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Blue River

The Jewel of the Yellowhead

Visit Blue River, home to Mike Wiegele’s Heli Ski Resort and Murtle Lake, the largest canoe-only lake in North America. Hiking, wildlife viewing, and fishing are popular activities in summer. In the winter, come back for an epic heli-skiing adventure and snowmobiling on pristine powder.

The quiet, unassuming hamlet of Blue River (pop. 230) lies midway between Vancouver, BC and Edmonton, AB. As you journey north along the Yellowhead Highway, rolling ranch lands give way to forested mountains and then the craggy slopes of the Cariboo range. It’s known as the Jewel of the Yellowhead and was founded by overlanders, railway barons, and people like you who seek out wilderness adventure.

Blue River, at the confluence of the Blue and North Thompson Rivers, is where you’ll find tranquil glacier-fed lakes, soaring (and often snow-capped) mountain peaks, and wildlife in its natural habitat. Wildlife sightings are common, as the mountains and waters surrounding Blue River are home to bears, birds, fish, hoofed herds, and other small animals. Bears are active from spring to fall, especially when wild berries hang heavy on leafy branches.

Gateway to Murtle Lake

Blue River is the entrance to Murtle Lake in Wells Gray Provincial Park, a backcountry camping oasis with North America’s largest paddle only lake. There are no motors allowed so you can navigate your own course with a paddle in hand.

Where Snow is King

This is the place for epic winter recreation. Warm Pacific air collides with cold arctic breezes here, creating a snow-pack of up to 10 m (32 ft) of dry, white powder. Come and explore over 1.2 million acres of unspoiled backcountry by heli-skiing or riding a high-powered snowmobile.

Get whisked away by Mike Wiegele’s Helicopter Skiing to a ski slope with no marks and no lines. Make your way through forested paths and snowy meadows on cross-country skis.

Sledders love the guided snowmobile tours through pristine backcountry bowls. Get in on the thrills and feel the exhilarating chill of snow flying on your face as you race around bends and plow through trees on a snowmobile.

Adventures off the Highway

Abundant snowfall feeds the old-growth cedar and hemlock forests. The crisp winters give way to a summer oasis that is ideal for hiking or mountain biking. Blue River sits at the northern-most reaches of a lush, temperate inland rainforest. Simply grab a local trail map from the Blue River Campground and set out on nearby trails with fragrant cedars and towering spruce as your companions.

Connect with Blue river

top Ways to Experience Blue River in the North Thompson Valley

  1. Heli-ski and CAT-ski with Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing.
  2. Catch a glimpse of wild neighbours like lumbering moose, burly bears, and elk with 12 points on their rack.
  3. Hammer the horsepower and collide with snow, experience winter with an ultimate snowmobile adventure.
  4. Access Murtle Lake through Blue River and experience North America’s largest paddle only lake.
  5. Hike or bike through Blue River’s unique rainforest, alpine trails, and local parks.
  6. Glide along winter pathways on two skis with snow-topped forests as your backdrop cross-country skiing Eleanor Lake and Blue River Pine Provincial Park.
  7. Venture out and explore the wild places that surround Blue River.
  8. Pack your gear and surround yourself in the Canadian wilderness camping at one of our many spots to stretch out under the stars.
  9. Rainbow trout, Kokanee, Dolly Varden; find your favourite swimmer fishing in one of our local lakes and rivers.