12 Months of Hostelling – HI-Prince Rupert, Pioneer Backpackers Inn

Not sure yet what to do or where to go in May? Well, just come and visit us in Prince Rupert! We are right on the wild and beautiful Northwest Coast.

There is no better month to head up here than May!  This is officially the start of the tourist season and it’s our sunniest month.  You might not want to leave again once you experience this city on a sunny day!


Put your hiking boots on, hop on a local ferry, and set over to Metlakatla Wilderness Trail.  Finished in 2011, this 20KM hike offers stunning trails along the waterfront and pristine beaches along the Pacific Ocean. Hanging suspension bridges and viewing platforms get you some amazing scenery that is just jaw dropping. Plus watch out for wildlife! There is a chance to observe grizzly bears, rare coastal wolves, and whales.

If a 20KM hike is a bit too much for you, don’t worry. We have a couple of beautiful shorter trails right in and around town. Head out to the Butze Reverse Tidal Rapids Trail to meander through mystical old-growth forests, coastal wetlands, and fascinating forest bogs.   Or hike up Mount Hays for a stunning view of rugged coastline, coastal mountains, and countless little islands.  On a sunny day, you can just make out the Islands of Haida Gwaii, and the Alaskan coastline. 


You’re not so into hiking? Well, May is when Skeena Kayaking is waking up their kayaks! Grab a paddle and let Joe take you out on Cloiya Bay, or be your own guide and go on a self-guided tour (by the way OUR favourites: Evening paddles!).  Watch for otter, seals and porpoises while you are out on the Skeena.

Wildlife Viewing

Enjoyed being on the water? And you are up for more wildlife viewing? Lucky you! May is our peak viewing period for grizzly bears. For this, however, you have to be up early: Get on the bright yellow Adventure Tours boat (make sure you claim your 10% HI membership discount!) that will bring you out to the Khutzeymateen inlet – a globally-unique wilderness treasure and Canada`s only grizzly bear sanctuary. Observe and photograph Grizzly bears playing with their cubs and peacefully feeding of the shore. 


You caught us on a rainy day?  That might happen… not that we ever complain about the weather here.  Just head out to one (or why not all?) of our great museums. Both our biggest museums are open again or switch to their summer opening hours in May: There is the amazing and internationally known Museum of Northern BC history situated in a beautiful longhouse overlooking the Prince Rupert harbour. And there is the North Pacific Cannery Museum – a national historic site and the oldest, most completely preserved cannery remaining on BC's Northwest Coast.

Shopping & Restos

Don’t worry that you have to leave Prince Rupert with empty pockets or an empty stomach. Stroll down to Cow Bay, our colourful tourist district (and just a five minute walk down from the hostel!) to window shop all the little boutique stores and get some souvenirs. Make sure to check out the Icehouse Gallery – an Artist’s co-op where local Artisans showcase their art.

Then grab something yummy to eat or drink and take advantage of the 10% discount offered for HI members at Cowpuccino`s Coffee Shop, Dolly’s Fish Market, Opa Sushi, or Seahorse Trading Café (and the good news is:  the local 10% discount is not only on just in May but in all the other 11 months of the year as well!).   Or why not catch your own dinner! Salmon, halibut, lingcod, rockfish, flavorful crab, prawns and shrimp – Prince Rupert is famous for sports fishing!

Festivals in May (well… technically this one is in June… but hey, don’t let’s get fussy about this…)

Since it is May and you are already here, why not just stay a couple more days in June and enjoy our biggest festival with us – Seafest (June 6 – 9)? Packed with activities and fun stuff you surely don’t wanna miss this one!

Where to stay?

HI-Prince Rupert - Pioneer Backpackers Inn, of course! Rates start at $25.20 + taxes for HI members. Dormitory style rooms, private rooms w/ shared baths, and private en-suite rooms. Large garden, BBQ+fire pit, free internet and Wifi, fully equipped kitchen (propane + freezer), camping space is available.

How to get here?

Hop on a ferry, jump on a plane, take the train, get a bus, or grab your bicycle. Come and see us in May!

Author: Backpacker Buzz

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