The town of Smithers is located in northwestern British Columbia, about halfway between the towns of Prince George and Prince Rupert. If you’re driving through in your Smithers rental car, be sure to stop by the Smithers Visitor Centre at the corner of Highway 16. Here you can check out local activities such as hiking, biking, fishing, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing and snowboarding.
The town of Smithers is home to a variety of outdoor activities, from high-energy adventure to easy walks nearby. Since British Columbia is home to thousands of hiking trails, there’s plenty to choose from. There’s also an 18-hole golf course nearby. If you’re up for some exploring in your Thrifty rental car, you’ll also find other outdoor activities like guest ranches, caving, climbing and zip lining.
Babine Mountains Provincial Park
Less than an hour drive in your Smithers rental car lays Babine Mountains Provincial Park. A must see for lovers of the outdoors, this wilderness outdoor playground is located north of the city of Smithers. Every year, visitors flock here to explore one of the many trails in the region leading to majestic mountain peaks, valley meadows, alpine forests, crashing rivers and pristine lakes. The area covers over 31,476 hectares (80,000 acres) of sprawling sub boreal spruce and alpine tundra plateaus backed by jagged mountain peaks and glacier-fed lakes, along with sub alpine meadows covered with trees like white spruce, sub alpine fir, lodgepole pine, aspen and whitebark pine. If hiking here, be sure to be on the lookout for mountain goats, grizzly bears, moose, black bears, ground squirrels, wolverines, marmots and deer.
Babine Lake at Smithers Landing
Babine Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake in British Columbia at 177 kilometers from tip to tip. An angler's paradise, Babine Lake is filled with huge fish such as rainbow trout, lake trout and cutthroat trout. To get here from the town of Smithers, drive your Thrifty rental car east on Route 16 across the Bulkley River bridge and up the hill. Look for signs that say "Babine Lake — Smithers Landing," then turn left onto Babine Lake Road. Follow Babine Lake Road for 65 kilometers to Smithers Landing. If you’re interested in camping, there are three campgrounds located near the lake, with one being situated at Pendleton Bay Provincial Park. Camping here is primitive, so be sure to bring a roll of toilet paper and a good tent. The upside is there are no fees and it is first come, first serve. The site is user-maintained, so be sure to pack everything up before you leave.