If you are heading to Tumbler Ridge with your kids, there is plenty to do to keep them occupied and active! Tumbler Ridge is full of outdoor adventures for the whole family with a multitude of hiking options both short and long and easy to difficult. Many hikes lead to beautiful, secluded waterfalls and of course you can’t miss the dinosaur tracks! Camping itself is a great weekend activity and there are a few choices in town as well as several outside of Tumbler Ridge. Take a break between hikes to visit the Visitors Info Centre and the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery in the small British Colombia town.
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Between hiking, waterfalls, and dinosaurs, you will love Tumbler Ridge!
Where to Stay in Tumbler Ridge
There are plenty of options for accommodations in Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia. If you have gear for camping, there are several campsites around town. If you don’t, the town has several hotels, and many rentals available on Airbnb or VRBO. I prefer vacation rental homes over hotels since usually you get way more bang for your buck and it makes things so much easier if your kids aren’t in the same room as you for sleeping!
We love to camp, so we hauled our trailer and stayed in the Flatbed Creek Lions Campground.
If you’re looking to go camping near Tumbler Ridge BC, the Lions Flatbed Creek Campground is the perfect spot! We managed to snag one of the last campsites for the weekend so call early to reserve! We had campsite #12 which was on the upper loop (the lower loop is down by the river and has a large playground). The kids even had their own little playground right beside our campsite which was super handy!
There was firewood available, washrooms and showers on the lower loop, access to hiking trails, and the campsite was about a two minute drive from town. The Lions Flatbed Creek campground was a perfect home base for our daily excursions and I highly recommend staying here if you are looking for a campground close to Tumbler Ridge! Check out my review and more pictures here.
Tumbler Ridge Visitor Info Centre and Hiking!
For our first day in Tumbler Ridge, we got up early so we could do all the things we wanted. We knew we needed to check out the visitor centre to get an idea of all the hikes and where they were located in order to make a game plan.
The Visitor info centre is a great resource that you should definitely take advantage of! I got maps of the hikes (shorter ones) that we were interested in and the kids loved the interactive earth geography map thing. I missed getting a picture!
The dinosaur tracks were at the top of our bucket list to see so we decided to do the Quality Falls hike (2 km) then the Flatbed Cabin Pool Dinosaur tracks hike along with the loop to see the overhanging rock and tide pools (which altogether was 7 or 7.5 km I believe!).
Quality Falls hike, Tumbler Ridge
Quality falls was a fairly easy jaunt through the forest. The falls went onto a flat bed of shale so was different than your typical creek and was beautiful and unique. It was a lovely hike and a good warm-up without being strenuous.
Easy, well- marked trails…even my 2 and a half year old hiked almost the whole way.
Picnic area at viewpoint of top of Quality Falls.
Steepest part of the hike was the stairs going down to the bottom of the falls.
Beautiful Quality Falls! Definitely worth the hike in!
Other hikes nearby include Teepee Creek Falls and Quality Canyon. They are on my bucket list for next time!
Flatbed Cabin Pool Dinosaur Footprints and Overhanging Rock
The Flatbed Cabin Pool Dinosaur Footprints and Overhanging Rock Pool loop was definitely steeper. The kids were super bagged by the end of it, but then again they had hiked about 9.5 km altogether that day!!!
We did the long loop first and stopped to let the kids play in the sand by Overhanging Rock.
We spent more time, snacking and resting our sore legs down by the dinosaur tracks next to the river. There are several sets of tracks, but the biggest and most noticeable (and most exciting to the kids!) is this one!
Tumbler Ridge Dinosaur Discovery Center & More Waterfall Hikes
Our second day we started by heading to the Dinosaur Discovery Center in town. Tumbler Ridge didn’t seem to have much for places to get coffee (I found one on google but it looked closed all weekend!) so we stopped at subway and got an unimpressive one.
The Discovery Centre didn’t seem that exciting on the outside, but the exhibits were fantastic and we enjoyed the little movie room.
The playground outside was fabulous! There was so much to it that my kids could have spent half the day there! Make sure you plan some time for it…it was very difficult pulling our kids away for more hiking. 😬
Taller than than Niagara Falls, Kinuseo is loud, thundering, and impressive! I’m glad I finally went and wish I would have known about Tumbler Ridge and all it has to offer sooner!
Kinuseo Falls is about an hours drive out of Tumbler Ridge but the drive is scenic and there are several other hikes and falls along the same road. We had four waterfalls on our list to see: Kinuseo Falls, Canary Falls and Lake Joan, Barbour Falls, and Nesbitt’s Knee Falls (that we didn’t have the energy to do).
There are several different viewpoints of Kinuseo Falls. The viewpoint at the top is close to the parking lot (about 250 m) and consists of a large wood platform that is fenced in.
Hubby and kids did their stretches then headed up from the parking lot to a few of the other viewpoints.
Right to the end would have been around 4 km round trip, we only went to the first riverside viewpoint which ended up being about 2 km round trip. My favourite viewpoint was definitely from the bottom alongside the river. You are so much more aware of the magnitude down there!https://rachelmatthews.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/img_7353.mov
Next time, I want to take the boat tour! Have you taken the boat tour? How was it? Was it worth the money? Let me know in the comments!
Canary Falls and Lake Joan
Park in the parking lot for the Stone Corral trail then cross the road for the Canary Falls and Lake Joan trailhead. This is another 2 km trail which led us down a super steep bank (right beside the waterfall!). We had to hang onto a rope in order to get down. The boys thought it was a blast and felt like mountain climbers but it was tricky getting down with my little one. She did awesome and we managed to get down but Dad was a little worried and was wondering where I came up with these hikes!
Lake Joan was clear and still as a sheet of glass. I loved this hike. It gave me a serene sense of peace and stillness in my soul…then someone would start complaining. And that was the end of the serenity! But seriously, even the kids were semi quiet for about half this hike. After the lake, we took the other side of the loop back (in order to avoid trying to hoist 3 kids up the waterfall cliff), but it was a steep uphill climb. Luckily I had gummy bunnies that I could coax the kids along with. Take loadsss of snacks and water if you have kids!
Another 2 km hike and our last of the day. Watch out for cliff edges. There are drop-offs so stay near your children. I try not to be a spaz-case but I was yelling at my kids a lot to stop fooling around on the trail!
Another gorgeous hike and falls as you can see. Writing this just makes me want to go back and do ALL the hikes I missed. Poor kids.
A very crooked tree.
Lots of berries to be found on this trail! The kiddos couldn’t leave them behind!
Note: If you are taking little ones, a carrier is a must else your arms will fall off! I love mine and I would highly suggest it for hiking with babies/toddlers. You can find it on amazon here.
It felt good to have seen and hiked so much! It was invigorating to get out and enjoy nature and get our exercise at the same time! If you haven’t been to Tumbler Ridge yet, you need to check it out! Especially if you love hiking, waterfalls, or dinosaurs. This may sound cliche, but it really is a nature lovers paradise.
Did I miss anything? Let me know of your favourite Tumbler Ridge sites and hiking trails in the comments below!