One main highway passes through the Nechako Valley, Highway 16. Going west from Vanderhoof there’s Fort Fraser and Fraser Lake. Highway 16 connects with Highway 27 going north to Fort St. James just outside of Vanderhoof. Summer is the busiest season with camping, boating, hiking and other water activities at their best.
The fall, however, offers some of the best hiking, biking and golfing opportunities, along with the fall fair. Winter brings skiing, cross country skiing at various trails in the area, not to mention ice fishing on the many lakes. Discover, experience and explore the Stuart-Nechako region.
If you’re looking for tips on local activities and attractions, information centres are located throughout the region. You’ll learn how the Carrier people pioneered the land in this area long before the first European settlers arrived.
Following the driving of the last spike of the Grand Trunk Railway in 1914, the race was on to buy cheap land and the settlement of Vanderhoof was begun. Learn about the Kenney Dam, the lumber industry, as well as the local agriculture which is one of the largest forage producing areas in British Columbia & certainly not least, the recent mine construction.
The Vanderhoof Visitor Information is located at 1st Street and will help you plan your trip to the region! In Fort St. James, the centre is located at 115 Douglas Ave. In Fraser Lake the centre is open from May to September in the log building at 30 Carrier Cres. In Fort Fraser, find the info centre in the railcar on Highway 16 during the summer.
• Have you ever been sent on a wild goose chase? Guaranteed this one will be more fun! The Annual Wild Goose Chase Fun Run through the streets of Vanderhoof has been running each May for 38 years.
• In early June, the Hooterville Hoot car show, hosted by the Nechako Valley Classics and Customs, attracts collectors from far afield.
• Fort Fraser celebrated 100 years since the last spike was driven into the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in 2014. One of the oldest settlements in BC, Fort Fraser was named after the explorer Simon Fraser, whose mandate from the North West Company was to cross the Rockies and establish trading relations with the people in the region he called New Caledonia. Here he established Fort McLeod in 1805, Fort St. James and Fort Fraser in 1806 and Fort George in 1807. Visit fraserlake.ca.
• The Nak’azdli Band has almost 1,900 members, of which about 700 live on the main reserve along Nakalbun (Stuart Lake). The Band has its own independent school (Nakalbun Elementary), gas station (Carrier Food & Fuel), grocery store (Sana’aih Market), daycare, youth centre and greenhouse. It also owns Nahounli Creek Gas in Fort St. James. The Nak’azdli Health Centre is an accredited facility, providing services to both Nak’azdli and Fort St. James citizens.
In Vanderhoof, the summers are comfortable and partly cloudy while winters are cold, snowy and overcast.
Destination BC is developing a new campaign to promote hyper-local travel where residents are “tourists-in-their own hometown,” while practising the COVID-19 safety protocols as recommended by the B.C. Provincial Health Officer. Many B.C. parks are now open, and national parks were to open as of June 1.
(Check this website for current details on travel.)
Driving: At 875.8 km (337 mi) from Vancouver driving time to Vanderhoof is about 9 1/2 hours via BC-97 N.