Northern BC is a land of unlimited adventure filled with jagged mountain peaks, roaring rivers, serene lakes, green valleys, rugged coastlines and ancient island archipelagos. Much of Northern BC is preserved and protected by a world-class system of provincial parks and nature reserves. The region ranges from pristine wilderness areas accessible only by horseback, charter plane or on foot, to idyllic lakeside campgrounds with every modern amenity. The stunning landscape features turquoise-coloured glacial lakes, alpine meadows, hot springs, volcanic cinder cones and a miniature Grand Canyon.
Whatever you want to do in Northern BC, take it outside. The region is known for its magnificent freshwater and saltwater fishing, canoeing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, hiking, and in the winter, powder skiing and snowmobiling. This is a world where the outdoors rule. And what an amazing place it is. The wilderness is vast and beautiful, the lakes and streams sparkling clear and fresh, the forests deep and green. A wondrous system of national and provincial parks provides habitats and sanctuary for wildlife as small as birds and as large as grizzly bears. Discover ancient old growth forests and rugged coastlines on a sightseeing tour or photo safari. With a little luck, the legendary Kermode (Spirit) bear may make an appearance.
Attractions in Northern BC reflect the area's natural beauty and profound history. Visit Northern BC’s museums and heritage sites to discover Aboriginal culture, towering totem poles, what it was like to be a settler in the North, and the importance of the railway and forestry to this part of BC.
Summer Festivals and Events (June – August)
Prince George Exhibition (August): More than 40,000 people attend the annual Prince George Exhibition, an event which celebrated its 100th year in 2012. Stroll down Heritage Lane to watch costumed interpreters and entertainers enact a history of the area, experience the thrill of the midway, or watch free concerts, dog agility shows, logger sports, horse shows and rodeo events. Look for the event next year under its new name - the BC Northern Exhibition (BCNE).
Chetwynd International Chainsaw Carving Championships (June): During the three-day Chetwynd International Chainsaw Carving Championships, artists rev up chainsaws and turn huge pieces of wood into works of art. The completed carvings, some taller than the artists themselves, depict everything from wildlife and people to dragons and mermaids. Stroll through town to see more than 100 carvings, many from previous competitions, proudly out on display.
Riverboat Days (July/August): Riverboat Days showcases the heritage, culture and community spirit of Terrace. Watch parades and drag car races, check out live rock or bluegrass music, or participate in one of the many sports events.
Bulkley Valley Exhibition (August): Almost 20,000 people head to the Smithers Fall Fair Grounds for this family-friendly event. A parade kicks off four days of thrilling midway rides, educational (and tasty) agricultural exhibits, children's events and a rodeo.
Winter Festivals and Events (December – February)
Coldsnap Festival (January): Listen and dance to the sounds of local and international musicians at the nine-night Coldsnap Festival in Prince George. Evening concerts have featured renowned acts such as The Good Lovelies, Great Lake Swimmers and The Lee Boys. Festival performers host workshops and share music and stories while leading discussions on topics such as the importance of multiculturalism.
High on Ice Festival (January): Embrace winter at this four-day festival in Fort St. John. Experience the town on a horse-drawn sleigh, head to Centennial Park to watch professional and amateur ice sculptors, or enter an ice-fishing derby, toboggan race or curling bonspiel.