Taking the great American Alaska RV road trip this summer? If so, don’t miss unforgettable RV tripping to Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia.
RV Tripping to Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia
When you go RVing to Alaska, you quickly discover that many RV parks are booked solid during the busy summer travel season. And if do what it takes to avoid campground crowds, you will appreciate the one hour diversion when you go RV tripping to Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia.
This must-see side trip is located about an hour south of Dawson Creek, the official beginning of the Alaska Highway. Tucked away from the flow of RV traffic pointed north to Alaska on Highway 97, it’s an off-the-beaten-path pit stop that’s worth the extra drive.
Tumbler Ridge doesn’t get much attention since most RVers are laser-focused on the main road to Alaska. But here’s why you shouldn’t miss this spectacular place, an important UNESCO Tumbler Ridge Geopark.
Why is Tumbler Ridge So Special?
Tumbler Ridge is a newer tourism destination on the way to Alaska. A former company-owned coal mining town, the local economy was on the decline in the early 2000s.
But it was around that time when the people of Tumbler Ridge quickly gained a greater appreciation for the region’s spectacular forests, waterfalls and geological significance. A large amount of dinosaur footprints and bones unearthed around the area also helped. Archaeologists and paleontologists were called in. Soon, more significant remnants of the Jurassic and Ice Age appeared.
More notable paleontology finds you’ll discover in Tumbler Ridge include:
- Ten tyrannosaur tracks (only fifteen have been discovered worldwide!)
- Ankylosaur (armored dinosaur) tracks encased in 97 million year old rocks
- 300 bones from different dinosaurs, fish, crocodiles and turtles, and many kinds of clams and plants
Today the town has built its tourism base around geeking out on paleontology and geology. Other spectacular Tumbler Ridge features include hiking trails, backcountry camping and many of the tallest, most spectacular waterfalls in all of British Columbia if not North America.
Most of these sites are easily accessible by car or foot. Only a few require the help of an expert guide to enjoy them.
A visit to Tumbler Ridge is a trip back in time. Way back. You’ll feel like Chaka, Luke and Holly in the kitschy 1970s TV show “Land of the Lost” once you stand among the area’s thick forests with sky-high waterfalls, take in epic views of the eastern Rocky Mountains and touch visible remnants of prehistoric residents that seem to be everywhere.
Where to Go RV Camping in Tumbler Ridge, BC
You’ll find three excellent, rustic Tumbler Ridge RV campgrounds. All are located along great hiking trails with epic views:
Monkman RV Park: The only full hookup RV park in town. Nothing fancy, just a large gravel place to park but walking distance to town center and hiking trails.
Lions Flatbed Creek Campground: Dry camping only but suitable for larger RVs. Fill up with water at the Tumbler Ridge public dump station before arriving.
Tumbler Ridge Golf Course Campground: Spacious electric-only campsites with spectacular views of the Tumbler Ridge golf course.
It’s a small town, but Tumbler Ridge has all you need, including one well-stocked grocery store, filling station and post office.
There’s so much to see when you’re RVing to Alaska in summer. For most of us, there just isn’t enough time to see it all, but RV road tripping to Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia should definitely be on your Alaska Highway bucket list.
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.