Nestled at the base of Hudson Bay Mountain, is the community of Smithers and it embraces its alpine nature. You will see that reflected in the building designs and in the adventurous spirit of the locals. The mountains, lakes and rivers that surround Smithers provide an outdoor playground that will keep you entertained for as many days as you have to visit. Walk, hike or mountain bike the trails and you pick the difficultly from easy to strenuous! Lakes and rivers will float your canoe or motor boat. If you like to cast a fishing line, stop at one of the fishing shops downtown for the latest information, and maybe some new gear! Main Street is lined with unique shops and cafes, so take time to browse and then refresh yourself with a locally roasted coffee or locally brewed craft beer.
Photo credit by- John Wellburn
Smithers is in the heart of the Bulkley Valley, which stretches from Houston to the Hazelton’s, and includes our close neighbours of Telkwa and Witset. We are all connected by Highway 16, also known as the Yellowhead Highway or #Route16. This is a gorgeous drive in your RV or on you motorbike, providing tempting views of the mountains as you enjoy the smooth pavement under your tires.
An easy must do in Smithers is the hike to Crater Lake on Hudson Bay Mountain. If you’re feeling brave, a swim in icy Crater Lake can be your reward. If you’re really lucky you may see Mountain Goats that make their home on Hudson Bay. In fact, you are in Mountain Goat country now as Northern BC is home to about 50% of the global population of Mountain Goats. Pick up a brochure on where to view them at the Smithers Visitor Centre.
To the northeast of Smithers is Babine Mountains Provincial Park. There is evidence of old mining activity in the park and some of the old roads provide good trails. The Babine’s are open to hikers, mountain bikers and to horseback riders – check the trail markers to ensure you pick the right route.
20 minutes west on Highway 16 is Witset, a Witsuwit’en community on the banks of the Bulkley or Wetzin Kwah River. There you will witness a true force of nature as the river crashes through a narrow gorge. This is where the Indigenous people have fished for salmon for thousands of years. Above the canyon is a museum and RV Park and Campground, with accessible campsites, showers and picnic facilities.
If you travel in winter, we invite you to ski Hudson Bay Mountain Ski Resort, the BV Nordic Centre, or the Hankin-Evelyn Back Country Ski Area. If you like power, there is no end to mountain snowmobiling!
Year round, you will find music and art to enrich your soul and local foods to sustain your body. Smithers looks forward to your visit.