Gitwangak Battle Hill National Historic Site

Gitwangak Battle Hill National Historic Site

Gitwangak Battle Hill National Historic Site
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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles13 reviews
Excellent
4
Very good
8
Average
1
Poor
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0

Slim S
Lacombe, Canada100 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Solo
Being able to walk battle fields in Canada is a rare opportunity as most native battle fields are lost in time. This one is on a cone shaped hill, which is a natural fortification. There are stairs to the top and you can imagine what it was like to atom this step hill or sit on top and defend it. There are description boards along the way and I thought this was a worthwhile stop to see real Canadian historic battle site from the time before colonization.
Written June 5, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DJC
Vancouver, Canada148 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
A quick but very interesting stop. Such a unique location with a fascinating history. Very glad we stopped.
Written September 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PookyCake
Victoria, Canada14,422 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019
Gitwangak Battle Hill is a National Historic Site of Canada. Designated in 1971, the site represents one of the first of such designations for a First Nations settlement in Canada. Upon arrival to the site, it doesn’t look overly impressive – just a large grassy knoll in an otherwise flat geographic space – but the interpretive information boards help to provide context. Reading them, you learn about the strategic importance of the settlement in relation to trade; how the fortification was set up and defended by the great warrior chief Nekt’; and how it eventually fell into disuse in and around 1835, following the increased availability of guns. Indeed, the information boards help to paint a vivid picture of what life may have been like here in the 18th century.

Without that historical context, though, the cultural significance of the site may be lost on most visitors. In fact, when we came upon the site, my aunt’s reaction when I exclaimed “Oh! There it is!” probably reflects what most people would say (or think): “What? That hill?” On the one hand, such a reaction is kind of comical but, on the other hand, it’s disconcerting because it hints at just how easily we can remain ignorant of our past.

The signage pointing you towards Battle Hill is rather poor. There’s one prominent sign along highway 16, but once you turn off the highway and towards Kitwanga you’re basically on your own. Thankfully, it’s only about a 5 or so minute drive off the main drag. Once you hit the site, you’ll have to descend a number of stairs, walk along some flat ground, and then ascend even more stairs to reach the summit of Battle Hill. Once there, though, the views of the surrounding area are unparalleled. Being atop the knoll really gives you a fix and feel for its strategic importance: The Kitwanga river flows below (an important oolichan trade route) and the natural geography of place allows one plenty of time and opportunity to defend the territory.

If you’re driving through northern BC and, more specifically, Gitwangak territory, Battle Hill is worth a stop. It’s educational, unique and offers rich context to the story of this Province. To the average onlooker it may be “just a hill,” but to those who wish to look beyond the surface it’s a rich treasure trove waiting to be re-discovered again and again.
Written February 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mr Happy
United Kingdom43 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2018 • Couples
This is just a small site with a pull-out off the road for cars and a few RVs. There are LOTS of steps down, then a short easy walk, then lots more steps up to the viewing point. (You then of course have to reverse the procedure going back out.) A few interpretative boards in local First Nation, French and English languages let you understand what happened here. Interesting enough if you're into that area of history.
Written July 27, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marie5466
Guanajuato Municipality, Mexico1,133 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2018 • Couples
If you can't do stairs, you can't visit the whole site but just view it from the top. Good explanation of how the natives inhabited this area and how they guarded their territory. Quick and easy way to learn while taking a break from driving. Barely 2 minutes off the main drag so worth a stop.
Written July 24, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AlbertaCanadaTravler
Edmonton, Canada11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2017 • Solo
Beautiful views of the seven sisters from here. Pretty and peaceful spot to stop. The interpretive signs and accompanying pictures are EXCELLENT and give you in-depth detail about the history of the hill. There are quite a few steps to negotiate to get to the hill.
Written July 10, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

clamdiger2
Norco, CA449 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2016 • Friends
We were really nervous about all the stairs. For some reason you don't notice them. they made some really nice stepping out spots for you to view and get out of the faster movers. The information signs were great. We learned a lot about a battle we did not know excited. Great history info, great views.
Written September 11, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

canadabaerchen
Calgary646 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2016 • Friends
We took a wrong turn off the Steward-Cassiar Highway and to our surprise ended up at this unique National Historic Site. No signs were pointing into the direction - which is a real shame as it offers a unique insight into Canadian History. I haven't seen many historic sites dedicated to First Nations history. This is one of them and should not be missed!

While we missed any signs pointing towards the site, the interpretive signs along the short walk (1 km return) up the Gitwangak Battle Hill were very informative. There are a number of stairs to get up the small hill. For us a welcome opportunity to stretch our legs after a long drive. A nice 20 minute break.

You don't need to be physically fit to do those stairs, but they are not the best for visitors with mobility impairments. However, even the first few interpretive signs will give you already lots of information if you can't go all the way.

Do mark your maps/GPS for this site and don't rely on signage along the highway to find your way.
Written September 9, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SNelson
Terrace, Canada1,046 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2016 • Couples
What a neat piece of history! We enjoyed stopping here and reading the information stands they have and walking up the hill.
Written August 21, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Linda H
Victoria, Canada503 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016 • Couples
Step back in time and visit this interesting historic site in the village of Kitwanga just off #37 Highway near the junction of Hwy #16 in Northern B.C.

Battle Hill was a fortress that utilized a strategic location, with a number of different defensive fortifications: rolling things such as rocks and huge logs covered with spikes down the sides of the slopes that surrounded the fortress during raids.

The Gitwangak people would drop back to this location during raids on the village in the lower part of the Gitwangak territory. This location was never lost during battle. The legends of the battles are recorded and passed on through oral history passed on by the Gitwangak people.
All that’s left now is a huge hill, inexplicable for it’s location in otherwise flat countryside.

There is a small parking lot at the top, with room for a few cars/RV’s but can get quite busy and crowded. There is a long staircase (110 steps) down to the valley floor … a bit of a walk then about a 60 step staircase leading up to the hill itself and it’s commanding view of the area. A beautiful river runs alongside and is quite lovely. Interesting to contemplate the warfare that happened in such a beautiful spot!

There is no fee for this attraction and it is NOT wheelchair friendly. Allow about ½ hour for the visit.
Written August 16, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Gitwangak Battle Hill National Historic Site (Kitwanga, British Columbia): Address, Phone Number, Free, Top-Rated Attraction Reviews - Tripadvisor

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