Location: At junction of Hwy 29 and Hwy 52; 55 miles southeast of Chetwynd; 72 miles south of Dawson Creek. Population: 4,700. Visitor Information: Tumbler Ridge Visitor InfoCentre, 265 Southgate; Phone: (250) 242-3123; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: www.visittumblerridge.ca.
Incorporated in 1981, the town of Tumbler Ridge was carved out of the wilderness in order to accommodate coal mining activity in the area. Though still a new community, the lovely town offers many social amenities one would expect to find only in older, more well established communities.
The area is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, where wildlife abounds and the rivers team with trout and arctic grayling. Monkman Park is an unspoiled wilderness only an hour’s drive from Tumbler Ridge, where visitors marvel at spectacular Kinuseo Falls, higher than Niagara and just one of countless waterfalls in the Park. Jet boat tours are available daily during the summer. In the heart of the Park, the Cascades are a series of waterfalls that can be reached by following the Monkman Memorial Hiking Trail to kilometer 13 from Kinuseo Falls. The trail itself is 63 kilometers long and passes through breathtaking scenery to Hobi’s Cabin near Prince George. It is for experienced hikers only and follows the route of the Peace River Region farmer Alex Monkman, in his attempt to build a road to Prince George in the mid-1930s. Monkman offers over 40 rustic campsites.
The Dinosaur Discovery Gallery, located with the Peace Region Paleontology Research Centre at 255 Murray Drive, focuses on the wealth of dinosaur finds which first started to come to light in 2000, when two boys stumbled on sets of fossilized Ankylosaur prints along the banks of Flatbed Creek just below Tumbler Ridge. Tours are available to two dinosaur trackway sites and include an evening lantern tour to experience those tracks best viewed with low angle light cast over them. Hundreds of dinosaur bones unearthed in the area are by far the oldest in Western Canada and have led to Northeast BC becoming known as a paleontological hotspot, showcased on a Discovery Channel feature and inspiring the recently designated Northern Dino Tour highway route.
The Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark is one of only two UNESCO supported, internationally significant geoparks in North America, encompassing 41 geosites designated within 7700 square kilometres for hiking, caving, climbing, viewing glorious waterfalls and experiencing dinosaur fever.
The impressive 90,000-square-foot Tumbler Ridge Community Centre houses an aquatic centre, hockey arena, curling rink, gym, racquet ball courts, climbing wall, library, licensed café, art gallery, indoor playground and the free Tumbler Ridge Display Gallery, where you can investigate local natural and human history, coal mining, and displays featuring waterfalls, dinosaurs and local flora and fauna.
Open year-round and located conveniently in the downtown core, the brand new Visitor Information Centre is an ideal meeting place where knowledgeable staff provide information on all there is to see and do.
Tumbler Ridge is home to a 9-hole, par 36 public golf course complete with pro shop, driving range, putting green, restaurant and clubhouse. RV sites are also available with 30 amp hook-ups. Other campsites include Lions Campground with 43 rustic sites and Monkman RV Park with 54 sites offering full hook-ups, showers and laundry.
Grizfest is a very popular family-friendly music festival held annually on the August long weekend, featuring a variety of music genres from traditional to experimental. The following weekend, the 20 km Mountain Marathon known as the Emperors Challenge covers a wild route through stunning mountain terrain.