Coalmont makes a great basecamp for recreational activities throughout the area. Real estate is generally affordable, especially compared to nearby Tulameen. Many properties may include multiple titled or amalgamated parcels because most lot sizes are only 25x100ft. Since there is no community water or sewer services, owning a single 25ft wide lot may pose a challenge to install septic systems and wells that comply with current regulations.
Coalmont includes a small motel, the Mozey-On-Inn, but doesn't offer many other amenities to the public. Most people must travel to nearby Princeton for all of their needs. The village does not offer public water or sewage, people learn to deal with the everyday maintenance of well pumps and septic fields. Some have gasoline operated emergency generators to cope with the occasional power outage, particularly because water pumps and heat are almost all electric. Houses are generally heated with electric baseboard, propane gas and many are supplemented by wood heat, as it is plentiful and economical. Children can take the school bus to attend school in Princeton. Television reception is by satellite only and the telephone is of the old fashioned hard wired type. There is no reliable reception for any cell phones or commercial radio. There are two modern options for internet access. China Creek Internet is a local company that has its own cell tower infrastructure, or Xplornet, who uses satellite technology (similar to satellite TV).
There is a distinct pioneering independence in Coalmont, due in part to the colourful history and the town being semi-abandoned for many years. The people here embody helpful, handy & resourceful attributes. Most have their own tools, are mechanically inclined and do their own building repairs. The closest stores to shop are 18 kilometers away in Princeton, so it is not uncommon to save and store supplies in case they are needed in the future. many residents have a truck, either to get firewood or for recreational pursuits. ATVs, off-road vehicles and snowmobiles, are popular and used often to get around. Coalmont offers a rural, quiet & affordable lifestyle that the residents all appreciate.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Coalmont Hotel: The Coalmont Hotel was built in 1912. There are no longer rooms available but the bar continues to be open daily. Walking inside is like walking into a time capsule and is a refreshing rest stop.
Blakeburn Tram Line: Coal was mined in the early 1900's out of Blakeburn. The coal was hauled down the mountain to Coalmont by a tram line. Today, an ATV trail follows these old cable lines now laying in the ground. Some of these supporting masts can still be found standing and tell a unique story about it's mining history.
Heritage Buildings: Old heritage style buildings like the General Store, stable & butcher shop are not open for business but they offer a glimpse into Coalmont's wild west past.
Granite City Ruins: Some old ruins of houses can still be spotted at Granite City's townsite. What was once, one of the larger towns in B.C., the end of the gold rush left everyone packing, sending Granite City into a spiralling ghost town.
Coalmont Energy Coal Mine: Small mining operations are still in business today prospecting for those elusive mineral deposits.
Curved Tran Tunnel: This scenic location is on the Trans Canada Trail about half way between Coalmont and Princeton. A gazebo provides this as a great rest stop to enjoy the scenery while the curved tunnel runs alongside Tulameen River. Don't forget to bring a flashlight as you will not see the light at the end of this tunnel.
White Sands Beach: A sandy beach that sites next to Tulameen River and Kettle Valley train bridge. It's a popular site for swimming, fishing and camping.
Trans Canada Trail: This popular trail is part of the 16,000 km national trail that winds its way through every province and territory in Canada. The trail is shared by many and passes through some of BC’s most stunning landscapes.
Outdoor recreational activities are one of the biggest attractions to the area. There is a vast network of ATV trails, forestry roads, hiking & hunting throughout the surrounding mountains. The crystal clear Tulameen River is perfect for kayaking, tubing, swimming or fishing and will help keep you cool during those hot, sunny days. Nearby historic townsites provide great literature to read up on, then head out and explore the sites to feel what life was like back then. Nearby rec sites are perfect for campers looking to set up a basecamp for their adventures.
White Sands Beach: Located just south of Coalmont on the Trans Canada Trail, White Sands Beach is a beautiful spot on a hot summer's day. The Tulameen River slowly meanders underneath the trestle creating a perfect swimming hole with a white sandy beach to soak up the sun.
Granite Creek Rec Site: The popular recreation site at Granite Creek supports a number of recreational activities on and along the Tulameen River. Popular activities include ATVing, hiking and mountain biking the nearby Kettle Valley Railway, Exploring Granite City & Blakeburn ruins and paddling in the Tulameen River.
Vuich Rec Site
- Facilities: 21 campsites, tables, toilets
- Location: Located 18 kms northwest of Princeton on the Coalmont Road. From Bridge Street in Princeton cross the Brown Bridge, turn left onto the Tulameen Ave for 2.3 km which then becomes the Coalmont Road and continue on for 15.6 kilometres to the town of Coalmont. Turn left onto Main Street and proceed for 150 metres, turn right onto Bettes Avenue and proceed 260 metres, go across the bridge over the Tulameen River and turn left and continue to stay on the main road for 2 kms until you reach the Recreation Site.
: (34.4km) Forested three vehicle campsite with a nearby trail that views the cascading waters of Vuich Creek (33.9km). Sutter Creek Rec Site
: (34.6 km) Serene three vehicle campsite perched on the high banks of Sutter Creek. Bright and open site nestled alongside a rushing mountain stream. Jacobson Lake Rec Site
: (45.8km) Treed six vehicle site with horse corrals and additional vehicle parking for trail users. Trailhead for the "Treasures of the Tulameen" complete with information kiosk and map. Brochures will be available at this location. Lodestone Lake Recreation Site:
Hudson Bay Heritage Trail:
The original route used by the fur brigades from 1849-1860. The trail is used today as a popular but remote hike starting at the Jacobson Lake Rec Site and climbs into the alpine and past the pristine "Palmer Pond" at 1,805 meters. Venture further and stand on top of the Cascade Divide at 1,850 meters.
Mining was the mainstay for many years. The main finds of gold and platinum are long gone, but some claims continue to be worked and hand mining is still practiced by a few hardy souls. The major coal industry stopped in 1940 but there have been some sizable developments in the intervening years. Mining corporations have been trucking out coal as recently as 2013, where there's still a licence for many tons. The area has two ranches and there is a small amount of hay grown for local use only. There are free-range cows wandering the whole area and they can occasionally be seen in town. The pine tree stand has provided a large resource for logging for many years. There is regular traffic of logging trucks through Coalmont and get delivered to a large mill in Princeton. Logs also get delivered for processing in Merritt and elsewhere. Coalmont is located in the Cascades Forest District.
The area became well know in the late 19th century because of the gold and platinum finds. The plentiful coal soon became an interest and the town of Coalmont was established in 1911. The town thrived in the 1920’s but the mine closed in 1940 and most people left. Despite having no public utilities and being on the verge of becoming a complete ghost town for many years, Coalmont continued to survive because of it’s location and the tenacity of the unique individuals who chose to stay.