Houston, British Columbia, should be on every snowmobiler’s bucket list. This Northern Interior town is best described as one big staging area with different trails and riding areas branching off in all directions. The Houston Snowmobile Club has been serving the area since the 1970s with an average of approximately 55 members. The club manages the Telkwa Range, Dungate Meadows and the Rhine Ridge/Sibola riding areas. Together the three zones make up an expansive riding territory catering to any style of snowmobiler. However, the Telkwa Range is the most popular area partially because of its close proximity to town, but also because of how much it has to offer.
Shea Long is the passionate leader of the Houston Snowmobile Club and knows the terrain well, despite being one of the youngest club presidents you’ll find anywhere. He volunteers a lot of his spare time to ensure every snowmobiler visiting the Houston area will have a memorable experience and come back wanting more. “We have a groomer that runs up the Telkwa Range for access,” said Long. “My dad and I do all of the grooming for that. We also pull groomers behind snowmobiles for the Dungate Meadows trails, which is more for family riding.”
The club maintains cabins in both the Dungate Meadows and the Telkwa Range as well as sharing a cabin in the Rhine Ridge/Sibola area with the Burns Lake Snowmobile Club. The cabins all have wood stoves and are comfortably furnished to provide a space for riders to have a bite to eat, relax and make some new friends. The cabins are also equipped with first aid supplies in case of emergency. “The Telkwa Range Cabin sees the most traffic because people come from all over—Prince George, Vanderhoof, Alberta, you name it,” Long said. “People like to come to the Telkwa Range because it’s so diverse. “You can go to the backside of the mountain and there is a big open meadow and as you’re heading there you can stop at the Shootout, which is a bunch of good hill climbing. In January and February the Meat Cache fills with snow and there is some pretty awesome terrain back in there, some straight pokes out of the valley and up through ravines.”
The club does a lot in all of the zones it maintains, but it only collects trail fees as riders head into the Telkwa Range. By the sounds of it, it is a small price to pay. To get to the staging area, drive west of Houston on Highway 16 and turn off onto Morice River Road to kilometre four. Turn right down Biamac Road and then left onto Wolcott across the Morice River Bridge. Follow this until the eight-kilometre mark and the parking lot is two kilometres on the left. There are big signs pointing towards the Telkwa Range Trail with two parking lots, depending on the snow, with a big island in the middle for unloading.
The Telkwa Cabin is located at the top of an 11-kilometre groomed trail at approximately 1,340 metres. It is the perfect starting point and meet-up spot for all that the range has to offer. Everything above the cabin is alpine, deep meadows and hillclimbs. What more could a sledder ask for?