Rural Immersion Site: Tumbler Ridge

Tumbler Ridge

The Town

Tumbler Ridge is a dream destination for outdoor enthusiasts, from high-energy to laid back. With accessible year-round recreation opportunities for all ages, interests and abilities, the possibilities are as diverse as the landscapes in which they appear. Fifty hiking trails and countless ATV, snowmobile and mountain bike trails lead to special places – caves, fascinating geological formations, waterfalls, dinosaur trackways and mountain tops.

Tumbler Ridge is a district municipality in the foothills of the B.C. Rockies in northeastern British Columbia, Canada, and a member municipality of the Peace River Regional District. With a population of 2,399 living in a townsite.

Tumbler Ridge is home to a UNESCO Global Geopark and a museum featuring dinosaur tracks. Both have many programs and events. Over 30 waterfalls to visit in the area with more than 100 km of hiking trails including many alpine destinations. New mountain bike trail and a pump track in town. We often host a medical conference in Tumbler Ridge.  The Emperor’s Challenge is an annual mountain half-marathon   Annual sprint triathlon. All social facilities are within easy walking distance.

This land is the traditional territory of the Dunne-za, Saulteaux, Tse’khene, Cree and Metis peoples which includes the McLeod Lake Indian Band, Saulteaux First Nations, West Moberly First Nations, Kelly Lake Cree First Nations, and Kelly Lake Metis Settlement Society within Treaty 8 Territory.

The Clinical Experience

The resident will work closely with a multidisciplinary team and have lots of independence while at the same time having lots of support. Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd will work together to give any resident an optimum learning experience. The clinic is an APP payment model with 20-30 minute appointments for each patient, which allows for lots of time for teaching, notes, and building relationships with patients. Frequent medical students to work with.

Tumbler Ridge is a diagnostic & treatment center.  We have no inpatients. The emergency department, family medicine clinic, ambulance bay, public health and our IPT team area all under the same roof.

4 full time physicians and 3 full time RNs with visiting travel nurses. Youth and mental health counsellors. Occupational therapist, massage, and visiting optometrist.  We have virtual supports via Dawson Creek with a dietician and social worker. Very close working relationship with RTVS.

Rural medicine practiced in a diagnostic and treatment setting in a remote but well-equipped community. Working closely with a multidisciplinary group and allied health professionals. Close relationship with community paramedics and pharmacists.  We have support from larger facilities such as Dawson Creek and Fort St. John. In June/July we often have a Tumbler Ridge Medical Conference.  The health centre organises outreach programs to the community to create awareness on local issues. 

The Community

Residents get a welcome package including gift certificates from local businesses and recreation passes for our recreation center and golf course. Optional orientation tour to the museum with its fossil collections.

Depending on the residents’ interests, we will put them in touch with local experts right away, so that they can pursue their hobbies productively in their spare time (e.g., palaeontology and dinosaur tracks, hiking, running, cross country skiing, pool jumping).

Interdisciplinary clinical staff regularly gather Saturdays and Sundays for board games. Collegial work environment in which physicians and health workers meet for hikes, skis, dinners, and looking for fossils.

Tumber Ridge has :

Recreational center with gym, ice rink, hockey, curling, squash court, and swimming pool with free access as a local health care worker.

Visitor center that has access to bikes and cross-country skis.  

Mountain biking with a pump track built in 2021 and three new downhill trails recently developed outside of town and a smaller ‘jump park’ system of mountain biking trails located within riding distance of downtown.

Hockey with a yearly Movember hockey tournament. A local hockey group plays regularly twice a week and plays over a weekend tournament with teams from other communities. Many youth teams and regular tournaments for U18, U15, and host special teams. 

An active snowmobiling club and many trails.

Snow-shoeing and skiing. We have groomed cross country ski trails and all our hiking trails can be used for snow shoeing in winter. Wilderness cross country skiing up canyons to frozen waterfalls.

Local golf course with free access as a local health care worker.

Fishing. There is a yearly fishing derby at 3 local lakes.

Non profit organizations:

TR Days Society has a festival ground where they host a fall festival which is a market for local artisans with children’s games and events. They host a Halloween Yard haunt which is a haunted maze. There is a plan to bring back a yearly music festival, “Grizfest”.


Site Lead Dr. Claire Lenouvel