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Vanderhoof's Big River Country

Fishing at Cheslatta Falls

(Picture BC photo)

Vanderhoof

Geography

Vanderhoof is the geographical centre of British Columbia, and is therefore referred to as the province's heart.

The town sits on the Nechako Plateau, which is part of the larger North Central Interior Plateau. The area is a notable flat spot between BC's Coast Mountain and Rocky Mountain ranges.

Vanderhoof has wide-open spaces great for agriculture, hence the town's ranching history. The landscape of the surrounding area, which was carved by glaciers, is full of dense forest, unique rock formations, peaks, valleys, and meadows. The closest large city to Vanderhoof is Prince George, approximately 100km/60mi east and less than an hour's drive away. The closest community to the west is Fort Fraser, about 35km/22mi away.

Nechako River

The Nechako River, a major tributary of the Fraser River, splits the town in two. The downtown core is south of the river, while the local college campus, exhibition and rodeo grounds, golf course and more residential homes sit north of the river. Highway 16 and the train tracks, travelling east to west, from Prince George to Prince Rupert, also cut through the middle of downtown.

Big River Country

The area south of Vanderhoof, referred to as "Big River Country," features a thousand lakes of various sizes. A network of logging roads, with routes exiting at various points along Highway 16, allows access to the incredible trails and lakes in the area. Explore this area on the Big River Country scenic drive. Big River Country is an outdoor recreation hub of fishing, guide outfitting, ATVing, and boating. About 15 wilderness lodges are spread widely throughout this region with drive-in, boat-in or fly-in access.

Climate and Weather

Vanderhoof's average July temperature is 22°C/72°F, while January's average is -13.5°C/9°F. The town's annual snowfall is approximately 177cm/70in. Winters can be quite snowy and very cold.