The laws governing snowmobile use differ by province and can be confusing. Here, we make it easier to understand what local and out of province snowmobilers will need in terms of insurance, registration and licensing to ride B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Located four hours northwest of Prince George in the northern interior of B.C. is the forestry, mining and tourism town of Houston. Known as the Steelhead Capital of Canada, Houston 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. And since it lies in the shadow of the coastal mountains, Houston benefits from a mild winter climate and generous amounts of snow. Here, the riding season usually starts in November and runs until late spring.
Trail map of Houston B.C. snowmobiling areas
You can pick up a detailed snowmobile trail map at the Houston Chamber of Commerce, and they can also be purchased at the trail head, at North Star Performance and online.
Top snowmobile trails in Houston, B.C.
With ample snow conditions and varied terrain, the trails around Houston are every snowmobiler's dream come true. There are several well-groomed routes that will keep you busy exploring this alpine paradise.
The Telkwa Range near Houston, B.C.
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 area near Houston, B.C.
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.
The Sibolas/Rhine Ridge area near Houston, B.C.
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. Read more about the Sibolas/Rhine Ridge area in this article.
The Tableland Mountain area near Houston, B.C.
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.
The Morice Mountain area in Houston, B.C.
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 B.C.
Houston Snowmobile Club Poker Ride
The Houston Snowmobile Club hosts an annual poker run that normally takes place in the spring. Contact the club for this year’s date and more information.
This event, which takes place in the rural community of Burns Lake, is organized by members of the Burns Lake Snowmobile Club. The races are usually held on the weekend before the B.C. Family Day.
Where to buy a snowmobile trail pass in Houston, B.C.
Trail passes are required for the Telkwa Range only, unless you are a member of the club. Passes for BCSF members are $10 and $20 for non-members. Other areas are free to use.
Houston, B.C., avalanche bulletin
Local snowmobile clubs in Houston, B.C.
Houston Snowmobile Club
Dylan Delamare, president: 250-261-4881
Shea Long, vice-president: 250-845-4195
The Houston Snowmobile Club is an active group of about 55 members who groom and maintain the area’s extensive trail system. They are constantly looking for ways to improve the trail system as well as the cabins that they maintain.
Burns Lake Snowmobile Club
The Burns Lake Snowmobile Club is based in Burns Lake, which is about an hour east of Houston, but the club shares a cabin in the Sibolas/Rhine Ridge area with the Houston Snowmobile Club. The two clubs also look after the trail system together.
Top winter activities in Houston, B.C.
Houston, B.C., tourism info
Driving distances to Houston, B.C.
- From Vancouver, B.C.: 13 hours
- From Calgary, Alberta: 12 hours
Sledder hangouts in Houston B.C.
The Pleasant Valley Restaurant across from the Pleasant Valley Motel is a small café that has received good reviews from travellers.
The Elements Restaurant on Highway 16 is a restaurant with a bit of a storied history where other sledders may be found.
What local snowmobilers say about Houston, B.C.
This photo was taken in the Sibolas/Rhine Ridge area. - Photo courtesy Trevor Saretsky
"In the Houston area, you don’t have to go far to get up into the mountains to ride. You can ride right from your house or drive for an hour. Any of the mountains around can be family-friendly and suitable for novice riders and at the same time be hard-core for the experienced riders. I have been on a snowmobile my whole life and have adventured around so many mountains, yet I can never see every part of every mountain. Every time I go riding I am still surprised about how vast the riding areas in Houston are. In January I like to ride the deep into the trees when the snow is bottomless. When the snow hardens up, spring riding is the best time to adventure the massive mountains around Houston."
- Trevor Saretsky, local snowmobiler
Rad Rider Chad Hamblin enjoys a ride with friends. His own machine is a 2013 M1100 Turbo 162" LTD with a 280 hp Evo Big Chute kit on it. - Chad Hamblin photo
"The best things about our ride that day was the deep fresh spring snow, blue skies and riding to the back end of the Meat Cache, burning all of our fuel. I've been snowmobiling since I was a young kid, so over 20 years now! The best thing about riding in Houston is the great variety of riding we have on the Telkwas, anything from boondocking in the trees to hill climbing to meadow riding. The Houston Snowmobile Club keeps the trail well maintained and groomed for the user's comfort. Houston's Telkwa Range is a quick 15-minute drive followed by a 15-minute snowmobile ride to prime snowmobiling terrain."
- Chad Hamblin, local sledder
“The last few years, the winters have been a lot warmer than normal, but we are still seeing crazy amounts of snow load up in the mountains . . . . I have pictures from a couple of years ago of guys snowmobiling right on the roof of the cabin because there was so much snow.”
- Shea Long, president of the Houston Snowmobile Club
Snowmobile-friendly businesses near Houston
Trial maps, top snowmobile trails, club contacts and other useful information for planning a snowmobile trip to Houston, B.C.
The mountains around Houston offer stellar alpine snowmobiling.by Danielle Cameron