Coalmont and Tulameen are cozy villages just outside of Princeton. These are the kinds of places where you can really get away from it all. Choose your level of accommodation from roughing it camping to Inns and vacation rentals. You’ll find plenty of places to fish, pan for gold, and explore. In the warmer months, you can hike or bike the nearby trails, including the Great Trail (formerly the Trans Canada Trail). In the winter, head out into the backcountry on a snowmobile.
The Village of Coalmont
You’ll find Coalmont about 20 to 25-minutes northwest of Princeton. In days gone by, Coalmont was a junction on the Kettle Valley Railway. Today that old rail line is part of the Great Trail (formerly the Trans Canada Trail). Some people here can trace their roots back to the gold rush of 1885. One of their oldest buildings here (1912) is the Coalmont Hotel. It is not accepting guests now, but the saloon is open at noon every day. Drop in for a drink or a bite to eat. In the winter, you may find snowmobiles parked out front, and in the warmer months, vintage cars and bikes.
Despite being called a ghost town by some, Coalmont is alive and well. The population is estimated to be around 100 people. It even has its own online newspaper, the Coalmont Courier. There are still a few gold claims being worked on by hardy souls. The area has two working ranches nearby and the town has a small motel and small businesses. This area has long been known for its great outdoor recreation and the fishing here is legendary.
White Sands Beach is just south of Coalmont on the Great Trail. It’s a great place to spend the day in the summer, on the banks of the Tulameen River. Just outside of town you’ll find the Granite Creek Rec Site; known for its outdoor activities. There are several great places to fish here too. The Tulameen River is a great place to start and there are dozens of small lakes in the area. It’s the perfect place for fishing year-round.
The Village of Tulameen
Travel another 12-minutes northwest of Coalmont and you’ll find yourself in Tulameen. Slightly larger than Coalmont, Tulameen has a healthy population of around 250 permanent residents. The name is a First Nations word meaning red earth.
Tulameen is on the south end of Otter Lake. Come and relax, swim, boat, water-ski and fish for lake trout. The Kettle Valley Railway once ran through here, and today, as in Coalmont, is now part of the Great Trail, which is great for hiking and biking.
Tulameen also has a covered outdoor ice rink for hockey games, dances, swap meets and more! For a small town, it’s pretty busy with enough things to do to keep the locals and visitors happy. In February, there’s a snowmobile poker run. Spring and summer have various events, including a fishing derby. Then in August there’s Tulameen Family Days and a winter carnival in December.
Visitors can stay at the local Inn, B&Bs or vacation rentals in town. Outside of town they can camp out at Otter Lake Provincial Park. The park has a campground and a separate day use area for picnicking.
When you really need to get away from it all, Coalmont and Tulameen are the places to go.