Chetwynd was originally known as Little Prairie by the Indigenous people who travelled and lived in this area for hundreds of years. Fur traders came to Little Prairie as early as 1778 following the water routes and pack trails of the day. By 1919 a log cabin opened as a small trading post. This attracted others to build around it, and so the community of Little Prairie grew.

The Pacific Eastern Railway arrived officially in 1958. The railway station was built in 1959 and Chetwynd became a divisional point for the railroad. This divisional point was officially changed from Little Prairie to Chetwynd in honor of the Hon. Ralph Chetwynd, past Minister of Railways and staunch supporter of development in the Peace Region. Chetwynd has a Population of about 3000 with a trading area of 7000. Major industries include forestry, mining, natural gas, bio and wind energy, railway transport, tourism and agriculture.

Four distinct seasons combined with rolling hills, snow-capped mountains, and crystal clear lakes and rivers make Chetwynd a playground for the outdoor enthusiast. There is plenty of sport fishing in the region. Hiking and biking is popular. During the winter months there is speed skating at the Rotary Park, snowmobiling in the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains plus ice fishing and hunting. Cross country skiing or down hill skiing is available at Powder King.

The Chetwynd Visitor Centre is at 5400 North Access Road. It’s on your left as you enter Chetwynd heading North. Open daily from 9am-7pm during the summer and 8am-4:30pm October through April. The four seasons combined with forests, hills, mountains and beautiful lakes make Chetwynd a playground for any outdoor enthusiast. 250-788-1943

When the first settlers arrived in the early 1900s the area was known as Little Prairie by Indians who travelled from Moberly Lake to hunt in the Sukunka Valley. The first Highway was built between Prince George and Dawson Creek in 1952. Chetwynd was incorporated as a Village in 1962 and in 1983 the municipality was reincorporated as a District Municipality.

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Chetwynd Camping & RV Parks

West Wind RV & Tent Camping Park

West Wind RV & Tent Camping Park is the RV park in the world’s top chainsaw carving art city.
Located in the heart of the Arts District, surrounded by award winning Chainsaw Carvings. Full Hook-Ups, tent camping and parking lot sites. This is the first smart, self-service, pay-what-you-want RV park in Canada.

Wild Mare RV Park

Wild Mare RV Park is located 5 kilometres west of Chetwynd, BC. Open year round, with excellent sites and amenities.

Caron Creek RV Park

Camping site is located on highway 97, 16 km west of Chetwynd. Park your RV in easy pull-through sites.

Hotels in Chetwynd

Days Inn

All 52 rooms include comforts such as air conditioning, as well as thoughtful touches like free WiFi

Lakeview Inn & Suites large

beautiful guest rooms and a host of other amenities you’ll love with outstanding customer service. Tastefully decorated guest rooms with Queen Beds, Mini Fridge, hairdryer, wireless internet & cable.

Days Inn Chetwynd

Start your day with a free continental breakfast and catch up on email with free Wi-fi. There is ample free, large-vehicle parking, including hook-ups.

Things to Do in Chetwynd

Chetwynd Annual International Chainsaw Carving Championship

The International Chainsaw Carving Championships has visually shaped The District of Chetwynd into a one-of-a-kind locale. Artists from all over the world compete in this unique competition. The District of Chetwynd in BC keeps each intricately carved pieces from the championship and places them throughout town.


Chetwynd FAQs

What is Chetwynd known for?

Chetwynd is a small town located in northeastern British Columbia, Canada. It is known for several distinctive features and attractions:

  • Chainsaw Carvings. Chetwynd is home to the International Chainsaw Carving Championships each June.
  • Coal Mining: Chetwynd has a history rooted in coal mining. The nearby Sukunka coal mine is one of the significant contributors to the local economy. The town’s heritage is tied to the coal industry, and it plays an important role in the region.
  • Forestry: Like many communities in British Columbia, Chetwynd’s economy is closely tied to forestry. The town is situated in a forested area and has a strong connection to the timber and forestry industry.
  • Peace River: The nearby Peace River is an iconic feature of the region. It offers opportunities for water-based activities such as boating, fishing, and rafting.

How did Chetwynd get its name?

Chetwynd, British Columbia, was named after the Honorable Ralph Chetwynd, the former Minister of Railways. Ralph Chetwynd was a British civil engineer who worked for the Pacific Great Eastern Railway (now known as BC Rail) in the early 1950s. 

When was Chetwynd founded?

Chetwynd, British Columbia, was officially founded in 1957. The town’s development and establishment were closely tied to the expansion of transportation infrastructure in the region, particularly the construction of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway (now known as BC Rail).

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