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Review Highlights
More than just a Hill

Gitwangak Battle Hill is a National Historic Site of Canada. Designated in 1971, the site... read more

Reviewed February 11, 2020
PookyCake
,
Victoria, Canada
Take a stair step back in time

If you can't do stairs, you can't visit the whole site but just view it from the top. Good... read more

Reviewed July 24, 2018
Mike5466
,
Guanajuato Municipality, Mexico
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Reviewed September 7, 2020

A quick but very interesting stop. Such a unique location with a fascinating history. Very glad we stopped.

Date of experience: August 2020
2  Thank DarrylC595
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.
Reviewed February 11, 2020

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.

Date of experience: September 2019
Thank PookyCake
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.
Reviewed July 27, 2018 via mobile

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.

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank goltho
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.
Reviewed July 24, 2018

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.

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank Mike5466
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.
Reviewed July 10, 2017 via mobile

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.

Date of experience: July 2017
Thank AlbertaCanadaTravler
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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