Outdoor Adventure

Hiking Butze Rapids in Prince Rupert

Butze Rapids Interpretive Trail, or more lovingly referred to by the locals as simply “Butze”, is a stunning trail boasting the very best of Northern BC’s unique and vivid biome all in one 5.4 km loop. No matter the time of year, runners and hiking shoes with a proper tread are always recommended, as the trail has various hills and terrain all throughout.

Total Trail Length: 5.4 km
Total elevation: 138 m
Difficulty Level: Easy/Moderate
Approximate time: 1 hour 30 min
Best time of year to go: April to October
Pro tip: Reference tide tables accessible online or at the Prince Rupert Visitor Centre for best time of day to view the rapids

Butze Rapids. Image by Elaine Rystead

April to October is around the best time of year to go, when the trails are slightly more dry, however they can be enjoyed year-round. Due to the mild hills and wide trail, this hike is generally rated as easy, and takes a total of an hour and a half to complete.

Starting from taking a quick drive out from Prince Rupert’s urban center, and turning at the sign, one is led into a small parking lot overlooking the body of water that the rapids for which the trail was named reside in. The trailhead is marked with a large sign including a map of the trail, as well as indicating the common fauna that are found.

Walking along Butze Rapids. Image by Jess Sproat

For those first timers to Prince Rupert, the “Wolves in Area” sign may seem a little jarring, however as long as you’ve brought a friend and have read up on the recommended precautions you should be fine (which many Prince Rupert locals will attest to).

Throughout the trail, the visitor is treated to a multitude of signs throughout the trail which indicate to the reader the different species of plants that are native to Northern BC. This includes cedar trees, wild blueberry bushes, and more! One of the most striking views is of course the rapids.

Butze Rapids trail signage. Image by Elaine Rystead

To truly get the best view, make sure to consult a tide table online, because the tides throughout the day are constantly rising and falling which can have a direct impact on the strength of the current and how visible the rapids can be from the viewing platform designed with a complete view overlooking the water. In addition to the rapids, wildlife such as eagles and birds can be seen all year round, hanging out in the trees overlooking the shoreline. This beautiful old growth forest trail is a community favourite that is enjoyed at any and all times throughout the year, and boasts the best of the North coast all in one trail.

When exploring the outdoors, always be considerate of the environment and other people on the trail. Remember the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace.


Indira Smith

Indira Smith is a marketing specialist that previously worked in the tourism sector of Prince Rupert, sharing her love for everything the city had to offer. When she’s not working, she loves spending her time making the most out of BC’s north coast. In the winter you can find her snowboarding on Shames Mountain and in the summer, climbing at Exchamsiks.

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