• Start point: 54° 55′ 03″ N; 121° 12′ 52″ W
  • Suggested turnaround / take-out point: 54° 55′ 47.5″ N; 121° 15′ 09″ W

For spectacular canyon scenery, impressive rock folding, anticlines and synclines, substantial exposed bedding planes, coal seams, dinosaur tracks and other intriguing geology, Tentfire Canyon is hard to beat.

However, it is a challenging trip, which involves repeated wading, and ascending ten small waterfalls. Some of these involve simple rock scrambling, but a rope is not usually necessary. Attempting to ascend the canyon when water levels are high is dangerous. August is the best month, after a dry spell, as temperatures are warm and creek levels are usually low. If there is a danger of rainfall or thunderstorms, avoid being in this canyon, as a flash flood would be disastrous.

These rocks are in the Minnes Group from the Early Cretaceous Period (about 140 million years old). As such the dinosaur tracks are among the oldest found within the Tumbler Ridge area.

For a dedicated canyon-crawler, Tentfire Canyon is an attractive destination, and the start point is easily accessible, 42 km from Tumbler Ridge along the road to Kinuseo Falls where it crosses Tentfire Creek. This point is 19 kms after the first bridge over the Murray River, and 2 kms before the second bridge. For the first kilometre the creek bed is wide and dry (if it flowing strongly here, the canyon will likely be dangerous or impassable). The scenery improves progressively as the canyon is ascended. When the sluice is reached (a long straight section) it is a good time either to turn round and return (remembering that it is a bit more challenging to scramble down waterfalls than up them) or else to head steeply up through thick, unpleasant forest to reach a forestry road. Turn left on this road, which will eventually take you back to your vehicle.

Many may choose to turn back earlier and return back down the canyon, but the full return trip described here is about 10 kilometres and takes at least five hours.


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