Prince Rupert and the Skeena Valley (British Columbia)

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Just about as far north as you can go on the west coast of British Columbia before reaching the Alaskan Panhandle, you will find the coastal community of Prince Rupert. It has a long been a marine transportation hub, however, it also has a certain charm which often surprises visitors, with a strong aboriginal heritage and creative arts community. Actually situated on a small island (Kaien Island) the town is surrounded by rainforest draped mountain-sides which roll down to the water’s edge. Nearby Khutzetmateen Provincial Park is home to a large grizzly bear population making this a great place for a wildlife viewing adventure (May to mid-July). West of here the Skeena River cuts a path through the interior mountains, followed by the Yellowhead Highway which in turn continues east to Prince George, Jasper and beyond.

Despite its remote location there are a few options for accessing this area. The Inside Passage ferry runs regularly between Prince Rupert and Port Hardy at the tip of Vancouver Island and you can either join as a foot passenger or bring your hire car along and make the 1,800 kilometre return journey to Vancouver by road. Alternatively the Skeena railway rolls eastwards from here, and if you join the train in Prince Rupert you journey through some fantastic scenery over the course of two days via Prince George to Jasper.

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