Discover Houston, British Columbia: A Forestry, Mining, and Tourism Town
Houston, British Columbia, is a charming town nestled in the Bulkley Valley of the Northern Interior of Canada. Known as the "steelhead capital," Houston boasts the world's largest fly fishing rod and a thriving ecotourism industry. With a population of 3,052 as of 2021, and approximately 2,000 in the surrounding rural area, Houston is a vibrant community named in honour of pioneer newspaperman John Houston.
The Rich History of Houston, British Columbia
The Morice area, where Houston is located, was first charted by Reverend Adrien-Gabriel Morice, an amateur historian, cartographer, and geologist. Morice arrived in British Columbia in 1880 as a Catholic missionary to the native people, the Wet'suwet'en, and was one of the first 'white men' to see most of the area. The Morice River, known as "Wet-zuhn-kwa" by the Wet'suwet'en people, is home to a variety of fresh water species and is a tributary of the Skeena river system.
In 1983, a forest fire known as the "Swiss Fire" threatened the community of Houston. The fire, started by a campfire from two Swiss tourists, burned notable landmarks like Rose Ranch and Morice Mountain. Despite these challenges, Houston has continued to thrive and grow.
Demographics of Houston, British Columbia
According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Houston had a population of 3,052 living in 1,271 of its 1,461 total private dwellings. With a land area of 72.88 km2, it had a population density of 41.9/km2 in 2021.
Transportation in Houston, British Columbia
Houston, British Columbia, is accessible by Via Rail's Jasper–Prince Rupert train, which calls at the Houston railway station several times per week. The Trans-Canada Highway, which enters the community as Highway 16, also provides access to Houston. The Houston Aerodrome, operated by the District of Houston, is located 5 nautical miles northwest of the community.
The Geography of Houston, British Columbia
Houston is located near the confluence of the Bulkley River and Morice River, approximately 65 km south of Smithers along Highway 16. The area is in a rain shadow of the Coast Mountains, and Morice Lake, a popular spot for recreational camping and fishing, is located 80 km south along the Morice River Forest Service Road.
Climate in Houston, British Columbia
Houston, British Columbia, has a humid continental climate with mild summers and cold winters. Despite being in a rain shadow of the coastal mountains, Houston receives a mid-range volume of precipitation annually.
Recreation in Houston, British Columbia
Houston offers a variety of recreational activities. The Houston Hikers' Society provides trail information, maps, photos, and driving directions. The Morice Mountain Nordic Ski Club offers over 45 km of challenging and beginner trails. The recently constructed Houston Leisure Facility holds a pool, hot-tub, sauna, and fitness gym, and Houston also has a nine-hole golf course. The Nanika-Kidprice Lakes Basin canoe route is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.