Investigate the abandoned towns of Northwest BC
August 23-29, 2015 – Terrace, BC
This 5 day experiential adventure is a must for the Ghost Town aficionado. Exclusive access to some of British Columbia’s most restricted ghost town’s will be provided. The remoteness and history of these fabled towns will amaze even those without an interest in the eerie past of these boom and bust communities. You will visit the modern day Ghost town of Kitsualt which has sat vacant for over 30 years and the only thing missing are the people. We have been granted access to the remote and historic mining town of Anyox which has been referred to as the “The Town that got Lost”. The once thriving mining town had over 3000 residents in 1914 but has now been uninhabited for the past 80 years. The tour also includes an adventure to one of BC’s most inaccessible ghost town’s, Alice Arm and the historic ghost towns on the Skeena River; Port Essington and Doreen. We will utilize ocean going boats and jet boats to access these remote locations. Hopefully you are not afraid of ghosts as we will be overnighting in three of these eerie towns. Don’t miss this chance of a lifetime to be part of this special trip!
We travel east of Terrace by boat through the narrow Kitselas Canyon on the Skeena River where the Kitselas people have lived in the area for the past 5000 years in several villages. Next we will pass the small community of Usk. Once famous for berry-growing, a flood in the 1930s destroyed most of the community. A few people still live there now. Access is by the Usk Ferry or a passenger-only cablecar when the river is iced over. Landing at Fiddler Creek, we arrive at Dorreen, at the base of glacier-covered Mt. Knauss. It used to be a mining and farming town on the rail line, about 70km east of Terrace. Today only a dozen cabins and houses are still livable and most people use it as a summer getaway.
We will travel downstream (west) towards the historic cannery town of Port Essington. Built in 1875, this town was the life of the mighty Skeena River until 1910, when another town to the north, Prince Rupert, was built at the terminus of the railway. At this ghost-town you will have the opportunity to capture amazing historic photos and explore the forest where remnants of the past await us with a special story behind each one. Afterwards we’ll take a boat ride across the river to a small hidden hot spring, where we can soak in a small pool under the towering coastal Sitka Spruce rainforest.
On your third day you will drive through the heart of a historic lava flow en route to the coastal village of Gingolx. At this village we will meet our boat and captain who will take us into Observatory Inlet on the way to the once bustling site of Anyox. The boat will go at a relaxing pace to see the amazing coastal scenery and observe wildlife along the way. Our stop will be at the abandoned town of Anyox, once the most important smelter along the west coast. Remains of old railway cars, power stations, general store and the once largest dam in Canada will be toured.
We spend the day at Alice Arm, the legendary silver mining town and site of the once famous Dolly Varden Mining Railway whose narrow gauge track led up the Kitsault river to several rich mine sites. The town has several dilapidated cabins and stores, alongside modernized cabins used as summer retreats. We will walk around the historic sites, meet some locals and walk to a nearby waterfall, where salmon can be seen spawning. We will be treated to a seafood barbecue by the only year round residents of Alice Arm.
After a comfortable and peaceful night at Alice Arm Lodge, we will travel by boat across the inlet to the modern day Ghost Town of Kitsault. Our exclusive access to this site will include a tour of the site and the many buildings that have sat vacant as is since 1981. This will include the shopping centre, swimming pool, school, theatre and much more. We will spend the night in one of the 1980’s style apartments and get rested for our 4 hour drive through the coastal mountains back to Terrace the following morning.
Ghost Towns of Northwest BC in the News
16×9 Kitsault Video