Day 5 – June 11 – Tumbler Ridge, BC

The weather is slated to be sun and cloud today and tomorrow and four days of rain thereafter. We know how often the weatherman is wrong so we decided to take the drive to Kinuseo Falls today and go to the dinosaur gallery and trails tomorrow. That way if the rain came a day sooner than forecast we would be indoors for some of it.

Kinuseo Falls are located on the Murray River at the northern tip of the 63,000 hectare Monkman Provincial Park. The falls are 68 kilometers south and west of Tumbler Ridge on a gravel road.

The first documented reference of the waterfall was made by surveyor R. W. Jones in 1906 when he was looking for navigable passes for the Grand Trunk Railway. The first photograph was taken in 1914.

We left Tumbler under sunny skies and the further we went toward Monkman Park the darker the clouds became and the more rain that came down.

We drove past the abandoned Quality Coal Co. facility. There is only one of the original three mines still operating in the Tumbler Ridge area. After the two mines closed the city lost half it’s population, but the discovery in 2000 of dinosaur footprints and the subsequent finding of thousands more prints, plus a bone bed and other bones, and even skin fossils has helped tourism become a big draw. Tumbler Ridge holds the richest dinosaur deposits anywhere in BC.

The coal silos at the abandoned Quality Coal Co. facility.

We were thinking our viewing of the falls may be a wet one, but by the time we got to the parking lot the rain had moved on and we had nice sun and cloud again.

It was only a short walk to the lower viewing platform at the top of the waterfall. You could really see the power and volume of water flowing down the Murray River and over the edge. Kinuseo Falls falls measure 197 feet (60 metres), slightly taller than Niagara Falls, though it obviously doesn’t move the same volume of water. 

The best view of the falls is from the upper viewpoint which was a 650 meter hike along the mountainside.

You can take jetboat tours to the base of the falls and when we were at the upper viewpoint we saw three jet boats approach. Two of them branched off to the right fork of the river,but one came down the visible left fork.

The pilot had to really push the power on the jetboat to get it this close to the base of the falls and then the strength of the water prevented him going further. I am pretty sure everyone on the boat got wet though.

We headed back toward Tumbler Ridge with the intention to hike up to Barbour Falls along the way. Again it clouded over and began to rain. And again the sky cleared.

The beaver who made this big lodge probably did not have to work too hard to find his building supplies. There are branches littered all along the shore of the little lake.

Barbour Falls Trail is located at the end of 11.3 km of narrow, boney gravel road. When we pulled into the parking lot there was only one vehicle and the fellow was trying to get the spare tire down from under the truck to replace a flat. John had quite a time doing the same thing when we had to change our first flat on the Dempster Highway in the Yukon Territory in 2018, so he went over to lend a hand.

The couple was from the coast and Miranda was finishing her 6th of 7 weeks practicum in speech therapy in Tumbler Ridge. Shandor had come from Vancouver to spend the week with her. They had just found out they were going to have a baby in January. After the tire was changed we decided to do the 800 meter trail together so we could talk along the way to alert any neighbourhood bears. They were very nice and we had a great chat as we walked along. There was a geocache hidden at the waterfall viewing area and Shandor actually spotted it before we had begun to look for it.

On the drive back to Tumbler Ridge we saw a White-Tail deer ahead on the roadside. She did not want to have her photo taken I guess, because she wandered into the bush quickly so we were unable to get any good photos.

We arrived back in Tumbler Ridge at 4:30 and took a little drive around town before heading to the hotel so John could work on uploading Sunday’s worship service on the church website.

Tomorrow is dinosaur day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.