Prince George is a basecamp for year-round outdoor adventures in Northern British Columbia. Located on the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, the city is a mecca for nature lovers. Surrounded by forests, rivers, lakes, and waterfalls, there are amazing natural areas for exploration, contemplation, and recreation.
There are many provincial parks found within a two-hour radius to explore. Each park provides an opportunity to connect deeper to the land, waters, and people of the region. Each park displays unique flora, fauna, wildlife, geology, history, and culture of the area. Develop a sense of place in your new surroundings through recreating and relaxing in nature. Remember to leave only footprints and take only pictures.
Venture out for a bike ride, or a picnic near a waterfall. Get out on a lake or a river for a paddle or boat ride. Go camping and stargazing while taking in the sounds of nocturnal nature. Slow down and relax or get pumped and active as you enjoy the trails. During the crisp, sunny days of winter you can be out ice-fishing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, or staying in a cozy cabin off the beaten path.
BC Parks has been protecting and managing a wide variety of park lands with incredible natural features and diverse wilderness environments for over 100 years. Providing inclusive, safe, high quality and diverse recreation to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds is a key commitment. Integral to all that BC Parks does is working towards true and meaningful collaboration with Indigenous Peoples.
Here are a few BC Parks close to Prince George for your outdoor bucket list. Before your trip, don’t forget to check bcparks.ca for important park information and alerts.
Highway 16 East towards Mount Robson:
1) Sugar Bowl-Grizzly Den Provincial Park- 95 kilometres from Prince George, this year-round park includes the Grand Canyon of the Fraser. The park protects old growth interior cedar and hemlock trees, and has excellent habitat for grizzly bear, martin, and caribou. It is an important caribou movement corridor. A well-developed trail system offers popular alpine backcountry recreation opportunities. Three cabins are available to rent: 8 Mile, Grizzly Den, and Raven, which was renovated this year.
2) Ancient Forest/Chun T’oh Whudujut Park – 115 kilometres from Prince George is British Columbia’s newest day-use park. A partnership with Lheidli T’enneh Nation is in place for future development of the park. This is the only inland forest in the world with cedars dating back thousands of years. It is an important eco-habitat with a rich biodiversity of plants and animals. The 450-metre-long universal access boardwalk provides access for people with disabilities.
3) Purden Lake Provincial Park– 64 kilometres from Prince George, this seasonal park features 78 campsites, including 12 tent sites. The park is in the Fraser Basin, an irregularly shaped depression of gently rolling hills and shallow lakes. Purden lake is busy with swimmers, boaters and boasts a nice sandy beach and walking trails near the water.
Highway 16 West towards Prince Rupert:
4) West Lake Provincial Park- 22 kilometres from Prince George, this year-round day-use park offers fishing, boating, a roped-off swimming area, and hiking opportunities. There are group picnic sites, a boat launch, and washrooms. Popular activities in the winter include cross-country skiing and tobogganing.
5) Beaumount Provincial Park- 134 kilometres from Prince George, open seasonally, with 49 campsites and five walk-in tenting sites. The park lies within the Nechako Plateau bordered by the Hazelton, Skeena and Omineca mountains on Fraser Lake. It offers a beautiful, sandy beach for swimming, a dog beach, roped off swimming area, and is great for fishing and other water activities.
Highway 97 North
6) Eskers Provincial Park- 44 kilometres from Prince George, this year-round day-use park is uniquely situated in the Stuart River Eskers’ Complex. The rolling hills and lakes shaped from ancient glaciers offer plenty of recreation opportunities such as paddling, biking, hiking, snow shoeing, ice-fishing and has tremendous birdwatching, and wildlife viewing opportunities.
7) Whiskers Point Provincial Park- 137 kilometres from Prince George, this 116-hectare park open seasonally, is found on McLeod Lake in a sheltered bay with a sandy beach and 59 campsites. Fort McLeod, just 10 kilometres north of here, was the first trading post established west of the Rocky Mountains.
8) Crooked River Provincial Park– 70 kilometres from Prince George, this year-round accessible park has 65 campsites. There are three beautiful lakes with fine sandy beaches to explore and relax on. There is excellent fishing and hiking opportunities and a natural year-round running cold-water spring. Elegant trumpeter swans visit in the winter.