Trip 123 - May 22, 2017 (Monday)

Murray Canyon Overlook Trail Hike

Near Tumbler Ridge BC

Trailhead Location:
Northeastern British Columbia. Near Hwy 52 about 84 km South of Dawson Creek, and 34 km North of Tumbler Ridge.

Liked: Easy access from Highway 52, pleasant walk through the forest, canyon view, Murray River view.

Of note: Low-clearance vehicles might have difficulties getting to the parking area. Hiking poles and boots are recommended.

Northern BC Backroad Mapbook (3rd edition) Trailhead Coordinates: Page 58 (Groundbirch) D7-E7. The latest edition of Backroad Mapbook for this and other regions, as well as GPS maps, are available for purchase at

Other trips in Tumbler Ridge Area: Quality Canyon Trail Hike, Quality Falls Trail Hike, Bootski Lake Trail Hike, Mount Clifford Trail Hike, Cowmoose Mountain Trail Hike, Windfall Lake Trail Hike, Stone Corral Trail Hike, Monkman Falls, Bergeron Cliffs Trail Hike, Bergeron Falls, Nesbitt's Knee Falls, Barbour Falls, Babcock Falls, Shipyard & Titanic Trail Hike, Boulder Gardens Route Hike, Town of Tumbler Ridge, Tepee Falls, Kinuseo Falls.

We have opened the 2017 hiking season with two easy and one moderately challenging hikes near Tumbler Ridge. This trip report describes Murray Canyon Overlook hike, and the next two cover Quality Falls and Quality Canyon hikes. Tepee Falls hike is also nearby, so it's possible to do all these four hikes in one day.

1. Murray Canyon Overlook trail leads to a good view of Murray Canyon, which contains Murray River. To get to the trailhead, get off Highway 52 at coordinates N 55'17'700 W 120'53'873. Here we are Southbound on BC Highway 52, with a sign indicating 300 meters to the trailhead turnoff.

BC Highway 52 near Tumbler Ridge

2. As promised by the sign, 300 meters later there is a turnoff.

BC Highway 52 at Murray Canyon Overlook Trail access road turnoff

3. View of the dirt road right after the turnoff. The road is quite smooth until the next turn.

Murray Canyon Overlook Trail access road near Tumbler Ridge BC Canada

4. Turn right at the fork 900 meters later. If you have a low-clearance vehicle, it would be a good idea to park here. The trailhead is only 300 meters away, and the final stretch features several deep ruts which might prove problematic.

Access road to Murray Canyon Overlook Trail near Tumbler Ridge British Columbia

5. The final stretch.

Murray Canyon Overlook Trail access road near Tumbler Ridge BC Canada

6. 1.2 kilometres after the Highway 52 turnoff, we are at the trailhead. Plenty of parking here, and there is a large camping area a few hundred meters down the road. Coordinates: N 55'17'360 W 120'54'739. Elevation: 955 meters.

Parking area for Murray Canyon Overlook Trail near Tumbler Ridge British Columbia

7. The trailhead is located on the left side.

Trailhead for Murray Canyon Overlook Trail near Tumbler Ridge BC

8. This trail is quite easy. At first, you walk through a forest.

Murray Canyon Overlook Trail BC Canada

9. Twenty minutes later, the trail emerges from the forest, and the canyon is straight ahead.

Murray Canyon Overlook Trail near Tumbler Ridge BC

10. Here it is.

Murray Canyon seen from Murray Canyon Overlook Trail near Tumbler Ridge British Columbia Canada

11. The path then descends somewhat steeply, makes a sharp left turn, and you start walking along the canyon.

Murray Canyon Overlook Trail

12. Watch your step, as it is, indeed, quite steep below the path.

13. Murray River is flowing at the bottom of the canyon.

Murray River seen from Murray Canyon Overlook Trail by Tumbler Ridge BC Canada

14. There are several benches along the path.

Murray Canyon Overlook Trail British Columbia

15. You can also see wind turbines far ahead. Substantial zoom used.

16. One more bench. It was quiet, with good views and lots of green.

17. Murray River.

Murray River near Tumbler Ridge BC Canada

18. Looking right.

Murray Canyon by Tumbler Ridge British Columbia

19. The third bench is located at the end of the trail. The above two photos were taken from near this bench. Coordinates: N 55'16'925 W 120'55'139. Elevation: 1,004 meters.

20. We now have a Garmin GPSMAP 64s, and here are the hiking stats for this trail. Trip odometer = total distance traveled during this hike (round trip), Odometer = total distance ever traveled with this GPS turned on.

Murray Canyon Overlook trail is an easy hike which leads to several good views.

<--- Joffre Lakes Trail   Quality Falls Trail --->

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