The name Kitimat, which in the Tsimshian language refers to the Haisla First Nation as the “People of the Snow,” was the name of the small fishing village before it was planned and built by the Aluminum Company of Canada (Alcan), the way it stands today.
Seemingly endless opportunities for adventure await in the Kitimat area – reel in a record salmon on the Kitimat River or the Douglas Channel, submerge yourself in an awe-inspiring coastal rainforest as you travel one of the many hiking or ATV trails, experience the thrill of watching a pod of humpback whales breach as you paddle your kayak to one of the natural hot springs or play 18 holes in the stunning scenery of the Hirsch Creek Golf Course.
Visit during the winter season to snowmobile bottomless powder to one of the overnight cabins in the high alpine, snowshoe through the forest, or glide along the kilometres of groomed cross country ski trails. Beyond adventure, you may want to simply relax and enjoy one of the many eclectic shopping, dining, entertainment and accommodation options Kitimat has to offer.
The town was built on the traditional territory of the Haisla First Nation, a thriving community based in Kitamaat Village just a short, scenic drive away from Kitimat. Today the multicultural nature of Kitimat is evident, welcoming residents who’ve settled from around the world.
Learn more in Your Guide to Kitimat.
• Through strong relationships made with LNG proponents, the Haisla believe in the benefits the industry promises in creating jobs and opportunities. Haisla Nation Council has worked under the philosophy that economic development can work hand-in-hand with preserving the environment and through careful negotiation, projects can provide benefit to everyone.
• The Northern Spirit dragon boat is one of three dragon boats you’ll see out on the water in Kitimat throughout the spring and summer months. The three boats are launched from Minette Bay Marina, with 20 team members and a coach drummer. If you can catch them in action, they’re truly an amazing sight to behold!
• The aluminum snowflake on the right side of the highway as you drive into town is a welcome sign indicating you’ve reached your destiny. Many local amenities invite you to take advantage of their powdery resource. Onion Lake Ski Trails, a popular facility with kilometres worth of professionally laid out trails, cover a variety of terrains. The local Kitimat Snowmobile and Hikers Club also maintains cabins in the area, including up Clague Mountain and Robinson Ridge, located not far from downtown and is designated a municipal park.
• For a bit more casual fun, the Hirsch Creek Golf and Winter Club offers curling in the winter and its grounds are great for snowshoeing or for some family tobogganing.
In Kitimat, the summers are comfortable and often cloudy; the winters are long, cold and overcast.
Destination BC is developing a new campaign to promote hyper-local travel where residents are “tourists-in-their own hometown,” while practising the COVID-19 safety protocols as recommended by the B.C. Provincial Health Officer. Many B.C. parks are now open, and national parks were to open as of June 1.
(Check this website for current details on travel.)
Driving: At 1,406km (543 mi) from Vancouver, driving time to Kitimat is about 16 hours via BC-16 W.