along this trail look like versions of Stonehenge, but all are formed naturally. The trail requires several hours of hiking to make the full in and out trip, but it’ll be worth the trek—just bring your camera to capture the rock features that you won’t find anywhere else on earth. Open year-round, you can choose to hike or snowshoe, or even climb some rock routes.
The Tumbler Ridge area is known for its extensive list of waterfalls, but this behemoth takes the cake. Set in the Monkman Provincial Park, the huge falls are nearly always gushing with intensity. The impressive sight is open to visitors with an overlook and the ability to hike and view the waterfalls from multiple perspectives. Stay a while and even take a jet boat tour to the base of the waterfalls, or settle in for a camping stay nearby.
Numerous local creeks and rivers run through the area, but the Murray River is popular for good reason. The developed boat launch near town makes for easy access to the perfect place to go fishing, hiking or boating. The river is welcoming to skilled navigators in jet boats, but many visitors and locals also choose to canoe or kayak. Anglers cherish the populations of char, trout, and grayling in the river system as well. If you want to look for wildlife while paddling through some beautiful country, consider a trip down the Murray River.
If there’s something Tumbler Ridge is known for beyond its outdoor opportunities, it’s the dinosaurs. Fossils dating back to 200 million years ago have been excavated and are on display at the Tumbler Ridge Museum, set in an area where actual dinosaur footprints have been preserved in the ground.
There isn’t a bad time to visit this dramatic landscape. Summer and fall are best for hikers and campers looking to explore on foot or ATV, as the high alpine areas and many trailheads are open during the summer months. The falls are also wonderful to see when temperatures are warm. Winter isn’t to be overlooked, however—the northern lights can be seen on full display at times, and there are endless miles of snowshoeing and cross country skiing trails. Spring brings mud throughout the region but often has excellent fishing as ice recedes from local lakes and rivers.