Images of aluminum smelters and pulp and paper mills don't often agree with the serene beauty of the natural wilderness, but in Kitimat -- "A Marvel of Nature and Industry"-- these seemingly opposing ideas combine to make this town a perfect stop on any itinerary. Escape onto the many hiking, bike, snowmobile and cross-country ski trails in the area, or play a round of golf at the local 18-hole championship course. Nature watchers delight in the opportunity to see black bears, deer, sea lions, and dolphins in and around the Douglas Channel, while world-class Pacific salmon, halibut, snapper, cod, and shellfish lure fishers with promises of “the big one.” The Kitimat River also teems with exceptional freshwater salmon and steelhead.
Relax with a soak in the Mount Layton Hot Springs north of town, or admire Mother Nature's creative endeavours as you marvel at the largest living Sitka spruce tree in BC. Located in Giant Spruce Municipal Park, this 500-year-old giant spruce stands over 50 m tall (165 ft.), and has a circumference of over 11 m (36 ft.). Then, reserve your place ahead of time for a free tour of the Alcan plant, where over 270,000 metric tonnes of aluminum ingots are processed each year. Boasting more than 1,500 full-time employees, Kitimat Works is one of the biggest aluminum smelters in the world. Tours of the local salmon hatchery and the petrochemical manufacturing plant are also available.
Kitimat is located on Highway 37, 635 km (394 mi.) west of Prince George. Commercial train and bus access are available, with flights arriving from Vancouver four times per day. Ferries also sail from Alaska, Vancouver Island, and the Queen Charlotte Islands to Prince Rupert, 205 km (127 mi.) west of Kitimat on Highway 16. Population: 11,672 Elevation: 35 m (11 ft.) Average July Temperature: 16ºC (61ºF) Average January Temperature: -3ºC (26ºF) Annual Rainfall: 143 cm (56 in.) Annual Snowfall: 290 cm (114 in.)
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