The name is derived from the Nlaka'pamux word Stagyn, meaning "hidden place", referring to the fact that the size and extent of the Stein River valley is not very noticeable from the river's confluence with the Fraser.
The Stein River and its tributaries are contained in Stein Valley Nlaka'pamux Heritage Park. The river originates in remote Tundra Lake and flows generally east, joining the Fraser River north of Lytton.
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