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

Just Posted

A Cariboo Regional District director and School District 27 trustee, Angie Delainey is also a fourth generation business owner in downtown Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Angie Delainey appointed Cariboo Regional District representative on regional board

Delainey and Steve Forseth represent the CRD at the North Central Local Government Association

From October 2020 to April 2021 more than 540 centimeters of snow fell at Barkerville. (Lindsay Chung - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Not so average April snowfall in Barkerville

59 centimeters of white stuff fell last month

Quesnel RCMP Staff Sergeant Darren Dodge took the job in June 2020. (Sasha Sefter - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Quesnel RCMP Staff Sergeant praises work of mental health crisis team

“I know people will say, ‘is this the role for police?’ and I don’t know,” Darren Dodge said of the unit

Crews work to repair Horsefly Road east of Williams Lake . (Ministry of Transportation video)
MoTI activates district operations centre, response to flood damaged roads in Cariboo region

Engineers, experts being pulled from across the province to help

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

(Kamloops This Week)
Puppy’s home in question as BC Supreme Court considers canine clash

Justice Joel Groves granted an injunction prohibiting the sale or transfer of the dog

Most Read