5 Must-see tourist attractions in Northern British Columbia

1. Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark

In the summer of 2000, two Tumbler Ridge kids were floating down Flatbed Creek when they fell off their innertubes and stumbled on a trail of dinosaur footprints. None of the adults in town believed them, but the boys persisted until a visiting palaeontologist confirmed their find.

It was one of the most significant dinosaur discoveries in BC in 100 years.

Visit the museum to learn all about dinosaurs and the fascinating geology of the region, then head out on the trails for a hike or ski to see some jaw-dropping landscapes. You may even find the next fascinating fossil at this Northern BC tourist attraction!

READ MORE: Discover BC’s UNESCO Global Geopark this winter

Tumbler Ridge GeoPark is a four-season playground with rugged scenery and a rich dinosaur history.

Tumbler Ridge GeoPark is a four-season playground with rugged scenery and a rich dinosaur history.

2. Barkerville

If you like historic sites where costumed interpreters immerse you in a different time, you’ll love Barkerville. If you’ve hated historic towns in the past, you’ll still love Barkerville.

The Northern BC gold rush town east of Wells, BC is huge (over 125 heritage buildings), with a wide range of hands-on activities, restaurants, entertainment and displays to engage visitors of all ages. Try your luck at gold panning, practice calligraphy at the Chinese school house, or watch infamous Judge Begbie lay down harsh verdicts in court.

Time your visit with the first weekend in August to catch the ArtsWells festival, or combine it with a canoe trip in Bowron Lake Provincial Park.

Barkerville has over 125 heritage buildings from BC’s gold rush, and North America’s most extensive collection of Chinese buildings, photographs and artifacts. (Photo: Amy Attas)

Barkerville has over 125 heritage buildings from BC’s gold rush, and North America’s most extensive collection of Chinese buildings, photographs and artifacts. (Photo: Amy Attas)

3. Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Park

For an other-worldly moonscape, visit Anhluut’ukwsim Laxmihl Angwinga’asanskwhl Nisga’a (Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Park), one of the youngest and most accessible volcanic features in the province. See vast, sparse fields of volcanic rock, and something called a tree cast — when tree trunks vaporize in the lava flow, leaving bark-engraved holes in the basalt.

Make sure to stay on marked paths, since a single footprint can set back hundreds of years of delicate lichen growth.

Along with geology, on the Nisga’a Nation Auto Tour you’ll learn about Nisga’a’s culture and visit a Nisga’a village which was destroyed by the volcano.

Canada’s last volcanic eruption occurred on Nisga’a land approximately 270 years ago. (Nisga’a Lisims Government / Gary Fiegehen)

Canada’s last volcanic eruption occurred on Nisga’a land approximately 270 years ago. (Nisga’a Lisims Government / Gary Fiegehen)

4. Liard River Hot Springs

Here’s why Liard is the best hot spring in BC: it’s natural, surrounded by forest and much more than a concrete hot tub at an expensive resort. It’s big and remote, so you’ll never be competing for space.

The hot springs are a welcome respite for roadtrippers making their way to the Yukon, and there’s even a campground if you’d like to take an extra long soak.

The lower pool of the Liard River Hot Springs in Northern British Columbia. (photo: Amy Attas)

The lower pool of the Liard River Hot Springs in Northern British Columbia. (photo: Amy Attas)

5. SGang Gwaay UNESCO World Heritage Site

On the southern tip of the Haida Gwaii archipelago, aged cedar mortuary poles rise from the grass, standing watch over a sparkling ocean bay. The carving on these poles is world class, and so is the scenery — the Haida definitely know how to pick a village site.

If you visit you’ll be shown around by a Haida Watchman, who live on the site all summer long to protect their traditional territory and share their culture. Sgang Gwaay is part of the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, which has the nickname ‘Galapagos of the North,’ meaning there’s amazing wildlife as well as historical sites. You’ll see trees as wide as trucks, whales, sea lions and rare birds, and connect with an ancient culture that continues to thrive.

A Haida Watchman shows visitors around the Sgang Gwaay village site in 2017. (Photo: Amy Attas)

A Haida Watchman shows visitors around the Sgang Gwaay village site in 2017. (Photo: Amy Attas)

<a href="https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1LtKeaTbZ6aUq-V7BsI3W9OEFduvnfjWW&usp=sharing" target="_blank">Click here for an interactive map.</a>

Click here for an interactive map.

Plan your future adventures throughout the West Coast at westcoasttraveller.com and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @thewestcoasttraveller. And for the top West Coast Travel stories of the week delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our weekly Armchair Traveller newsletter!

British ColumbiaCanadaFamily activitiesIndigenous tourismnorthernbcThings to dowct-intro

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

“Skeena,” by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow is one of five fonts in the running to become the default for Microsoft systems and Office programs. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Font named after Skeena River could become the next Microsoft default

One of the five new fonts will replace Calibri, which has been Microsoft’s default since 2007

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Most Read