Railroading, logging, trapping, prospecting and mountaineering made Valemount a haven for adventurous explorers.
A rich mountain history
We invite you to step into our history and envision yourself in a time when being a pioneer meant risking everything; when winters were sharp, bitter and seemed everlasting, and when Mother Nature could be both generous and cruel.
Before the trappers were drawn here and the loggers and prospectors came to make a living off the land, the Texqakallt First Nation stepped through the valley and established themselves near the headwaters of the mighty Fraser River.
When the first explorers arrived they were aided by the indigenous people and our most famous guide was Pierre Bostonnais. Bostonnais, Metis, led first explorers through what is now known as Yellowhead Pass. He had unusually light coloured hair and was nicked named Tete Jaune, French for yellow head. He is remembered throughout our landscape as the namesake for the Yellowhead Highway as well as Tete Jaune Cache.
The arrival of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway to Prince George and the Canadian Northern Railway to Vancouver brought more explorers and adventurers to our valley. Many were so awed by the majesty of Mount Robson that they got off the train and planted their feet. These were our pioneers.
Imagine what it would have been like in the 1930s to have walked up these wooden steps onto the platform to await the arrival of the Grand Trunk Pacific, already feeling the vibration as the train makes its way to the station. The Valemount Museum is awash with local history — the building itself was the home of the first train station in the town of Swift Creek that was later relocated and renamed for Valemount. Take a self guided tour or be led through the exhibits by our friendly staff. Within the displays of antique tools and furniture you’ll develop a deep appreciation for the tenacity of our first settlers.
Valemount War Heroes Museum
A sombre reminder that even here — insulated within the confines of a small town at the foot of the Canadian Rockies — war visits. Take a tour of the Valemount War Heroes Museum within The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 266, and reflect on the impact international conflicts have had on the sons and daughters of the people who live here. View photos, books, uniforms and artefacts that detail the region’s contributions to peacekeeping. Learn about history and give your respect to those who fought and died for our freedom.
Natural history presentations
The mountains that wrap themselves around the Village of Valemount and the rivers and creek that run through it provide habitat for various indigenous species, including moose, elk, wolves, black and grizzly bears. The area also harbours an astonishing variety of plant life in the four distinct vegetation zones from valley bottom to mountain peak. In summer, visit the Valemount Visitor Centre and enjoy the interactive displays as well as free natural history programs at 7:30 p.m. nightly in July and August. Bring the kids and learn all about the incredible journey made by our Chinook salmon, and wander to the river’s edge to witness their final push to the spawning ground.
The Mica Mine Trail is a 4.5 km (3 mi), one-way trip back in time. Explore the old mine site where in the 1890s horses were used to haul mica down the mountain. Mica Mountain is also the location of William Roe’s famous Sasquatch sighting back in October 1955, so maybe if you’re quiet and patient you’ll spot the elusive creature that he first mistook for a grizzly bear. But remember to bring a camera!