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 Home > Travel BC > BC Cities and Towns >  Yellowhead Hwy > Smithers

Smithers
Smithers is located east of Hazelton of Prince George and 15 km (9 miles) west of Telkwa on Hwy 16.

Half Way to Prince Rupert
Once you reach Smithers you are about half way from Prince George 371 km (232 miles) to the east and Prince Rupert which is still 353 km (221 miles) away to the west. Smithers is located in a large valley called, 'The Bulkley Valley.'

The Bulkley Valley
When you are driving west of Houston on Hwy 16 to wards Smithers, there is an excellent view of the Bulkley Valley as you descend 'Hungry Hill' into Quick. The large mountain 2,652 metres (8,700 feet) you see in the background towards Smithers is Hudson Bay Mountain.

'Town for all Seasons'
Established as a CN Railway station and later as a centre for agriculture, Smithers now calls itself a 'Town for all Seasons.' With the town surrounded by various mountain ranges in either direction and the buildings having a Bavaria theme, Smithers has often been called 'Little Switzerland.'

Places to Eat
Smithers has quite a variety of fast food outlets located right on Hwy 16 through the town. If your time permits and you enjoy pastries, make sure you try Schimmels Fine Pastries on Main St. Schimmels has one of the best cinnamon buns available in BC. It is a great spot to sit down, have a coffee and meet the locals.

Recreation
During the winter season it cannot be said enough about what to do. The winter sports in this town excel: back-country skiing, snowmobiling, snow shoeing, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing and curling. Over the rest of the year there is golfing, hiking, biking, ATV's, 4x4, hunting, fishing and exploring. You will find that there is just not enough time to see it all.

Hudson Bay Mountain
Smithers is home to Hudson Bay Mountain, one of the best destinations in northern British Columbia for cross-country skiing and downhill skiing. Hudson Bay Mountain offers to the enthusiast perhaps the best powder snow in British Columbia. The downhill skiing and boarding located here is awesome. The mountain has a great selection of runs for all skill categories.

Four Mountain Ranges
Smithers is blessed being surrounded by four large mountain ranges. These ranges; the Skeena Range, the Bulkley Range, Telkwa Range and the Rocher Deboule Range created some interest in mining exploration. During Smithers evolvement, various mines were established throughout these mountain ranges.

Mountain Biking and Hiking
Most of the mines are now closed but their legacy still remains. That is the amount of old trails and mining roads. These roads will give you access to some of the nicest alpine terrain available. If your time permits, try one of these old trails either by mountain biking or hiking in Silverking Basin. Located in Babine Mountains Provincial Park, Silverking offers some of BC's best areas to explore.

Smithers Hiking Club
If you're interested, a good book for reference on hikes and trails is 'Trails to Timberline' by Einar Blix. This has been the local manual for years. A good place to contact people for hikes is through the Bulkley Valley Backpackers Society. This club meets every week for a different hike in the area. They are a very friendly group and expect a great hike.

Snowmobiling
The three main areas maintained by the Smithers Snowmobile Association are The Onion, Dome Mountain and the Microwave near Telkwa. The season is very long, lasting right into May. One event to participate in is the annual Smithers Hill climb held in May.

Pine Creek Ski Trails
For cross-country skiing try the Pine Creek ski trails located in the Smithers Community Forest on Hudson Bay Mountain Road.

Areas to explore around Smithers
Areas around Smithers to explore include going towards Houston, Babine Lake or west to Moricetown.

Houston
Houston is just east of Smithers by around 50 minutes. A good route to take is to drive to Telkwa east of Smithers. At the Telkwa light, turn towards the Bulkley River and across the bridge. Just after the bridge is Lawson Road; this road goes down the west side of the Bulkley River. Keep on this road as you pass a narrow bridge near Round Lake. The road changes names at Walcott to the Telkwa FSR. This road eventually connects at the Morice River with the Morice Gold FSR.

Morice River
Take the road over the bridge at the Morice River and connect with the Morice River FSR. Turn north on this road. You will now pass the 'World's Largest Sawmill' owned by Canfor. The Morice River FSR eventually meets Hwy 16 .

Pleasant Valley Café
You can either turn towards Houston, five minutes away or go back to Smithers, which will take about 40 minutes. Houston has a few restaurants, cafés, and a neighbourhood pub if you're hungry. The food at the Pleasant Valley Café is usually good, serving large portions.

Telkwa High Road
To go to areas west of Smithers there are a few ways to go. A real scenic route is to take the Telkwa High Road located on Hwy 16 in Telkwa. This back road takes a nice route on the east side of the Bulkley River. You can also access Telkwa High Road off of Eckman Rd. closer in at Smithers on Hwy 16. But by starting at Telkwa, you get to see the whole of Telkwa High Road and experience the views of Tyhee Lake outside of Telkwa.

Driftwood Canyon Provincial Park
As you drive west on the Telkwa High Road, you will pass the community of Driftwood. There is a real nice park here called Driftwood Canyon Provincial Park; this is where you can find the parking for Silverking Basin and the Babine Mountain Recreation Area.

Moricetown
Carry on the Telkwa High Road and look for Malkow Lookout near Snake Road. Along this stretch of road there are some pretty impressive views of Smithers and Hudson Bay Mountain. The road continues through some beautiful country and emerges at the Moricetown Canyon Native Fishery at the Bulkley River. During the fish run in the summer and fall, you can witness traditional fishing as the salmon try and swim through the canyon. At Moricetown the road emerges with Hwy 16 and you complete the circle route back to Smithers.

Babine Lake
If time permits, visit Babine lake, British Columbia's longest natural lake. The turnoff for the lake is approximately halfway between Smithers and Telkwa at Eckman Road. This road eventually changes to Burn't Cabin Road, later to merge with Babine lake Road. The road is gravel but is in great shape. Look for the sign on Hwy 16 pointing the way.

Smithers Landing
It is approximately 50 km (32 miles) to Smithers Landing from the turnoff on Hwy 16. If you have a boat, the fishing is great. You can stay at Tukii Lodge or try your luck at obtaining one of the wilderness campsites located right on the lake at Babine Lake - Smithers Landing Marine Provincial Park

Riverside Municipal Park
If you are camping, try and get into Riverside Municipal Park situated next to the Bulkley River. It is close to town plus it is situated near the 'Perimeter Trail,' a municipal trail that is great for walking and biking around Smithers.

Tyhee Lake Provincial Park
If Riverside is full there is RV camping located east of Smithers at Telkwa or 8 km (6 miles) west of Smithers at Glacier View RV Park. For wilderness camping there are a number of forest service recreation sites in the area. Closest provincial campground is at Tyhee Lake back near Telkwa.

Accommodation
Smithers has quite a few motels located right on Hwy 16 as you drive through town. There are aslo hostels and a small number of intimate and private cabins close to some lakes, fishing, hiking and some mountain bike trails.

Information on Smithers

Smithers Campgrounds

  • Riverside Municipal Park
    3843-19th Avenue
    250-847-1600
  • Glacier View RV Park
    12 km (7.5 miles) west of Smithers on Hwy 16
    (250) 847-3961
  • Riverside Recreation Centre
    RV Park & Golf Course
    2 km (1.25 miles) east of Smithers on Hwy 16
    (250) 847-3229

 

 

Smithers Map
click map for larger image

 

Glacier on Hudson Bay Mountain
Glacier on Hudson Bay Mountain

 

Hudson Bay Mountain
Alpenhorn Pub & Bistro

 

Hudsons Bay Mountain
Hudson Bay Mountain

 

Ski Smithers
Hudson Bay Mountain

 


Silverking Basin

 


Silverking Basin

 

view of the Bulkley Valley
Bulkley Valley

 

Alpenhorn Player
Alpenhorn Player

 

Overlooking Glacier
Overlooking Glacier

 

Smithers Public Market
Smithers Public Market

 

Hudson Bay Mountain - Telkwa High Road
Hudson Bay Mountain - Telkwa High Road

 
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