Why Is Prince Rupert, BC In Canada Every Back Packer’s Dream? – Pacific Ocean

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Port of Prince Rupert, BC, Canada

Located along Prince Rupert harbor at the North Coast regional district of British Columbia, Port of Prince Rupert is the 3rd busiest seaport in Canada by container volume and cargo tonnage. It is North America‘s closest port to Asia by three days sailing or merely 36 hours closer to Shanghai, China than Vancouver, BC and over 68 hours closer than Los Angeles, USA.

Port of Prince Rupert is a medium-sized port where bulk carriers, passengers, containers, pleasure crafts and fishing vessels call regularly. And since it provides the shortest shipping route to Asia, it allows products to move with less delays and more efficiently to and from large cities of Canada like Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Chicago in the U.S.

About Prince Rupert:

Named after the first governor of Hudson’s Bay Company, Prince Rupert started as a tent town in 1906 that later developed in 1914 as the terminus of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway (now named Canadian National Railway). Prior to that, British Columbia’s North Coast has been inhabited by First Nations people called Ts’msyen Indians that relied on salmon fishing, harvest of berries and other inland resources. Missionaries and other settlers came in search of furs and other goods in the 1800s but the First Nations culture has always been present in the social fabric of Prince Rupert.

Located at Kaeien Island at the mouth of Skeena River and before the northern coast of British Columbia turns into the Alaskan panhandle is Prince Rupert. Although the city suffered an economic slump in the 1990s with the closure of its coal mines, trade with Pacific rim (countries along the coast of the Pacific Ocean) nations has since rebounded. Tourism is growing rapidly with the expansion of cruise ship traffic.

Map showing the location of Prince Rupert, BC, Canada.

I know this is unbelievable, but up until recently, Prince Rupert is an emerging destination for nature lovers to watch out for. A quaint port town that I’ve seen on September 2017 aboard the IVS Kingbird, tucked deep in the heart of BC‘s untamed wilderness (Canadian Rockies) and the Pacific coast, it has gained global recognition thanks to its network of scenic trekking spots and abundant wildlife where tamed deer trot up and down the streets and totem poles stand tall that depict the First Nations that lived in the area for thousands of years. Come with me and let’s discuss together why this city is every back packer’s dream.

1. It’s North Pacific Cannery Historic Site played a significant role in the development of B.C.

An abandoned salmon cannery built on stilts at the Skeena River, the North Pacific Cannery National Historic Site is the oldest cannery on the west coast of North America. A popular heritage attraction and why it is every backpacker’s dream here in Price Rupert, this area provides an interesting look at the history of North America’s fishing industry when canning used to be done by hand then gradually replaced by machines. Built in 1889 on a narrow strip of land between the mountains and the Skeena River, this is unique fishing village of clustered wooden buildings connected along a wooden boardwalk, has been running since then until it was closed in the 1960s.

2. Watch some grizzly friends at Khutzeymateen Bear Sanctuary.

Definitely one of the best places in the world to witness grizzly bears in their natural habitat and why it is every back packer’s dream, Khutzeymateen Sanctuary is a protected park that also offers a glimpse to wolverines, porcupines, river otters, beavers and harbor seals. Established in 1994, you can explore the area with a group tour from a boat or floating plane for your safety and without disturbing the animals.

3. Unwind at the Sunken Gardens Park.

Just behind the Courthouse building in Prince Rupert is the Sunken Gardens Park, an unexpected hidden gem and why it is every back packer’s dream. A former rock quarry turned into a riot of color corner, this sunken garden evokes a feeling of well being while you relax from exploring the trails.

4. Learn the culture of the First Nations people at the Museum of Northern British Columbia.

Discover the wealth of history and culture of B.C.‘s northwest coast at the Museum of Northern British Columbia and why it is every back packer’s dream. Showcasing the history of Prince Rupert, this museum presents a concise view on the culture of the First Nations (indigenous people that lived in this city for thousands of years), their art and their traditions. Just near the harbor, this is a must-see when in Prince Rupert where a gift shop is also available that specializes in First Nations‘ crafts, jewelry and other souvenirs of the North Coast.

5. Enjoy a good seafood meal at the Cow Bay Shopping District.

Back in the early days of Prince Rupert, this part used to be known as Cameron Cove but got its name Cow Bay because the first herd of dairy cows landed at this spot and have to swim ashore due to the absence of a dock. Today, Cow Bay is a waterfront of historic buildings turned into a funky shopping district and why it is every back packer’s dream, where you can enjoy a warm seafood meal or admire local artworks of the First Nations.

6. A trekking experience like no other at Metlakatla Wilderness Trail.

This is Northern British Columbia’s coastal rain forest, Metlakatla Wilderness Trail provides a trekking experience of fantastic wilderness scenery to tourists and locals alike and why it is every back packer’s dream. Open from May to October during the year, this is a forested shoreline of the Ts’mshyen Peninsula, 7 km. north of Prince Rupert, a trail offering 3 engineered suspension bridges and a forest canopy walkway that leads to a tower viewpoint.

7. Marvel at British Columbia’s spectacular landscape while on board the Skeena Train.

Connecting the city of Prince Rupert on the coast and Jasper, Alberta in the Canadian Rockies, the Skeena Train ride is a stunning opportunity to see great stretches of British Columbia’s most spectacular landscape from a unique angle and why it is every back packer’s dream. Known locally as “Rupert Rocket”, the Skeena Train offers travelers the rare chance to travel through snow-covered Canadian Rockies and glassy lakes surrounded by fir trees.

8. Try chasing the tides at the Butze Rapid Interpretive Trail.

Just outside the city center of Prince Rupert is a trail that ends up to a reversing tidal bore (the incoming high tide forms a wave of water that travels to a river reversing the direction of its current) from the forest. The Butze Rapids Interpretive Trail is a 5-km hiking loop trail that will lead you to a viewing platform that overlooks the rapids and why it is every back packer’s dream. A good way to spend a day interacting with mother nature, this hike also provides great photo opportunities that can be enjoyed.

There is a reason why Prince Rupert is popular not only to seafarers like me. If you consider its food, culture, unique history and most of all its untamed woodlands it got it all so it’s not surprising then. This city is an underrated destination which so many travelers overlook. If you love the outdoors, then this city is the perfect place for you, where the air is fresh and clean with the wilderness knocking right at your doorstep.

Reference: Wikipedia