Looking for a challenge and enough space that you will never run out of areas to ride? Then Tumbler Ridge—well known for its deep powder, mountainous terrain and gorgeous meadows—will definitely be a place you will want to head for. Although there are some great riding areas for families, the extreme sledder will be thrilled at the opportunities for an exhilarating experience.
The local club, the Tumbler Ridge Riders Snowmobile Association, enjoys several sledding areas, though it doesn’t groom any trails at this time. And although the club does not maintain any cabins, there are a few that can be used to get out of the elements and to warm yourself.
Take a trip into the Bullmoose
A local favourite, this is mountainous terrain with a variety of riding areas for everyone from the intermediate sledder up to the more extreme enthusiast. The farther you travel into the backcountry, the more experienced you should be—this is not for the beginner.
Snow conditions average six metres most years and the Bullmoose is well known for having conditions that are extremely windblown. This is usually the first area around Tumbler Ridge to have enough snow for riding and the two main areas present a selection of sledding opportunities to keep everyone happy.
There are plenty of old roads to follow here; it is recommended that visitors check with the local club for further information, as there are currently no detailed maps available.
To get to the Bullmoose riding area, travel from Tumbler Ridge towards Chetwynd and watch for signs that say Bullmoose Mine on your left-hand side. Follow the mine road for about 15 to 20 kilometres and park at the power station, where the lot is kept cleared. Unload here and follow the forestry road into some of the best riding around.
Welcome to the Wolverine
Experienced snowmobilers who enjoy a challenge will love this huge sledding area. The old trapper’s cabin is used by many sledders as a place to get out of the elements, but it is not maintained and spending the night is not recommended.
To find the staging area for the Wolverine riding area, head out from Tumbler Ridge towards Chetwynd and watch for a sign on your left that reads Wolverine Mine Road. There are other ways of reaching this area; contact the Ridge Riders for full details and information.
Babcock is family friendly
Plenty of short trails branching off into exhilarating riding areas—with deep powder in unlimited mountainous terrain—are what you will find in Babcock, one of Tumbler Ridge’s best areas for family riding. It is 10 kilometres to reach the main area and from there you will discover the meadows and alpine, cross a few creeks and cruise amongst the trees.
It’s easy sledding your way to the top of the mountain, where the panoramic views provide fabulous photo opportunities for any photographer.
There is an old map at the staging area and the snowmobiling trails were labelled a number of years ago, but this area is not groomed or maintained by the Ridge Riders.
There is more than one way to get to this area; club president Chris Dell suggested that sledders interested in obtaining detailed explanations can contact the association.
To get to the staging area for Babcock, drive south of Tumbler Ridge for approximately 30 kilometres to Core Lodge Road/Peace River Mine Road and turn right. After about 14 kilometres, you will come to the Big Lodge on your right-hand side. There is plenty of parking here. The lodge is a terrific place with cozy seating areas, and you can enjoy the heat radiating from the fireplaces. No overnights are allowed. There is another warm-up shelter about 10 kilometres from the staging area, in case you need it.
Support the club’s efforts
The Tumbler Ridge Riders Snowmobile Association has been struggling to survive over the past few years but Dell is enthusiastic and optimistic about the club’s future. He encourages all snowmobilers in the Tumbler Ridge area to get involved with the association.