Kinuseo Falls in Monkman Provincial Park

(Albert Normandin photo)

Tumbler Ridge

Culture & History

More than 93-million years ago, dinosaurs inhabited ancient tropical forests at what is now Tumbler Ridge.

These giant reptiles wandered through wet muddy areas leaving behind footprints that years of erosion have revealed, along with other fossils of pre-historic fish and plant life. Since this pre-historic period, Tumbler Ridge has been culturally and historically influenced by its mountainous surroundings.

First Nations

Tumbler Ridge's human history began thousands of years ago when Aboriginal peoples used the land for hunting and fishing. Given the area's mountainous terrain, it is assumed that First Nations would have established seasonal summer camps in the area.

European Exploration

Oddly, while Tumbler Ridge was explored by Europeans more recently than other areas of Northern British Columbia, there is fairly limited information about such exploration. Explorer Samuel Prescott Fay led an expedition in 1914 to Tumbler Ridge, recording information about the terrain, including Kinuseo Falls and Gwillim Lake. Victor Peck, a trapper, was the first settler to live in the area with his wife and four children.

In 1922, Alex Monkman identified Monkman Pass as a potential route across the Rocky Mountains. He lobbied unsuccessfully to have a railway built through the pass, and resolved to build the route himself. In 1937, the Monkman Pass Highway Association blazed the trail through the mountains, but the British Columbia government halted work due to World War II. Today, this historic route can be explored by car or on an extensive wilderness hike.

Tumbler Ridge Today

Enjoy a sense of quiet community while wandering through Tumbler Ridge today. All necessary amenities are within easy walking distance and a network of trails connect neighborhoods. Tumbler Ridge's main livelihood is from coal, oil and gas resource extraction, as well as some forestry. The population actually fluctuates as market prices for coal, oil and gas shift.