Primarily a farming, ranching, forestry and mining community, Vanderhoof was established in 1912-1913 as part of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway's expansion westward; the last spike was driven in Fort Fraser (38 km/24 mi to the west) on April 7, 1914. Herbert Vanderhoof, a publicity agent from Chicago, was retained by the railway to attract settlers to the region. Construction of the line to Prince Rupert bankrupted the Grand Trunk, which was merged into Canadian National Railway in 1923.
One of the few large, flat areas of land in an otherwise mountainous region, Vanderhoof bills itself as the geographic centre of British Columbia.
1 VIA Rail Canada (Stops at Vanderhoof station), toll-free: . Operates a route between Jasper and Prince Rupert with stops in McBride, Prince George, Vanderhoof, Burns Lake, Houston, Smithers, New Hazelton, Kitwanga, and Terrace. There is an overnight stop in Prince George, where passengers will need to book sleeping accommodations.The train travels during the daytime, taking two days in each direction. There is an overnight stop in Prince George, where passengers will need to book sleeping accommodations. Travel time to Prince George from Jasper is 7.5 hours. Travel time to Vanderhoof from Prince George is 2 hours, from Burns Lake is 2 hours, from Smithers is 4 hours, from Terrace is 8.25 hours, and from Prince Rupert is 10.25 hours. Jasper is also a stop for The Canadian, which travels between Vancouver and Toronto. Vanderhoof station is a flag stop, so reservations are required.
- BC Bus North, ☏ . Twice per week bus service between Prince George and Prince Rupert with stops in Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, Burns Lake, Houston, Smithers, New Hazelton, Kitwanga, and Terrace, and Port Edward. Travel time to Vanderhoof from Prince George is 1.5 hours, from Prince Rupert is 9.75 hours, from Smithers is 4.5 hours, and from Terrace is 7.75 hours. Fare is $40 to $65, depending on distance.
- Fort Taxi and Delivery, Fort St. James and Vanderhoof, ☏ .
By public transit
- 2 BC Transit (Bulkley Nechako Regional Transit System), Co-op Food Store, 188 Stewart St E. BC Transit operates bus route 161 between Prince George and Burns Lake, running Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays stopping at Vanderhoof.
- Migratory Bird Sanctuary, Riverside Park. On the Nechako River; see and photograph song birds, water fowl, shore birds, and birds of prey. In spring and fall, a migratory stop for Canada geese, trumpeter swans, northern pintails, Caspian terns and white pelicans.
- [formerly dead link] Vanderhoof Community Museum, 478 First St W, ☏ , fax: . Daily 10AM-5PM. Eleven historical buildings depict life in the area in the 1920s. Victoria Day-end September, admission free, guided tour $5.50/person. OK Café open in OK Hotel.
- Waterlily Lake Trails, Smedley Road. A 24-km (10-mile) trail system around Homestead and Waterlily Lakes, suitable for cross-country ski, snowshoe, mountain biking, horseback rides and hiking.
- Nechako Valley Exhibition, Nechako Valley Exhibition Grounds, ☏ . One weekend, mid-August, on 42-acre fairgrounds. Fall fair in September.
- Wild Goose Chase. May. Run, jog or walk either 5km or 8km to chase the great goose through Vanderhoof.
- Cozy Corner Pizzeria, 2417 Burrard Ave, ☏ . Pizza, wings, salads, donair, pasta.
- J & S Drive-In, 1513 Hwy 16 East, ☏ , fax: . M-Th 6AM-9PM, F-Sa 6AM-10PM, Su 8AM-9PM. Homemade soups, pies, German speciality foods.
- Woody’s Bakery, 153A Stewart St. E, ☏ , fax: . Tu-Sa 8:30AM-5:30PM. Bakery and coffee shop with soup, sandwiches, salad, fresh bread, pastry and doughnuts baked daily.
- Buffalo Beach Bar, Glen's Motor Hotel, 190 First St. W, ☏ , fax: . Pub open daily 11AM-1AM, F Sa noon-2AM, Su noon-midnight. Cold beer & wine store daily 9AM-11PM. Motel with 24 rooms, Wi-Fi, kitchenettes, restaurant, suites, pets on approval.
Hotel and motels
- Coachlight Motel and RV Park, 2110 Highway 16 East, ☏ , fax: . Full-service RV park including water, sewer, power, cable, wireless internet. Twelve-room motel with some two-room suites and kitchenettes; all rooms have a fridge, microwave and coffee maker.
- North Country Inn, 2625 Burrard Ave, ☏ , fax: . Motel with German/Canadian family restaurant (7AM-9:30PM daily, +1 250-567-3048). Open year-round.
- Siesta Inn, 230 Highway 16 West, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . A 14-unit motel with four full-size kitchenettes, one two-room suite with kitchen and nine twin rooms with 2 queen beds, fridge, microwave and coffee maker. Wi-fi and wired Internet, pet-friendly rooms available.
Wilderness lodges and camps
- Nechako Lodge & Aviation, Knewstubb Lake (95 km SW of Vanderhoof), ☏ . Remote lakefront lodge with cabins, camping and float plane, fishing, canoeing, hiking. $87-262/double occ..
- Stellako Lodge and Resort, Francois Lake Road, Fraser Lake, ☏ . Seasonal riverside cottages, cabins and camping on Stellako River (mid-May to Thanksgiving). Trailer hook-ups, laundry, showers, fly and lake fishing, recreation room. Swiss cuisine by reservation (Thu-Sun).
- Tachick Lake Resort, Tachick Lake Road (24 km (15 miles) south of town), ☏ , fax: . Lakeside resort with RV hook-ups, campsites, cabins, boat launch & rentals, firewood, showers, toilets, laundry, horseshoe pits, volleyball, fishing (rainbow trout), hiking, bird watching, playground and a small sandy beach. Small store with fishing tackle, bait, ice cream, pop, ice, sundries.
- 1 Vanderhoof Public Library, 230 Stewart St E, ☏ , fax: . Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM. Wi-fi and Internet public-use computers.
Fort St. James
A former fur trading post 60km north of Vanderhoof on Stuart Lake, now a town of 4500 people [dead link].
- 1 Fort St. James National Historic Site, Kwah Rd, Fort St. James, ☏ , fax: . June-Sept: daily 9AM-5PM. Restored wooden 1806 North West Company trading post on the southern shores of Stuart Lake, where Hudson Bay fur traders did business with the Carrier First Nations. $7.80.
|Routes through Vanderhoof|
|Prince Rupert ← Smithers ←||W E||→ Prince George → Jasper|
|Prince Rupert ← Smithers ←||W E||→ Prince George → Jasper|