Known as the Steelhead Capital of Canada, Houston, B.C., proudly boasts the world’s largest fly-fishing rod. More importantly, though, it is home to some incredible mountain sledding opportunities, many of which are close to town. Because it lies in the shadow of the coastal mountains, Houston benefits from a mild winter climate and generous amounts of snow (approximately 160 centimetres annually). Here, the riding season usually starts in November and runs until late spring.
Take on the Telkwa Range
Perhaps the most popular snowmobiling area around Houston, the Telkwa Range offers everything from powder-laden meadows to steep hills.
A groomed, 11-kilometre trail takes riders right up to a cabin and from there, it’s all alpine terrain. Trail fees apply.
The Dungate Meadows beckon
Perfect for families and beginners, the Dungate Meadows area offers low-angle riding with an extensive trail system that is groomed from the staging area to the Houston Snowmobile Club’s cabin, which is usually stocked with firewood.
Sibolas/Rhine Ridge for more advanced sledders
This ungroomed area is about 101 kilometres south of Houston, but if you’re an intermediate to expert rider who is looking for deep snow and mountains and valleys that seem to go on forever, it’s well worth the drive.
Test out the Tableland Mountain area
Tableland Mountain is for experienced riders who are up for a real adventure. It's a one-hour drive to get there, and the terrain includes meadows and hills. There is no groomed trail, though, so it would be wise to accompany someone who is familiar with the area.
Morice Mountain invites all riders
Morice Mountain is another ungroomed area that features spectacular scenery, and it’s only 28 kilometres from town. The riding is predominantly alpine terrain, but it is still suitable for novice riders.
Local snowmobiling events in Houston
There are winter events to attend throughout the year, including the Houston Snowmobile Club Poker Ride, which takes place every spring.
There are also the Annual Cold Smoke Drag Races, which are held in the nearby community of Burns Lake. This event is organized by members of the Burns Lake Snowmobile Club and is usually held on the weekend before B.C. Family Day.
Where to buy a snowmobile trail pass in Houston
Trail passes are required for the Telkwa Range only, unless you are a member of the club. Passes are $10 for members of the British Columbia Snowmobile Federation (BCSF) and $20 for non-members. Other areas are free to use.
Memberships can be purchased at North Star Performance or online through the BCSF.