Named for the flat mountain tops in the surrounding area, Terrace's distinct geography shelters the community from the elements, but its proximity to the Pacific Ocean and major transportation lines make it an important crossroads for the area. Nature lovers and backcountry enthusiasts alike will find a trip to Terrace time well spent.
The area's natural beauty is well known to the Tsimshian people, who have thrived in the region for thousands of years. The impressive landscape enticed travellers from Eastern Canada to leave the Yukon Gold Rush, visit, and eventually incorporate a settlement in the early 1900s.
Terrace lies in a basin in the Skeena River Valley surrounded by the Coast Mountains, sitting at the naturally occurring intersection of several pathways. The pathways now serve as major transportation routes to neighbouring Prince Rupert, Smithers and Kitimat, making it easy for visitors to access Terrace.
Once there, guests will find no shortage of summer outdoor activities including mountain biking, camping, rock climbing, boating and sport fishing. Winter guests will find the snow levels ideal for skiing (cross-country, downhill and heli-skiing), snowshoeing and snowmobiling.
Accommodations in Terrace range from hotels to secluded lodges and cabins. Several campgrounds are also available around Terrace and in the many nearby provincial parks. The woodland parks – known specifically for towering lodgepole pines and the elusive "spirit bears" (native black bears with a white coat) – serve as great spots for hiking and animal watching.
Terrace proper also contains several draws of its own within the city limits. The community is home to a rich heritage of First Nations art, exhibited by the iconic carved totems. Artisan's wares are available for sale in local shops and the Farmer's Market, which also provides fresh seasonal food from the fertile Skeena Valley. Local musicians frequent coffee shops and two theatres offer dramatic productions. This is all summed up in the annual Riverboat Days festival in early August. The festival is kicked off by a parade and follows up with over 50 events including fireworks, sporting tournaments, contests and concerts.
Terrace's unique geography helps give it a climate that is milder than other cities in Northern British Columbia. The First Nations' name for the area, Ganeeks Laxha, means "stairway to heaven" and comes from the tiered mountain steppes and mist-covered Skeena River.
Being close to the Pacific coast gives the area a moderate winter compared to other northern-inland communities and less rain than areas on the lower mainland like Vancouver. Summers are fairly brief but warm. Winters can be chilly but skiers will be happy with the snowfall levels.