Take the Path Less Travelled

Hike and ride a skyline full of mountain trails. ATV to an alpine picnic. Watch elk, bear and moose ramble through the forest. Cushion your step on the loamy mountain floor. Canoe Murtle Lake and hike the Wavy Range. Cruise the Green Mile by mountain bike. Snap a “selfie” from the summit of White Rock, with the whole of Blue River and its valley as your backdrop. Tackle Groundhog Mountain on snowmobile or ATV. Explore tranquil forests on snowshoe or Nordic skis. Take the path less travelled and discover a secret stash of trails just ripe for exploring on foot, by bike, snowmobile, or all-terrain vehicle. Simply step outside your door and into a mountain of adventure in Blue River.

Forest Service Roads – Your Gateway to Adventure

Blue River is fringed with hundreds of kilometres of Forestry Service Roads providing plenty of access to the backcountry for days full of excitement. Hardcore mountaineers and families with small children can find the trail just right for them, just off the beaten path in Blue River. Choose which way you’ll play on our trails – hiking, mountain biking, or riding your ATV, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing, then prepare to be wowed.

Explore on Foot – Hiking Blue River

Discover alpine meadows blooming in a riot of colour. Hike in step with the call of a pika. Hope for a rare glimpse of the mountain caribou. Explore craggy rock faces and glimmering mountain lakes. Drink in the scent of spruce and cedar and feast your eyes on jagged mountaintops that stretch all around you, savouring views that can only be described as inspirational.

Set your own pace hiking our mountains. Stop in at the Blue River Campground to pick up a local trail map, then venture further off the road well travelled. Within minutes of leaving the Yellowhead Highway you’ll be immersed in wilderness, surrounded by cedars and soaring mountains, with endless trail possibilities to choose from. You decide which way to go…a gentle walk along Eleanor Lake, or a stroll along the Blue River to lunch at River Safari’s waterfront terrace?

Blue River is a traditional harvesting site for the Simpcw First Nation. Hike the Green Mile trail, gaining 220m (721 ft) as you explore, picking wild blueberries and huckleberries along the way, just as the Simpcw people have for generations. Hike to a mountainside picnic at the summit of White Rock. Savour the sights, taking in views of the valley and Blue River below. Reward yourself with a refreshing swim after hiking (or mountain biking) to Mystery Lake. Bring your fishing rod too – the fish are always biting here.

Hiking Wells Gray Provincial Park

Blue River is the eastern most gateway to Wells Gray Provincial Park, a pristine and vast wilderness, just ripe for exploring. Murtle Lake is your staging ground for hiking adventures, where accessing the alpine first means paddling your canoe. Put in, head out and decide where your boots will take you – to Henrietta Lake, one of the most beautiful hikes in BC? A full- or multi-day trek through the Wavy Range; where postcard-like views unfold from the alpine? Or is it something in between, like McDougall Falls, a 5 km (3 mi) hike from Murtle’s Diamond Lagoon? Or is it just a day visit with a 5 km (3 mi) walk to picnic at campsite # 1? The options are almost as vast as the landscape itself!

Mountain Biking

Use Blue River as your base for mountain biking adventures that will have you twisting and turning from the alpine to the lush valley floor. The Green Mile, Chef’s Mile or any of our Forestry Service Roads provide plenty of knobby-tire thrills and a workout for your legs, through a fragrant and lush interior rainforest of cedar and spruce.

While Mountain Biking is popular here, our trails can be challenging to find. Ask any of the locals you’ll meet around town, or stop in at the Blue River Campground for directions to a ride best suited for you.

Snowmobiling and ATVing

Blue River Powder Packers maintain and groom over 60 km (37 mi) of snowmobile trails that ribbon Blue River, creating a vast wonderland just right for riding, winter or summer, by snowmobile or ATV. Grab your gear and go. Tackle the marked and groomed trails of Groundhog East and West, and the family-friendly unmarked runs in our surrounding mountains. Summer or winter, riding our trails is a thrilling experience.

Cross-Country Skiing

Blue River may be famous for heli and backcountry skiing, but you need not be an adrenaline-junky to ski here. Breathe in crisp alpine air, gliding along a shimmering trail in winter sunshine. Click into your bindings, and head to Eleanor Lake and Blue River Pine Provincial Park where set track trails provide plenty of cold weather exercise to keep you warm all winter, or spend your days exploring unmarked wilderness trails – locals can tip you off to a trail that’s just right for you.

When to Go

  • Our trails are driest and best for hiking and mountain biking between June and October
  • Snowmobile, snowshoe and cross-country ski between December and the end of April

Need to Know

  • Touring bikes, locks and helmets may be rented at the Blue River Campground
  • Snowmobiles and riding gear may be rented through Blue River Sledz
  • Bring your own ATV or rent from Alpine Country Rentals in nearby Valemount
  • Be prepared for wildlife encounters. Bear bells can be purchased locally
  • Many of the best trails around Blue River are unmarked and most are not maintained. Explore with caution, or ask for directions from any of the locals you may encounter around town – they’ll be happy to point you in the right direction
  • Mosquitoes are a fact of life throughout the Interior of BC. Prepare for mosquitoes in summer – bring repellent and light-weight, long-sleeved clothing and netting for protection
  • Local operators offer guided hiking and snowmobiling tours for those that do not wish to explore on their own
  • All trails are located in a wilderness environment where there are no cell phone or internet connections
  • A trail pass is required for users sledding the more than 60 km (37 mi) of groomed and marked trails.
  • Weather conditions can change from moment to moment. Prepare for cold and/or wet conditions whenever you head into the backcountry
  • Remember to pack out what you pack in, respect this fragile ecosystem

Blue River’s Top 10 Trail Activities

  1. Explore above the alpine, hiking the Wavy Range at Murtle Lake (Play/Murtle Lake)
  2. Mountain bike the Green Mile and Chefs Mile (map), a 14-km (9 mi) loop of fast and flowing sections with 220 m (722 ft) of vertical climbing
  3. Sled (Play/Snowmobiling) or ATV any of the trails on Groundhog Mountain (map) – at 6,500 ft (1981 ft) elevation, this is easy riding, Blue River style
  4. Unwind with a stroll or cross-country ski along Eleanor Lake (Play/Rivers & Lakes)
  5. Challenge old man winter, snowshoeing the Green Mile (map)
  6. Grip it and rip it, on unmarked sledding trails at Bone Creek (Play/Snowmobiling)
  7. Drink in the views of the Blue and North Thompson Rivers, walking the trail from town to the River Safari (Play/Tours), then stop in for a tour or lunch at their Riverside Cafe
  8. Quad Mud Valley beneath the shadow of glaciers
  9. Hike White Rock (Map) for breathtaking views of Blue River and the valley below
  10. Amble the Red Sands Road or the Green Mile, picking blueberries and huckleberries in season