The Jewel of the Yellowhead

Explore Blue River, BC (pop. 230) — the quiet, unassuming hamlet midway between Vancouver, BC and Edmonton, AB — you’ll be following in the footsteps of Overlanders and railway barons, and folks just like you who are seeking an easily accessed wilderness adventure.

Journey north along the Yellowhead Highway and watch the landscapes begin to change before your eyes — rolling ranch lands give way ever-steeper forested mountains and eventually, to the craggy, slopes of the Cariboo range, home of some of the world’s best heli-skiing and snowmobiling come winter.

Blue River, at the confluence of the Blue and North Thompson Rivers, may seem unassuming at first glance, but stick around and stay a while, you’ll soon see our gems: tranquil glacier-fed lakes, soaring (and often snow-capped) mountain peaks and glimpses of wildlife roaming their natural habitat. You won’t have to venture too far off the beaten path to discover what lures travellers from all over the world: Mike Wiegele’s Heli Ski Resort, River Safari Eco Tours, and Murtle Lake, the largest canoe-only lake in North America.

Where Snow is King

Winter recreation is nothing short of epic here. Blue River’s location, where warm Pacific air collides with cold arctic breezes, a snow-pack of up to 10 m (32 ft) of dry, white powder falls every year over 1.2 million acres of unspoiled backcountry. Experience winter the Blue River way — by heli-ski or riding astride a high-powered snowmobile.

Blue River Skiing

Feel the rush of being taken by helicopter to a ski slope with no marks and no lines. Mike Wiegele’s Helicopter Skiing will do just that — whisk you away to an isolated crest where you will make your own tracks downhill. Canvass your way through forested paths and snowy meadows on cross-country skis. If you’d rather your skies were turbo-charged, then sign-up for a guided snowmobile tour (or come to play with your own machine). Those same pristine backcountry bowls are just what sledders dream of! 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 Just off the Highway

Blue River sits at the northern-most reaches of a lush, temperate inland rainforest. Abundant snowfall feeds the old-growth cedar and hemlock forests — a cool oasis on any hot summer day — ideal for hiking or mountain biking. You need not venture too far off the highway to experience the rainforest — simply grab a local trail map from the Blue River Campground and set out on nearby trails where nothing but fragrant cedars and towering spruce are your companions.

Go Wild on a River Safari

Most visitors to Canada dream of spying big game — lumbering moose, big, burly bears, and elk with 12 points on their rack. Blue River’s River Safari makes those dreams a reality. Explore the Mud Lake Delta on high-speed jet boat or the comfort of a 4×4 jeep. Expert guides lead the way to prime viewing spots, where, if you keep your eyes peeled to the horizon you may just discover an animal around every corner.

Gateway to Murtle Lake

If the need to navigate your own course with a paddle in hand is your idea of the ultimate vacation, then you’ve found your paradise. Blue River is the entranceway to Murtle Lake a backcountry camping oasis and North America’s largest paddle only lake.