Come and Play in the Great Outdoors
Princeton (pop 2,826), the largest community in the Valley, sits at the junction of the Similkameen and Tulameen Rivers. Princeton is also at the junction of BC Highways 3 and 5A. It’s a 90-minute drive from the Okanagan Valley and a three-hour drive from the Lower Mainland via Hwy 3-Crowsnest Hwy. In a hurry to be here? Fly charter or private planes into the Princeton Airport.
Recognized as the Bronze Statue Capital of Canada, Princeton and its surrounding areas are known for excellent outdoor recreation. Choose from many trails including the Hudson’s Bay Company Trail, China Ridge Trails, and the historic Dewdney Trail. Snap photos of wildlife at the Swan Lake Nature Reserve. Fish in nearby lakes. Learn about the rich mining and pioneer history at the Princeton Museum. Experience the welcoming local hospitality at the many family-operated restaurants and unique shops. Pan the river for gold – that you can keep!
Stop at the Visitor Centre & Gift Shop for location maps and more information on all activities.
Princeton Top 10 List
- Play 18 holes of golf.
- Go bird watching at the Swan Lake Bird Sanctuary.
- Enjoy BC’s largest Jet Wind Vane at the corner of Hwy 5A and Airport Road.
- Fish at one of the nearby 49 lakes and 2 rivers for rainbow and brook trout.
- Meander down the Tulameen and Similkameen Rivers by canoe, kayak, or tube.
- Hike or bike the Kettle Valley Rail Trail / Great Trail and China Ridge Trails. (Check with the Visitor Centre for what’s open)
- Discover First Nations heritage and learn about fur traders at the Princeton Museum.
- Take in the Princeton Traditional Music festival or the Stan Thompson Memorial Rodeo.
- ATV and snowmobile in the backcountry (check with Visitor Centre for assigned areas).
- Snowshoe or cross-country ski in the winter and hike, mountain bike or horseback in the summer at China Ridge.
View Princeton Location Map
Visitor Info Centre
105 Hwy #3 East, Princeton, BC
Get Out and Play!
Folks come to Princeton to get away from it all. It’s where our region gets its “wild west” character. Being surrounded by ranchlands, you might even run into a real, live cowboy!
Rivers, mountains, and lakes are all a stone’s throw from the town centre. There is an abundance of outdoor recreational activities here: legendary fishing, cycling the Kettle Valley Rail Trail portion of the Trans Canada Trail, hiking, mountain biking or horseback riding on the China Ridge Trails. Pack the clubs and get in a round or two of golf at our 18–hole course. Slow down and take a leisurely float down the Similkameen River, or paddle your way to bliss on the lakes and rivers in the area. At night, sit back, relax and count the stars.
Ready for a winter adventure? Perfect. Playing outside is what it’s all about. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are big here. The Thompson Plateau at China Ridge is ideal for cross-country skiing, just 8.5 km (5 mi) from downtown Princeton. Deep powder on the surrounding mountains makes the town a snowmobiling destination from November to April.
Road trips are another great way to explore the area. Make sure you fuel up before leaving Princeton to explore local backcountry roads.
Electric Car Charging
PRINCETON – LEVEL 2 AND DC FAST
- Princeton Plaza, 114 Tappton Avenue, CHAdeMO DCFC, CCS DCFC ports. Open 24 hours, $0.35/kWh. Greenlots RFID or App required. Station ID #33084
- Princeton Visitor Centre – 169 Bridge St., EV Plug (J1772), CHAdeMO DCFC, 2 Tesla Model S / Model Xs, CCS DCFC ports.
- The Copper Pit Restaurant – 157 Vermillion Ave., Tesla Model S / Model X ports.
Take your time, get a bite to eat, take a walk in the town, or stretch your legs and take a short hike along the Similkameen River on the Trans Canada Trail.
You’ll find plenty to eat here too! Many top-notch chefs and bakers can be found creating amazing dishes for the locals and visitors alike. Take your pick from funky coffee shops, quaint bakeries, traditional pubs and restaurants. Don’t be afraid to ask the locals about their favourite restaurant. They’ll be happy to share…and probably see you there for a drink later on!
Did you know that Princeton is the Bronze Sculpture Capital of Canada? Drop into the Visitor Information Centre, grab yourself a map and take a stroll around town. You’ll find 15 life-sized sculptures highlighting the diverse wildlife Princeton has to offer…treat it like a treasure hunt!
You’ll also pass by the Museum and historic Firehall on your walk…
Rich in History
History buffs will love the rich history of Princeton. This area was home to First Nations for many millennia before the arrival of the first settlers. Known today as the Upper Similkameen Indian Band, the original inhabitants were hard-working miners and traders of ochre and chert. As far away as the prairies, Washington and Oregon, people brought goods to the Similkameen to trade for the sacred ochre, used for making ceremonial paint.
There is evidence the Similkameen People were here 7,500 years ago. First Nations legend has them here from the beginning of time. Visit the Princeton Museum and discover portraits and exhibits of the Similkameen People.
The first non-indigenous settlers moved here in the 1800s, looking for gold and platinum. Once the gold rush died out, many stayed and began ranching in the area. Colourful characters, like cattle rustler Jack Budd and train robber Billy Miner, both lived here.
Come Celebrate with Us
People in the Similkameen love to have fun, and we have many community events and celebrations year-round. There’s Family Fun Days in February, the Stan Thompson Memorial Rodeo in June, Racing Days, and a Show and Shine in July.
As the weather heats up, so does the fun. In August, there’s Tulameen Family Fun Days and the Princeton Traditional Music Festival. In September, join us for the Princeton and District Agricultural Fall Fair and our Motorsport Weekend. October is the Halloween Family Festival. In November, we remember our veterans on November 11 and light up for Christmas in Veteran’s Square. May and November are the months for the Crimson Tine Players Small Town Theatre Productions.
Where to Stay in and Around Princeton
For accommodations, Princeton and the surrounding area have family run hotels and motels, as well as countryside B & Bs, RV resorts, Provincial park campsites and cabin rentals.