Prince Rupert has a lot going for it: spectacular wilderness; rich history; phenomenal fishing; unparalleled views; abundant wildlife.
Every day is a beautiful adventure up here on the north coast!
But for visitors looking for an off-the-beaten-path itinerary, we have some really unique suggestions.
Have a look at our list of Quirky Prince Rupert points of interest:
THE MAN WHO FELL FROM HEAVEN
On a rocky outcropping protected from the tide at Roberson Point lies a legend. The Tsimshian tell the story of a man exiled from the village of Metlakatla. After several days, the man reappeared in the village, emaciated and excited. He recounted a magical tale of having fallen from the sky. He led the skeptical villagers to Roberson Point, where he showed them his landing spot –a dramatic, human-shaped crater in the ancient rock. The man was welcomed back into the community as a shaman, and the petroglyph survives as proof of his amazing adventure.
The original petroglyph is not readily accessible by the public, but the Museum of Northern BC has a fiberglass replica that is just as eerie and captivating as the real thing.
Another, more recent, tale of mysterious appearances can be found right near the Museum, in Pacific Mariners Memorial Park. In 1985, in Owase, Japan, Kazukio Sakamoto set out in his boat for a day of fishing. He never came home. A year and a half later, his boat was found, overturned and adrift in an inlet on the others side of Haida Gwaii. It was brought to Prince Rupert as the centerpiece of a new park dedicated to those lost at sea. The most interesting part? Owase and Prince Rupert have shared a bond as sister cities since 1968.
KWINITSA STATION MUSEUM
As the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway rapidly spread across Canada (inspiring the construction of Prince Rupert!), trains stations cropped up rapidly. Growth of the railway was so quick that small, functional, and easy-to-construct designs were the most important criteria for these regional whistlestops (the more impressive, permanent terminals and stations would replace these pop-ups as time went on). The result was a network of identical and charming buildings that followed the tracks from Winnipeg to Prince Rupert.
In their heyday, there were hundreds of these “Type E” stations. Today, only 4 survive, and Prince Rupert is proud to be home to one of them. The Kwinitsa Station has rested in Rotary Waterfront Park since 1985, and is a testament to the adventurous life of Canadians who built and ran the nation’s railways.
PR FIRE MUSEUM
Like most frontier towns, early Prince Rupert was built out of the most plentiful material on-hand, namely, lots and lots of logs. Because of this, the town has had a professional fire station since its inception. Thankfully, fire-control equipment has changed as technology improves, which means our modern-day fire stations are ready to attack any blaze with precision and agility. But what to do with all of that out-of-date stuff? Put it in a museum, of course! The Prince Rupert Fire Museum is home to all of the quaint (and picture-worthy) firefighting technology of old. Learn the history of first responders in the region, and have a look at fire engines and police cars from throughout the last century. And be thankful that today’s RCMP and Fire Department have access to the best of today’s technology to serve and protect all of us!
MODEL TRAIN EXHIBIT
The North Pacific Cannery is one of Prince Rupert’s most popular tourist attractions, but its unusual and unique exhibits propel it onto this list. Learn about the history of PR, and the legacy of the fishing and canning industries that helped to build so many coastal towns across Canada. Then have a look at the bewitching model train exhibit. This detailed miniature rail system is the largest in the region, and captivates train lovers of all ages. Pop in a quarter to set the engines rolling!
BOB’S ON THE ROCKS
Prince Rupert is a fisherman’s dream. Numerous tours and charters take eager anglers out to catch impressive fish in our waters. Of course, it’s essential that anyone heading out to sea have a kitted-out tackle box. Bob’s On the Rocks is a well-stocked tackle shop: equipment, gear, bait, and even licenses and guides can be found at this tiny retro spot on Rushbrook Harbour. But that’s not all! Bob’s is a perfect example of Port Rupert whimsy, as it’s also a favourite eating spot for locals and visitors, alike. Grab a new fishing rod AND some world famous fish & chips, here. This colourful outfitter/eatery is a beloved PR institution.
BUTZE TRAIL REVERSING RAPIDS
This easy hiking loop just 10 minutes from town offers great access to nature and wildlife viewing, and educational tidbits from the interpretive information signs along the way. The most dramatic and intriguing view, though, is from the lookout point over the rapids that run through Fern Passage. As the tide ebbs and flows, the water reverses direction. At low and high tide, the rapids are strong, and can create whirlpools and thrilling crests (kayakers love to ride these!). Who knew you could surf on an inland waterway?
Prince Rupert’s vibrant, weekly artisan and crafters market, this is the place to find unique, handcrafted gifts, antiques, and delicious treats. On Saturdays from 9-12:30 head to the bright blue and purple building on 1st Avenue at Wayne to enjoy a treasure trove of amazing things!
TRIPLE ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE – Roughly 20 km west of Prince Rupert you’ll find Canada’s northernmost manned lighthouse. A national historic site, the sparse-but-picturesque Triple Island Lightstation opened in 1921 and has been in operation since. Stories of lighthouse keepers and their families, secluded on the remote outcropping, are filled with romance and tragedy. Nowadays, the Coast Guard controls the station, and keepers are sent up on a monthly rotation (phew!).
This one is more “once-in-a-lifetime” than “off-the-beaten-track”, but is so unique as to deserve a mention. BC is home to about 25% of the North American Grizzly bear population. These majestic and awe-inspiring animals roam their natural habitat across northern BC, and live protected, healthy lives at the Khutzeymateen Sanctuary. Visits to the park are strictly controlled (conservation is the main goal, here), but a certain number of visitors per year are able to take guided tours through the valley, observing the Grizzlies and other elusive wildlife in a manner that is safe for both the human observers and the animals.
A lucky few have spotted the rare Spirit Bear (also known as the Kermode bear), an all-white black bear. Local Tsimshian Nation oral traditions tell the story of the Raven creating the sacred Moksgm’ol (Spirit Bear) to serve as a reminder of the time before humans, when the world was all white.