Prince George, known as BC’s northern capital, is a great base for exploring the wild. Fish for salmon in one of the many lakes around the area, hop aboard BC’s history at the Central BC Railway and Forestry Museum, or meet some 2,000 year olds on Highway 16: the nearby Ancient Forest is home to some of the oldest trees on earth. More adventure? Explore the surrounding wilderness by jet boat with River Jet Boat Safaris or, if you’re an experienced spelunker, check out the caves at Evanoff Provincial Park.
Follow the Yellowhead Highway to Smithers, a small town with stunning views and a plethora of outdoor opportunities. Join the locals for coffee and made-from-scratch European-style pastries at Schimmels Fine Pastries. Once fuelled up, explore mountain lakes and sub-alpine meadows in Babine Mountains Provincial Park– watch for mountain goats, moose, marmots and birdlife.
Drive beneath the jagged peaks of the Seven Sisters Mountains to Terrace. From here, fish for Skeena River salmon, hike mountain trails (often with more wildlife than people), bike the single-track at Thornhill Mountain, or hike across a moonscape of hardened lava at Nisga’a Provincial Park. The park, about 100 km/60 mi north of Terrace, is the site of a volcanic eruption which dramatically altered the landscape 250 years ago.
All three northern towns have plenty of overnight options. Try the Sandman Inn in Prince George, Smithers or Terrace, or the Hudson Bay Lodge in Smithers.