Nestled between the rugged Canadian Rockies and the snowcapped Cariboo Mountains, McBride lies in the beautiful Mount Robson Valley, where the mighty Fraser River flows.
Since its earliest days, McBride has been an active and vibrant centre. Following in the footsteps of trappers and prospectors came railway construction workers. With the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway came settlers, with all the reasons in the world to stay amid the peaks of the Rocky Mountain Trench, with its mild climate, good soil, abundance of water and rugged beauty.
Formerly known as Railway Siding 39, McBride was established in 1913, and was named in honour of the premier at the time, Sir Richard McBride (1903-1915). Following the Second World War, the developing timber and agriculture industries attracted more people to the Robson Valley.
McBride provides countless opportunities for enjoying the great outdoors in all seasons. Hiking trails in the mountains offer a day excursion or an overnight stay in one of the backcountry cabins in the Ozalenka and Eagle Valleys. Take advantage of the many nearby creeks for fishing, canoeing and bird watching.
Plan your summer route to Alaska to include a stop along the Yellowhead Highway (Highway 16), and discover the lush valley, spectacular mountain ranges, and the friendly people waiting for you in McBride.
Be entertained year-round with a short walk from the centre of town to the Horseshoe Lake Bird Viewing Station. Here, visitors can observe and photograph Canada Geese, goldeneye ducks, swans and blue herons. Listen for a sora, or watch the majesty of hawks and bald eagles.
In late summer and early fall, stop and watch the salmon run in the Beaver River, the Fraser River and other creeks in the area.
Visit nearby Koeneman Regional Park, named after a family of settlers whose log house is now used as a theatre and special events gallery. To get a full taste of what the park has to offer, hike to Rainbow Falls and beyond, to the lookouts on Deer Mountain, for fabulous views of Mount Robson and the Cariboo Mountains.
Plan a day trip and discover some of the most spectacular scenery in Northern BC. Mount Robson Provincial Park is just a 45-minute scenic drive away, and is home to Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, which towers to 12,972 feet over the western entrance to the park. The park contains the headwaters of the mighty Fraser River and, in the northwest section of the park, the massive Berg Glacier, notable for being one of the few living (or advancing) glaciers in the Canadian Rockies. The superb scenery in the park makes it an excellent site for hikers, climbers, and backcountry enthusiasts. Hiking possibilities are endless, ranging from easy walking trips to several challenging hikes.
Summer Activities: Summer visitors enjoy hiking through alpine meadows and over 150 kilometres of well-maintained trails that provide excellent views of the Robson Valley. Cabins are located all over the valley for those who want to make a night of it. Heli-hikers take the easy way up, for a memorable trip not easily forgotten.
Discover the remote beauty of the Kakwa Provincial Park and Protected Area, north of McBride along the Alberta border.
Paddlers can put in at the boat launch beside highway 16 in Mount Robson Park, for access to Moose Lake and Yellowhead Lake.
Winter Activities: Winter brings with it a breathtaking mountain beauty, discovered while cross-country skiing on developed trails at nearby Belle and Lucille Mountains, or snowmobiling the local backcountry, which has an international reputation for offering one of the best snowmobiling environments you can find. The Robson Valley offers some of the best heli-skiing in the world, and the Northern Cariboo Mountains and the Canadian Rockies are legendary for their abundance of dry powder, immense open bowls and spectacular glacier skiing.
Wildlife viewing in the valley reveals an abundance of animal life. Watch for black bear, grizzly, cougar, coyote, wolf, lynx, bobcat, mountain goat, caribou and bald eagles…to name a few. British Columbia is one of the richest wildlife viewing areas in Canada, with diverse and extraordinary creatures ranging from Aise Swallowtails, and Green Herons, to Tumpeter Swans.
Willmore Wilderness Park in the Rocky Mountains of central Alberta is a beautiful untouched wilderness area with pristine forests and stunning panoramic mountain vistas. Willmore offers wonderful outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, multi-day horseback riding trips, horse assisted hiking excursions, and great fishing opportunities. Willmore Wilderness Park can be accessed from McBride and points along Highway 16 in BC.
Circle Tours: See the best of Northern BC on one of the Circle Tours that capture the wonders of the north. The Circle Tour of Northern British Columbia incorporates the Alaska Highway through the Rocky Mountain foothills to Watson Lake in the Yukon, linking with the Stewart/Cassiar Highway and Yellowhead Highway 16 in the south. The Inside Passage Circle Tour and the Native Heritage Circle Tour follow the same route, from Port Hardy on Vancouver Island north by ferry to Prince Rupert. Catch another ferry to the Queen Charlotte Islands, or venture east on the Yellowhead Highway to Prince George, and south through the peaceful Cariboo to Vancouver along the historic Cariboo Wagon Road.
Circle Tours in British Columbia.