Location: On Highway 29; 66 km (41 miles) north of Chetwynd; 90 km (56 miles) southwest of Fort St. John. Population: 1039. Visitor Information: Hudson’s Hope Visitor Information Centre, 9555 Beattie Drive, PO Box 330, Hudson’s Hope, BC, VOC 1VO; Phone: (250) 783-9154 or (250) 783-9901 (winter); Fax: (250) 783-5598 or (250) 783-5741 (winter); Website: www.hudsonshope.ca
This lovely community is picturesquely situated on the banks of the Peace River in the Rocky Mountain Foothills. Ranking as the third oldest European community in British Columbia, the town is steeped in fur trading history dating back to the late 1700s and the days of Alexander Mackenzie and the North West Company.
Surrounded by magnificent scenery, clear lakes and rushing rivers, Hudson’s Hope offers top notch recreational activities including superb fishing for rainbow trout, lake trout, Dolly Varden, Arctic grayling, northern pike, whitefish, walleye and burbot. Bird and wildlife viewing are exceptional, as are opportunities to enjoy all water sports, hiking, camping and hunting.
The Jamieson Woods Nature Preserve is home to ancient sand dunes, mature forest and abundant varieties of plant life like calypso orchids and intricate mushrooms. Many birds can be spotted in the preserve, including seven species of woodpeckers. There are great trails for mountain biking, cross-country skiing, ATV’s and snowmobiles.
The area is also one of the richest sites for fossils and dinosaur footprints in the world. The Hudson’s Hope Museum fossil display is one of the finest collections in the region. Named after the town, Hudsonelpidia was a large ichthyosaur first discovered at nearby Williston Lake. More recent history is brought to life at the museum with artifacts from early trapping, coal and placer mining industries, Peace River pioneers and First Nations people.
A somewhat remote area approximately 40 km from town, Gething Creek offers a unique prehistoric experience where visitors can view actual dinosaur footprints. Directions to the Gething site are available at the classic log Visitor Information Centre, conveniently located in the middle of town. At the Centre, travelers can relax in beautifully landscaped Beattie Park and enjoy the playground, gazebo and picnic area. Free, friendly help and information, public washrooms and free Internet service are also available there.
The Peace Canyon and W.A.C. Bennett dams are important attractions and provide a full range of facilities for tourists. The Peace Canyon Visitor Center has displays on regional history and the construction of the dam. There are also two life size displays of duck-billed dinosaurs.
Twenty minutes from Hudson’s Hope, visitors can drive over the W.A.C. Bennett Dam, one of the largest earth filled dams in the world at more than a mile across and six hundred feet high. There are scheduled tours of the underground powerhouse, hands-on exhibits and a video presentation. Stretching out behind the dam, Williston Lake is the largest man made reservoir in North America, offering excellent fishing, boating and opportunities for fossil hunting.
In addition to comfortable inns, resorts and lodges, visitors will find four municipal campgrounds located at Cameron Lake, Dinosaur Lake, Alwin Holland Park and King Gething Park, and two privately owned RV parks, most either within the town or a few minutes away.