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Tumbler Ridge is a small town in the Peace River region of Northern British Columbia. The area is part of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network with dinosaur tracks, waterfalls, interesting rock formations, hiking and many other year-round outdoor activities.


The town of Tumbler Ridge was created to provide housing for workers at nearby coal mines in 1981 and the first residents arrived in 1983. It has a now home to about 2000 people (2016).

In 2014, both operating coal mines were effectively closed. Economic diversification has occurred with oil and gas exploration, forestry, and recreational tourism.


Archaeological evidence show a human presence dating back 3,000 years. The nomadic Sekani, followed by the Dunneza and then the Cree, periodically lived in temporary settlements around the future municipality. Exploratory and surveying expeditions were conducted from 1914 to 1923. One of the surveyors coined the name "Tumbler Ridge", referring to the mountains northwest of the future town. Permanent settlers were squatters, five families by 1920, who maintained trap lines. In the 1950s and 1960s, oil and natural gas exploration and logging was conducted through the area, and 15 significant coal deposits were discovered. Coal prices rose after the 1973 oil crisis leading to 40 government studies examining the viability of accessing the coal, given the 1,130 km (700 mi) to the nearest port and the mountainous barrier.

After dinosaur trackways were discovered in 2000, and bones in 2002, the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation began excavations and opened the Peace Region Palaeontology Research Centre. Fossils and bones are displayed at both locations. Tours and educational programs related to dinosaur, the trackways, and the wilderness are offered.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

The town is at the junction at BC Highways 52 and 29. It is roughly 120 km southwest (1½ hour drive) of Dawson Creek and 100 km southeast of Chetwynd.

The unmanned Tumbler Ridge Airport, with its 1,219 m (4,000 ft) asphalt runway, is used by chartered and local flights. The closest airports with regularly scheduled flights are in Dawson Creek, Fort St. John and Grande Prairie.

Get around[edit]

In town, the paved roads are laid out in a curvilinear pattern that use two arterial roads, MacKenzie Way and Monkman Way, to connect each section of town.


  • 1 Dinosaur Discovery Gallery, 255 Murray Dr, +1 250-242-3466, . Mid May - early Sep: daily 9AM-5PM, at other times: Th-M 9AM-5PM. Museum with some dinosaur exhibits. During July and August, they also offer daily tours to two of the local dinosaur trackway sites. Tours are 2-2½ hours long and must be booked in advance. $8 adult, $6 seniors, $5 youth 10-17, $3 child 5-9. Tours are an additional $8-15 per person.


The Tumbler Ridge area has a variety of waterfalls, rock formations and other natural features that has led to it being recognized by UNESCO as the Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark. The Geopark isn't a "park" in the traditional sense, but a collection of scattered sites with geological, cultural or scientific importance, and provide opportunities to hike, bike, climb, ATV and snowmobile. Kinuseo Falls within Monkman Provincial Park and Flatbed Creek are just two of the many sites considered part of the Geopark.

Nearby recreational destinations include numerous trails, mountains, waterfalls, snowmobiling areas.

Kinuseo Falls in the Monkman Provincial Park
  • 1 Monkman Provincial Park. The most popular destination for visitors to Tumbler Ridge due to the Kinuseo Falls on the Murray River within the park. Kinuseo Falls (Q14874647) on Wikidata Kinuseo Falls on Wikipedia
  • 2 Bearhole Lake Provincial park. Offers camping, fishing, canoeing, hiking, cross-country skiing, and wildlife viewing.
  • 3 Gwillim Lake Provincial Park. Opportunities for hiking, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and swimming.
  • 4 Flatbed Creek, Don Phillips Way, between Mackenzie Way and Heritage Hwy. A natural area with some easy to moderate hiking trails that lead to two small waterfalls, some picnic areas and swimming pools, and the Cabin Pool dinosaur trackway. Trails start from the parking lot off of Don Phillips Way (Hwy 29) and are 2-4 km return. The dinosaur trackways are located on both sides of the creek, with one of them featuring a line of 23 ankylosaur tracks.
  • Grizfest Music Festival, +1 250-242-4444, . Is a two-day concert held on the August long weekend, and includes a parade, dance, art show, and other community-wide events.
  • Emperor's Challenge. Promoted as the most beautiful and most challenging half-marathon in the world. It, held in August, is a 21 km (13 mi) marathon up Roman Mountain.


Eat and drink[edit]


  • 1 Lions Flatbed Creek Campground, Hwy 29 (1.5 km southwest of town at Flatbed Creek), +1 250-242-1197. 45 site campground next to Flatbed Creek with flush toilets, playground and coin-operated showers. For RVs, there is a sani-station but no electrical hook-up. Firewood available for sale.
  • 2 Trend Mountain Hotel, 375 Southgate St, +1 250-242-2000. 100-room hotel with two queen rooms and suites with a king bed and pull-out sofa. Standard rooms have a fridge and microwave and suites have a kitchenette. Amenities include a fitness centre, business centre, free continental breakfast and free Wifi. $150-170.
  • 3 Tumbler Ridge Hotel & Suites, 360 Northgate St, +1 250-242-0053. 50-room hotel with a mix of rooms – one king-size bed, two queens and suites with an extra bedroom. Amenities include free Wifi and kitchenette. The Family Suite has a full kitchen. $85-110.
  • 4 Tumbler Ridge Inn, 275 Southgate, +1 250-242-4277, toll-free: +1-800-663-3898. Bar, golf course, children's activities, pets allowed, kitchenette, refrigerator. $110 double.


Go next[edit]

Routes through Tumbler Ridge
Fort St. JohnChetwynd  N  S  END

This city travel guide to Tumbler Ridge is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.