Joseph-Armand Bombardier was a Valcourt, Quebec mechanic who dreamed of building a vehicle that could "float on snow”. In 1937 he designed and produced his first snowmobile in his small repair shop. In 1959, when engines became lighter and smaller than before, Bombardier invented what we know as the modern snowmobile and started selling it as the Ski-Doo. Suddenly a new winter sport was born, as people realized that fast vehicles zooming over snow were a lot of fun.
Legend has it that Bombardier wanted to brand his snowmobile Ski-Dog, but the tail of the “g” on the artwork fell off or was misinterpreted by the advertising agency. By the time Bombardier realized the error, it was too late to change it.
Snowmobiling is tremendously popular here, and the breathtaking scenery and unexplored terrain make Tumbler Ridge the destination of choice for Peace Region riders on both sides of the border.
“We have more and more people coming in from the Prairies to ride here,” says Clark Hazlehurst, who has been snowmobiling in Tumbler Ridge for nearly 10 years, “but we have such a huge sledding area that it never gets crowded and you can always find your own space.”
Untouched powder and a long, deep-snow season in the foothills of the Rockies offer riders some of the finest trail riding and hill climbing in the country. Our heart-pounding hills and wide-open spaces – all cloaked in a thick layer of glistening white – offer seemingly endless riding possibilities.
The Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club has developed an extensive network of more than 300 km (186 mi) of easily accessible, mapped and signed trails that are unequalled in Northeastern British Columbia. Hill climbing, playing in the bowls, or easy family cruising provide challenges for both the novice and the expert. And we understand how eager you are to get started – there’s even a snowmobile trail access right in the town centre!
Core Lodge Area (easy-expert)
One of the most popular riding areas in the region, Core Lodge has everything from groomed, easy-to-ride trails to extremely challenging hill climbs. Windy Ridge offers more than 100 runs with many exciting climbing bowls and steep peaks. The Super Bowl, Toboggan Hill and Terminator Peak provide expert riders real tests for their high-powered machines and terrific views for family and intermediate riders. An exciting bobsled-like run can be found down a draw called “the chute”, one of the Windy Ridge exits. You can also make your way to the massive ice sculpture that is Kinuseo Falls – an unforgettable winter spectacle.
The Core Lodge itself is a base for snowmobilers, open to everyone, and is a good place to stop and warm up while out riding. No overnight camping is allowed.
Lovin’ the Lakes (easy)
Whether you want to ice fish or enjoy a family picnic, Tumbler Ridge has a number of lakes that are easily accessible and fun to visit. Southeast of town in Bearhole Lake Provincial Park there’s an intriguing network of interweaving trails that can sometimes have snowmobilers feeling a little bit like a mouse in a maze. If you’re a newcomer, it’s best to go with someone who is familiar with the area. Moose Lake, north of Tumbler Ridge on Moose Lake Forest Service Road, is an easy ride with good, solid ice cover and there are picnic facilities at the Forest Service Recreation Site. Both of these lakes are perfect spots for families and beginners.
For the Daredevils (intermediate-expert)
If you crave an adrenaline rush and some hard-core riding opportunities on fresh powder, Mount Spieker and neighbouring Mount Reesor await with panoramic views in a slightly less-populated location. Trails are rated at an intermediate to expert level and are to be found west of Tumbler Ridge off Perry Creek Road.
This is a huge area of fantastic, never-ending views, old roads and alpine areas that seem to go on forever – or at least into Alberta, to an area known as Chinook Ridge. Points of interest are Red Deer Falls, Wapiti River and Belcourt Lake. It is advisable to ride with someone who knows the area, as all trails are unmarked.
These are just a sampling of the many snowmobiling options in Tumbler Ridge. Ask at the Visitor Centre for trail guides and more information.
Snowmobile Area Info and Maps
Please make sure to check the Avalanche Report before you head out.
Snowmobile Tours and Rentals
Currently, these services are open business opportunities. For anyone that might be interested, please contact Tumbler Ridge’s Community Development Officer at 250.242-4242, or email@example.com.