Originally created as a mining community in northeastern British Columbia, Tumbler Ridge sits in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies and has become famous for its former residents—the dinosaurs. The region is a hot spot for paleontologists, both professional and amateur. It boasts the only dinosaur museum in BC.
Fans of dinosaurs will be rewarded greatly with the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery, which features bones from BC’s dinosaur excavations, a variety of dinosaur tracks and trackways from the region, and fossil fish and marine reptile exhibits. The Tumbler Ridge area is home to 10 of the world’s 15 known tyrannosaur tracks (including the only known trackways), as well as the first dinosaur skull found in BC (a tyrannosaur). The area was given a UNESCO Global Geopark designation in 2014, which celebrates landscapes of international geological significance.
But Tumbler Ridge is about more than paleontology. Outside the museum is a rugged, rich outdoors full of hiking, fishing, and camping opportunities. Monkman Provincial Park, and specifically Kinuseo Falls, makes for a destination all its own. These 60-metre falls on the Murray River are just a little bit higher than the iconic Niagara Falls. Beyond Monkman, a wide array of natural attractions make the area a draw: Bergeron Falls, Quality Falls, Nesbitt’s Knee Falls, Tumbler Point hiking trail, and the Boulder Gardens are just some of the highlights for lovers of fresh air, trees, water, and wildlife.
There are few places to choose from in Tumbler Ridge. The pet-friendly and professional Trend Mountain Hotel & Conference Centre features the popular Western Steakhouse restaurant. Tumbler Ridge Inn and Tumbler Ridge Hotel & Suites are two other options. Camping is a great alternative, with three provincial parks within easy striking distance.
A 13-hour drive from Vancouver, Tumbler Ridge is best accessed by flying into Fort St. John (170 km/105 miles away) and renting a car. Many RVers and campers en route to Alaska make a detour to Tumbler Ridge.
Things To Do
An Australian writer and editor discovers BC's natural restorative powers.