The diverse geography of Northwest BC inspires exploration and discovery: mist-shrouded coastal areas, towering mountains, sweeping glaciers, rivers, lakes, hot springs and valleys. And nestled in this wild landscape are vibrant communities with popular local breweries.
Begin your Northwest BC adventure in Prince Rupert where the nautically themed Wheelhouse Brewing embraces that community’s connection to the ocean. In nearby Terrace, Sherwood Mountain Brewhouse’s patio is always packed with folks enjoying that inland community’s abundance of sunshine.
Smithers, a few hours east, has two craft breweries, Bulkley Valley Brewery and Smithers Brewing, both of which embrace the region’s many outdoor activities: skiing, hiking, mountain biking and fishing.
Take a side trip south to visit Ursa Minor Brewing, which is based on Little Bear Ranch, a 540-acre cattle farm about 100km south of Burns Lake.
Start your Northwest BC adventure in Prince Rupert.
Ferry – from Port Hardy on Vancouver Island (full day ferry through the inside passage, departs on odd days, reservations recommended)
Air – Air Canada flies from Vancouver to Prince Rupert
Home of the ‘Yawn Begone’! A unique coffee shop in the heart of Prince Rupert with great coffee, world famous muffins and delicious lunch.
Whale watching trips and grizzly bear viewing June-October in the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary, the largest grizzly sanctuary in North America.
The first 100% ‘Ocean Wise’ sushi restaurant in BC, all local seafood, locally made furniture, locally served craft beer, wine and sake.
For a leisurely stroll, McClymont Trail is a favourite. The newly developed Rushbrook Trail is easily accessible from Cow Bay. For a more rugged hike, try Tall Trees Trail, approximately 4.5 km one way.
At the edge of the world, this craft beer outpost has earned a devoted following thanks to its inventive brews, often made with local ingredients.
A local family owned and operated Indo-Canadian fusion restaurant and lounge. Sit-in, take-out, or delivery!
Overlooking the town harbour and within walking distance from Rotary Waterfront Park and the Museum of Northern BC. Also an option for dinner! At the Crest Hotel, both Charley’s Lounge and the Waterfront Restaurant offer stunning waterfront views from every table.
If you fancy getting some footwork in, Butze Rapids Park and Trail is a popular spot accessed by a 5 kilometre, easy going trail that leads to a viewing platform overlooking the rapids.
North Pacific Cannery – Explore historic boardwalks, industrial buildings, residences and wilderness surroundings. Join a tour or explore on your own—experience 125 years of history. Open May to September.
For more hotel inspiration visit Tourism Prince Rupert.
Drive to Terrace (1.5 hours)
A fantastic little cafe just south of the city centre with a sunny patio to enjoy. Coffee, tea and a variety of baked goods for morning fare—and tasty bistro style offerings for lunch.
Book at tee time to play at the foot of the majestic Thornhill Mountain just outside of Terrace.
A cozy neighbourhood pub with friendly service, great food, and of course, local pints on tap.
Nestled among snow-capped peaks and raging rivers, Sherwood Mountain is bringing German-style lagers to Northern B.C.
Terrace is home to a vibrant art and music community. Regular exhibitions by talented local artists can be viewed and purchased at the Terrace Art Gallery, the Red Raven Gallery, and local coffee shops and bistros.
Take a tour of the stunning salmon murals that grace the building walls in downtown Terrace, and check out the Freda Diesling School of Indigenous Art at Coast Mountain College and be inspired by the next generation of indigenous artists. Find out more at visitterrace.com.
Drive to Hazelton (1.5 hours)
A boutique off-grid hop farm specializing in fresh aroma hops (and sheep and llamas). Call ahead to arrange a tour to touch, smell and taste a variety of hops while they're on the vine.
Drive to Smithers (45 mins)
When you pull into Smithers head to Two Sisters to fuel up for a big day of big experiences. It's a sustainability-minded cafe that supports local farmers, growers, artisan bakers and more with it's diverse and fresh daily menu.
Home to spring salmon, coho, sockeye, pink salmon, and steelhead, the Bulkley River offers great fishing. Stop by a tackle shop or grab a guide from Frontier Farwest Lodge and cast away an afternoon.
Smithers’ favourite après destination is the perfect place to park it after a long day on the slopes.
Internationally inspired comfort food, local craft beers and more—the Roadhouse is for relaxing, socializing, and celebrating.
Smithers’ newest brewery offers creative beers in a stunning setting.
As you travel from Terrace through Hazelton, drive across the Hagwilget Canyon Bridge—and if you’re not scared of heights, pull over safely and take in the astonishing view. When you’re on route to Smithers, be sure to stop and take in the energy of the Bulkley River being squeezed through the Moricetown Canyon.
Smither’s Hudson Bay Mountain offers four trails for different activity levels and destinations. Wildflowers, waterfalls, or a glacier view—take your pick! Check the Tourism Smithers website for trail maps and wildlife preparedness.
Looking for a local rental shop in Smithers with expertise in fishing, biking and more? McBike and Sport will make sure you’re set up for success.
For more Smithers hotel inspiration visit Tourism Smithers.
Drive to Burns Lake (1.5 hours)
Take the ferry across Francois Lake and explore the wilderness on this 97km drive, winding through small communities of the Burns Lake area. Be prepared for some dirt roads.
This farmland brewery is based on Little Bear Ranch, a 540-acre cattle farm in the Lakes District of Northern BC.
Burns Lake offers ample opportunities for fishing, hiking, and mountain biking. Learn about the rich history of the area at the Lakes District Museum.
Discover the adventure of BC’s Lakes District and travel to the Southside, which involves a free public ferry that crosses François Lake and some dirt roads, so be sure to plan ahead.
Drive to Prince George (3.5 hours) – this route includes a ferry
A fairly extensive trail network, Pidherny offers a range of trail options. Many of these mountain biking trails have structures and jumps to try out.
Enjoy a hand-made meal sourced fresh from the Northern Lights' garden and beyond. Their brunch menu is paired with a view of the Nechako River—a treat for all the senses.
Explore the winding trails along the Nechako River—keep your eyes peeled for the unique carved faces in the Cottonwood trees.
Founded by friends with a shared love for craft beer, Trench is a community gathering place.
CrossRoads Brewing & Distillery is revitalizing Prince George’s downtown with its hip patio, wood-fired pizzas and stellar beer lineup.
Road Trip Tasting Notes: Prince George
Experience Prince George family-style on this weekend getaway with Ruby Hogg.
Our small family is on our way to Prince George for a weekend getaway. The only objectives we have are to have fun, and visit the two craft breweries local to the area. As we soon learn, the opportunities to have fun and explore are expansive.
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A surprisingly cosmopolitan hub on British Columbia’s wild and beautiful Northwest Coast, Prince Rupert is a vibrant port town where nature, history, and personalities are larger than life.
A vibrant and growing city, Terrace boasts year-round recreational opportunities for the whole family to enjoy. The choices are endless: world-class fishing on the Skeena River, hiking trips through the backcountry, cycling along city paths or mountain biking down steep terrain. Go golfing at the base of a majestic mountain, raft down a raging river, or ski exhilarating slopes or along peaceful Nordic trails. Enjoy the largest northern music festival in spring or 10 days of Riverboat festivities in August. Stop by Heritage Park Museum to partake in a local event or to better understand our history.
The Bulkley River borders Smithers and lends its name to the valley. Smithers is a mountain town, set against the backdrop of the Hudson Bay Mountain and with vistas of the Babine and Telkwa Mountain Ranges. Smithers offers outstanding outdoor recreational pursuits during all phases of the year. This includes fishing and hunting, downhill and cross-country skiing, golfing, snowmobiling, canoeing and kayaking and many more.
Welcome to Burns Lake and the Lakes District, Mother Nature’s adventure playground. Burns Lake is located in the heart of Northern British Columbia, approximately 220 kilometres west of Prince George, and 490 kilometres east of Prince Rupert on Highway 16. The Lakes District is home to one of the smallest and largest provincial parks in British Columbia – Deadman’s Island and Tweedsmuir. The Lakes District has over a dozen maintained trails for hiking as well as world class mountain bike trails and Olympic quality crosscountry skiing trails in the winter
Urban sophistication and spectacular wilderness live distinctively side by side in Prince George. We are the only community in northern BC that offers the amenities and benefits of a thriving city within mere minutes of beautiful, pristine forests. This land is the traditional home of the Lheidli T’enneh and Carrier Sekani First Nations people, Prince George is widely known as the capital of northern British Columbia.