This 3,000 resident town lies at the junction of the Tulameen and the Similkameen Rivers. Princeton is 133 km east of Hope and 114 km W of Osoyoos on the Hope-Osoyoos stretch of the Crowsnest Route #3 of the Trans-Canada Highway.
Princeton became suddently important during the BC Floods of 2022 when the main Main Trans-Canada #1 route between Abbotsford and Chilliwack was flooded, the Loughheed Highway #7 (in the norrth bank of th Fraser River) had two mudslides, the southern Coquihalla Highway #5 had several bridges washed out and the Fraser Canyon stretch of the #1 Trans-Canada had major mudslides, and a Provincial State of Emergency was declared. Once the mudslides along theLoughheed Highway #7 were cleared, traffic to-from Vancouver took that route to Hope and then headed east on the Crowsnest Route to Princeton, and took the 5A north to Merritt to reconnect to the Coquihalla to Kamloops and the Trans-Canada Highway #1.
Princetonis a charming community in the heart of southern British Columbia, with a blend of history and natural beauty for its residents and visitors . The area has 30 good trout lakes within 80 kilometres (most notable are Allison, Osprey, Otter, Tepee, and Thynne). The 9-hole Princeton golf course is just east of town. Snowpatch is a family ski hill with three rope tows just 10 minutes from downtown. The area also has gold panning, and many native pictographs.
Princeton was inhabited by the Okanagan and Similkameen First Nations, who hunted, fished, and gathered crops on the land. The natives called the soil yak-tulameen, and prized the red ochre soil for face painting. The first European settlers called the town Vermillion Forks.
The town was named for the 1860 visit of Prince Wales to eastern Canada that year. The area became known for logging, agriculture, and the extraction of other minerals. The arrival of the Kettle Valley Railway in 1915 was a significant milestone for Princeton, connecting the town to Canada’s rail network to quickly transport goods and people.
The downtown is just north of Highway 3, and has recently been completely refurbished. There are several historic mining towns nearby: Tulameen, Coalmont, Granite City, Blakeburn and Allenby.
Princeton and District Pioneer Museum
167 Vermillion Ave
Artifacts on display include a Welby Stage Coach, farm equipment, and furnishings and clothing from pioneers, Interior Salish natives and Chinese immigrants. There are also fossil and mineral exhibits connecting with the area’s mining history.