Welcome to McBride, Centre of the Robson Valley!

There is lots to see and do. While we upgrade our website for the post-covid-19 world, please phone 1-866-569-3366 or drop by to pick up your guide to adventure at the Visitor Centre in McBride’s Heritage Railway Station at Main and First, any day of the week 9 am to 5 pm.  Photo: Beautiful Mount Lucille and the Cariboo Mountains reflected in Fraser River melt water, seen from Highway 16 at McBride late June 2021. The flood water has since receded, but there are lots of places to cool off by glacier-fed streams or in the shade!

Aurora ‘Dunes’ sighted in the Robson Valley

A video captured by Wheeler shows their dynamics over a 20-minute period, shown above.

Auroras still have the capacity to surprise. On April 16th, Matthew Wheeler, an experienced aurora-watcher in Robson Valley, British Columbia, saw a green glow forming in the north–then he noticed something odd. “Horizontal lines caught my attention,” he says. “There appeared to be ripples in the aurora.” Six of them are labeled in this 1/2 second exposure:

These are “dunes,” a newly recognized form of aurora named after their resemblence to desert sand dunes. A team of researchers first explained them in a paper published just last year. Dunes are a “mesospheric bore”–a type of atmospheric gravity wave that springs up from Earth’s surface and gets caught in a thermal waveguide ~100 km high. When solar wind particles rain down on the bore, they illuminate its rippling structure.


A comet and a parade of planets

Comet Neowise over McBride Peak just before 2 am, July 20. It is now up all night over the Canadian Rockies. Watch it move a little closer closer to the the Big Dipper every night.


The best comet seen in the north for more than two decades is worth a look amid the clouds in the next few days. It is easiest to see low in the north between midnight and 1 am when the sky is darkest. With binoculars or a camera exposure of a few seconds you can see a fainter ion tail to the left of the brighter dust tail. If you find a clear sky or are waiting for clouds to move, look for Jupiter as it approaches Saturn low in the south, bright orange Mars in the east, and around 3 am or so, brilliant Venus rising ahead of the sun.

Help celebrate Canada Day on the Weekend

VIA Rail’s westbound train passes the Beaver Mountain

Events begin at 4 pm Saturday July 4 with a parade of local vintage vehicles touring nearly all the streets of McBride. See the map for where to spot them. Then at 4:30 pm, visit McBride’s Heritage Railway Station for an outdoor reading from her new book Song of Sadrack by author Sheilagh Foster. Please note that physical distancing is in effect for all events.

Some of the cars at the 2019 McBride Show N Shine

Our passenger train is coming back! Come by the station across from the Dunster General Store before 2 pm or the station in McBride at 2:30 pm Sunday July 5 to help wave the flags and greet our local passenger train as it pulls in for the first time after a long absence. Vintage vehicles will be on show at the McBride platform too. If you have one, bring it along! Passenger service between Jasper and Prince Rupert, serving many rural and remote communities, is being partially restored with westbound trains on Sundays and eastbound on Thursdays. Please note that masks are required to be worn while on board and at VIA Rail stations such as at Jasper and Prince George.

Greeting the train is a long time tradition in McBride. This is how it looked 100 years ago. Courtesy Valley Museum and Archives

We’re back!

The McBride Visitor Centre is now open for the summer 7 days a week, 9 am to 5 pm. Physical distancing measures are in place. As we update our website business directories, dining and accommodations pages, please call us at 1-866-569-3366 (local 250-569-3366), email at come2mcbride@telus.net, or come by McBride’s heritage railway station so we can help you find what you are looking for!

Eastbound VIA Rail train pulls into McBride Heritage Railway Station. Behind are the Rocky Mountains with Teare Mountain, and McBride Peak with its amazing hiking, mountain biking and horseback trails.

We are also open for BC Transit buses (twice weekly between Valemount and Prince George) and VIA Rail passenger trains serving the Robson Valley, resuming July 5 with a reduced schedule of one train per week each way between Jasper, Harvey, Dunster, McBride, Goat River, Loos, Dome Creek, Bend, Penny, Prince George and Prince Rupert.

Family Fun Day on Mount Lucille

Beautiful Mount Lucille overlooking McBride–just a snowmobile ride away!

Matthew Wheeler photos

On Sunday February 16, 2020, celebrate BC’s Family Day long weekend with a midday adventure on Mount Lucille overlooking McBride. Jumps have been built for snowboarders as well as the traditional long run for toboggans. Hot dogs, hot chocolate and more for purchase by donation. The special McBride Big Country Snowmobile Association event runs  10 am to 2 pm. Trail passes will not be required at the Mt. Lucille trailhead from 10 am. For more details contact the Visitor Centre at 866-569-3366 or drop by the Centre in McBride’s railway station at Main and First, open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. For trail conditions call for message at 250-569-8871.