Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Region (British Columbia, Canada) - TRAVEL & TOURING GUIDE
Flip through the pages of this Travel & Touring Guide, representing the stunningly beautiful and remote CARIBOO CHILCOTIN COAST region of British Columbia, Canada, and you will be mesmerized. You'll want to start planning your outdoor adventure vacation today!
Cariboo Chilcotin Coast www.landwithoutlimits.com Travel & Touring Guide 速 LEAVE YOUR TRACKS British Columbia is the home of the Prince George 2015 Canada Winter Games; the most important event young athletes compete in to become our Canadian champions. Come now to experience our hospitality and get a taste of the welcome we're preparing for 2015. Choose your path, leave your tracks, and journey with us as we host the nation. 2 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Contents Welcome to the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast 4 the Cariboo Rolling Hills, Rivers & Lakes 8 the Chilcotin Great High Plateau — Frontier Spirit 26 42 the Coast Mountains, Old-Growth Forests & Inlets Regional Map 58 60 61 64 70 72 76 78 82 88 90 92 98 B.C. Map & Driving Distances Photography: All images in this guide are intended to provide informative historical context and fair representation of activities which are available in this region. Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association reminds visitors that lifejackets, bicycle, motorcycle, and ATV helmets are mandatory and required by law in British Columbia. Cover Photo of Cow (female) Moose Photo Credit: Thomas Drasdauskis Writing and Editing: Mongol Media, Brad McGuire, Amy Thacker, Cheryl Johnson and Ray Chatelin Design & Layout: Jill Schick Design Circle Route Driving Tours First Nations & the Fur Trade Cariboo Gold Rush Forestry & Mining Cowboys & Railroads Guest Ranches, Trail Riding & Rodeos Biking, Hiking & Climbing Wildlife & Eco-Tours Touring & Camping Michael Bednar Fishing & Hunting Golf, Spas & Lakes Winter Experiences For accommodation reservations and travel information visit: www.helloBC.com 100 104 106 Arts & Culture Agritourism & Cuisine Directory Listings For travel information, contact Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association: 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com ©2014 – Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association (the “Region”). All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited. This Guide does not constitute, and should not be construed as, an endorsement or recommendation of any carrier, hotel, restaurant or any other facility, attraction or activity in British Columbia, for which neither Destination BC Corp. nor the Region assumes any responsibility. Super, Natural British Columbia®, Hello BC®, Visitor Centre and all associated logos/trade-marks are trade-marks or Official Marks of Destination BC Corp. Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association© and all associated trade-marks and logos are trade-marks or official marks of the Region. Admission fees and other terms and conditions may apply to attractions and facilities referenced in this Guide. Errors and omissions excepted. 1-800-663-5885 110 Travel Information 112 Glossary 114 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 3 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast British Columbia’s Land Without Limits What is “A Land without Limits”? It is a region of British Columbia comprised of 117,000 km² of breathtaking beauty, ruggedness, incredible wildlife and outdoor adventure opportunities that will ensure you are actively enjoying nature throughout this great land. Your imagination will run wild and your opportunity to explore is truly limitless. This is a place where Aboriginal culture and contemporary lifestyles exist harmoniously, and where ancient traditions and modern life have each carved out their place in a vast, dramatic environment. Turn these pages for a brief glimpse into this diverse world of distinctive landscapes – alpine mountains and glaciers, deciduous woodlands and forests, deserts and sandstone canyons, evergreen timberlands, ocean fjords and inlets. All of which provide the perfect foundation for the physical and cultural activities and experiences to be found in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast. Our physical land draws people to its overpowering radiance and we love showcasing this part of our character. Many resorts, guest ranches, festivals and events take advantage of an exciting wild west past that includes the history of our First Nations peoples, the fur trade, the gold rush and ranching. Imagine a coastline with thousands of kilometers of secluded coves, fjords, inlets, pristine beaches and rocky shores where you’ll find what’s arguably the world’s best saltwater fishing and eco-adventures, providing up-close experiences with sea birds, bears, whales, dolphins and sea lions. First Nations villages along the central coast are rich in heritage and they take pride in sharing their stories. If your timing is right, you can witness one of nature’s most remarkable feats when the salmon miraculously migrate back to their birthplace to spawn each year in the many rivers and streams throughout the region. While we proudly embrace and present our open skies and a rustic edge, we are so much more. We also offer sophisticated resorts and spas, championship golf courses, and a wide range of cultural, intellectual, and adventure experiences. Mountain bikers, skiers, hikers, snowmobilers, golfers, campers, photographers, fishermen and sailors all thrive in the region’s varied topography. This region of small cities, towns, and villages is the perfect place to enjoy these activities and outdoor adventures, while exploring our cultural history. So, come share ‘your adventures’ with us and experience our hospitality as you explore our remarkable “Land Without Limits”. John Zada Enter our Land Without Limits . . . 4 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Scan for video Great Bear Rainforest 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 5 the Cariboo Rolling hills, rivers, and lakes inspire both adventurers and historians to follow the original Cariboo Wagon Road on the Gold Rush Trail, bordered by pioneer cabins, groves of aspen, clusters of Indian paintbrush and troutfilled waters. Discover historic sites, saddle up at a ranch, experience First Nations culture, head out on a mountain bike, explore welldeveloped trail networks, don snowshoes and cross-country skis in winter, experience the spine-tingling call of a loon and seek out the regionâ€™s abundant wildlife. Welcome! the Chilcotin On this great plateau, full of frontier spirit, discover a world where people are scarcer than wildlife and the landscape is larger than life. Stretching west beyond the Fraser River, a burnished golden plateau meets the peaks of the Coast Mountain Range. Explore our backcountry, fish in tranquil, isolated lakes, reach high alpine with a packhorse trek and raft churning whitewater. Remote and geographically diverse, the Chilcotin boasts incredible wildlife and natural phenomena in a land rich in First Nations culture and pioneering spirit. Welcome! the Coast Mountains, old-growth forests and a myriad of inlets entice as a jumble of deep fjords and a scattering of emerald islands enchant. Welcoming First Nations villages, rich in heritage, speckle the coast. Beaches and isolated hot springs remain as pristine as they were centuries ago. Giant cedars grace mountainsides and rim wide valleys in this outdoor-adventure mecca. Fish the rivers, heli-ski the mountain peaks, don your hiking boots and be astounded by the mystical tranquility. Welcome! 6 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Gordon Baron Kim Culbert/www.kimculbert.com Chris Harris 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 7 the Cariboo Chris Harris Echo Valley Ranch, South Cariboo 8 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide the Cariboo 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 9 Thomas Drasdauskis Thomas Drasdauskis Thomas Drasdauskis 10 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Mitch Cheek Thomas Drasdauskis Geoff Moore the Cariboo xplore networks of biking, hiking and walking trails; hear the mystical call of a loon and seek out the region’s abundant wildlife; or enjoy a winter escape on snowshoes, cross-country skis and snowmobiles. Pay a visit to guest ranches with European trained chefs, who prepare a variety of tempting cuisines unknown to early cowboys and gold miners, or visit one of our Northern Secwepemc (shi-HUEP-muh-k) communities. Enjoy one of the many festivals that embrace a variety of cultural celebrations in our lively cities and towns. Cariboo country stretches from Lillooet and Cache Creek in the south, north to Hixon and Stoner, and is bordered by the Cariboo Mountains in the east and the Fraser River to the west. The region, named after the once abundant woodland caribou, was the first part of the B.C. Interior to be settled by nonindigenous people, playing a significant role in early European settlement of the province. Follow the original Cariboo Wagon Road along the Gold Rush Trail, sprinkled with pioneer cabins, groves of aspen, clusters of Indian paintbrush and trout-filled waters. In the 1860s, much of this region was the centre of a huge gold rush that brought gold seekers from all corners of the world. Mining towns and roadhouses sprung up almost overnight from Lillooet northward. Today, the legends from that E Michael McCarthy era are still alive in ghost towns, some of which have been revived and recreated. Although the great Cariboo Gold Rush ended many years ago, the sense of frontier adventure is alive and well in the pioneering spirit of the people who are proud to call this region home. The Cariboo consists of three distinct sections; South, Central and North. The heavily forested North Cariboo, where the major goldfields were once located, is sparsely populated today but was once the most settled and powerful district in B.C.’s Interior. The Central Cariboo, home to the region’s largest community, Williams Lake, has a geography ranging from dense forests, inland rainforests and mountain lakes to arid, lava formed canyons and open plains. The diverse landscape of the South Cariboo consists of rolling grasslands, open meadows, pine and aspen forests, semi-arid desert viewscapes, tranquil lakes and granitewalled river gorges. All three sub-regions are linked by the Cariboo Highway (Hwy 97), the majority of which parallels the legendary Gold Rush Trail. Many communities en route are named according to their distance from Lillooet (Mile 0) as one journeys north along the Cariboo Wagon Road. Evidence of this raucous heritage endures in delightful places like the roadhouses at historic Hat Creek Ranch, 108 Mile Ranch, Cottonwood House, and in Barkerville, a National Historic Site, where the Cariboo Gold Rush is re-created in full 1860s detail. Outdoor recreational opportunities abound in the Cariboo, renowned for its incredible mountain biking, hiking and fishing, as well as for geocaching, wildlife-viewing, boating, Nordic skiing, downhill skiing, and snowmobiling. Wild West fans will enjoy many famous cattle and guest ranches, the B.C. Cowboy Hall of Fame and a busy circuit of amateur and professional rodeos, including one of Canada’s largest and most famous, the annual Williams Lake Stampede. The South Cariboo The story of the South Cariboo is written in the numbers signposted along Highway 97’s original roadhouse towns. About every 21km/13mi along this historic 644km/400mi route, a roadhouse was located. Travellers could journey its entire length by stagecoach in four days, providing they could afford $130 for a one way ticket. Today, Hat Creek Ranch is one of the Cariboo’s largest surviving roadhouses, just 11km/7mi north of Cache Creek amid rolling, sagebrush hills at the junction of Highways 97 and 99. This B.C. Heritage Site marks the crossroads where all major threads of the South Cariboo’s compelling history - fur trading, ranching, First Nations culture and gold - intersect. Most of the roadhouses are long gone, while a few have evolved into villages and towns where modern-day travellers can still trace | www.landwithoutlimits.com 11 1-800-663-5885 Staff Favorites Hunting with my camera, fishing rods and rifle in the fall when the Cariboo back roads and highways are a visual feast of fall colors and natural flavours. The fish are firm and fat, and you have opportunities to put the healthiest of wild meat in your freezer while the bounty of local growers supplement your “supermarket” diet. – Geoff Moore I recently had the pleasure of working on an event in Wells. I met some amazing people and was able to enjoy fabulous food at a couple of unique restaurants. This funky town retains its flavor from an era gone by and is extremely colorful! – Linda MacInnis I love discovering those surprise drink spots! My favorites in the Cariboo are all about a good ‘cup’ – Clinton Coffee House, Granville’s Coffee in Quesnel, Hotel DeOro for a cup of java and Ft Berens for a divine wine at day’s end in Lillooet. – Amy Thacker A great family event that I enjoy annually is the Green Lake Gymkhana, held the second weekends of July and August. They are fun days of horses and then a better time of tubing and water skiing in the clear, clean turquoise colored lake. – Beverly Evans I enjoy riding the Williams Lake River Valley Trail on mountain bikes with my kids, as well as tackling the many incredible mountain trail networks around the Cariboo with friends. The options and skill levels are almost endless! – Brad McGuire 12 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Michael Bednar Lillooet “Guaranteed Rugged” describes the mountainous terrain around Lillooet and the lifestyle enjoyed by its actively engaged people. The landscape is rugged, rocky, steep, and challenging in a fun kind of way. Roads are carved out of the mountainsides overlooking the Fraser River. People here experience the thrill of feeling alive, living life to its fullest and enjoying every second of it! Lillooet, located 225km/140mi north of Vancouver via Whistler on the Sea to Sky Highway or via Lytton through the Fraser Canyon, and 270km/168mi south of Williams Lake, offers a variety of restaurants and affordable lodging, including B&Bs and campsites, making it a great spot for a romantic weekend getaway or a quick day trip out of the city for family adventures. Easy access for mountain biking, backpacking, boating, and other fun activities make Lillooet a perfect playground in spring, summer and fall, while winter boasts unprecedented ice climbing, heli-skiing and snowmobiling. Lillooet embraces culture and traditions of the St’át’imc (stat-lee-um) First Nation. Take a cultural tour with Xwisten Tours (hoysh-ten) to experience authentic St’át’imc history, traditions and food. The Lillooet Apricot Tsaqwen Festival (cho-com) celebrates local culture and is a huge hit with visitors and locals every July. If treasure hunting sounds more your style, try geocaching in Lillooet. Search out over 100 different geocaches in the area to find hidden secrets. Pick up one of the local Hiking Guidebooks, and get up close and personal with nature while travelling the trails. For the less extreme, play a round of golf at the Lillooet Sheep Pasture Golf Course, complete with hazards like live resident sheep, or take a rock hounding stroll along the banks of the mighty Fraser. Enjoy jade sculptures on the Jade Walk along Main Street. Take a ride on the Kaoham rail shuttle on Fridays as it skirts the pristine waters of Seton Lake on its Geoff Moore the region’s gold rush past through a landscape that appears airlifted out of an old western. The rolling grasslands of the South Cariboo remain firmly rooted in cowboy culture, with a plethora of guest ranches offering daytrips and getaways for riders of all skill levels. Significant wilderness assets lure adventurers and wildlife lovers, while those who feel most complete with rod and reel in hand find nirvana along the legendary Fishing Highway 24, as 100-plus lakes loaded with rainbow trout, lake trout and kokanee are within an hours’ drive. way to Seton Portage; the same tracks used by the internationally renowned Rocky Mountaineer. Visit the Miyazaki House, built in the 1890s, and view its historic architecture and Dr. Miyazaki’s original office. This is also the place to be Friday nights in July and August for the summer concert series. For wine connoisseurs, a visit to Fort Berens Estate Winery is a must! Lillooet has plenty to offer the adventure seeker, while the stories of the 1860s Gold Rush ensure that the culturalhistorian will also be entertained and inspired. Plan a visit to the Museum and Visitor Centre located in an old Anglican Church, where you can learn about notable characters and fascinating stories of the Cariboo Gold Rush. An alternate route from Vancouver brings you north on Highway 1 up the Fraser Canyon. Visit Hells Gate (54km/33.5mi north of Hope) and ride the Cariboo RE/MAX® Outstanding Agents. Outstanding Results. The perfect stop for a relaxing lunch or high tea, in an historic spot in BC. WILLIAMS LAKE REALTY Toll Free: 1-866-392-2253 Direct: 1-250-392-2253 Fax: 1-250-392-2210 Email: email@example.com www.williamslakerealty.com 10:00 am-4:00 pm 7 days a week. Serving lunch until 3:00. MARCH 1 - DECEMBER 31 250-296-4235 3075 Hwy. 97, 150 Mile House, BC 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 13 Festivals & Events New Year’s Polar Bear Swim – A Williams Lake Rugby Club fundraiser. Hearty souls of all ages dress in wacky costumes while jumping from the ice into the lake. Scout Island. January 1 Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Mail Run – Sled Dog teams travel wilderness trails between Quesnel and Wells carrying the mail over several days. Also open to skijorers, cross country skiers, snowshoers, kick-sledders and runners. January 24 – 26 Cariboo Goldrush X-Country Marathon – A competitive and fun event for all ages & skill levels. 10 km recreational up to 50 km full marathon. 99 Mile Ski Trails. February 8 The Wells Snowman Gourmet Ski Event - A non-competitive cross-country ski tour. Ski various routes enjoying internationally inspired ethnic cuisine served at various “pit stops. Wells. February 15 Western Heritage Week – Go western and celebrate our gold rush past with a fancy dress Clinton May Ball (held annually since 1868), a parade, Rodeo, Dinner & Dance, Old Timers‘ Tea Party and more! Clinton. May 17 – 26 Father’s Day Pow-Wow – Hand drumming contest, Princess Pageant and ceremonial feast. Williams Lake. June 14 – 15 Williams Lake Stampede – Pro rodeo events, parade, street party and tons of family fun. Williams Lake. June 27 – 30 Arts on the Fly Music & Dance Festival – Top performers in jazz, indie folk and punk rock and other genres. Horsefly. July 11 - 12 ArtsWells Festival– Four day infusion of over 100 musical performers, independent film screenings, workshops, live theatre and more! Wells. August 1 – 4 Beer & Wine Festival - Taste local beer, wine and BBQ beef at Fort Berens Winery. Live music, horse-and-buggy rides in the vineyard, arts and crafts, kids entertainment. Lillooet. September 13 markhobson.com Old-Fashioned Victorian Christmas – Sleigh rides, caroling, hot drinks, delicious baking and Christmas gift shopping in a stunning setting. Barkerville. December 6 – 8 14 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide the aerial tramway down to the crashing waters of the Fraser River as it rushes through the narrow 35m/110ft gorge. This area is one of the best places in Canada for white-water river rafting. Further north, at the confluence of the Fraser and Thompson Rivers, is the community of Lytton and the junction of Highway 12. For a scenic trip following the Fraser River take Highway 12 through the ‘Big Slide’ northwest to Lillooet. Clinton The village of Clinton is an outdoor adventure hub, providing active experiences in a landscape noted for its wildlife and unique geological variations, such as the ‘Grand Canyon of the North’ located in the backcountry west of Clinton along the Fraser River, and nearby Chasm Provincial Park, created by glacial melt cutting into lava flows. This 8km/5mi long, 300m/984ft deep box canyon features rock layers in spectacular shades of orange, pink, yellow and lavender. The name Clinton was officially adopted on June 11th, 1863, replacing the previous name, “The Junction”. Visit the museum for local history and visitor information. In the 1870s, Clinton was a cattle-ranch town, a soap-soda and Epsom salts distributor in the early 1900s, and a bush and sawmill town in the 1950s. Today, Clinton continues many of its original traditions and exudes a charming character. Tour local heritage buildings, explore nearby provincial parks, wander antique shops, or enjoy one of the nearby guest ranches where you can ride the range, cross-country ski, pan for gold and be pampered by exquisite cuisine and spa treatments. 2013 marked a milestone for Clinton; 150 years since its official the Cariboo naming, and 50 years since this historic village was incorporated. A favorite event is the Clinton Annual Ball, now in its 147th year! Stop and stay awhile in Clinton to learn about its history and play in its great outdoors. 70 Mile House 70 Mile House caters to travellers journeying the historic Gold Rush Trail along Highway 97. It is also a key turnoff point for the Green Lake Recreation Area - one of the most popular destinations in the South Cariboo for water sports of all kinds and, along with nearby Watch Lake, a habitat for thriving waterfowl and raptor populations. When 70 Mile House was established in 1862 as a hostel for Cariboo Wagon Road work crews, the Williams Lake and District CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Michael Bednar residents probably had no idea that in the next 150 or so years, the area would become one of the Cariboo’s major guest ranch areas. Several family-run ranches continue the tradition of guest-house hospitality, offering a wide selection of outdoor activities that include hiking, horseback riding, fishing, snowmobiling, mountain biking and canoeing. Interlakes / The Fishing Highway Highway 24, stretching from 93 Mile House to Little Fort between the junctions of Highways 97 and 5, is renowned as “The Fishing Highway”. Hundreds of lakes are nestled in the Interlakes tranquil, scenic settings where the day’s catch might include rainbow trout, lake trout and kokanee. www.ramada.com 1-800-663-6898 Williams Lake Free Hot Cooked Breakfast OPEN YEAR ROUND Free WiFi & Secure LAN Conference Facilities Carmen’s Restaurant Overlander Pub Cold Beer and Wine Williams Lake Visitor Centre 1-877-967-5253 www.tourismwilliamslake.com • Trail Rides • Lakeshore Cabins • Camping • Boats Phone (250) 456-7741 www.watchlake.com | www.landwithoutlimits.com 15 In partnership with the City of Williams Lake 1660 South Broadway firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-663-5885 “Fans and Followers” Got the opportunity to go to the Cariboo this summer with our trailer. Stayed at Horse Lake, and absolutely loved it, fishing, watching lightening showers and listening to the loons on the lake in the evenings. We will be back. – Cindy S. I just enjoy hiking in your beautiful nature - and horseback riding! – Elke S Beautiful BC! I don’t dislike flying, I just really prefer to be “down to earth”, feel the surroundings, sniff the atmosphere, meet the locals, see wildlife and so forth. – Peter E. My daughter travelled from Alberta to go with me to Barkerville. We try to make it a yearly trip. We arrived after the August long weekend rush - still extremely busy! lol! It was awesome to see other families and couples dress up in period costume (as we do)! – Rhonda D. The ArtsWells Festival in Wells is so cool! Great people from all walks of life who come together to enjoy all of the fine arts (among other things) in such a glorious setting… I can’t wait until next years event! – Joslyn T. Name Your Lake Facebook Contest Winner Comments: As a little kid in the Netherlands, I saw the TV series ‚Grizzly Adams’ in the 70’s and since then, Canada was the promised land for me. I call the lake COWOBE because it is my dream to see 3 majestic animals in the wild (coyote – wolf – bear) before I leave this earth. – Marco Kolleppel, Eysden, Netherlands ✸ See Map page 59 16 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Thomas Drasdauskis It’s also ranch country, popular for trail riding. Near the west end of Highway 24 is Lone Butte, a peaceful little village named for the solitary volcano plug that rises skyward. Enjoy an invigorating hike up the “butte,” or research the community’s historic past. Lone Butte is a great home base for touring and exploring the restaurants, cafés, shops, lakes, resorts and guest ranches spanning the length of “The Fishing Highway”. 100 Mile House With a population of roughly 2,000, it claims a couple of lofty titles, including “Handcrafted Log Home Capital of North America” and is the self-proclaimed “International Nordic Ski Capital”, boasting the world’s tallest pair of cross-country skis at the Visitor Centre, and has one of B.C.’s most active Nordic clubs. Enjoy an easy stroll along the paved, wheelchair accessible walkway of the 100 Mile Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary - depart from the Visitor Centre, and keep an eye out for various bird species throughout the year. 100 Mile House was originally a fur trading station on the Hudson’s Bay Company Brigade Trail (Kamloops to Fort Alexandria), and was an important stagecoach stop on the Gold Rush Trail by the early 1860s. Cattle ranching and the forestry industry sustained 100 Mile House after the gold rush ended, and today it is the main service centre for outlying communities and industries. One of the area’s popular attractions is the 108 Mile Ranch Historic Site, a collection of lakeside heritage buildings including the largest log barn of its kind left in Canada. The site features a museum, stone sculptures, refurbished log buildings and period implements and tools, and is a great picnic stop along your journey. Canim Lake Canim Lake is 35km/22mi northeast of 100 Mile House and is one of the largest lakes in the Cariboo at 37km/23mi long. It is surrounded by meadows, mountains and forested hills, with resorts dotting its shoreline and a vast pebble beach that is a remnant of the glacial age. Summertime offers hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, boating and fishing against a backdrop of magnificent waterfalls, volcanic cones near Spanish Creek, and ancient pictographs and pit houses at Deception Creek. Winter fun includes snowmobiling, ice fishing, backcountry skiing and snowshoeing. Lac la Hache The village has been dubbed “the longest town in the Cariboo” for how its fishing resorts, ranches and vacation homes dot the lake’s 19km/12mi long shoreline. Long before the lure of wealth brought fur traders to this area, the Secwepemc (shi-HUEP-muh-k) and Chilcotin (chilko-teen) First Nations moved through the region. The Secwepemc established pit houses near present-day Lac la Hache, and the Chilcotins named the lake Kumatakwa, Queen of the Waters. Today, Lac la Hache is one of the most popular lakes along Highway 97, particularly with anglers, power boaters and water-skiers. In winter, the typically crisp and clear sunny days are perfect to enjoy a day of ice fishing on the lake, or to head for the slopes of nearby Mt. Timothy for a day of skiing and snowboarding. The Central Cariboo the Cariboo Adrenaline junkies are lured by the trails snaking through the hillsides around Williams Lake, an area Bike Magazine dubbed “the Shangri-La of mountain biking”. To the east, wonderful fishing and kayaking can be found in the Horsefly area. Time it right and you can spot grizzlies fishing riverside for salmon. The salmon migrate by the millions up the Quesnel River to spawn in the Horsefly and Mitchell rivers. Although forestry, mining and tourism may be the most important financial drivers in the region, cowboy culture is still king here. Prospectors and merchants ventured here in 1859 after the news of a big gold strike on the Horsefly River, 65km/40mi east of Williams Lake. The following year, William Pinchbeck, a tough police constable from Victoria, arrived to keep law and order; juggling jobs as lawyer, judge, and jailer while building a homestead and rest house with restaurant, saloon, general store and race-horse track. Race days attracted hundreds of spectators, including one memorable contest in 1861 when the stakes were a whopping $100,000. Pinchbeck was a busy man, his roadhouse, already famous for its White Wheat Whiskey (from his own distillery at 25 cents a shot), suffered no lack of business and he came to own almost the entire Williams Lake River Valley. Pinchbeck’s grassy gravesite above his former ranch is one of the most famous in the Cariboo, overlooking the Williams Lake Stampede Grounds. Genuine hospitality, delicious meals and grand outdoor adventure! Clinton BC // 1-877-655-2333 www.BIGBARRANCH.com 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 17 150 Mile House When Thomas Davidson, owner of the first ranch established in the Williams Lake area, went looking for a larger piece of property in 1861, he moved 22km/14mi east to build his large, two storey roadhouse and lucrative business selling produce and hay to the gold-mining settlement of Quesnelle Forks. When the Cariboo Wagon Road came through in 1863, the site became the 150 Milepost from Lillooet. 150 Mile House is an important junction for travellers heading east to the resort lakes around Horsefly and Likely, or for those following the historic Gold Rush Trail. Today, roughly 1,300 residents live mostly on small acreages and ranch holdings along Highway 97. Horsefly Outdoor lovers head here for camping, hiking, fishing, kayaking, mountain biking and backcountry skiing. Horsefly, the gateway to Quesnel Lake, Horsefly Lake, Crooked Lake and the Cariboo Mountains, hosts entertaining events, including a May Day long-weekend celebration, July’s Arts on the Fly Music Festival, the September Salmon Festival, Fall Fair and Horsefly Follies Theatrical Review. Visit the Pioneer Museum, which also serves as the area’s Visitor Info Booth. The first gold discovery of the Cariboo Gold Rush was in the Horsefly River in 1859, three years before Billy Barker made his big strike on Williams Creek. The prospectors, led by American Peter Dunlevy, were guided by native Long Baptiste and the gold was easily visible, having been exposed by sockeye salmon during gravel churning spawning. The party picked up 2,835g/100oz of nuggets in a week - and so began the great gold rush of 1859 into B.C.’s Interior. Those easy-to-find gold nuggets are long gone, leaving the area’s approximately 1,000 residents to work in forestry, ranching, mining and tourism. Likely Likely, originally known as Quesnelle (kwe-nel) Dam in 1898 when a dam was built to mine the Quesnel River, changed its name in 1923 to commemorate popular prospector, John “Plato” Likely. Located about 86km/54mi northeast of 150 Mile House at the west end of Quesnel Lake, the deepest fjord lake in North America, Likely’s economy is driven by mining and forestry. Intriguing evidence of past mining ventures exist at Cedar Point Provincial Park, home to the Cedar City Mining Museum. Once a rendezvous point for the Hudson’s Bay Fur Brigade, the park campground accesses a network of old mining trails. Likely provides one of the park’s main access points, with tourist information, a public boat launch to Quesnel Lake, and driving access to Quesnelle Forks. Quesnelle Forks Quesnelle Forks is a hauntingly striking ghost town accessible to the public by a dirt road from Likely, just 9km/5.5mi away. Visitors can wander through original log cabins and a heritage graveyard, the only evidence of the past residents who lived here in the late 1800s. There are no entrance fees or employees, no souvenir shops or cafés, just compelling glimpses and fragments of the past. In the early 1860s, gold fever was rampant at the confluence of the Quesnel and Cariboo Rivers. “The Forks” quickly became 18 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Amy Thacker a rowdy camp with 5,000-plus residents. After the gold seekers moved farther north, the community’s key location made it a major entryway to the goldfields and it remained a busy hub. When the Cariboo Wagon Road was completed in 1865 the community was bypassed, and fell into decline. By the mid-1870s, most of the residents had left, though a thriving community of Chinese prospectors and merchants temporarily remained to support a widely dispersed mining community. Williams Lake Named after Chief William, a Secwepemc (shi-HUEP-muh-k) chief from the area, the city is located at the junction of Highways 97 and 20, and has been one of the Cariboo Chilcotin’s major crossroads since the turn of the 20th century. Even prior to the arrival of the first white settlers, the area was a meeting place for the Secwepemc First Nation. This “Hub City of the Cariboo” is the largest in the region (11,200 residents within city limits) and a market-area population close to 30,000. Its distinctive western-frontier personality shines brightly when it hosts the Williams Lake Stampede during the Canada Day long weekend (July 1). Professional rodeo stars from around the globe compete for big-purse money in traditional rodeo and unique home-grown events. But, cowboys and rodeos are not the city’s only attraction. It’s a mountain biking mecca, with three dedicated areas: Westsyde Ridge, Desous Mountain and Fox Mountain being major attractions. With all three featuring tracks ranging from double-track beginner to epic cross-country and steep, gnarly AboriginalBC.com down-hills, many riders are spreading the word that the area offers the best wilderness biking in British Columbia. Williams Lake also boasts excellent wildlife-viewing opportunities. Birders make a beeline for Scout Island, a nature sanctuary at the west end of the lake. In addition to a beach area, nature house, picnic ground, and boat launch, this nature sanctuary for birds and small wildlife is laced with trails. Enjoy a walk downtown among quaint shops, retail stores and art galleries, some featuring local art and First Nations gifts. A variety of restaurants are found on nearly every side street. The city boasts three golf courses (one 18 hole championship course and two 9 hole courses), a magnificent log Tourism Centre, the B.C. Cowboy Hall of Fame, and the very popular River Valley Trail, spanning 12km/7.5mi from downtown to the historic Fraser River. McLeese Lake The small resort community of McLeese Lake, situated 30 minutes north of Williams Lake, was originally known as Mud Lake and was renamed in honor of a resident from nearby Soda Creek in the 1880s. Robert McLeese owned a June 27 to 30, 2014 the Cariboo High Speed Internet Complimentary Breakfast Pool • Fitness Center Hot Tub 1850 Broadway Avenue S WILLIAMS 778-412-9000 Email: email@example.com LAKE www.facebook.com/#!/BestWesternWilliamsLakeInnAndSuites Twitter: @BWWLHotel Come and enjoy our rv park & campground April thru October 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 19 sternwheeler, hotel and store and was the postmaster of nearby Soda Creek for 25-plus years. Modern-day travellers come for outdoor adventures. Water sports and fishing are popular, along with hiking, camping, and off-roading in the surrounding hills. In winter, hiking trails become snowmobile and cross-country ski routes while the lake is transformed into an outdoor skating rink and idyllic ice-fishing hot spot. The North Cariboo The Cariboo Gold Rush of the 1860s came to an end about a decade after its start, and its prospectors fled. With paddle-wheelers plying the Fraser River and interior lakes, and a major railway to come, the region’s newly settled farmers and ranchers stayed on. Soon a new wave of modern-day adventurers followed, seeking their own golden dreams in the North Cariboo, a region as rich in untapped wilderness as it once was in gold. Just east of Quesnel in the Cariboo Mountains, is Bowron Lake Provincial Park; one of the world’s top five canoe circuits spread over 10 glacial lakes connected by channels, rivers and short portages. By hard-core water-rat standards, the route is a slam-dunk in terms of difficulty, one of the big reasons some 65,000 paddlers a year tackle it. West of Quesnel about 100km/62mi, the waters of Nazko Lake Provincial Park buoy the rare and endangered American White Pelican. To the northeast, the Blackwater River is the most outstanding dry fly-fishing destination in North America, with virtually every pool or riffle nurturing hard-fighting rainbow trout. The Blackwater is also the eastern entry point of the Nuxalk-Carrier Grease Trail (Alexander Mackenzie Heritage Trail). Extending 420km/261mi westward to the Pacific, this historic trail was once the Nuxalk (nu-halk) and Carrier First Nations’ primary trade route. Here in 1793, famed explorer Alexander Mackenzie traced its unmapped terrain to become the first European to reach the Pacific Ocean by land. Although few of today’s intrepid explorers tackle the entire route, which takes three weeks to complete, many follow sections either by foot, on horseback or by ATV. Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Mike Hawkridge/Hidden Lake Guest Ranch 20 Quesnel Quesnel is ideally situated at the confluence of the Fraser and Quesnel rivers, a launch point for outdoor adventures, including mountain biking, camping, fishing, and snowmobiling getaways with wide-open trail touring. Ever-growing urban green spaces include Alex Fraser Park, the “Petunia Mile” and the Heritage Rose Garden’s 200-plus floribunda and tea roses. Enjoy a healthy lifestyle with your own personal walking guide visiting these and other sites - ask about it at the Visitor Centre. European settlers flocked by the thousands into this city that served as the gold seekers’ supply depot during the Cariboo Gold Rush. Today, the North Cariboo’s main urban centre is popularly known as the “Gold Pan City,” a claim to fame written large across the 5.5m/18ft high Gold Pan at the town’s northern entrance. Many intriguing reminders of the city’s gold rush heyday are scattered throughout downtown’s 30 heritage sites including the original 1862 Hudson’s Bay Company Trading Post. More historical curiosities can be viewed at the Quesnel and District Museum and Archives (at the Visitor Centre), rated one of the top community museums in B.C., with one of North America’s most significant collections of Chinese artifacts. Quesnel’s “living history” is on display during its famous Billy Barker Days, commemorating the rowdy era of the 1860s. The 150-plus events over four days include pie-eating duels, stage shows, free outdoor concerts, stock-car racing, colourful parade, children’s festival and the sights and sounds of the Quesnel Rodeo, the largest amateur rodeo in B.C.. Nazko Nazko is a small First Nations community 100km/62mi west of Quesnel where the main draw is the surrounding valley, lakes and rivers. The valley lies within the traditional territory of the Carrier people, who once traded widely with neighbouring tribes, exchanging eulachon oil, dried meats, and obsidian along the Nuxalk-Carrier Grease Trail. Here in 1793, explorer Alexander Mackenzie was guided by the Carrier on an epic journey that made him the first European to reach the Pacific Ocean the Cariboo Thomas Drasdauskis by land. The first permanent European homesteader settled locally in 1903, and by the 1920s, trading posts had been built in Nazko, Kluskus and Ulkatcho for trading furs and dry goods with the Carrier, homesteaders and ranchers. Hixon Hixon Creek is named for prospector Joseph Foster Hixon, who found gold in the Fraser near the community in 1866. Situated 60km/37mi north of Quesnel on Highway 97, Hixon offers travelers accommodation and supplies for various outdoor adventures, including nearby Hixon Falls and Three Sisters Provincial Park at Stone Creek. Watch for the August car show and shine! Wells The mountain town of Wells, an 82km/51mi drive east of Quesnel, was built as a company town for Fred Wells’ Gold Quartz Mine, when the promise of more gold in the Cariboo gave many an opportunity to escape the unemployment of the depressed 1930s in what was then northern B.C.’s largest community and cultural centre. Fast-forward some 80 years. While there are now fewer than 300 year-round residents, many heritage buildings have been restored, including the Wells Hotel and the Sunset Theatre. Other architectural landmarks sport bright rainbow colours in a nod to the 285 Donald Road Williams Lake, BC V2G 4K4 COMPLIMENTARY HOT BREAKFAST Tel: 250 398-7055 firstname.lastname@example.org www.coasthotels.com 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 21 Dave Jorgenson Bowron Lake Provincial Park Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide 22 town’s vibrant arts scene. The Island Mountain Arts Society’s celebrated arts school offers classes in visual, literary and performing art, while the wildly popular ArtsWells Festival of All Things Art is held annually the first weekend in August. The region’s outdoor adventures include the popular 7 Summits Bike & Hike Trek that lures mountain bikers from across the globe. The area has hundreds of kilometres of stunningly scenic trails to suit all users; hiking, mountain biking, crosscountry skiing and snowmobiling – accessible right from town! Nearby Jack O’Clubs Lake boasts tranquil canoeing. In winter, try hut-to-hut cross-country adventures in the Mount Murray Area, sled dog adventures and the renowned Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Mail Run. Straddling the Trans Canada Snowmobile Trail, the Wells network of “sledder” trails links you to Quesnel, Likely and the Prince George snowmobile clubhouse. Barkerville Although many boom towns sprung to life during the Cariboo Gold Rush, Barkerville, a ramshackle collection of buildings squeezed against the bank of a mountain creek, was the largest and most resilient. By 1958, when the provincial government declared it a B.C. Heritage site, the town had been virtually deserted, and the last residents were relocated as work began on restoring the town’s “heyday splendour.” Now one of Canada’s National Historic Sites, it is B.C.’s best known heritage destination and the largest historic site in western North America, full of colour and vitality, with stagecoach rides, live theatre, saloons serving quaffs of sarsaparilla, a photo studio, café and bakery, a well-preserved 19th-century Chinatown and interesting cemetery tours. Families love to visit and enjoy interpreters roaming the streets as historical characters, greeting newcomers as if they’d just arrived on a Barnard Express stagecoach. 120 restored buildings are on display as “locals” set off to work at the mine or otherwise bring a bygone era to life. See and hear what it was like to be a blacksmith, a school teacher, a seamstress - or a precocious child - 150+ years ago. Bowron Lake Provincial Park It is big, covering 121,000hec/298,997ac, as are the snow-capped Cariboo Mountains that rim this wilderness expanse. But it is the park’s most unusual physical feature that is the key to its popularity - a rectangular-shaped water-system and wildlife sanctuary that forms a 116km/72mi canoe circuit unique in North America. Where else can you paddle for 10 days without backtracking and end where you began? No other canoe circuit boasts the same combination of mountain scenery, lakes and diverse wildlife. The former home of the southern Carrier, Athapaskan and Dene Nations, who built kekulis (kik-will-ees), or pit houses, close to where Kibbee Creek flows into Bowron Lake, is now an international attraction - one so popular that canoeists must reserve their “paddle slots” well in advance. ♦ the Cariboo Drummond Lodge Williams Lake, BC, Canada The 250-392-5334 or 800-667-4555 When you bring your home with you, you are never far from home. Lowhee, Forest Rose and Government Hill Campgrounds Our rooms and kitchen units have a marvelous view of Williams Lake and the Scout Island wildlife sanctuary. Take a leisurely walk on a nature trail to the lake, or enjoy the view while relaxing in our peaceful gardens. We have clean, reasonably priced, air-conditioned rooms and kitchen units (fully equipped) all with Cable TV, direct dial phones, high speed internet, beds, soft water, comfortable beds , and complimentary continental breakfast 1-866-994-3297 • barkervillecampgrounds.ca www.drummondlodge.com 3 Star Hotel Canada Select Approved Accommodation A NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE OF CANADA 1-888-994-3332 • barkerville.ca 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 23 WHERE YOUR BUSINESS IS OUR PLEASURE www.downtownquesnel.com 1 STOP, 2 AMAZING ATTRACTIONS! Quesnel Visitor Centre 1.800.992.4922 250.992.9580 www.quesnelchamber.com www.quesnelmuseum.ca Quesnel & area information • Assistance with reservations • Free Wifi • Interactive exhibits • Gift Shop • Children’s activities Quesnel & District Museum and Archives 703 & 705 Carson Ave • Quesnel, BC Shop. Play. Live. Enjoy. www.southquesnel.com Join us on Facebook to win prizes, and learn about great sales, events and jobs in South Quesnel! 24 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Billy Barker Days July 17-20, 2014 BC's Largest Free Family Festival billybarkerdays.ca Quesnel Farmers' Market Every Saturday May-Oct, 8:30 - 1pm quesnelmarket.com Gold Pan City Car Show & Shine 3 Day Event August, 2014 prospectorcarclub.com 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 25 the Chilcotin Kim Culbert/www.kimculbert.com Eagle Lake, West Chilcotin 26 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide the Chilcotin 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 27 Mike Hawkridge/Hidden Lake Guest Ranch Ted Hlokoff bridgerivervalley.ca 28 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Elisabeth Kent Albert Normandin Geoff Moore the Chilcotin Y ou’re invited to British Columbia’s living ‘wild west’! The outdoor adventure possibilities here are spectacular and endless, from aerial sightseeing over the expansive Homathko Ice field (south of Tatlayoko Lake), to heli-skiing the deep powder of the southern Chilcotin Mountains, to multiday loop treks through the rugged beauty of Ts’yl-os (sigh-loss) and Tweedsmuir Provincial Parks. Thrill seekers charge down the fast-moving Chilcotin River, rated among the most challenging of white-water rivers in North America. The Chilko River, a tributary of the Chilcotin that flows from Chilko Lake, is equally famed for its rapids, most notably a section called the White Mile. Providing one of the world’s most exciting rafting adventures, it is the longest continuous stretch of class 3-plus white-water on the continent. Of course, for those with less time - and perhaps less courage - there are “softadventure” white-water excursions available as well. Meanwhile anglers head for the lakes of the west Chilcotin, where float planes can be chartered for fly-in adventures to remote beauty that many travellers only dream about. Superior fly fishing is also found on the Blackwater River in the region’s north and on the Upper Dean River near Anahim Lake. Hikers love the Charlotte Alplands area around Charlotte Lake; a crystal clear high elevation lake Tim Noble with incredible sweeping mountain views and awesome wildlife, also popular with photography enthusiasts. The Chilcotin’s vast, open, spectacular landscape is located between the Coast Mountains and the Fraser River. Unlike the Cariboo, the Chilcotin was never invaded by swarms of gold crazed prospectors, so developed much differently. It’s a world of few roads, little industry and pockets of people, the majority being First Nation. It has an impressive diversity of wildlife, including Canada’s largest population of bighorn sheep, rare white pelicans, trumpeter swans, bears, lynx, wolves, mountain caribou and hundreds of wild horses. This makes it the perfect place for anyone wanting to explore the pristine Canada of their imagination. While the majority of the Chilcotin is accessed off Highway 20, the South Chilcotin is most easily approached from Vancouver via Lillooet off Highway 99 past Whistler to the Bridge River Valley; or by Highway 12 from Lytton and the Fraser Canyon. The communities of Dog Creek and Alkali Lake have backcountry access via Big Bar-Jesmond out of Clinton, or various points along Highway 97. Those with a serious thirst for adventure can follow the Fraser River north from Lillooet via a series of back roads through amazing country to the Chilcotin’s Highway 20, or east via the Big Bar ferry to Highway 97. Or head westward to the Bridge River Valley communities of Gold Bridge, Bralorne or nearby Tyaughton Lake, for spectacular South Chilcotin adventure possibilities. Before you journey off the main highways into the vast backcountry of the Chilcotin, it is recommended you have sufficient fuel and accurate maps for safety and peace of mind while journeying into the unspoiled wilderness. The Chilcotin’s vastness is linked to B.C.’s Interior by Highway 20, which crosses the Chilcotin Plateau and Coast Mountains stretching 456km/283mi from Williams Lake to Bella Coola. Highway 20, or “The Freedom Highway”, connects wildly different landscapes ranging from grassy plateaus and vast meadows to dramatic canyons and high mountain peaks. Not a single traffic light breaks its entire length, though there may be brief stops for free range cattle and wandering moose or bears. Roads off the highway provide access to excellent views of the Coast Mountain Range, as well as to significant backcountry lakes, fishing resorts and specialty lodges. Much of the region is composed of the high-elevation 50,000km2/19,305mi2 Chilcotin Plateau where thousands of cattle roam. There is tremendous geographical diversity here, from hot, dry grasslands to ice-covered heights of more than 4,000m/13,123ft, where glaciers descend to azure-blue | www.landwithoutlimits.com 29 1-800-663-5885 Staff Favorites Hiking in the Chilcotin with family; near Siwash Bridge there is a nice place to hike and picnic beside the stream. A five-day trail ride on horseback with Tsilhqot’in band members from Alexis Creek to Williams Lake for the rodeo is also a truly memorable experience. – Beverly Evans The Chilcotin is vast, with many activities to explore. The beauty, solitude and serenity kayaking the remote lakes is what makes me love living a rural lifestyle. Till Lake, with its lack of development and calm waters, is one of my favorites on a warm, sunny day. – Brad McGuire I’m drawn to the Chilcotin in the spring with the fresh valley greens and crisp white peaks of the Coast Mountains as the setting. The brilliant aqua colors of the lakes accent this masterpiece. Off-road, motorcycling and ATV’ing are one of my favourite activities in the spring. – Geoff Moore Recently, I had the pleasure of flying in a four-seater plane to an event on the Central Coast. While up in the air, I was in awe at the vastness of the Chilcotin! I now plan to explore more extensively on land to see all its’ beauty close up. – Linda MacInnis 30 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Chris Harris A trip along the Freedom Highway is not complete without a stop at the Nimpo Bakery & Cafe, traditional home baked breads, treats, cinnamon buns and the best breakfast sandwiches you have ever tasted! – Amy Thacker the Chilcotin lakes. Towering above those glaciercarved valleys is Mount Waddington, the highest peak that lies entirely within B.C. at 4,016m/13,176ft. Three major river systems, the Homathko, Klinaklini and Dean, run westward through the Coast Mountains, while the southeast is drained by the great Chilko, Chilcotin and Fraser river systems. The grassland canyons found on the Chilko and Fraser are desert landscapes similar to those seen in the south-western United States. Nothing reflects the spirit of the region more than the completion of Highway 20, at one time known as the Freedom Road, because its completion freed up access to the central coast. Until 1953, the road ended at Anahim Lake, 137km/85mi short of Bella Coola on the coast because the provincial government refused to extend it claiming the mountainous terrain was too difficult. So, local volunteers working from opposite ends with two bulldozers and supplies purchased on credit finished the job. This determination and independent spirit remains in the fabric and character of the Chilcotin and Coastal residents today. The Elisabeth Kent rustic road was not really considered a highway when first completed, but it was enough to convince the government to take over maintenance and improvements in 1955. Today, the “Freedom Highway”, or Highway 20 links a world-renowned circle tour. Those who settled this isolated region had to be tough - like Nellie Hance, who, in 1887, became the first white woman to travel into the Chilcotin by journeying 485km/301mi riding side saddle on horseback to reach her husband Tom’s trading post near Lee’s Corner (also known as Hanceville). Others were not only tough but, perhaps, a little crazy. Rancher Norman Lee, after whom Lee’s Corner was named, set out from his spread in May 1898 with 200 head of cattle on a 2,500km/1,553mi trek to the Klondike goldfields. None of his cattle survived the journey, but Lee did, arriving in Vancouver five months later with a roll of blankets, a dog and one dollar. Borrowing enough money for the train to Ashcroft and a horse to ride home, Lee was soon ranching again and by 1902 was well on the way back to prosperity. His descendants are still ranching in the Chilcotin today. The communities of the Chilcotin are strung along Highway 20 like jewels on a necklace, each one with its own story and general store. These hospitable and historic stores continue to play an important role in the region as community centres and meeting hubs while functioning as multi-purpose shops. A good example is the A.C. Christensen General Store in Anahim Lake, which claims, “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it!” 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 31 Festivals & Events New Year’s Ice Party – Ice bar, rink sports, bonfire and fireworks. Nimpo Lake. December 31 – January 1 Tatla Lake Ski Day and Taste of Tatla – A fun fundraising event for active, winter folk. Join together for a winter relay, or ski solo. Tatla Lake. February 1 Bridge River Valley Winterfest is family-friendly. Birch Curling Bonspiel, pond hockey tournament, cross country ski races, snow sculptures, snowmobile scavenger hunt, BBQ snack shack, bonfire and more! Little Gun Lake. February 18 Nimpo Lake Poker Run - Anyone with a snowmobile is welcome. Family friendly, well-marked trails. Nimpo Lake. March (weather dependant) Dean River Canoe Races – Paddlers battle it out from Nimpo Lake to Anahim Lake. May 11 (or, after ice off - weather dependant) Tatla Lake Gymkhana – Events include barrels, poles, scurries, keyhole, stakes, games, lemonade, hangman, potato, ribbon races. Tatla Lake. June. 14-15 Anahim Lake Stampede - Fun with rodeo events, a gymkhana, parade, beer garden, dances & barbecue. Anahim Lake. July 4 - 6 Puntzi Lake Fishing Derby – A fun event in the heart of summer, open to all! Puntzi Lake. July 4 - 6 Nemiah Valley Rodeo – The Mountain Race, a breakneck plunge down Mount Nemiah’s steep face, is not to be missed! Nemiah. August 1 - 3 Redstone Rodeo — Local hometown favorites are always in the hunt to win the popular and exciting Flat Race. Hosted by the Alexis Creek First Nations. Alexis Creek. August 16 - 17 Tatla Lake Fall Fair – Animals, a farmers market, food concessions, scarecrow contest and more fun for the kids too. Tatla Lake Community Hall. September 6 Julia Haseloff 32 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide the Chilcotin As white settlers arrived, most of the First Nation Chilcotin chiefs were friendly and cooperative, particularly when treated with equality and respect. Many of the First Nations worked with settlers as ranch hands, cowboys, packers and guides. Others started their own freight companies using teams and wagons, or homesteaded ranches while their wives sewed and sold moccasins and gloves made from tanned deer and caribou hides, and robes made from marmot fur. Today, Stetsons, cowboy boots, and fancy belt buckles are standard apparel in the Chilcotin, a land where the cowboy still rules. The region’s first cattle spreads - such as the Gang Ranch in the southeast, the largest cattle ranch in North America in its heyday and now owned by a Saudi sheik - were established to provide beef for Cariboo goldrush towns in the early 1860s. Today, ranching remains a key economic driver. Tourism is also an important mainstay, and in many cases both go hand in hand with numerous working ranches, some hosting vacation adventures, pack trips, and trail rides. Seton Portage Once the site of a unique railway system, Seton Portage is a historic rural community located 25km/15.5mi by boat (78km/48mi by road over Mission Mountain) west of Lillooet, between Seton and Anderson Lakes. During the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush of 1858 to 1860, nearly 30,000 prospectors, following what was then known as the “Lakes AboriginalBC.com A LW AY S T H E S M A R T C H O I C E GREAT LOCATIONS IN THE CARIBOO CHILCOTIN COAST So Many Reasons to Stay: Centrally located | One-bedroom & Executive Suites | Complimentary high-speed Internet | Shark Club Bar & Grill | Denny’s 24 Hour Restaurant | Room service | Indoor pool & whirlpool | Fitness facilities | Meeting & banquet facilities | Complimentary parking *Amenities vary at each location Quesnel | Williams Lake | 1 800 SANDMAN (726 3626) 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 33 “Fans and Followers” Fishing Sapeye Lake in the Chilcotin is my way to get away from it all and get back to nature (and great fishing too!) – Thomas B. Wow! Where are these Rainbow Mountains… such an amazing photo!! Oh, I so want to be there! – Rino G. Last month had the most amazing experience ever… I was flightseeing over these same Chilcotin mountains and glaciers!!! I so wish I could move away from the city and find a way to live life in this incredible landscape! Truly remarkable experience that is worth every penny – highly recommend! – Lawrence U. Beautiful picture!!! Chilko Lake is the most beautiful place in the world! – Helga B. Looks like the center of the universe. Beautiful! – Cheryl W. Rodeo may not be for “everyone”… but for this gal, it’s tradition and history, and paying homage to the men and women that risk life and limb out there raising our food !!! It’s a darn good time too ! SA-LOOT to all the competitors and their stock. – Gina M. Ist die Welt nicht schön? Diese Ruhe kann man körperlich spüren. (Is not the world beautiful? This rest can physically feel) – Manuela L. 34 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Tom Ryan/Destination BC the Chilcotin Route” from the Lower Mainland, swept through the narrow strip of land and a wooden rail link that was built connecting the two lakes, as they pushed north to the gold fields. Besides fishing, hiking, and boating, Seton Portage’s main attraction is the Kaoham Shuttle train, winding along the shores of turquoise-coloured Seton Lake through the thirdlongest tunnel on the CN Rail line and past the nearby Bridge River hydroelectric development, which in 1948 was the largest power project ever undertaken in British Columbia. Gold Bridge Nestled in the Bridge River Valley among the towering peaks of the South Chilcotin Mountains, 105km/65mi west of Lillooet, Gold Bridge sprang to life during the Great Depression with the opening of a large gold mine in nearby Bralorne in 1932. The Bralorne Pioneer Mine produced more than four million ounces before it closed in 1971, making it the richest gold mine in Canadian history and prompting the construction of a town, with schools, churches, post office, houses, recreation halls, and hunting lodges. The mine, abandoned for many years, reopened in 2011 due to high gold prices and is producing gold once again. History buffs enjoy poking around old ghost towns and abandoned mines, while those more inclined to explore the outdoors appreciate the valley’s fishing, hunting, rock hounding, 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 35 Gordon Baron Brad Kasselman/Coastphoto.com Tyaughton Lake, South Chilcotin Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide 36 the Chilcotin and rugged mountain beauty. Nearby lakes have resorts along their shores and heli-biking is a popular activity. Snowmobiling on spectacular glaciers is an irresistible draw for winter enthusiasts and the phenomenal heli-skiing keeps backcountry skiers coming back for more. Alkali Lake While geographically located in the Cariboo, the communities of Alkali Lake and Dog Creek, which between them embrace several fishing lakes, are linked to the Chilcotin by proximity and landscape. It’s also the location of one of the most touching stories in B.C. For more than 35 years, the Esketemc (es-ket-em) First Nation People have invited Alcoholics Anonymous members from around the world, to their annual Pow Wow Arbor for a rodeo and conference to share inspirational stories. Alcohol addiction almost destroyed the Esketemc a half-century ago. How they saved themselves and how the community took control of their lives and created an atmosphere of dignity and hope, was made into a film in 1985. The film, The Honour of All, is still shown at international festivals. B.C.’s oldest ranch was established in this attractive valley by a German-born settler named Otto Bowe, who, in 1858, built a “stopping house” alongside the river trail that made its way through the Cariboo to the northern goldfields. Bowe married a daughter of the Alkali Band Indian Chief and had four children with her. Bowe’s 10,117hec/25,000ac ranch stayed in the family until 1908, when it was purchased by Englishman Charles N. Wynn-Johnson. He was the grandfather of Charles N. “Chunky” Woodward, who later became the multimillionaire owner of B.C.’s iconic Woodward’s department store chain and a world-champion cutting-horse Chris Harris rider. At the peak of its operation, the Alkali Lake spread had more than 4,000 head of cattle and horses and employed dozens of working cowboys. The ranch, now 14,973hec/36,999ac, continues as a working ranch. Riske Creek Just south of Riske Creek near the confluence of the Fraser and Chilcotin rivers on Farwell Canyon Road is Junction Sheep Range Provincial Park, a 4,573hec/11,300ac preserve that shelters approximately 500 California bighorn sheep. Come here to see the bighorns amongst hoodoos, watching them scale the steep sandstone riverbanks in their natural setting. Black bears, coyote, foxes and cougar also roam the surrounding area. Farwell Canyon’s desert-dry limestone and sandstone walls feature hoodoos and other intriguing watercarved formations. Hikers can view ancient pictographs on the cliff faces and experience the thrill of watching First Nation fishermen dip-netting for salmon in the late summer. Riske Creek is a small community set amidst sweeping grasslands on the eastern border of the Chilcotin, 47km/29mi west of Williams Lake. The town is named after Polish pioneer and settler L.W. Riske, who built a saw mill and flour mill during the 1860s from which he sent supplies and produce to the Cariboo goldfields. The history of the area can be re-lived by visiting Historic Chilcotin Lodge. Built in 1940 as a hunting lodge, the pioneer-style log building is one of the last remaining authentic lodging facilities in the Chilcotin. Hanceville About 50km/31mi west of Riske Creek, a roadside plaque describes the legendary Yukon cattle drive of Norman Lee, who, as mentioned earlier, set out from his Chilcotin 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 37 Robert Semeniuk ranch in 1898 with 200 head of cattle on his disastrous 2,500km/1,553mi trek to Dawson City. Lee wrote a chronicle of the misadventure (which later became a book entitled Klondike Cattle Drive) and set up shop at Lee’s Corner. Today, Lee’s “town” is known as Hanceville, though Lee’s Corner Store & Restaurant still bears his name. Travellers can take a couple of interesting trips from the community, venturing southwest to the Nemiah Valley or Taseko Lake. Taseko Lake is a fourseason playground offering camping, hiking, wildlife viewing and snowmobiling. Big Creek South of Hanceville, on a popular circle tour to Riske Creek through Farwell Canyon, sits the unincorporated community of Big Creek. Once home to the Chilcotin district post office from 1907 to 1975 you will find little evidence of a town today. Lodges and guest ranches offer revitalization and adventures for those looking to get off the beaten path. And nearby Fletcher Lake is an excellent fishing destination with a healthy population of Rainbow Trout, the attraction that fills this small campground on long weekends. Nemiah Valley The Nemiah Valley lies in the traditional territory of the Xeni Gwet’in (honey-koteen) First Nation and is home to one of the last remaining herds of wild horses found in North America. The results of recent DNA tests suggest these mustangs are genetically linked to the horses brought to the American continent hundreds of years ago by the Spanish. Though there are no official tours, local guest ranches and B&Bs can assist with coordinating wild horse adventures. 38 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide The remote pristine valley, not connected to the rest of the Chilcotin by road until 1973, is home to members of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation and assorted ranchers, with a number of wilderness hunting and fishing lodges throughout the area. The scenery in this area is truly spectacular and awe inspiring. Alexis Creek The community, 20km/12.5mi west of Hanceville, is named after Chief Alexis of the Tsilhqot’in (tseelh-coht-een), who was chief during the time of the Chilcotin War. Nearby are Bull Canyon and Battle Rock, the sites of fierce intertribal battles fought between the Chilcotin and invading Shuswap and Bella Coola tribes. Before heading out on your journey west or into the backcountry along the glacial green waters of the Chilcotin River, stop into Alexis Creek for basic snacks, supplies and travel information at the popular tourist info booth which also provides full washroom facilities. Redstone and Puntzi Lake Redstone is a small First Nations community 36km/22mi west of Alexis Creek on Highway 20 where the Redstone store is a key stop for fuel and supplies on your Highway 20 journey. Part of the Chilcotin tour series, the Redstone rodeo held annually in August is a excellent opportunity to visit with local community members. Well known for biking and hiking trails, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and hunting, Puntzi Lake (60km/37mi west of Alexis Creek and 11km/7mi off the highway at Chilanko Forks) is also a major draw for bird watchers. The American White Pelican uses the lake as a food source in early spring and throughout the summer, while Trumpeter Swans feed the Chilcotin Chris Harris in the fall until the lake freezes over. Several fishing resorts and serviced RV campsites are located around the lake. Activities here are typically spring, summer and fall focused, so the lake’s kokanee and rainbow trout get a reprieve during winter snowmobiling season. Tatla Lake Located on the western edge of the Chilcotin grasslands, 108km/67mi west of Alexis Creek, Tatla Lake is where Irish settler Robert Graham started the area’s ranching legacy. After purchasing the Tatla Lake place from Benny Franklin in 1902, the Grahams built a fine new house and, in 1930, a store. The house is now the Graham Inn, located next to the Tatla Lake Manor, and specializes in cooking up excellent meals. The community provides access to excellent mountain hikes, Nordic ski trails and several resort and guiding operations in the area. Tatla Lake is also the gateway to three major mountain valleys: West Branch, Chilko and Tatlayoko, which extend south via secondary roads. As well, nearby Bluff Lake is a fixed-wing flightseeing and helicopter tour access point for several wilderness destinations including the massive Homathko Ice Field and Mount Waddington, the highest peak in the Coast Range. Another popular side trip is sprawling Ts’yl-os (sigh-loss) Park, located 60km/37mi south of Tatla Lake. Bounded by the rugged peaks of the Coast Mountains to the west and the Interior Plateau to the east, the park’s natural wonders include 80km/50milong glacier-fed Chilko Lake, the largest natural high-elevation lake in Canada, a popular windsurfing destination. Prominent fishing includes nice rainbow trout and Dolly Varden, with several lodges offering wildlife viewing. Kleena Kleene This tiny settlement is just 31km/19mi west of Tatla Lake on Highway 20. Nearby Clearwater Lake is a departure point for float plane flights into remote fishing lakes and rivers and for exploring the region’s alpine wilderness. Travellers can enjoy fabulous views from the lookout point of Perkins Peak (2,819m/9,249ft), hike to beautiful Klinaklini Falls, ride ‘hidden’ trails or heli-hike the breathtaking Pantheon Range. Remote Big Stick Lake, Clearwater Lake and One Eye Lake all offer excellent canoeing and fishing. Hunters can embark on fly-in guided expeditions for moose, bear, mountain goats and wolves. Charlotte Lake Located 11km/6.8mi east of Nimpo Lake, Charlotte Lake provides terrific fishing for trophy rainbow trout in the pristine waters of this 16km/10mi long lake. Besides great fishing, the Charlotte Lake Alplands also offer numerous trails for hiking and mountain biking into the alpine, and sledding in winter. You might also enjoy a day or multi-day trail ride on horseback into the Alplands; be sure to bring your camera to photograph rare wild flowers, and an incredible diversity of wildlife. There are several lodges, B&Bs and guides in this area which are recommended to enhance your wilderness experience. Nimpo Lake Known as “the float plane capital of British Columbia,” Nimpo Lake is a major launch point for aerial sightseeing tours and fishing fly-ins to the West Chilcotin’s pristine wilderness lakes and rivers. From here, adventurers can access isolated cabins nestled in scenery that is unmatched for its dramatic | www.landwithoutlimits.com 39 1-800-663-5885 Michael Bednar Fly Fishing Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide 40 the Chilcotin John Wellburn settings. Back-dropped by towering Mount Kappan, Nimpo Lake also features terrific rainbow trout fishing. For day-hikers, numerous trails combine a good workout with excellent bird-watching and other wildlifeviewing opportunities. Nearby ranches offer riding tours, pack trips, hiking and fly-in fishing, plus yoga and organic homegrown meals. In winter, the entertainment options include sleigh rides, snowshoeing, skating, cross-country skiing, and a great base camp for stellar snowmobiling adventures. Anahim Lake Located 135km/84mi east of Bella Coola, this is the site of a longestablished Chilcotin settlement that expanded in the 1940s and 1950s when the Carrier Peoples moved here from their remote villages. The community is the eastern gateway to the southern portion of Tweedsmuir Provincial Park and its phenomenal wilderness recreation opportunities. Anahim Lake hosts the Chilcotin’s main airport, with regularly scheduled flights connecting to Vancouver. Local lodges and resorts cater to both guided and self-guided fishers, hunters and hikers as well as those who prefer organized pack trips and mountain helirides. Float planes can be chartered for a myriad of nearby wilderness adventures, while guided horseback and hiking treks can easily be arranged to explore the surrounding backcountry of the Itcha and Ilgachuz Mountains and dramatic Rainbow Range of Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, where peaks of eroded lava and fragmented rock display a spectrum of vivid red, orange, lavender and yellow. The town’s most famous attraction is the Anahim Lake Stampede – a rodeo staged every July since 1938. The rodeo’s most notable resident celebrity is Carey Price, star goaltender of the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens. A local curiosity is Anahim Peak, a spectacular pillared cone of volcanic rock rich in obsidian, an important trading commodity for the Chilcotin people, who once used obsidian extensively for weapon making. First Nations history permeates the fabric of this region. Visitors are encouraged to seek out remnants of this interesting past, such as viewing the remains of large wooden “culla culla” houses at Ulkatcho on Gatcho Lake, and also at Natsadalia Point on Anahim Lake. ♦ LEAVE CIVILIZATION BEHIND & GET INTO THE WILD Adventure with us! 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 41 the Coast Gordon Baron 42 Grizzly bear, Central Coastâ€™s Great Bear Rainforest Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide the Coast 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 43 Gordon Baron AboriginalBC.com Michael Wigle 44 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Cael Cook Gordon Baron the Coast T his area’s remote solitude and wild beauty has long drawn artists, photographers, naturalists and travellers looking for big adventures and the freshest of seafood. Whether you want to fish, hike, bike, ocean kayak, take a wildlife eco-tour, or just enjoy the natural splendour of this part of our region, you will be treated to many wonders and adventure opportunities that are found few places on earth. The Norwegian explorer, Thor Heyerdahl, became famous for his expeditions in and across the South Pacific. But, well before this fame, he explored British Columbia’s central coast extensively, researching the lifestyles and origins of the indigenous people who live here. As a result of his investigation, he was later able to theorize about similarities among the British Columbian First Nations people and those who lived on far-removed Pacific islands. That gave rise to his theories - and later explorations - about indigenous peoples around the Pacific having related roots. Even though his theories were never accepted by anthropologists, Heyerdahl’s life’s work began in the inlets, islands, and mainland of this craggy coastline and directly led to his legendary explorations. While time has changed some ways of life along the mist-shrouded fjords of B.C.’s central coast, the same mystical elements that drew Heyerdahl still call John Zada out to the casual visitor today. Of course, Heyerdahl wasn’t the first non-native person to explore these shores. In 1793, an intrepid 29-year old Scotsman named Alexander Mackenzie - accompanied by seven French Canadian voyageurs and two First Nations porters - paddled into the Dean Channel near present-day Bella Coola. That event completed the first crossing of North America to the Pacific. Before returning east, the explorer scrawled an inscription on a rock using a reddish mixture of bear grease and vermilion: “Alex Mackenzie, from Canada, by land, 22nd July, 1793.” That rock still bears his words, permanently inscribed by surveyors who followed. Mackenzie could not have picked a better spot to conclude his epic journey to the Pacific Ocean. The mist-draped coastline is lined with towering, snow-crowned peaks, massive ice fields and some of the world’s longest fjords. Old-growth stands of cedar and spruce cover the land, and rich salmon streams weave through the valley bottoms, providing food for the magnificent creatures that inhabit the coast - killer whales, eagles, wolves and bears, including the mysterious white Spirit Bear, or Kermode. Great Bear Rainforest The landscape northwest of Bella Coola is some of the most isolated in the province. Across a 3,000,000hec/7,413,160ac area that lies within the Great Bear Rainforest, the largest remaining tract of unspoiled temperate rainforest left in the world. Several ancient First Nations cultural sites can be found here, as well as a striking array of wildlife. The ocean harbours killer whales, porpoises, humpback whales, seals, sea lions, and dozens of seabird species. The forests are alive with black-tailed deer, wolves and bears - grizzly, black and the Kermode (or Spirit Bear), a rare, whitecoated variation of the black bear that is sacred to B.C.’s First Nation people. The main haunt of the Spirit Bear, or Kermode, is Princess Royal Island, a primordial expanse of wilderness accessible only by boat or air. Aside from the Tsimshian (sim-SHE-an), who once inhabited a coastal village here; few humans ever entered the island’s inland rainforest. Today, that has changed as guided tours offer kayakers and boaters a privileged, close-up view and a chance to see the majestic, powerful grizzly. Take a guided tour to drift through the grizzly’s backyard while experienced guides provide interpretation. Also off the beaten track is the Fiordland Conservancy, a provincial marine park set deep in the inner channels northeast of Klemtu. The preserve encompasses Kynoch and Mussel inlets, two glacially gouged fjords where sheer granite cliffs rise more than 1,000m/3,281ft; pristine beaches, including some particularly | www.landwithoutlimits.com 45 1-800-663-5885 Staff Favorites Escaping to the white sandy beaches and the remote natural hot springs of the Central Coast is my family’s favorite vacation. Topped off with amazing halibut, prawns, shrimp and crab this is my recharge holiday! – Amy Thacker I love driving the Freedom Highway across the Chilcotin plateau, through Tweedsmuir Park and down “The Hill” to the lushgreen valley. Last July, I attended the Bella Coola Music Festival; camping with my kids enjoying the variety of music and amazing people was remarkable. A ‘must do’ family-friendly experience! – Brad McGuire Winter or summer, the Coast calls to me. Summer on the Coast is a cornucopia of activities, flavours, colors and cultures. Heli skiing and fishing the rivers in late winter on the Coast is pretty unique, and for some, a dream. Good thing I live where dreams come true! – Geoff Moore Trekking into a great fishing spot along the Atnarko River in the Bella Coola Valley is awesome. Not only do you enjoy the beautiful scenery, you also get the opportunity to experience catching “the big one”! – Beverly Evans 46 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Gordon Baron Touring the Coast by boat is like a dream. The stop that left a big impression on me was Ocean Falls. The first thing that came into view was this massive, but sadly decaying hotel. Walking through town and around its waning infrastructure, I could almost envision what it was like in its’ hey day! – Linda MacInnis scenic spots near Lady Douglas Island, dot the area. Higgins Passage is an intricate waterway with traditional First Nations sites amidst a multitude of maze-like islands, twisting passageways and cascading waterfalls. The ocean and inlets around Bella Coola offer unforgettable sea kayaking and wildlife viewing adventures. Paddlers can depart from numerous coastal locations, including Bella Bella, or pre-arrange to be dropped via “wet launch” from BC Ferries Discovery Coast passage, to spend a week or so exploring the tiny coves and narrow passageways of the central coast. To the south, just 10km/6mi west of Namu, the 123,000hec/303,940ac Hakai Luxvbalis (looks-bal-ease) Conservation Area is considered one of the finest kayaking playgrounds on the coast. Paddlers find twisting passages to explore, intriguing island clusters, and white sandy beaches perfect for strolling and camping. To the southwest, fishing enthusiasts flock to luxurious lodges along Rivers Inlet and Knight Inlet, two notable sport fishing destinations in British Columbia with an impressive history of producing some of the largest chinook salmon in the world. Trophy coho are in the 9kg/20lb range; consistent catches of steelhead, pink, chum, and sockeye salmon provide further variety. Giant halibut weighing up to 91kg/200lb cruise the floor of the inlet; and near the reefs, ling cod weighing up to 27kg/59.5lb can be caught. North from Knight Inlet to Klemtu are names that echo with fishing enthusiasts as world class destinations, enticing places such as Hakai Pass, Milbanke Sound and Shearwater. Long before white explorers arrived in the Great Bear Rainforest, First Nations of the central coast thrived, living off both land and ocean and trading with interior tribes. Today, approximately two thirds of British Columbia’s central Coast population is First Nation. In the Bella Coola area, the Nuxalk (nu-halk) are well known for carvings, masks and paintings that can be seen throughout the valley. Michael Wigle Explorers from Russia, Britain, France, and Spain also came to this region in the last quarter of the 18th century, motivated by the chance of trade, although Spain was here to protect its then territorial waters. Getting here by ship is much easier now than in either Mackenzie or Heyerdahl’s time. BC Ferries has a passenger and vehicle run from Port Hardy on northern Vancouver Island to Bella Coola with stops at communities along the way. It passes through dramatic and spectacular fjords. The vessel, the Queen of Chilliwack, has a small licensed lounge, a gift shop, and pay showers. Service is friendly, and a staff member is there to help with travel plans. There are no overnight cabins, but the ship does have reclining seats. Those travelling with a small tent can set it up on the outer decks with approval from a crew member. Ports of call along the route may include Bella Bella, McLoughlin Bay, Shearwater, Klemtu, Ocean Falls, and Coo a l l e B la Grizzly Tour Your Guide to the Great Bear Rainforest for over 30 years Private Log Cabins at Resort Hotsprings and Glacial Fjord Tours Wilderness Wildlife Tours Ocean Fishing Charters Leonard Ellis, Owner/Manager PO Box 336, 1953 Highway 20 Bella Coola, British Columbia Canada V0T 1C0 Telephone 250 982 0098 Skype bcgrizzlytours 1.888.982.0098 www.bcgrizzlytours.com 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 47 the Coast s Festivals & Events Tweedsmuir Ski Marathon – A 25-km X-country ski event held in the stunning Rainbow Range. Bring something to add to the potluck lunch afterwards. Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. March 2nd Bella Coola Valley Festival of the Arts – Collection of various artisan mediums showcased for locals and visitors alike. Bella Coola. April 3 Farmers Market – Growers and buyers connect over fresh, locally produced fruit, vegetables locally harvested seafood. Bella Coola. Sundays, June 1 – September 29 29th Annual Bella Coola Valley Rodeo – A great pro-rodeo. Bull riding, bronc busting, wild cow milking, “cow pattie bingo” and more. Hagensborg. June 27 – 29 Bella Coola Music Festival – This family-friendly, multi-cultural weekend will have you grooving to rock, blues, jazz, folk and more, all back-dropped by stunning Bella Coola Valley scenery. Hagensborg. July 18 - 20 5th Annual BC Outdoors Magazine Fish-In Derby – Join magazine editor Mike Mitchell and his crew for the most spectacular saltwater sportfishing on BC’s Central Coast. Shearwater. July 25 – 28 Valley Ridge Riders Gymkhanas – Equestrian events in Snootli Creek Park. Bella Coola Valley. Summer/monthly events. Nuxalk Potlaches – Stories, song, dance, ancient readings, as well as guided wildlife, cultural and hiking tours. Locations TBA. Summer season Ocean Falls Salmon Derby – Live music, tall tales and prizes for the biggest catch. Ocean Falls. August 23 Bella Coola Valley Fall Fair - A down-home, family event for locals and visitors alike. Enjoy horseshoes, ring toss, bingo, games and a train ride for the kids and the popular logger sports - axe throwing, anyone? Hagensborg. September 7 Michael Wigle 48 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide the Coast Michael Wigle the Hakai Pass area – all of which have their own stories to tell. Continuing the “Discovery Coast” route along B.C.’s “Coast Cariboo Circle Tour”, from Bella Coola, Highway 20 heads up ‘The Hill’ and leads across the Chilcotin Plateau to the Cariboo, and beyond. One major advantage of this trip is that you do not require a four-wheel drive vehicle. Entering the central Coast region from the east, by road, is an entirely different experience. Highway 20 descends from Heckman Pass down ‘The Hill’ along a 30km/19mi stretch of hairpin turns and switchbacks with grades of up to 18 percent - but that’s just the dramatic stuff. In reality the road only narrows on the hairpins and most of it is quite wide offering good sightlines. At the bottom of the infamous “Hill”, one can access 980,000hec/2,421,632ac Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. Aside from its outstanding scenery, Tweedsmuir is a magnet for outdoor recreationists, offering fishing, hiking, heli-skiing, horseback riding via wilderness trails, camping and canoeing the Turner Lake Chain. Hunlen Falls, Canada’s third highest freefalling waterfall, at the north end of Turner Lake, is another major attraction, plunging 260m/853ft to disappear in a cloud of spray before entering the Atnarko River. Though the outdoor recreational opportunities in Tweedsmuir are almost unlimited, this is a true wilderness park - and only the heartiest of adventure seekers should venture into the park’s backcountry. Anyone exploring the back country might want to employ the services of a professional guide to make their experiences truly memorable. The park contains stunning terrain, notably the multi-hued peaks of the Rainbow Range with an astonishing spectrum of reds, oranges, yellows and lavenders created by the area’s heavily mineralized volcanic lavas and sands. The weathering effects of glaciers on these volcanic mountains combined with the warm and wet influence of the Pacific has also resulted in lush alpine meadows and a tremendous abundance of wildflowers. The highway through the Bella Coola Valley parallels the ancient trading route, or “grease trail”, taken by Alexander • Spacious Mountain View Rooms • Grizzly Bear Viewing Tours • Eco-Rafting & Hiking with Local Biologists • Licensed Dining, Local , Organic Cuisine & Espresso Bar July 18-20, 2014 Bella Coola, BC an intimate, multi-cultural, family-focused experience 15th Annual www.bcmountainlodge.com email@example.com 1-866-982-2298 1900 Hwy 20, Bella Coola Valley, BC www.bellacoolamusic.org 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 49 15th Annual July 18-20, 2014 “Fans and Followers” The Bella Coola Valley is such an amazing place on earth, and so exciting getting there – the trip down ‘The Hill’ was exhilarating! – Marie Z. I love the central coast! Beautiful, peaceful, and majestic! – Sebastian W. Pacific spot prawns caught right here on the central coast…freshest and best sushi, peel and eat raw, right on the boat! – Jeanie M. Greatest childhood upbringing and memories connected to this area!! Loved the Bella Coola Indians and the amazing fresh Salmon they would trade with us!! – Christall L. Great article with the history, the people and the geography. Should boost tourism. As for the Sasquatch......keep the myth alive! – Ian B. Wow!! Do I miss these Views!!! But they are Embeded in my Mind and Heart Forever!! Coming back some day soon! – Christall L. Name Your Mountain Facebook Contest Winner Comments: I would name this beautiful mountain “Sasquatch Mountain” because in the region around Klemtu, in the late 1960s, several sightings of Sasquatch occurred. As the sightings were made by Klemtu villagers, it went to a legend of that area. – Elke Schlotmann, Worpswede, Germany ✸ See Map page 59 50 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Michael Wigle Mackenzie on his way to the sea in 1793. Long before Mackenzie’s arrival, the Nuxalk (nu-halk) people thrived here alongside the salmon-filled rivers. The valley was part of a trade corridor between coastal and interior native groups, where furs and leather were exchanged for salmon and eulachon (oolick-an) oil. The oil was obtained from the rendered fat of the small herring-like fish that was valued for its calories and vitamin content. It was then transported along the so-called “grease” trails. Hagensborg The two main towns in the Bella Coola Valley - Hagensborg, a community settled by Norwegians from Minnesota in 1894, and Bella Coola, the service hub for the area - are located 17km/10.5mi apart at the west end of Highway 20. The valley is home to ancient petroglyphs, historic hiking trails, a salmon hatchery, art galleries specializing in West Coast native art, and outdoor adventure companies offering grizzly bear tours, river drifts, and flight-seeing excursions. The Bella Coola Valley is also the heart of a farming revival spearheaded by the Bella Coola Community Supported Agriculture Project. At the immensely popular farmers’ market on Sundays, June to September, visitors can mingle with the locals, purchase regional specialties (including “new” heritage fruits and veggies, local honey, and homemade jams and jellies) and find a sampling of the outstanding arts and crafts available in the valley. Several local farms also welcome visitors for specialty tastings and educational tours, while throughout the coast, world-class seafood - including giant prawns, Dungeness crab, several species of salmon, halibut, Pacific cod, and tuna - lure foodies off the beaten track. In 1894, approximately one hundred Norwegian colonists from Minnesota moved to the Bella Coola Valley founding a settlement called Hagensborg, located on Highway 20, just 16km/10mi east of Bella Coola. They chose the area because the landscape reminded them of their Norwegian homeland, with its long fjords snaking to the sea. The region’s farming, lumber and fishing industries began shortly thereafter, and the town’s first school was opened in a large communal tent in 1895. the Coast Gordon Baron Gnome’s Home R/V Park & Campground in the Heart of the Great Bear Rainforest Hosts: Karl & Susan Osmers Located in downtown Hagensborg: 1875 Highway 20 Close to all amenities: Shopping Centre, Gas Station, School, Play Ground Public Swimming Pool, Sani-Station and lots of wilderness 45 sites: 15 full service, 10 electrical & 20 camping 18 kms from the BC Ferry Terminal, 16 kms from Bella Coola Rates $18.00 to 20.00, pet friendly BELLA COOLA’S BEST ACCOMMODATION AND GRIZZLY BEAR VIEWING Tweedsmuir Park Lodge is located in one of the healthiest concentrations of Grizzly Bears in North America! TripAdvisor Certi cate of Excellence Fantastic Grizzly Bear Viewing Private Wildlife Viewing Platform Scenic River Drifts Interpretive Nature Hikes Guided Fly-Fishing Adventures Heli-Hiking and Heli-Sightseeing 250-982-2504 e.mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.gnomeshome.ca 1 . 8 7 7 . 9 8 2 . 2 4 0 7 www.tweedsmuirpark lodge.com 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 51 Gordon Baron Bear Viewing on the Central Coast Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide 52 the Coast Some of that Norwegian heritage is still visible today in Hagensborg’s Norwegian Heritage House (now housing the valley’s Visitor Centre). Built at the turn of the 20th century by settler Andrew Svisdahl, it’s a time capsule from the past, furnished in traditional Norwegian fashion and displaying the household tools of that time. Augsburg United Church, built in 1904 as a Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church, still welcomes parishioners, and its cemetery relates the poignant history of the Norwegians who journeyed so far to this unknown valley from the United States. The area surrounding Hagensborg offers a number of hiking trails, including the Lost Lake Trail on the north side of the Bella Coola River that leads hikers to tiny Lost Lake and its picnic site with its great views of the valley and Nusatsum Mountain. The well-marked and wheelchair-accessible Saloompt Interpretive Trail follows the Bella Coola River to an old-growth forest with picnic tables and benches. The Bella Coola Airport, located at Hagensborg, provides chartered and daily scheduled flights from Vancouver, as well as to local glaciers, fishing areas and coastal destinations. Bella Coola Rich in clean air, glacier-fed rivers, fresh mountain streams, and magnificent wildlife, Bella Coola - the name of both the small town and the valley - is a favourite destination of naturalists, artists, explorers and photographers. The town waterfront boasts an eclectic collection of fishing and pleasure boats, 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 53 Geoff Moore Cindy Phillps cannery sites, and tidal flats. The historic Kopas Store has a delightful folksy ambience along with a wide selection of British Columbia books, First Nations jewellery and art, fishing licences, marine charts and maps, plus goods and giftware. Don’t miss Clayton Falls, accessible from the road on a short walking trail, has striking hard granite formations worn by the water. It is also a gathering place for salmon in a major spawning year. A few minutes east along Highway 20 is the Nuxalk (nu-halk) community of 4 Mile. Styled after the traditional long house, and with stately totem poles erected in front, the 4 Mile School is close to the highway and its design is an innovative three-dimensional work of art. Also within this community you will find several art galleries, gift shops and the entrance to the expansive petroglyph site, which has ancient rock carvings depicting the cultural and mythical beliefs embedded in the Nuxalk culture. Local guides are available to share these legends. Some locals are descendants of those original settlers who lived in the community that Alexander Mackenzie dubbed “the friendly village” at the end of his grand journey. 54 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Situated at the western edge of the valley across from towering 2,438m/8,000ft high Mount Nusatsum, Bella Coola was once the site of a Hudson’s Bay fur trading post. The Nuxalk Nation lived throughout the valley for centuries. However, in the late 1860s, after a smallpox epidemic decimated the population, survivors gathered on land close to the mouth of the river and the Hudson’s Bay post that now comprises the non-reserve part of town. Today’s population of roughly 900 thrives on fishing, logging, and growing tourism, and has become a fullservice hub for the area. Bella Coola harbour is the grand entrance to the 64,000km2/24,710mi2 Great Bear Rainforest and is the only port between Vancouver and Prince Rupert providing road access to the Interior of B.C. Just east of Bella Coola is Snootli Creek Park, bordering Walker Island Park just off Hwy 20, and provides visitors the opportunity to connect with nature trails, meandering through an ancient cedar grove. Here, interlocking branches of massive, ancient cedars form an almost impermeable forest canopy over the park’s four “easy” 200m/656ft to 2km/1.2mi trails. Walkers stay relatively dry even when it rains! Namu Looking for a ghost town? Well, maybe not all that many ghosts can be found in the region, but, there is a sense of past cultures and industries inhabiting the land. One of those stories of boom and bust can be found in this small, now mostly abandoned community. At the confluence of the Burke Channel and Fitz Hugh Sound, 95km/59mi southwest of Bella Coola, the town of Namu (a Heiltsuk (hel-sic) First Nations word that means “whirlwind”) stands as a reminder of past success and misplaced optimism. Between the 1930s and 1980s, when B.C. Packers operated a cannery here, Namu was a hub of activity for commercial fishing along the central coast and boasted a population of up to 400 cannery workers, fish processors, maintenance personnel and their families. However, high transportation costs and low fish prices in the 1980s forced the shift from canning to fish processing with the fish being shipped south to Vancouver and west to Japan for canning. When B.C. Packers sold Namu, in the early 1990s, an unsuccessful attempt was made to establish a resort here. Alas, it failed. Today the town-site continues to be visited and used as a stopover point by the Coast coastal travellers and fishermen, and the ancient shell midden (a midden is a mound containing shells, animal bones and other refuse that indicates the site of a human settlement) makes it a continuing source of curiosity for archaeologists who have discovered local evidence of cultures dating back nearly 10,000 years. Research shows that Namu is one of the earliest radiocarbon-dated sites on the B.C. coast. Bella Bella The large eagle head painted on its Native Cultural Centre marks the fishing and forestry community of Bella Bella. Also known as Waglisla, the town is the former site of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Fort McLoughlin established in the 1830s. Home to the Heiltsuk (hel-sic) First Nation, population of 1,400, it is the largest First Nations community on B.C.’s west coast. The village is located on Campbell Island, about 3km/2mi north of McLoughlin Bay where B.C. Ferries’ Queen of Chilliwack docks. The town’s services include a bank, large general store, police station and the only hospital and pharmacy on the island. Their only general store suffered a devastating fire in July 2013 and the community is now rebuilding this vital infrastructure, with donations always gladly accepted. Shearwater Approximately 60 full-time residents live in Shearwater, located on Denny Island, 5km/3mi from Bella Bella. The current town-site was developed for an anti-submarine bomberreconnaissance unit in 1941. The unit was disbanded in 1944, and the site was later purchased and developed into a fullservice marina and fishing resort. Today, all that remains of the original air force base is the hangar, the airstrip and a few bunkers. In addition there is now a fish plant, bed-and-breakfast accommodations, resort lodgings, fishing-charter operators, moorage for pleasure boaters, a grocery store, post office and regular water taxi service to Bella Bella. Sport fishing is the community’s major asset. Surrounded by calm, protected waters, Shearwater is home to all five species of salmon. The local chinook top 32kg/70lb, while coho can reach 9kg/20lb. Abundant local bottom fish include ling cod, red snapper and rockfish, with halibut weighing up to 91kg/200lb. Shearwater also now provides excellent eco-adventure tours. Hakai Pass South of Bella Bella, the pristine waterways of Hakai Pass are known for trophy sportfishing. Here, anglers find some of the biggest catches on the B.C. coast: huge runs of chinook, coho, sockeye, chum and pink salmon churn through the currents. Fishers can drop a line for halibut, snapper and ling cod. The wildlife parade is just as impressive: orcas, humpbacks, grey whales, dolphins and eagles all make stops at Hakai Pass. Wildlife lovers may even spot sea lions, seals, wolves and deer along the shore. The resorts and floating lodges host excellent guided wildlife-viewing tours and fishing packages, with accommodations ranging from rustic to luxurious. Michael Wigle w w w. s p i r i t b e a r. c o m Spirit Bears, Grizzly Bears and First Nations Culture in BC’s Great Bear Rainforest 250-339-5644 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 55 Cael Cook Ocean Falls Ocean Falls is noted for its abundance of rain - about 4,390mm/172.8in annually, and it is sometimes referred to as the “Land of the Rain People”. The Heiltsuk (hel-sic) First Nations people have inhabited the coastal region surrounding Ocean Falls for more than 9,000 years. The town is remote and only accessible by private boat, B.C. Ferries, or floatplane. It is situated around a waterfall from Link Lake straight into the head of Cousins Inlet, 88km/55mi northwest of Bella Coola. Ocean Falls maintains a small residential community and social network of former residents remaining a popular stop with boaters and travellers on the Discovery Coast and Inside Passage BC Ferries routes. In recent years, the area around Ocean Falls has emerged as an eco-adventure hub, with terrific hiking, wildlife viewing, freshwater and saltwater fishing. Accommodation is available, but early reservations are recommended. This community was once the site of the largest pulp and paper mill in the province. However, today much of the history has been lost with many of the original buildings in decay. The mill, operated from 1912 to 1980, supported a thriving town with a population of close to 4,000, its own school system, an orchestra, a musical and dramatic society, a hospital, one of the province’s largest hotels and a swimming pool where several champions trained. In fact, the town’s swimming club sent seven swimmers to the Olympic Games from 1948 until the 1960s, with resident Ralph Hutton winning silver in the 400 metre freestyle at the 1968 Mexico City games. The swim club also won the Canadian National Men’s Championship 56 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide four consecutive years between 1962 and 1965. The closing of the mill ended all that with most of the townsfolk leaving to begin new lives. Downtown has a good-sized government dock, fresh water for boaters and plenty of interesting nooks and crannies ashore to explore. In summer B.C. Ferries’ Queen of Chilliwack docks on its Port Hardy to Bella Coola route, doubling the town’s population. As the ferry nears the dock, you can see the impressive size of the now deteriorating grand Hotel and other businesses along the main street, as well as the large hydro-electric dam. Visitors can’t help but wonder what it must have been like to live here during the bustling, recent past of Ocean Falls. Klemtu Klemtu is an isolated community located in a pristine cove on Swindle Island, 228km/142mi northwest of Bella Coola. Enclosed by the Great Bear Rainforest, the village sits on the doorstep of Princess Royal Island, home of the legendary white Spirit Bear, the Kermode. Klemtu’s population of 420 is composed of two First Nations groups who speak completely different languages: the Kitasoo (kit-ah-soo), the southernmost tribe of the Tsimshian (sim-SHE-an) First Nation, and the Xai’xais (hay-hace), the northerly branch of the Heiltsuk (hel-sic) First Nation. By 1875, the population of the two groups had declined so precipitously that they joined together to establish a settlement nearer the region’s main shipping routes. The new community the Coast Michael Wigle underwrote its economy with money from cutting cordwood for coastal steamers, for which Klemtu became a refuelling stop. The community’s key economic driver is fishing, and most residents live along the waterfront and its wooden boardwalk - the longest in North America when it was built in the 1960s. Commercial activities are centered around the public Transport Canada wharf, where services include a wellequipped general store, café, post office, modern fuel facility (with a full range of marine and auto fuels) and community health clinic. Klemtu’s monumental “Big House” is constructed of red cedar and emblazoned with the village’s clan emblems (raven, eagle, wolf and killer whale) and used for celebrations, traditional dances and memorials that allow residents to reconnect with their past and bring ancient traditions alive. The area abounds with incredible scenery, superb wildlife-viewing opportunities, and the local waterways are ideal for both fishing and kayaking. Experienced paddlers rent kayaks or bring their own for independent exploring through the surrounding labyrinth of scenic inland fjords. One local tour company, owned and operated by the local First Nations band, has opened the stunning, modern Spirit Bear Lodge to house visitors while offering eco-cultural and wildlife-viewing tours that include trips to Princess Royal Island and the Fiordland Conservancy marine park. Visit with a hereditary chief as you ply the rich ocean waters and learn the coastal story of creation. Klemtu’s Swindle Island is inaccessible by road, however B.C. Ferries services the town on the Discovery Coast Passage Route. Check BC Ferries website for current schedules. Pacific Coastal Airlines also offers convenient flights to Klemtu from Vancouver and Port Hardy. ♦ Backcountry wilderness on the remote Central Coast. Ask about our Central Coast packages including ferry travel, accommodation, tours and activities. Three easy ways to book: · bcferries.com/vacations · BC Ferries Vacations™Centre at the Fairmont Pacific Rim · 1-888-BC FERRY Ext.3 1010 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC BC Reg. 48839. Client: BC Ferries Date: Sept 24 2013 - 11:45 am 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com Ad# BDF835-1 57 Houston Burns Lake 16 Endako Fraser Lak Cariboo Chilcotin Coast British Columbia, Canada Morice Lake Tahtsa Lake Whitesail Lake François Lake Ootsa Lake Tetachuck Lake F Kenny Dam N 0 10 20 30 40 50 Kilometres Eutsuk Lake KITLOPE HERITAGE CONSERVANCY PROTECTED AREA Tatelkuz Lake Kuyakuz Lake ENTIAKO PROVINCIAL PARK & PROTECTED AREA Gil Island Campania Island Butedale Moose Lake t Wes ad Ro er Riv Tsacha L a Caam d oun ño S Princess Royal Island KITASOO SPIRIT BEAR CONSERVANCY FIORDLAND RECREATION AREA ✸ Sasquatch Mountain DEAN RIVER ESTUARY PROTECTED AREA TWEEDSMUIR PROVINCIAL Kimsquit PARK De an Anahim Peak 1876m Nuxalk-Ca Alexander Mack Queen Aristazabal Swindle Island Island So un d d re Lo Price Island C CO C OA O A AS ST S T Klemtu SIR ALEXANDER MACKENZIE PROVINCIAL MARINE PARK D ha ne ea RAIN R A N B OW GE Firvale River la C oo Hagensborg Bella Mt. Saugstad 2908m n Heckman Pass 1524m 20 60 km of gravel surfac road from Anahim Lak to the bottom of the H ITCHA ILGACHUZ PROVINCIAL PARK River n C O l Anahim Lak Nimpo Lake Charlotte Lake o Charlotte Sound Ocean Falls Bella Coola th So u Stuie Hunlen Falls Nimpo L ba nk eS ha n nel Waglisla (Bella Bella) Campbell Island Denny Island Kin ou nd g n Isla A d S T M Be nti Turner Lakes nc rm kA Hunter HAKAI Island LUXVBALIS CONSERVANCY AREA Main Highway Highway Main Main Road Road Main Secondary Roads Roads Secondary Railways Railways Ferry Routes Routes Ferry Airport Airport o ns S Quee und Hakai Pass Calvert Island Rivers Inlet Dawsons Landing Silverthorne Mountain 2896m Floatplane Base Base Floatplane Visitor Centre Centre Visitor Info Booth Booth Info Cariboo Chilcotin Chilcotin Cariboo Coast Region Region Coast Parks Parks Rivers Inlet Klina klini River Namu r Bu ke C il M Shearwater Clearwater Lake Monarch Mountain 3533m Kleena Kleene Sapeye Lake Bluff Lake O U N T A I N UPPER KLINAKLINI PROTECTED Middle AREA Lake n akli Klin Mt. Waddington 4016m (Highest Mountain in B.C ier lac iG lt mu Tu un h So t i m S Discovery Coast Passage Ferry Route (seasonal) d G lac ier S Kingcome Inlet rlo tte Str ait Qu ee British Columbia Columbia British Circle Routes Routes Circle Heritage Discovery Discovery Heritage Coast Cariboo Cariboo Coast Lakes & & Trails Trails Lakes Ranchlands & & Rivers Rivers Ranchlands VA NC Gold Rush Rush Trail Trail Gold Fishing Highway Highway Fishing Name Your Your Name Mountain/Lake Mountain/Lake Facebook contest contest names names Facebook (see pages pages 16 16 and and 50) 50) (see OU Port Hardy VE R ✸ IS Port McNeill LA Johnsto 19 ne Stra it To Victoria ND The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast delivers. Adventures of a lifetime. Every day. n ig ht I nlet K nC ha 27 ke Nech ako Rive r Vanderhoof PRINCE GEORGE Stoner r Rive FRASER RIVER PROVINCIAL PARK BOWRON LAKE PROVINCIAL PROVIN CIAL PARK WEST TWIN PROVINCIAL PARK & PROTECTED AREA Lake Cowobe 16 Finger Lake FINGER-TATUK PROVINCIAL PARK Naltesby Lake Tatuk Lake Hanham Boat Lake Lake Ch ilako Hixon Mt. Murray 1989m To Jasper/ Edmonton Mt. Robson 3954m RO Batnuni Lake Blac r ater Rive kw Blackwater Cinema 97 Ten Mile Lake 26 Troll Mtn. Ski Hill Wells Mt. Agnes 1983m Barkerville Yanks Peak Bowron Lakes Tête Jaune Cache Euchiniko Lakes Lake KLUSKOIL LAKE PROVINCIAL PARK ✸ Bouchie Lake Quesnel Dragon Lake CARIBOO MTNS. PROVINCIAL PARK Mitchell C K Y arrier Grease/ kenzie Heritage Trail IN T Tatla Lake Horn Lake M I Fishpot Lake Lake E R O P Nazko Marmot N Puntataenkut Lake L Lake Puntchesakut Lake A el T E Z A Tzenzaicut Lake River Quesnelle Forks Keithley Creek Seasonal gravel road from Likely to Barkerville Horsefly Mountain 1793m Eureka Peak 2426m Hobson Lake U ced ke Hill CH C HILCOTIN HILCO ILCOT I IL TIN Chezacut Redstone Chilanko Forks Nazko Lakes NAZKO Stum Lake LAKE PARK WHITE O R Fraser n es Qu N TA U McLeese Lake Tyee Lake Quesnel Likely Lake Bootjack Lake Hen Ingram Lake az IN iver ko R Owen Lake Fir Lake Xat’sull (Soda Creek) Dugan Lake Big Lake Horsefly Horsefly Black Lake Creek Azure Lake Crooked Lake Clearwater Lake Murtle Lake S Ri ve ke Puntzi Lake CARIBO C ARI ARIBOO RIBOO OO O O Big Timothy 2157m Mt. Timothy Ski Hill WELLS GRAY Lake PELICAN PROVINCIAL PARK Williams Lake 20 Till Lake Alexis Creek Raven Lake BULL Hanceville CANYON (Lee’s Corner) Riske PROVINCIAL Creek PARK Ch r Springhouse PROVINCIAL 150 Mile House Timothy Lake Spring Lake Canim Lake Mahood Lake PARK Lac la Hache lk Taseko River Tatla Lake Eagle Lake i oR ve lco ti n River ek Cre r 108 Mile Ranch Canim Lake TAWEEL Forest Grove Sulphurous Lake Clearwater 5 Chi Choelquoit Lake e Tatlayoko Lake Gang Ranch BIG CREEK PROVINCIAL PARK CHURN CREEK PROTECTED AREA Black Dome Tsuniah Lake Green Lake Nemiah Valley Mt. Queen Bess 3313m Big Bar Lake 70 Mile House 97 Bonaparte Lake m C.) Chilko Lake CHI Taseko Lakes LCO Jesmond Big Bar TIN RAN Homathko Icefield TS’YL-OS PROVINCIAL PARK Mt. Warner 2833m SOUTH CHILCOTIN MOUNTAIN PARK GE MARBLE RANGE PROV. PARK CHASM PROVINCIAL PARK rid Tyaughton Carpenter Lake EDGE HILLS PROVINCIAL PARK Lake Clinton Hat Creek Ranch Loon Lake N.Thomp n River so 5A 97C Chaunigan Lake NUNSTI PROVINCIAL PARK Big Creek Big BIRKENHEAD LAKE PROVINCIAL PARK River i B JUNCTION SHEEP RANGE PARK Alkali Lake MOOSE VALLEY PROVINCIAL PARK Snag Lake Dog Creek 100 Mile House Lone Butte Deka Lake Bridge Lake PROVINCIAL PARK 24 FLAT LAKE PROVINCIAL PARK Watch Sheridan Bridge Lake Lake Little Fort Lake Sun Peaks Ski Resort Pavilion 99 Cache Creek Ashcroft Kamloops Lake 1 To Banff/ Calgary ge Ri r ve Seasonal Road Gold Bridge Bralorne Seton Portage Lillooet 1 KAMLOOPS 5 Logan Lake Inlet Lillo oet D’Arcy Gl Bu te r 99 Whistler GARIBALDI PARK Ste in a Tob et Inl Lillooet Lake Riv e Lytton ho mp T r s on ac ie Birken Mount Pemberton Currie STEIN VALLEY NLAKA’PAMUX 12 HERITAGE PARK Spences Bridge 8 Merritt To Kelowna 1 To Vancouver To Vancouver 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com Quesnel 97 20 26 To Edmonton Barkerville Williams Lake 100 Mile House 97 24 5 Jasper 93A Ice elds Parkway Little Fort (seasonal) Port Hardy Lillooet 12 99 Cache Creek Lytton 1 5 Banff RO 1 23 Kamloops 97 M O Radium U Hot 95 Springs IN Campbell River Whistler Vancouver Seattle Kelowna Osoyoos 6 31 95 Cranbrook 93 Victoria WASHINGTON IDAHO MONTANA For more itinerary and route information visit HelloBC.com or Landwithoutlimits.com Connect with us facebook.com/CaribooChilcotinCoast Twitter @CarChiCoa Youtube.com/theCCCTA 60 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Ü Ü S To Calgary Ü Ü CK Y A NT AL AS KA YUKON Watson Lake 97 Land, Sea, Air and Rail Routes HIGHWAYS AIR ROUTES 37 RAILWAY FERRY ROUTE 2 97 Prince Rupert Dawson Creek Y ROCK 16 Prince George Haida Gwaii Klemtu Ocean Falls Bella Coola Anahim Lake Bella Bella Nimpo Lake BC Ferries Discovery Coast Passage I TA UN MO 16 AL BE A RT NS v Gra Destination B.C. Coast Cariboo Circle Tour* (* Includes: B.C. Ferries travel) Distance (complete route): 1,835 km (1,140 mi.) Distance (CCC section): 720 km (447 mi./lane portion only) Time (complete route): 7 to 10 days Highlights: Grasslands, volcanic mountains, coastal villages, First Nations, wildlife, Gold Rush Trail, Coastal Ferry travel epart from Port Hardy on a BC Ferries sailing to Bella Bella, and transfer to a smaller intimate vessel sailing to Bella Coola, stopping in communities such as Shearwater and Ocean Falls. View ancient petroglyphs, and fish for salmon and crab. Take an optional side-trip to Klemtu, traditional home of the Xais’Xais (hayhace) and Kitasoo (kit-AH-soo), and seek out a rare, white Kermode in the Kitasoo Spirit Bear Conservancy. Travel the celebrated “Freedom Highway” (Hwy. 20) through the Coast Mountains and Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, B.C.’s largest, to explore the colorful, volcanic Rainbow Mountains. Outdoor adventures abound: camping, fishing, canoeing, hiking, mountain biking, outstanding river drifts and wildlife viewing. Next up is the town of Tatla Lake, gateway to Chilko Lake, the largest high-elevation freshwater lake on the continent — followed by Alexis Creek. At Riske Creek, detour to Farwell Canyon to see hoodoo rock pillars, then on to Junction Sheep Range Provincial Park to photograph California bighorn sheep. It’s then east again, to Williams Lake, site of the Williams Lake Stampede and B.C.’s Cowboy Hall of Fame. Got your mountain bike? Local trails include Ridge Bypass, Comer Drop and Missioner Loop, plus Pit Drop and Brake Check for more advanced riders. No bike? No problem, rentals are available. River raft the Chilcotin, Chilko or Fraser rivers and get that adrenaline flowing. Then drive south on Highway 97 to 100 Mile House and perhaps visit a local rock carver, before continuing on to the cowboy village of Clinton, that celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2013. Explore interesting antiques of a bygone era. Finally, continue south toward Lillooet, Mile 0 on the Gold Rush Trail, to explore the many outdoor experiences offered in this area that’s branded “guaranteed rugged,” then on to Whistler to begin exploration of the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains region. lr oa e d Ranchlands and Rivers Circle Tour Distance (complete route): 725 km (450 mi.) Distance (CCC section): 300 km (180 mi.) Time (complete route): 4 to 6 days Highlights: Ranches, rivers, deserts, grasslands, Gold Rush Country, The Fishing Highway he gateway to the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast on this tour that begins in Hope, is Lillooet, on the banks of the mighty Fraser River. This is true desert country. Take the Jade Walk through town. Learn about local traditional First Nations fishing methods. Lillooet is ‘Mile 0’ of the “Cariboo Wagon Road”, where gold panners once fanned out in search of nuggets. Even today, what you find, you keep! Drive northeast on Hwy. 99 toward Cache Creek and stop for a visit at Historic Hat Creek Ranch to ride an original stagecoach, listen to cowboy poetry, and experience what life was once like for the area’s indigenous peoples at the onsite Shuswap Village. Head north on Hwy. 97 and the town of Clinton is next; a community renowned in part for hosting the Annual May Ball; the longest continually running event of its kind in Canada, featuring western-style dancing in true cowboy fashion. Just up the road a piece, make time to see Chasm Provincial Park and its deep box canyon created by glacial melt cutting into lava flows, featuring rock layers in stunning shades of orange, pink, yellow and purple. This is Guest Ranch country. Opt for luxurious resort ranches with pools, spas and exquisite cuisine, or stay at a more rustic working cattle ranch and help out with the chores – riding, roping and herding. Enjoy a trail ride across a pristine landscape that is home to moose, bears, wolves and beaver. Further north, just south of 100 Mile House, head east on Hwy. 24, the legendary “Fishing Highway” that accesses more than 100 lakes teeming with trout, all within an hour’s drive! Guest ranches and backcountry lodges here offer cozy accommodations and insider fishing tips. At the junction of Hwy. 5, turn north to explore Wells Gray Park, or continue along south to visit Sun Peaks Resort, Kamloops and the grasslands of the Thompson Okanagan region. Circle Tours — Destination B.C. 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 61 D T markhobson.com Trail Along the Fraser River Acrylic on canvas 62 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 63 Gordon Baron AboriginalBC.com Bella Coola Archive 64 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Bella Coola Archive AboriginalBC.com First Nations F or thousands of years, this Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region has been home to several different and interdependent aboriginal societies. Tribal groups of the interior include the Tsilhqot’in (tseelh-coht-een), whose traditional territory is the high-altitude plateau of the Chilcotin (chil-ko-tin); the St’at’imc (stat-lee-um), from southwest of the Fraser; the Carrier, who occupied the sub-boreal northern parts of the Cariboo Chilcotin; and the Secwepemc (shi-HUEP-muh-k), whose historical territory lay east of the Fraser River. On the Pacific Coast, the major First Nations groups are the Nuxalk (nu-halk) of the Bella Coola Valley, the Tsimshian (sim-SHE-an) of the outer coast and the Heiltsuk (hel-sic) in the coastal area near Bella Bella. Although the local First Nations played a major role in the province’s development, little of their centuries-long history of habitation in the region has been recorded. Native residents were essential to early explorers and European settlers from the 1700s through 1800s, providing canoes, food, guides, translators and information. As an example, Alexander Mackenzie would not have successfully completed his historic 1793 trek if the indigenous peoples did not direct him along the Nuxalk-Carrier Grease Trail through the northern Cariboo to the Pacific shores near Bella Coola. This route was used for centuries by coastal natives trading valuable eulachon oil with the GotNewsNetwork province’s interior tribes. The oil, from a small, herring-like fish, was transported in cedar boxes and the trail got its name from the oils dropped along the route. Fur Trading and Gold Fur-trading companies built the first forts in the region in the early 1800s to trade supplies for natural resources with local bands. But even before these trading posts were built, First Nations in the Interior participated in the fur trade by bartering pelts with natives on the Coast – who, in turn, traded them to Europeans arriving by sea. After the forts were established, local First Nations brought their furs directly to the trading posts to bargain for goods and supplies. With the start of the gold rush and influx of European settlement in the region, the fur trade era was coming to an end by the mid-1800s, and relations between the two cultures were greatly altered. Smallpox epidemics and other European diseases devastated the native population, resulting in a loss of control of much of their traditional lands. Still, there was surprisingly little bloodshed and the few conflicts that occurred were short-lived. Several Chilcotin communities were eventually named after local chiefs, including Anahim Lake, Alexis Creek and the Nemiah Valley. Local natives also became involved in early industries, particularly with ranching in the Chilcotin and southern Cariboo, where their horsemanship and wilderness survival skills were highly prized. Today, many continue to work in ranching and are key participants on the local rodeo circuit, including Anahim Lake’s Stampede and the Bella Coola, Redstone and Nemiah Valley rodeos. Highlights Cruise the Fraser River by JetBoat – Through rapids and past unusual hoodoo rock formations. Guides share traditional First Nations knowledge about medicinal plants and local lore, while exploring ancient village sites, pictographs, petroglyphs and more. Take home Aboriginal Artwork – Several galleries throughout the region offer hand-made First Nations products for sale. One such example is the Petroglyph Gallery in Bella Coola with a selection of prints, paintings, masks, carvings, clothing and other Nuxalk artwork. Visit a National Award-Winning Heritage Village – Take an interactive tour and hear traditional stories from Secwepemc Nation elders. Also, stay in authentic accommodation in a teepee or pit house, set along the banks of the Fraser River, at Xatśūll Heritage Village 20 minutes north of Williams Lake. Book in advance and meals will be provided. 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 65 66 First Nations Today’s First Nations The aboriginal tourism sector in B.C. is the most developed of its kind in Canada and considered to have huge growth potential. Modern-day aboriginal groups remain highly involved in the region’s fishing, logging, transportation and tourism industries. One Aboriginal tourism success story can be found at the award-winning Xatśūll (hats-ull) Heritage Village just north of Williams Lake, situated on a grassy bench above the Fraser River canyon. Here members of the Secwepemc (shi-huep-muh-k), or Shuswap First Nation, share storytelling by village elders, cleansing sweat lodge ceremonies, educational wilderness walks, salmon lunches and overnight accommodation under the stars in pit houses and teepees. Contact Xatśūll ahead of time with your reservation to assure a complete, traditional experience. Near Williams Lake, in a completely different landscape, jet boats travel where roads can’t go; through rapids and past bizarre hoodoo rock formations as aboriginal guides share ancient knowledge about medicinal plants, flora and fauna and local lore during explorations of ancient village sites, 8,000 - 10,000 years old pictographs and petroglyphs, traditional fishing spots and abandoned mining sites. On the last weekend of July, catch the Nemiah Pow Wow and enjoy a colorful display of regalia and dancing in one of the many occurring Pow Wows year round. Or, join the Xeni Gwet’in (honey ko-teen) at the annual summer elders gathering, where elders and youth come together to teach and learn traditional games, stories, hunting and gathering. The Heiltsuk Cultural Education Centre at Bella Bella is the place to delve into the research and preservation of the language and culture of the Heiltsuk (hel-sic). They, along with other coastal peoples such as the Kitasoo (kit-ah-soo) and Xai’xais (hay-hace) at the village of Klemtu on Swindle Island, grew rich and powerful on the bounty of the sea. In the Thorsen Creek Valley near Bella Coola, ancient petroglyphs honouring the power and mystery of nature are still visible on rock faces near waterfalls and caves, where guided tours are now offered by the Nuxalk (nu-halk). Though a visit is not usually on tourist itineraries, the Acwsalcta (ex-sals-ta) grade school is a showcase for indigenous arts, including a magnificent totem pole carved by a teacher and three students. When erected in 2002, it was the first Nuxalk totem pole raised here in 38 years. If indigenous art interests you, plan a visit to Bella Coola’s Petroglyph Gallery for works by world-famous Silyas “Art” Saunders and his son Skip. Appointments can be booked at the visitor centre to meet with Art in his workshop at the Silyas Gallery, located just east of town. The Petroglyph Gallery also sells prints, paintings, carvings, clothing and other Nuxalk and First Nations artwork and gifts, and visitors can book workshop visits with renowned local carver and hereditary chief Noel Pootlass. Meanwhile, hikers with historical interests traverse the ancient NuxalkCarrier Grease Trail, also known as the Alexander Mackenzie Heritage Trail. Three weeks are required to trace the entire route, but various sections can be accessed for shorter jaunts; the scenic 80km/50mi portion across Tweedsmuir Provincial Park reportedly takes less than a week. For more detailed information, refer to the In the Steps of Alexander Mackenzie Heritage Trail Guidebook, found at popular bookstores and some visitor centres. Some 100km/62mi northwest of Bella Coola, in the wilds of the Great Bear Rainforest, KitasooXai’xais (kit-ah-soo-hay-hace) First Nation guides lead multiday boat and kayak tours of this spectacular, remote area complete with lodge accommodations. 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 67 Michael Bednar AboriginalBC.com In the Chilcotin, no fewer than 11 different communities make up the St’at’imc Nation (stat-lee-um) in the southern area, whose traditional territories were located in and around the ancient gathering place now known as Lillooet. Here, Xwisten (hoysh-ten) Experience Tours offer award-winning guided tours that include walks along the banks of Fraser to view “fishing rocks” and their traditional wind-dried method of preserving salmon. Your tour guide may also take you to explore the extensive archaeological site’s 80 pit houses, dating back thousands of years. The neighbouring Cayoose Creek Band offers interpretive walks of the beautifully restored Lower Seton spawning channel, while just five minutes from downtown Lillooet is the site of a traditional s7istken (shesh-ken), or pit house, built by the T’it’q’et (teetqwet). Built from earth and timber, such structures may house up to 20 people and featured two entrances: one on ground level, one in the roof (which also released smoke from cooking fires). Also not to be missed is the Seton Lake Band’s Kaoham Shuttle: a travelling window into the past and a convenient way to view local wildlife. The train is available on Friday, with a scheduled double run skirting the shores of Seton Lake past numerous historical sites including a First Nations cemetery balanced precariously between the tracks and crystalline shores of the lake. In the northern Chilcotin, the Nazko lands are known for the work of celebrated Carrier First Nation artists (particularly with leather and beadwork, watercolours, wood art, stained glass and cross-stitch). ♦ GotNewsNetwork Going to a Pow Wow? Attending a Pow Wow is an opportunity to share a unique and memorable First Nations experience. Watch for highway signboards and local event postings during your next visit, for upcoming opportunities. These inclusive events are welcoming of all! The positive energy of a Pow Wow rejuvenates and inspires. When attending, please be respectful of this time-honoured spiritual celebration and experience its First Nation traditions with an open heart and mind. Tips • Listen to the host and follow instructions. • Stand and remove head coverings during the grand entry, flag ceremonies, invocation and closing ceremonies. • Request permission before taking photographs. • Do not make recordings of drumming without the consent of the head singer. • Refer to the dancers’ clothing as regalia; it is not a costume. • Refrain from touching the dancers’ regalia. • Do not turn down an invitation to participate, particularly an invitation from an elder. • No alcohol or drugs are permitted. 68 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide GotNewsNetwork experience the largest historic site in western north america barkerville authenticity since 1862. 1-888-994-3332 • www.barkerville.ca • A NATIONAL hIsTOrIc sITE of cANAdA 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 69 70 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Norm Dove/Echo Valley Ranch Quesnel and District Museum & Archives Thomas Drasdauskis Cariboo Gold Rush J ust over 150 years ago, the lure of ‘gold’ changed the face of British Columbia forever. The magnificence of the province’s interior was revealed to the world when on August 17, 1862, prospector Billy Barker found a major gold deposit at Williams Creek in the northern Cariboo. Gold fever spread like an epidemic when news of the strike filtered out, bringing excited hordes of fortune seekers from around the world into this remote wilderness. Thomas Drasdauskis The wood-planked town of Barkerville sprang up near the creek, joining Richfield and Camerontown, where mining crews toiled around the clock to haul golden ore from the earth. By 1865, a wagon road connected the south with the goldfields, and Barkerville’s population reached 10,000, one of the largest settlements in western Canada, and at the time the largest community west of Chicago and north of San Francisco! Many of the region’s early miners were Chinese immigrants, who worked white prospectors’ abandoned mines and tailings by washing sand and gravel from rocks that were then neatly piled on the Fraser River’s shores. These “Chinese rocks” are still visible today. By the mid1860s, thousands of Chinese lived in Barkerville and several other gold rush towns, including Stanley, Van Winkle, Quesnel, Antler, Quesnelle Forks and Lillooet, where Chinese miners took millions out of Cayoosh Creek. Mining was not these immigrants’ only labour; they also operated stores, laundries, lodging houses and worked as cooks. Though only a handful of prospectors struck it rich, the Gold Rush completely changed the face of British Columbia. Roads and bridges were built, stores and mills opened and ranches were founded. In the Chilcotin Mountains, another gold rush followed in the 1930s and the Bralorne-Pioneer Mine near Gold Bridge became the richest gold claim in Canada. Bralorne, and other mine sites in the region, can still be visited today including sites in Wells, once a company town of the Cariboo Gold Quartz Mine. The historic “Gold Rush Trail” has many places along its route to stop, explore, and get a feel of what it was like back then as you retrace the steps of the oxen carts and stagecoaches. Many of today’s communities along this route have historical connections to the gold rush era. Some began as roadhouses where stagecoaches stopped, travellers could overnight and horses would feed and water. One of the era’s last surviving Barnard Express stagecoaches is displayed in 100 Mile House. Clinton, which celebrated its 150th Anniversary in 2013, showcases its lovely museum in a colorful red brick building which once served as a schoolhouse and later as a courthouse. At the 108 Mile Ranch Historic Site, pioneer buildings include a 1908 log barn which was built to house a herd of 200 Clydesdale horses. The former gold rush supply centre of Quesnel hosts Billy Barker Days, a fourday festival in mid-July commemorating the region’s most famous gold seeker. The Gold Rush Trail’s terminus is the restored heritage town of Barkerville, now recognized as a Canadian National Heritage Site, where guided tours bring the lore of gold rush years to life. Period interpreters roam the streets dressed as historical characters; Judge Matthew Begbie (known in his time as the “hanging judge”) hands out frontier justice. Visitors can also pan for gold, enjoy delicious food at local eateries, be entertained by the colorful antics in the Theatre Royal’s live musicals, and stay the night in a local hotel or B&B. Barkerville is a great place for families to reconnect with Canada’s amazing history. ♦ Highlights Visit one of the last remaining roadhouses – Cottonwood House Historic Site, provided provisions to travellers on their journey along the Cariboo Wagon Road, offers guided tours, carriage rides and exploration of heritage buildings. Your stay needs a visit the Candy Shop and Gift Store! Panning streams and rivers could make for a most “precious” vacation! Pick up a copy of the Guidelines and Regulations for Recreational Gold Panning in British Columbia at one of our Cariboo Visitor Centres. | www.landwithoutlimits.com 71 1-800-663-5885 Taseko/Gibraltar Mine Amy Thacker Gordon Baron 72 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Bella Coola Archive Bella Coola Archive Gordon Baron Forestry & Mining I n the 1860s, the commercial logging industry earnestly began in the Cariboo, with sawmills needed to produce lumber for gold-rush boomtowns. However, one could argue that forestry had been around much longer on the Central Coast, for this is where B.C.’s First Nations developed a system for peeling planks from giant, stillstanding cedar trees to construct their “longhouses.” Examples of these “culturally modified trees” can be seen around Klemtu and the Bella Coola valley. Today, our resource extraction companies are leaders in innovation and the implementation of sustainable, environmentally responsible practices. Value added industries like the successful log home building industry create employment and a stable economy in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast. Movie stars, internationally recognized politicians and Internet moguls have all had log homes built to their personal tastes by this region’s highly esteemed log home builders. Their innovative homes are in demand on every continent. Products from our many log home building companies, such as Pioneer Log Homes (featured HGTV Canada’s Timber Kings), dot the globe. In fact, the world’s largest “complete log structure building” (at 114,000sq.ft and costing $28 million), is now showcased in Colorado, owned by a publishing and Internet multimillionaire. Today, abundant high-grade Bella Coola Archive spruce, pine and fir products make the region one of the largest lumberproducing areas in Canada, and though the recent infestation of the mountain pine beetle has had a significant impact, imaginative ways have been developed to use the “blue, or denim pine.” When it comes to sustainable forestry practices, the region boasts the largest biomass power plant in North America. Each year the Williams Lake Power Plant consumes more than 544,310 tonnes of wood waste from local sawmills, generating 67 megawatts of electricity. It is important to note that it was mining that started the rush to this region, with the discovery of gold in the Cariboo in the mid-1800s. Modern-day prospectors still live the dream panning for nuggets in creeks and streams throughout the region. Gold Bridge, near Lillooet, is a favourite with the amateur panand-swish crowd. Numerous regional museums also offer fascinating ways to relive the storied past of both local mining and forestry, with excellent archives illustrating the pioneering spirit of those early days. Some of the world’s largest open-pit operations are found here, including the second largest in Canada; Taseko’s Gibraltar copper mine near McLeese Lake. The Mount Polly gold mine near Likely has an estimated one million ounces of gold to be extracted, albeit with methods more sophisticated than Billy Barker’s 150 years ago. Recently, more gold has been unearthed in the Chilcotin Mountains’ Camelsfoot Range, and gold placer-mining claims are located along the Fraser River and throughout much of the Cariboo Chilcotin. Visitors can also tour working mines and forestry operations throughout the region. Check with local chambers of commerce and visitor centres for updated lists of what will be open and when. Avid rock hounds in search of jade, and other semi-precious stones, are attracted to the South Chilcotin and specifically Lillooet, home to B.C.’s first jade mines. And for a touch of what gold panning was like during the gold rush, try your luck near Barkerville where gold panning adventure tours are popular. ♦ Highlights Walk the Walk – Lillooet is the site of the first Jade mine in the province. Stunning jade boulders mark stopping points along the popular “Jade Walk”. A perfect stroll while exploring downtown shops and the superb museum. Hike historic mining trails and forest service roads near Likely. The old Bullion Pit Mine is an astonishing manmade 3 klm long and 120 metre deep canyon. Nearby, the Quesnelle Forks ghost town is also interesting to wander through, at your own pace. 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 73 A trail for all reasons! John Wellburn South Chilcotin Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide 74 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 75 Steve Harkies/CCCTA Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin Rocky Mountaineer 76 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Quesnel and District Museum & Archives Albert Normandin Quesnel and District Museum & Archives Cowboys & Railroads ritish Columbia bred cowboys are said to combine a Mexican vaquero’s skills, equipment and clothes; a U.S. frontiersman’s grit and resourcefulness; a First Nations’ respect for nature; and a British gentry’s sense of manners, law and order — all topped off with a cowboys’ unique brand of humour. The description may sound more like that of a mythical figure than real-life flesh and blood, but there is no doubt that the cowboy, as a romantic icon, is deeply entangled in the local history and culture. The first white settlers spread across the region in the 1860s, when cowboys worked as “drovers,” driving herds of cattle north from the U.S. to supply hungry miners in the goldfields around Barkerville. Some of these hardy souls quickly realized it made more sense to raise cattle closer to market and stayed on to establish great, sprawling ranches on the grassy rangelands near the Fraser River. More than one third of B.C.’s beef cattle are raised in this area today. Most of the drovers and cowboys in these frontier days were First Nation, many of whom were related to Caucasian ranchers through marriage. The natives were superb horsemen and knew the territory better than any outsider. Because at the time both ranchers and natives spoke Chinook, the trade language perfected during fur-trade times, communication was not an issue. B Rocky Mountaineer Unlike most other ranching areas in North America, B.C.’s natives were treated as equals and key partners in the cattle industry. The same holds true today. Ranchers struggled in the years after the gold rush, but the industry was reborn when railway tracks were laid in 1919. Ranch owners in the Cariboo and Chilcotin now had easier access to the more heavily populated southern markets and were encouraged to increase their herds. Communities such as Williams Lake, then a sleepy backwater, suddenly boomed when the Pacific Great Eastern Railway (now CN Rail) established a local train station. Seemingly overnight the town became a central shipping point with stockyards that could hold up to 2,400 head of cattle at a time. That same train station now houses a delightful art gallery. Williams Lake was the end of the line until the railway pushed north to Quesnel in 1921 and Prince George in 1952. Ranching continues to thrive in the Cariboo Chilcotin, but it’s a tough business and the cowboys who work these ranches, like their frontier descendants, are a hardy breed wearing a mantle of freedom and independence barely diminished over time. That aura of romance has only grown in recent years with the increasing popularity of cowboy poetry and music, art forms showcased at festivals organized by B.C.’s Cowboy Heritage Society. The rich cowboy heritage and lifestyle is also celebrated in several TV programs and books, including those of local cowboy Rich Hobson who recounts his days pioneering in the area. As for what is thought to be the first formal rodeo in B.C., it was an impromptu event staged in Williams Lake by local cowboys showcasing their horsemanship to celebrate the construction of the railroad in 1919. Today, the Williams Lake Stampede is the cornerstone of the region’s thriving rodeo and festival circuit, attracting thousands of visitors each summer to watch professional competitors from Canada, the U.S.A., and as far away as Australia. ♦ Highlights B.C.’s early history was carved out of sheer wilderness by thousands of hard working and forgotten cowboys. Visit the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame at Williams Lakes’ Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin, where memories of these living legends are captured and stories shared. All Aboard! Travel the rails between Whistler and Jasper, overnighting in Quesnel, on the Rocky Mountaineer “Rainforest to Gold Rush” route. Enjoy stunning views of coastal rainforests, desert landscapes, ranchlands, and impressive Mount Robson. 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 77 Michael Bednar Gordon Baron Gordon Baron 78 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Julia Haseloff Brad McGuire/CCCTA Ranches & Rodeos his ‘land without limits’ aims to make your childhood fantasies of living the life of a cowboy or cowgirl come true. From Cache Creek in the south, to north of Quesnel, and west into the Chilcotin wilderness, you’ll find an adventure-land of rodeos, rustic guest ranches and resort-style luxury. Our ranches and lodges are eager to immerse you into cowboy life in whatever fashion you choose. Bunk down in an old-fashioned log cabin, or listen to cowboy tales around a crackling campfire. Relax with a massage after a long day’s ride, or visit a rodeo and marvel at the skills and courage of both riders and animals. Or, treat your sweetheart to an amazing glamping experience for a distinctive ranch escape. The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast is home to more than half of British Columbia’s guest ranches. Some have gourmet restaurants, swimming pools, hot tubs, glamping accommodations and full service spas; while others provide a more rustic Canadian experience. Gratify your inner cowboy by riding the Tchaikazan-Yohetta Valley Loop or the Chilcotin’s Potato Range, camping at a secluded trailside lake to reel in a fat trout for the supper fry pan. Aspiring cowhands can bunk at genuine working ranches, riding and roping, branding and herding. Horse enthusiasts won’t want to miss a ‘horse T Michael Wigle whispering’ session, where you have the opportunity to learn how to speak your horse’s language and create the ultimate bond between man and animal. Take a 14-day expedition into the mountains of the Itcha Ilgachuz Provincial Park, where an archaeological site of particular importance to the Carrier people has been identified near one of the obsidian quarries. Guide herds from winter feedlots to summer pasture in spring, or back again in the fall. It’s the stuff cowboy dreams are made of – poetry, guitars and singing around the fire, sleeping under the stars in a snug bedroll, waking at dawn to the howl of a distant coyote and the aroma of coffee, beans and bacon crisping over an open flame. No matter your dream, ranch hands here are experts at matching horses to riders of all abilities; from family friendly, low-impact trail rides through aspen and jack pine forests, to multi-hour saddle treks to hoodoo pinnacles with vistas stretching as far as your eye can see. For those keen to learn about cowboy history here in Canada’s final frontier, a visit the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin in Williams Lake is a must! Home to the ‘BC Cowboy Hall of Fame’, this museum hosts exhibits dedicated to preserving and honoring our cowboys and cowgirls of the past, and present. Cowboys and cattlemen truly tamed British Columbia’s wild west. The annual inauguration into the Hall of Fame occurs at the Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo in April, providing an opportunity to meet the ranching and rodeo pioneers of British Columbia. July’s Williams Lake Stampede is a sanctioned ProRodeo showcase event which draws contestants and spectators “The first time, it’s a vacation. After that, it’s coming home.” Just 4 hours north of Vancouver 1-800-553-3533 www.sundanceguestranch.com email@example.com | www.landwithoutlimits.com 79 1-800-663-5885 Highlights Trail ride through alpine meadows near Anahim Lake in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park’s remote Rainbow Range, or hook up with an experienced guide to take you on a pack trip through this incredibly beautiful mountain paradise. Dust of your Stetson, Boots and Bolo Tie – You’re invited to rodeo’s throughout the region. Enjoy unique events like the awesome Mountain Race at the Nemiah Valley Rodeo, the Grand Finale Bullarama at the Bella Coola Rodeo and Wild Cow Milking at the Williams Lake Stampede. Cowgirl and Cowboy Work-theRanch Vacations. Action packed multi-day getaways are offered by a few Chilcotin operators. Help out and learn to rope, pack a horse, herd cattle and then be ready for the camp cook-offs. Ride the range and live a little, or a lot! Over 60% of B.C.’s Guest Ranches are here! – With such a great selection of guest ranches, from historically rustic to casual luxury, what are you waiting for? Bring the kids and enjoy a true, western frontier family vacation that will generate memories to ride off into the sunset with. 80 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Julia Haseloff Ranches & Rodeos from around the world. Featured events include bull riding, bareback riding, saddle bronc, team roping, steer wrestling and barrel racing. BC Rodeo Association events are held throughout British Columbia, with several rodeos staged in this region including 100 Mile House, Clinton, Ashcroft, Bella Coola, Williams Lake, Anahim Lake, Interlakes, Nemiah, Redstone, and Quesnel; the latter complemented by the city’s Billy Barker Days, when townsfolk parade about in their finest 1860s garb amidst many festival activities. Each rodeo offers a unique local flavor. Bella Coola’s feature attraction tempts you to try your luck at cow pattie bingo. Anahim Lake and Redstone are true First Nations rodeo events. The remote Nemiah Valley August rodeo marquee attraction is its Mountain Race, a breakneck dash down a mountain on horseback to the rodeo grounds. Williams Lake kicks off the season with the indoor rodeo in April and Clinton’s May extravaganza also features a Western Heritage Week, with cowboy poetry readings and western musical performances. Quesnel hosts the year-end B.C. Rodeo Association Finals event every September. Meanwhile, children are the stars of the Little Britches Rodeo in 100 Mile House in May (featuring mutton busting, goat tying and dummy roping). Rodeo dances are common throughout this region featuring those famous cowboy manners. Most feature traditional western music for the square dancing & two-stepping crowd, while some also offer modern country-pop for the young at heart who know really how to kick up their heels. So, you can be assured that the fun doesn’t end when the sun goes down. 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 81 Laureen Carruthers Geoff Moore John Wellburn John Wellburn 82 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide bridgerivervalley.ca Elisabeth Kent Biking & Hiking any in the mountain biking community consider this region the “unofficial mountain biking capital of Canada”, with unlimited riding for leisure bikers and adventure seeking free-riders. The spectacular terrain and quality trail systems here offer distinct riding experiences with hoodoos, river valleys, rugged canyons, logging roads, steeps, ramps, and single-track ridges. You could spend an entire summer here without setting a wheel in the same place twice. Red Bull’s 2012 feature film “Where the Trail Ends” showcases the world’s top free ride mountain bikers, including Williams Lakes’ own James Doerfling, as they search for un-ridden terrain in five countries around the globe, including the amazing cliffs and canyon walls of the Fraser and Chilcotin rivers right here in our Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region. Quesnel biking buffs call the local “Pins” route a “flowy” ride, with spectacular views of Baker Creek and the hoodoos littering the valley floor. Quesnel’s Adventure Skills Bike Park has a freestyle section, pump track, kid’s area and features to challenge beginner, novice, experienced and highly skilled riders. The Wells-Barkerville area offers some of the most extraordinary trails in B.C., loaded with Gold Rush history. From gentle boardwalk trails through quiet wetlands to day-long epic mountain expeditions in stunning alpine terrain, this trail network has it all. M Elisabeth Kent Bike magazine recently referred to Williams Lake as North America’s “Shangri-La of mountain biking”. The 200-plus tracks around the city provide the choice of tackling technical loops; try “Aflo”, the Lakecity’s most popular trail with awesome, flowy banked turns, or choose hours of exploring on many easy riding trails. Downtown’s Boitanio Bike Park covers over 4hec/10ac, and is the largest of its kind in B.C.’s interior, with 6 major jump lines, pump track, drop zone, flow trails and log work. The 100 Mile House vicinity has hundreds of kilometres of marked and unmarked backcountry trails criss-crossing the plateau. Trails are accessible around the 108 Mile Ranch, and from downtown 100 Mile House. The trails beginning at Centennial Park take you up an old ski hill, and with plenty of old roads and tracks in the area you have easy access onto trails in the nearby hills. On the 99 Mile trails south of town, choose to stay on the trails, or venture off onto single track for more amazing riding. In the South Chilcotin, Spruce Lake has epic grassland riding through alpine and sub-alpine meadows, skirting freshwater lakes. The classic 26km/16mi single-track Gun Creek Route gains elevation through a conifer forest mixed with aspen and cottonwood. Also popular are the South Tyaughton Lake’s 28km/17mi Taylor-Pearson loop Highlights Hike or Bike – The Spruce Lake Protected Area, 10 km west of Gold Bridge, is a backcountry preserve boasting a remarkable 150 km network of interconnected trails catering to hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. Your heart and lungs will thank you. Ice Climbers come from far and wide for an awesome climbing experience in Marble Canyon, with relatively easy access off Hwy 99, just north of Lillooet. Plan a waterfall hiking tour in the South Cariboo, where several beautiful waterfalls can be accessed via moderately easy trails. Visit the 100 Mile House Visitor Centre for more details. Hiking and walking tours on the trail network in the Bella Coola Valley are a great way to exercise while enjoying the magnificent beauty of this coastal rainforest playground. Trails Galore! - Visit Williams Lakes’ Tourism Discovery Centre and ‘biking hub’ located in a magnificent log-building to learn more about over 300 km’s of trails for all skill levels in the surrounding hills and valleys of the city. 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 83 Chris Harris South Tweedsmuir Park, Panorama Ridge Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide 84 Biking & Hiking John Wellburn and the 44km/27mi High Trail Loop into wide-open Windy Pass. Adventurous backcountry mountain-bikers can opt for float plane and helicopter entries or packhorse-assisted and guided tours. The Snooka Trail System, in our Central Coast area, sports leisurely riding through second growth rainforest, with spectacular alpine views the reward for reaching the network’s Purgatory Lookout. A series of trails between Bella Coola and Hagensborg provide various levels of difficulty and scenery. The East Loop Trail is an easy grade circle route of 5.5km/3mi with only a 50m/164ft elevation gain, while the West Trail is more challenging with an elevation gain of 500m/1640ft on its over 3.8km/2.4mi one-way trek. The trails also connect you to other wilderness routes that lead deeper into the temperate backcountry of the Bella Coola Valley. This region is also a delight for hikers and walkers! In the Cariboo, Lillooet is base to a variety of scenic hiking trails, many of which have historic significance along the Fraser River, where in the mid-1800s Chinese miners processed millions of dollars in gold. Amateur geologists use topographic quadrangle maps (topos) in the Marble Range near Clinton, an area notable for limestone karsts, wooded groves and alpine ridges. The 11.3km/7mi Sepa Lakes Trail near 108 Mile Ranch meanders past bays and lagoons filled with waterfowl. Canim Lake offers three majestic and photogenic waterfalls. Whale Lake boasts good fishing at the end of a 4km/2.5mi hiking trail. Williams Lakes’ family-friendly hikes include the popular River Valley Trail, while the same is true about Quesnel’s delightful Riverfront Trail. The Mount Agnes Trail network, near Barkerville and Wells, follows the original ‘Cariboo Waggon Road’ into beautiful wildflower-strewn alpine meadows below Summit Rock. In the Chilcotin, the 12km/7.5mi Tchaikazan-Yohetta Trail connects the Tchaikazan and Yohetta valleys via Spectrum Pass and picture perfect Dorothy Lake. History buffs with a high fitness level can stroll the 420km/261mi Nuxalk-Carrier Grease/Alexander Mackenzie Heritage Trail in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, with a suggested hiking time of 25-30 days. Urban area climbers are now discovering the untrammelled local mountaineering scene. Three hot spots include Williams Lake, where the Esler Bluffs alone boast 44 routes. Hunlen Falls is generating enormous excitement with the rope-andrack set including heart-pumping routes, bouldering, and single-pitch climbs ranging in difficulty from “no sweat” (5.6) to “sweat and nothing but” (5.11+). Bella Coola boasts such multi-pitch classics as the nine-pitch Airport Wall (5.9-10+). Popular heli-assisted hikes and climbs can be arranged by many operators. Mountaineers come from around the world to tackle the 3,000m/9,842ft-plus peaks of the Coast Range, including 4,016m/13,176ft Mount Waddington, B.C.’s highest peak. Ice climbers seek out the frozen falls at Marble Canyon Provincial Park, between Lillooet and Cache Creek, where popular routes include Car Wrecker Gully, The Diehedral and spectacular five-pitch Tokkum Pole. Ice climbing is also common west of Lillooet along the D’Arcy-Anderson Lake Road that stretches 33km/21mi along the west side of Anderson Lake from Seton Portage. The Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium (Ride the Cariboo), actively promotes all of the wonderful mountain biking trails in and around Wells, Quesnel, Williams Lake and 100 Mile House. With the excess of trails and skill levels around these communities alone, you will think you’ve arrived in biking paradise. (See page 112 for biking sector websites). ♦ 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 85 Pierre Bouchard Carpenter Lake, South Chilcotin 86 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Live Free. Ride Far. 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 87 Richard Wright Elisabeth Kent Gordon Baron Richard Wright 88 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Cael Cook Thomas Drasdauskis Cael Cook Thomas Drasdauskis Wildlife & Eco-Tours Z odiac touring in Pacific estuaries, birding at a wildlife sanctuary, snorkelling with salmon in the Atnarko River, 4x4 touring for mountain goats, pack-horse treks, canoe safaris, and more – take your pick! The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast is like a zoo without cages, featuring a constantly changing menagerie — an awesome bounty that defines this vast region as one of the greatest outdoor shows on earth. From the Cariboo’s mountain goats to the Coast’s orcas and the Chilcotin’s bighorn sheep, the diversity and density of wildlife is astounding. How and when do you find those moose and caribou? Is spotting a hungry grizzly foraging along a riverbank just luck, and is it dangerous? Our eco-tour guides and outfitters are not only experts on where and when to find specific species, they are also gifted naturalists with extensive rosters of unique wildlifeviewing options featuring a range of accommodations. Their key mandate is to respect and protect wildlife and habitats while ensuring everyone has a good time — and gets home unscathed. Ours is a place where wildlife safaris feature luxurious waterfront lodges and the only drive-by traffic is a parade of eagles, wolves, dolphins and whales. Local biologists lead interpretive ecoraft adventures on the Bella Coola Michael Wigle and Atnarko rivers where songbirds congregate and otter, mink, fox and deer forage. Amateur and professional ornithologists can join guided birdwatching tours into the Cariboo Mountains, home to wetland species such as kingfishers, hawks, owls, warblers, and woodpeckers. Scout Island Bird Sanctuary at Williams Lake, on the Pacific Flyway, features rare white pelicans, swans, ducks and songbirds. Alpine mule trekking is a low-impact way to explore game trails blazed by caribou and mountain goats, wolves and wolverines. The Yohetta Wilderness area in the Chilcotin could serve as the model for the legend of Shangri-La. Wild and remote, it not only shelters mountain goats, bighorn sheep, bobcats and wolverines but also a remaining wild horse herd. The southern Cariboo around Lillooet is desert country, where the contrast between the Coast and northern Cariboo could not be more profound. Etched by the wind, scorched by the sun, this is a land of rattlesnakes and prairie dogs, a place where eagles soar in search of prey. Fascinated by bears? Sign up with a bear viewing guide in the Cariboo or Chilcotin Mountains in search of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) and their black bear cousins (Ursus americanus). Learn about the bears’ social hierarchy, habitat and body language. The Bella Coola area offers a variety of operators ready to drift you down a river in search of grizzly families dining on salmon. And the coast’s Great Bear Rainforest is the only place in the world to see the legendary white Kermode, or Spirit bear, if you’re lucky. ♦ Highlights B.C. is well known as one of the world’s top grizzly viewing destinations. Experienced guides take visitors past gaping fjords and inlets, and along remote riverbanks. View grizzlies up close in their natural habitats on the coast and in the Cariboo Mountains, or be lucky enough to see the legendary Spirit Bear (Kermode) in the Great Bear Rainforest. Birding: Trumpeter swans and American white pelicans visit during their annual migration. Other species include the pied-billed grebe, green-winged teal, blue-winged teal, ruddy duck, spotted sandpiper, northern flicker, and yellowheaded blackbird. Bella Coola’s River Estuary, Chilanko Forks Wildlife Area, Williams Lakes’ Scout Island, and the 100 Mile Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary are four of the many popular birding areas. Experience incredible wildlife in its natural habitat via eco-friendly, horseguided pack trips in the Chilcotin. 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 89 Gordon Baron Karl-Hans Kern Brad Kasselman/CoastPhoto.com 90 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Quesnel and District Museum & Archives Karl-Hans Kern Karl-Hans Kern Gordon Baron Touring & Camping F eel the ground under you while tenting in beautifully remote backcountry locations. Or travel in a luxurious RV with all the comforts of home. Whatever ‘your’ preference, this area delivers plenty to see and do. Truly, the best way to experience each of the three distinct sub-regions, Cariboo, Chilcotin and Coast, is a camping or RV trip along a driving route where possibilities are ripe for exploration. Four of B.C.’s popular Circle Routes intersect in this stunning region (see page 61 for two examples). Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, situated in the Coast Mountain range, is the heart of Nuxalk and Carrier First Nations territory. The park is vast, and boasts four distinct vegetation zones, two vehicle access sites and remote wilderness camping. The Central Coast’s 15,000km/9,320mi of pristine coastline features several ecological reserves, conservancies and no less than six marine parks. For instance, Codville Lagoon on King Island in Fitz Hugh Sound (80km/50mi west of Bella Coola) is a Heiltsuk heritage site with a white, sandy beach perfect for tenting and kayaking. At Hagensborg in the Bella Coola Valley, the spectacular mountains will captivate you. One imaginative operator makes exploring easy for all ages by maintaining a nature conservancy trail for RV guests. In the Chilcotin, on the banks of the glacier-blue Chilcotin River, Bull Canyon Karl-Hans Kern offers shallow caves to explore just off the Chilcotin River Interpretive Trail. Ts’yl-os Provincial Park is a postcardlike world of mountains, glaciers, alpine meadows and waterfalls, where magnificent Chilko Lake features two lakeside campgrounds. Nimpo and Anahim lakes have established reputations as terrific fishing locations stuffed with rainbow trout. RV parks and fishing lodges also coordinate very popular guided flight-seeing tours to Hunlen Falls, the Monarch Icefields, the Rainbow Mountains and other spectacular sites. The Puntzi Lake area also offers camping; set up at a popular forestry campsite, or mingle with anglers at a fishing resorts’ RV campsite or cabin. Excellent camping is found at the Cariboo’s iconic Green Lake, 16km/10mi northeast of 70 Mile House off Hwy. 97, where clear, warm summer waters provide great swimming and water sports. Lac la Hache offers provincial and private campgrounds with lake access from Hwy. 97, the Gold Rush Trail. Seeking tranquility? Hideaway resorts and RV parks on isolated lakes include Hathaway Lake near Lone Butte and Horsefly and Quesnel Lakes east of Williams Lake. Approximately 65 private and public campgrounds and RV parks in unique settings include a few near Barkerville too, with easy access to the gold rush town. Dramatic Cariboo Mountain views are found at Bowron Lake sites, where canoe and kayak rent- als provide access to the Cariboo Falls. Prefer more unique access? Outfitters lead horseback-camping expeditions, and float plane service is available for fly-in backcountry adventures. Geocaching is a great way to uncover hidden gems while touring. Geocache treasure-hunting is played worldwide by adventurers with GPS devices. Locate hidden containers, called geocaches – then, share the experience online. One cache in the region contains “trade items” such as a fishing lure, all cleverly hidden on the Chilcotin plateau where rare white pelicans gather. Another contains only a metal cylinder with logbook and pencil hidden at Clayton Falls near Bella Coola. In Likely a recent “cacher” stashed “treasures fit for a kid” in the same place that trappers gathered and historic mining machinery is displayed. Perhaps the most creative geocaches are Gold Country’s GeoTourism program with caches that can be found in Lillooet and the South Cariboo. Also, a new Freedom Highway series of caches is ready in the West Chilcotin. ♦ Highlights Fall touring provides access to a diversity of fall colors to fill the budding photographer’s lens. An abundance of family-friendly waterfront camping options offer perfect multi-day vacations to explore the regions’ vastly different topography. | www.landwithoutlimits.com 91 1-800-663-5885 Highlights The Cariboo and Chilcotin are known for their healthy populations of mule deer, moose and bear. Whatever the needs of the outdoor adventurer, skilled and experienced outfitters provide a host of backcountry adventure options to suit your needs. Fish for all species of salmon, huge halibut, giant prawns and more on the Central Coast, widely considered by seasoned anglers as the best saltwater fishing area found anywhere in the world! Many world class fishing lodges in this area offer an abundance of fish in un-crowded waters â€” the experience of a lifetime! Plan a fly-in, or horse-pack hunting trip. The Chilcotin offers outstanding fishing and hunting opportunities that can be explored on your own, or perhaps best experienced in the company of seasoned local guides and outfitters. Tall tales shared at no extra charge. Trout fishing is amazing April through September throughout this vast region, while autumnâ€™s spectacular salmon migration in streams and rivers is also a sight to behold. Plan a visit to one of several hatcheries around the region. www.huntdriftwood.com www.huntdriftwood.com David Jacobson Geoff Moore 92 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Bella Coola Archive Fishing & Hunting D o you seek big fish and big game? Fishing and hunting are more than casual experiences here. It’s a way of life, part of our culture and something that many enjoy sharing with others. Imagine fishing a new interior lake or at a new spot along the central coast every day for the rest of your life. Or, during hunting seasons, trekking into the wilderness with the aid of experienced guides to harvest mule deer, moose, California bighorn sheep, mountain goat, black bear, cougar, lynx, bobcat, wolf or coyote. In the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast sound fishing and hunting practices are designed to produce results for hunters and fishers alike. This is a place where certified guides and outfitters are as knowledgeable about wildlife habitats and conservation as they are about big-game tracking and bear-attack prevention. Some local guides are First Nations, and all have an intimate relationship with the landscape and its wildlife. Wilderness skills and knowledge of local species and habitat are based on an understanding of the complexities of the natural world and represent a special opportunity for visitors to experience the region and its wildlife in profound ways. To maximize both hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, visitors often access the services of the region’s experienced, www.huntdriftwood.com highly knowledgeable guides and outfitters, who subscribe to the highest environmental and wildlife conservation standards. Throughout the region, services and accommodations range from full-service, luxury four-season lodges with all the amenities, to roughand-ready backcountry camps catering to outdoor adventurers yearning for genuine B.C. wilderness hunting and fishing experiences. Big Fish Fishing is not just a pastime here, it’s a passion. The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast boasts more than 8,000 lakes and 17,000km/10,563mi of rivers and streams famous for rod-bending rainbow trout, cunning cutthroat and steel-hearted steelhead. The nutrient rich waters of the rugged Pacific coast yield succulent salmon, enormous halibut, prawns and buckets of fresh-and-lively Dungeness crab and several varieties of shrimp. While staying at a remote resort, a boutique property or a luxury offshore ocean floating camp, travelers can be a few minutes away from exceptional waters. The Cariboo’s unlimited expanse of rivers and lakes includes a stretch of “road” from Little Fort (at the eastern border of the Cariboo on the Yellowhead Highway 5) to 93 Mile House (at the western terminus of Highway 24), a “road” enthusiastically referred to in angling circles as “The Fishing Highway”. Spring-fed Sheridan Lake is stocked annually and is famous for its rainbow trout up to 9kg/20lb. Bridge Lake is close by, with numerous bays and islands and crystal-clear waters teeming with rainbow and lake trout (char), kokanee Rejuvenate and recharge in BC’s finest wilderness www.elysiaresort.com www.fishrainbowwaters.com | www.landwithoutlimits.com 93 250-243-2433 firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-663-5885 Dennis Pingre/Shearwater and burbot. With 100-plus lakes typically within an hour’s drive of one another, the Interlakes area really is a fishing paradise. Check annual stocking reports for recent updates. Meanwhile, fly fishing enthusiasts congregate on the Horsefly River, nursery for three-quarters of the rainbow trout found in nearby Quesnel Lake. In the fall its waters swell with millions of sockeye and chinook salmon en route to their spawning grounds. Near Quesnel, cattails and bulrushes line the banks of jewel-like Dragon Lake, filled with trophy trout. In the Chilcotin, Charlotte Lake, at the foothills of the spectacular Coast Mountains, is renowned for its trophy-sized rainbow trout. Fly fishing is king at nearby Nimpo Lake, where charter air services offer many fly-in options to neighbouring lodges and remote fishing camps. Then there’s the legendary Blackwater River, renowned for its gentle, canoe-friendly grade and numerous insect hatches feeding prolific populations of trout, whitefish and squawfish. Rainbow trout and Dolly Varden churn up the cerulean-blue waters of the Chilko River where it leads into massive Chilko Lake, as pretty as it is productive. Locals know to concentrate on the creek mouths where trout gather for their evening meal — and sometimes become one. Puntzi Lake is also a popular, easily accessible lake that provides fishing for the whole family. 94 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide The Coast region is also crisscrossed by lakes and streams, though it is the salt waters that bring travellers and nature lovers to this ecologically diverse part of the world. Here, the salmon rules, and numerous lodges and camps, from budget to luxury high-end, cater to an international clientele of fly-in customers dreaming of “the big one.”These fishing expeditions often begin in the town of Bella Coola, and venture out to the many inlets and islands. B.C. Ferries and Pacific Coastal Airlines services make the central coast highly accessible to all. Though it may look like an obscure stretch of shoreline on a map of B.C., the central Coast boasts names that fishing enthusiasts from around the world speak of with reverence; like Rivers Inlet, and Hakai Pass, where millions of salmon make first landfall after battling northern Pacific currents in search of their natal streams. Along the way, these salmon pass some of the most famous fishing holes on the coast; including Odlum Point, the Gap and Barney Point, where gentle back eddies provide rest and feeding areas for salmon. This provides outstanding fishing opportunities for anglers and orcas alike. Steelhead hunters – “fishing” is too tame a word to describe the landing of these pugnacious sea-run trout – are equally well rewarded by a pilgrimage to the Dean River, better known as “steelhead central.” Some outfitters on the river provide a base camp for exciting expeditions, known to be gloriously full of fish and mercifully free of bugs. Fishing & Hunting Big Game This land without limits provides no shortage of wildlife and hunting experiences. Plentiful populations of Cervidae (mule deer, whitetail deer, caribou and moose), Ursidae (bears), Canidae (wolves and coyote) and Felidae (cougars, bobcats and lynx) attract avid outdoorsmen throughout the seasons. Outfitters in the region provide varieties of hunting excursions depending on the game species, terrain and season. Catering to abilities of every level, outfitters offer a wide range of accommodations and limit group sizes. Passion for wildlife, conservation, and a connection to the land is a strong cultural thread woven throughout this region. Many family operations are multi-generational, providing rare insights on much more Michael Bednar than wildlife – pioneers, history, ranching, culture, cuisine and more. Hearty meals cooked in camp kitchens or over the open fire offer warm comfort at days’ end. Hunters join outfitters with exclusive guide territories where they can choose their own method of travel — ATV, horseback, 4x4, riverboat, old-fashioned “foot” and can even snowmobile in the Blackwater River region. Find regional information by visiting B.C.’s guide & outfitter websites (see page 110). Choose a season that best suits your hunting or fishing style. No matter your choice, we offer the landscape, wildlife and expertise that will make your ultimate fishing and hunting experiences unforgettable. ♦ 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 95 Thomas Drasdauskis Bowron Lake Provincial Park 96 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Happiness is ... 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 97 Echo Valley Ranch & Spa Kim Culbert/www.kimculbert.com Michael Bednar 98 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Michael Bednar Echo Valley Ranch & Spa Michael Bednar Golf, Spas & Lakes W atersports, soothing spa escapes, and leisurely golf. Welcome to summer in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast. With the highest concentration of lakes and rivers in Canada, it’s no surprise this region is a haven for swimmers, water skiers, wake boarders, canoeists and anyone who loves to hop into a boat or play in the water. The south Cariboo’s Green Lake is a popular retreat for swimmers and water skiers. Consistent afternoon thermals on the Chilcotin’s Tatlayoko Lake mean paradise for sailors and windsurfers. Ocean kayakers paddle with whales and dolphins in the protected waters off Bella Coola, Shearwater and Klemtu. White-knuckle white-water rafters and kayakers pick and choose from a multitude of torrents in the Cariboo and Chilcotin — while the Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit is one of the world’s most spectacular wilderness water adventures. Although the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast is renowned for our sheer wilderness expanse, we also have luxurious day spas and wellness centres. One working ranch specializes in custom therapeutic, assessment and spa services. At another mountain-valley site, guests journey to the Far East via authentic Thai spa treatments. Other remote retreats specialize in yoga, fitness and healing escapes. Rejuvenate at day spas found in many of the communities in this region, with treatments from around the Thomas Drasdauskis world - Japanese Sumishi to Thai stem massage to Indian Ayurveda treatments, all often combined with yoga, fitness and nutritional services. Many inns, remote lodges and resorts also offer massage and a variety of wellness or fitness programs, all designed to help keep mind and body in balance while enjoying your holiday travels. Imagine your perfect golf experience in a natural setting of sage and rolling hills, with fairways that gently flow along contoured canyons and water accents, greens that run true and spectacular views augmenting both challenging and serene designs. Imagine no more. We have three championship 18-hole courses that will delight you, and your pocketbook. The 6,340 yard Quesnel Golf Course, spread out in a former heritage orchard, is a valley-based design with a wide-open front-nine and shorter, but demanding back that will hone your swing. The Stan Leonarddesigned 108 Golf Resort is 6,800 yards of tree-lined fairways and rolling greens that will certainly challenge your game. The scenic Williams Lake Golf & Tennis Club’s 6,272 yard layout is set against the rolling Cariboo hills and plays out over undulant terrain with spectacular views overlooking both the lake and city’s downtown core. Unique familyfriendly nine-hole courses are found throughout the region too, including the newest, Coyote Rock, a First Nations developed course set above Highway 97 overlooking the south end of Williams Lake. At Lillooet’s farmland gem, golfers get a free mulligan if their shot is blocked by sheep! ♦ Highlights The Bowron Lakes Canoe Circuit is world renowned with paddlers flocking here by the thousands, year after year to experience stunningly beautiful canoeing vacations. Booking and planning early is a must! Treat your body and sooth your mind at one of many day spas and wellness facilities in the region, or book a stay at one of several guest ranches offering unparalleled and unique massage, spa and yoga experiences. Golf vacations in the Cariboo. Tee up at wonderful courses in Quesnel, Williams Lake and 100 Mile House, all within a 2 ½ hour scenic drive of each other! For a fun and unique experience, stroll the fairways dodging sheep, near Lillooet. Windsurfing & Kiteboarding. Catch the wind at Tatlayoko Lake. Taylayoko means “lake of the big winds” in the Chilcotin language.Stiff breezes can make open waters sometime hazardous for boaters, but are an irresistible draw for wind-surfers and kiteboarders. 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 99 Bella Coola Archive Rich Prohaska 100 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Richard Wright Thomas Drasdauskis Steve Ogle Winter Experiences O ne of Canada’s best attributes is our four distinct seasons. As this is something we hold especially dear to our hearts in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region of B.C., we aim to please our visitors, no matter what season you visit. Our air in winter is spectacularly fresh and our sunsets are magical. No other B.C. region offers the same vast, variety of rolling hills, backcountry lakes and forests, resorts and ranches, brilliant sunshine, deep powdered snow and choice of activities. Heli-skiing, sleigh rides, snowshoeing, and ice fishing – they are all in abundance here. Cross-country and downhill skiing, snowmobiling, hockey, tobogganing, dog sledding and curling make winter the time to get outside and have fun in our backyard, where the snow is dry and deep, skies are clear and blue, and winter activities are almost endless. Skiing? Take your pick; from a variety of groomed Nordic trails and wilderness cross-country and backcountry skiing options, to family-focused downhill resorts, to the most awesome deep powder heli-skiing adventures found in the world! Don’t forget your skates, either. Fun skating parties are a way of life here when lakes freeze and pond hockey games begin, with visitors always welcome. Ice climbing? It’s park ‘n climb at Marble Canyon Provincial Park at the Pavilion Mountain Range near Lillooet, bridgerivervalley.ca where roadside icefalls are some of the most accessible in western Canada. Snowmobiling? Sled-hounds flock here from across North America for the wideopen spaces, abundant hill-climbs, and extensive trail networks, some of them linking historic towns that are sprinkled about like gold nuggets. Imagine yourself in a comfortable sled as a team of dogs takes you gliding silently through the forests and over frozen lakes. The region is unique in offering amateur mushers the chance to experience the exhilaration of sled dog travel, a great way to explore the backcountry in a pristinely fresh environment. Add to that winter camping, kicking back in a snow-banked hot tub, or swapping stories around a crackling fire at a cozy lodge and you begin to understand why we claim to have it all. At one time, when the snow was deep, the only way to get around the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast was via sled dog. Today, this unique way of travel has been revived at the competitive level and as a truly memorable interactive experience for visitors, with both amateur and experienced mushers answering the call of the wild with guided tours, one-on-one workshops and multiday adventures. Outfitters specialty options have also emerged: some boasting Inuit-only sled dogs while others swear by the legendary Alaskan malamute. The Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Mail Run, held every January, is popular for those with their own dog team. Participants are issued special hand cancelled envelopes of mail in Quesnel that they swear an oath to deliver to the town of Wells, 100km/62mi away along a route that traces the historic Cariboo Wagon Road. The emphasis is on fun and fellowship, but first prize still counts for bragging rights at the local pub. Cross-country skiers and backcountry aficionados find peace and tranquility here. As Rob Bernhardt, president of British Columbia’s Nordic Ski Society puts it, “Everything about this region, from the stable weather and ideal snow conditions to the vibrant culture and stunning natural environment, makes it ideal for Nordic activities. It helps, too, that meticulously groomed trails are maintained by resorts, clubs and communities in pretty much any direction you point your ski poles.” Novice Nordic skiers can easily cover the 8km/5mi route between Wells and Barkerville, or other trails that loop around the area. Mount Agnes, near Barkerville, has 23km/14mi of trails leading through heavily forested countryside. Hallis Lake near Quesnel is renowned for its vistas and viewpoints, while an hour south near Williams | www.landwithoutlimits.com 101 1-800-663-5885 Highlights Ice fishing is cold comfort. Many lakes in the region are fruitful, but the experience is particularly special at Raven Lake in the east Chilcotin, with waters clear enough to see into your fishing hole as fish swim by, or get hooked! Dog sledding – a unique winter experience! Cariboo operators offer multi-day or hourly packages that help you learn about mushing culture and their incredible dogs, while taking in the crisp, fresh air and beautiful scenery. Glide through Coast Mountain powder. Our heli-skiing operators fly into spectacular coast mountain range glaciers, where the heli-skiing experience is second to nowhere else in the world! Foodies meet X-Country! Each pitstop of the Wells Snowman Gourmet Ski Tour serves ethnic cuisine like Russian borscht, Spanish tapas, Indian masala wraps and more! Prizes are awarded for best ancestral attire and goofy costume. It wraps up at the Bear’s Paw Café for Scandinavian dessert and international beverages. Skiers and Snowshoers both welcome! Steve Ogle 102 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Winter Experiences Lake, the lure is the 28km/17.5mi of groomed trails at Bull Mountain, some of them dog friendly and evening lit. Near 100 Mile House the pole-and-push crowd get stoked on an enormous 150km/93mi trail inventory, also including sections for night skiing. The gold-rush-themed Cariboo Marathon, staged by the 100 Mile Nordic Club, comes complete with 50km/31mi, 30km/18.5mi, 20km/12.5mi and 10km/6mi events. The Clinton Snow Jockey Club maintains 60km/37mi of marked trails which are also suitable for hiking and biking in summer and Mount Timothy Ski Area, known as a family-friendly downhill destination east of Lac la Hache, also has groomed Nordic trails. Downhillers and snowboarders flock to Mount Timothy, and Troll Ski Resort, both offering family friendly atmosphere. But it’s this region’s many mountains and soft, dry powder that draw heli-skiers from all over the world. These mountain daredevils inhabit a world of absolute stillness, a place of virgin beauty and dramatic settings where there’s nothing in front of you but thousands of vertical feet of the finest skiing on earth. The sport was invented in the Cariboo Mountains by mountaineering legend Hans Gmoser, known as “The Father of Heli-skiing”. The Central Coast and Southern Chilcotin mountains also beckon, as they are premier, world renowned heli-skiing destinations offering soaring 3,000m/9,850ft peaks receiving as much as 15m/49ft of snow annually. Local Cariboo outfitters keep your body fit by offering multiday hut-to-hut tours of the Bowron Lake canoe circuit, where the lakes’ frozen surface is broken only by the speckled tracks of fox, hare and ever-wary timber wolves. In the Chilcotin, Tatla Lake boasts 40km/25mi of groomed trails plus January’s Tatla Ted Hlokoff Lake Ski Challenge and Fun Day that comes with an outdoor barbecue and enough good cheer to warm even the coldest winter day. Nearby Nimpo Lake’s wilderness lodges serve as a perfect base camp for ski touring in the wilds of Itcha Ilgachuz Provincial Park. As for those who believe slow and easy wins the day, low-cost snowshoeing guarantees backcountry winter-trail access to anyone capable of putting one foot in front of the other anywhere there’s a patch of snow. For many winter buffs, snow exists simply for responsible snowmobiling. The result: sledders trek by trail across untracked wilderness throughout the region, or up and down mountainous terrain renowned for adrenaline-rush hill climbing. Excitement is also growing with the development of the Gold Rush Snowmobile Trail — a thrill-packed work in progress that, when completed, will offer 350km/217mi of stunningly picturesque and well-signed touring from Clinton to Barkerville. Check first with local clubs and visitor centres for trail updates and amenities en route, before you head out. Gold Bridge and Bralorne in the Bridge River Valley have long been popular snowmobile havens, with the Mineshaft Pub being sledder central for many events. Favorite rides are the Lone Goat Trail and Slim Creek, where the distance travelled is limited only by the amount of fuel saddle-bagged in. For some, ice fishing is cold comfort. However, hauling a big rainbow trout out of a hole in a frozen lake warms an avid fisher’s blood. Need a little pointing in the right direction? Area outfitters may offer all-inclusive ice-fishing adventures with cozy accommodations; portable shelters and “whopper” tales at no extra charge. ♦ 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 103 Highlights Catch a Live Show! – Wells’ recently restored Sunset Theatre, built in 1934 as a movie house and community hall, now hosts music, dance and professional theatrical performances. Attend one of their upcoming events in the 2014 summer season in this funky, artsy town. Visit and photograph totem poles and other cultural landmarks, including Nuxalk petroglyphs in the Bella Coola Valley. A banjo built for you! – Have your very own banjo custom designed and built by Jason and Pharis Romero of Horsefly, B.C. Their small company is a growing supplier of custom-made banjos for the world market. Thomas Drasdauskis Thomas Drasdauskis 104 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Michael Bednar Richard Wright Arts & Culture I t is a land of striking contrasts…a land that drew me like a magnet into its soul.” Author Richmond P. Hobson wrote these words in his classic book Grass Beyond the Mountains. So, it is no wonder that the culture and landscape of this vast region is reflected in our local art. After all, the First Nations people have been singing, drumming, and dancing around campfires for thousands of years. In the visual arts, Emily Carr roamed the region by cowpony in 1909 and was inspired to paint its landscape vistas. She wrote, “I can never love the Cariboo enough for all she gave me.” The Group of Seven’s A.Y. Jackson was equally infatuated, touring in 1914 and returning in the 1940s to produce works now displayed in galleries worldwide. Today, B.C. artist Mark Hobson is inspired by stunning Chilcotin landscapes, and also paints in central coast locations such as Calvert Island, to raise awareness about keeping our coastline pristine for generations to come. He and over fifty of Canada’s celebrated artists have published a book entitled Canada’s Raincoast at Risk: Art for an Oil-Free Coast. You’ll want to experience many of the region’s galleries, such as the Quesnel Art Gallery, one of central B.C.’s most exquisite hidden gems. Sometimes art galleries themselves are the display. Williams Lakes’ Station House Gallery is a restored 1920s railway station showcas- Michael Wigle ing pottery and weaving, among other visual arts. The Central Cariboo Arts Centre now houses several artisan groups in a decommissioned fire hall. Williams Lake also hosts its annual Artwalk, each August to September. Wells is a renowned artist retreat with galleries set amid heritage buildings and has a celebrated art school where vacationers can enroll in folk-art and music classes. The restored Sunset Theatre offers an array of professional theatre, music, film and retreats and itself has a remarkable story. Built originally in 1934, the Sunset Theatre showed movies, held town hall meetings and dances, and was once used as a morgue during the 1950s. Quesnel’s ARTrium hosts workshops with nationally recognized artists, as does Wells in late July during the popular Artswells Festival of All Things Art. Barkerville’s Theatre Royal features costumed interpreters so convincing one might have stepped into the 1860s. Williams Lake’s Studio Theatre Society has staged live theatre (October to June) for the past 58 years! Horsefly’s Arts on the Fly Festival presents music, dance, food and fun in equal measure, while Clinton’s War is a weeklong costume pageant dedicated to re-creating the Middle Ages “as they ought to have been.” The Cariboo is also home to “Camel” Dave Howell, who performs at festivals throughout the West — as does Frank Gleeson, the “Fastest Cowboy Poet of the West” and official cowboy poet of Williams Lake. ♦ more than just a pretty façade WELLS: Arts, History & Adventure in the Cariboo Goldfields 1-877-451-9355 www.wellsbc.com 1-877-451-9355 www.wells.ca | www.landwithoutlimits.com 105 1-800-663-5885 Highlights Sit down to an organic pastureto-plate steak, or artisan sausages – courtesy of all that hard work by local cowboys. Chilcotin ranchers continue to pioneer in the North American cattle industry with humane livestock management and sustainable ranching practices that replenish grazing lands while protecting wildlife and natural habitats. Wine lovers rejoice! Sample from a variety of award-winning wines found at Fort Berens Winery in Lillooet and Bonaparte Winery in Cache Creek. Trust us; you won’t leave without a bottle, or two! Pack your picnic hampers with delectable local honey, cherries, apples, plums and other goodies from the Bella Coola Farmers Market, held each Sunday, June through September. Birch Syrup? Take home this unique tasting specialty from Quesnel area producers. It’s a scrumptious topping for cheesecake, ice cream and tantalizing glaze for spare ribs, fish and vegetables. Your summer barbeque will be a hit with Birch BBQ Sauce too! Brad Kasselman/CoastPhoto.com Michael Bednar Cindy Phillips 106 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Brad McGuire/CCCTA Amy Thacker Agritourism aising cattle, bison, sheep, llamas, alpacas and growing crops is a sacred trust here. Local ranchers, farmers and specialty producers welcome visitors to share in the art, science and dedication of raising livestock and growing crops. Though not a major wine region, fertile soil and a hot south Cariboo climate creates ideal growing conditions for flavourful grapes, with two wineries to tempt the palate. The vines at Lillooet’s Fort Berens Estate Winery dig deep into soil enriched by 150 years of melon, tomato and alfalfa. Fort Berens won gold, silver and bronze at five 2012 international wine competitions including the Los Angeles International Wine and Spirits Competition. Cache Creek’s Bonaparte Bend Winery produces delightful aromatic fruit wines on a ranch founded by a young Irishman in 1862. Eating locally grown and raised food is vital to our health and well-being, especially when traveling, and it also helps to sustain the environment by avoiding long distance shipping of our food. Two north Cariboo organic producers invite you to experience the sweet and unique culinary taste of birch syrup tapped fresh from the tree! The birch syrup BBQ sauce is also an amazing delight. In the Chilcotin River Valley, overnight on a 1,600hec/3,954ac spread yielding organic produce and grass-fed meats from the ranch’s own abattoir. R Michael Bednar Sample regional tastes at agricultural fairs, festivals and farmers’ markets. At Quesnel’s Fall Fair the atmosphere is entertaining; be warned, the chili and beer-can chicken competitions are fierce. In late August, amateur chefs compete in the Master Garlic Chef CookOff at the South Cariboo Garlic Festival in Lac La Hache, where sampling tasty garlic treats is a must as foodies line up for garlic poutine, panini, gyoza, and more, while enjoying family fun and live music. Many local fairs also showcase youth 4-H competitions highlighting the importance, and rewards, of raising livestock, growing crops and acquiring life skills. Many communities host weekly Farmers’ Markets, often offering local arts and crafts. For example, visitors to Bella Coola’s market mingle with locals, stock up on fresh produce and sample regional specialties such as honey, giant prawns, Dungeness crab and salmon. Gourmands should keep their eyes peeled for farm gate offerings of sweet Walla Walla onions; tangy Russian red garlic and sun-loving Kentucky wonder yellow beans. Other operators around the region, including Bed & Breakfasts, open their barn doors so visitors can appreciate the fine art of “farming with the season” while sampling and purchasing local delicacies. Some also offer “Bed and Bale” if travelling with your equine companions. Restaurants and eateries here range from popular brand-name food chains along Gold Rush Trail routes, to more sophisticated dining options scattered throughout the region offering sumptuous meals made with fresh, indigenous ingredients. ♦ Lillooet Fort Berens ESTATE WINERY Award winning VQA wines Tasting room open daily www.fortberens.ca LILLOOET’S FIRST WINERY 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 107 Cindy Phillips Penrose Island Marine Provincial Park Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide 108 Endless sunsets ... paradise found 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 109 Directory Cariboo Passenger Buses for Adventure & Sightseeing Tours, Group Travel, Tradeshows Events & Special Occasions Adventure charters 84A Broadway Ave., Williams Lake, BC 250.305.2251 email@example.com www.adventurecharters.ca Thomas Drasdauskis Your premiere outdoor adventure destination for Moose, Mule Deer, Black Bear, Grizzly Bear & Wolves C A R I B O O M O U N TA I N OUTFITTERS Family owned & operated for over 30 years 778-786-0847 • 250-991-9233 Box 4010, Quesnel, BC V2J 3J2 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.cariboomountain.com D LAKE RESORT CROOKE Horseﬂy, BC Guided ATV wilderness tours ﬁshing • hunting • boating • photography and more Fully Serviced Cabins • RV Sites • Tenting Home Cooked Meals Available 1-866-614-1690 email@example.com A Rustic Cariboo Adventure Destination resort and casual dining on Quesnel Lake, the deepest fjord lake on earth, in the heart of the Cariboo Mountains. Full-service marina with self-guided or fully-guided trophy rainbow trout fishing. Cabins, guest rooms & RV sites. Affordable excellence. Drive in or fly in. 250.243.2433 firstname.lastname@example.org www.elysiaresort.com Step back in time to the 1860s Gold Rush! Historic Roadhouse Tours • Native Interpretation Site Stagecoach Rides • Gold Panning • Archery Guided Trail Rides • Licensed Restaurant • Gift Store Scenic RV and Tent Sites; cozy cabins, kekuli and teepees Open daily May through September Junction of Highways 97 & 99, 11 km north of Cache Creek www.hatcreekranch.ca Red Willow Guest Ranch We offer hours of undisturbed riding with or without a wrangler. Come try our hopsitality, horses and food. Riding without limits in the Cariboo. See you at the campfire! www.redwillowranch.com email@example.com Lone Butte, BC phone: 1.250.395.3017 / cell 1.250.945.4715 110 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Cariboo Spring Lake Ranch A beautiful and affordable guest ranch near 100 Mile House. Log cabins, scenic trail rides for beginners and the more experienced. 10,000 aces of range surrounding a private lake. Open year round. 15 km from HWY 97 at 111 Mile. 5770 Spring Lake Rd. 1-877-791-5776 or 250-791-5776 info@springlakeranchcom www.springlakeranch.ca Close to nature. Far from crowds. Coast 15th Annual July 18-20, 2014 Bella Coola, BC an intimate, multi-cultural, family-focused experience www.bellacoolamusic.org directory ad Spring Lake ranch The Wells Hotel A heritage country inn, pub and café near Barkerville & Bowron Lake with Wifi & Hot Tub PO Box 39 Wells BC V0K 2R0 1-800-860-2299 wellshotel.com firstname.lastname@example.org Kopas Store A beautiful and affordable guest ranch Listings Canyon Creek Campground & RV Park 39035 Hwy 97 South, PO Box 390, Hixon, B.C., VOK 1S0 P: 250-998-4384 E: email@example.com W: www.canyoncreekcampground.com Cheryl Chapman – Aboriginal Affects ‘Building & Sharing Connections’ P: 250-267-8063 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Moosehaven Resort 7563 Pettyjohn Road, Lone Butte, B.C., V0K 1X3 P: 250-593-2300 TF: 1-888-744-2271 E: moosehaven@BCwireless.com W: www.moosehavenresort.com Ponderosa Resort PO Box 32, Canim Lake, B.C., V0K 1J0 P: 250-397-2243 E: email@example.com W: www.ponderosaresort.com Ramada Ltd. 100 Mile House 917 Alder Avenue, 100 Mile House, B.C., V0K 2E0 P: 250-395-2777 TF: 1-877-395-2777 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.ramanda.com near 100 Mile House. Log cabins, scenic trail rides for beginners and the more experienced. Chilcotin 10,000 aces of range surrounding a private lake. Open year round. 15 km from HWY 97 at 111 Mile. 5770 Spring Lake Rd. 1-877-791-5776 or 250-791-5776 info@springlakeranchcom www.springlakeranch.ca Close to nature. Far from crowds. 1/4 page ad “Horse Riding ~ Hiking ~ History ~Home Cooking ~ Art Studio/Gallery ~ with Chilcotin Hospitality Tatlayoko’s Homathko River Inn B&B The Inn is located 3 hours west on Hwy 20, when at the Tatla Junction, turn south down Tatlayoko Road. Connie Bracewell 250 476 1131 or e-mail email@example.com 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 111 Regional Tourism Information Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association 1-800-663-5885 www.landwithoutlimits.com www.Facebook.com/ CaribooChilcotinCoast Twitter: @CarChiCoa www.youtube.com/theCCCTA General Information Cariboo www.cariboord.bc.ca www.southcaribootourism.com www.tourismwilliamslake.com www.tourismquesnel.com www.wellsbc.com www.exploregoldcountry.com www.lillooetbc.ca www.village.clinton.bc.ca www.fishinghighway24.com Weather Info www.weatheroffice.gc.ca BC Driving Conditions www.drivebc.ca 1-800-550-4997 BC Wildfire Travel Advisories www.bcwildfire.ca BC Provincial Park Info www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks Chilcotin www.visitthewestchilcotin.com www.chilcotin.bc.ca Coast www.bellacoola.ca www.ccrd-bc.ca B.C. visitor centres provide friendly service from professionally trained staff with local knowledge. Get accurate information about attractions, activities and events to help you make informed travel plans. They also assist with reservations for accommodations and sightseeing tours and provide current travel advice for your area of visitation. Camping & Touring Info Lillooet Visitor Centre www.camping.bc.ca 790 Main Street, Lillooet www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca P: 1-250-256-4308 www.campingrvbc.com E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.travelbritishcolumbiacanada.com W: www.lillooetbc.ca www.northtoalaska.com 100 Mile House Visitor Centre 155 Airport Road, 100 Mile House Fishing, Hunting, Wildlife Info TF: 1-877-511-5353 www.goabc.org E: email@example.com www.bcfroa.ca W: www.southcaribootourism.com www.fishing.gov.bc.ca Williams Lake Visitor Centre www.gofishbc.com 1660 South Broadway, Williams Lake www.bearaware.bc.ca/bears TF: 1-877-967-5253 www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/wildlife/ E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.tourismwilliamslake.com More Sector-Specific Websites www.ridethecariboo.com www.wellsbarkervilletrails.com www.marketplacebc.com www.rodeobc.com www.bcheritage.ca/cariboo www.GoldRushTrail.ca www.bcgeocaching.com www.geocaching.com www.bcguestranches.com www.bcbackcountry.ca www.canadatrails.ca/bc Quesnel Visitor Centre 703 Carson Avenue, Quesnel TF: 1-800-992-4922 E : email@example.com W : www.tourismquesnel.com Wells Visitor Centre 11900 Hwy 26, Box 123, Wells TF: 1-877-451-9355 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.wellsbc.com Provincial Hello BC Destination BC Consumer Website www.helloBC.com Aboriginal Tourism BC www.aboriginalbc.com Neighboring Region Visitor Centres Kamloops Visitor Centre 1290 West Trans Canada Hwy TF: 1-800-662-1994 E: email@example.com W: www.tourismkamloops.com Prince George Visitor Centre 1300 First Avenue, Prince George TF: 1-800-668-7646 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.tourismpg.com Port Hardy Visitor Centre 7250 Market Street, Port Hardy TF: 1-866-427-3901 E: email@example.com W: www.ph-chamber.bc.ca Thomas Drasdauskis 112 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide Travel Information International Visitors to Canada International visitors to Canada (not U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents) must carry a valid passport and, if required, a visa. Visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website www.cic.gc.ca for a complete listing of countries whose citizens require visas to enter Canada. All other visitors should contact their Canadian consulate or embassy to learn what documents are required. To learn more about Canadian customs regulations, visit the Canada Border Services Agency website www.cbsa.gc.ca. or visit www.goingtocanada.gc.ca for more information. Bus Travel Greyhound offers scheduled services for communities along Hwy 97. The company also has connections to cities and towns throughout Canada and the U.S. www.greyhound.ca | TF: 1-800-661-8747 Ferry Travel Schedules for Inside Passage service routes to Central Coast communities and Prince Rupert in Northern British Columbia were unknown at press time due to recent and significant scheduling changes in BC Ferry services. For current route schedules, please check with BC Ferries. www.bcferries.ca | TF: 1-888-223-3779 Rail Travel The Rocky Mountaineer’s Rainforest to Gold Rush route travels from Whistler to Jasper, Alberta, through the historic Cariboo Gold Rush region, with an overnight stop in Quesnel. www.rockymountaineer.com | TF: 1-877-460-3200 Air Travel Pacific Coastal Airlines services Williams Lake, Anahim Lake, Bella Coola, Klemtu and Bella Bella and Shearwater. www.pacificcoastal.com | TF: 1-800-663-2872 Central Mountain Air services Williams Lake and Quesnel. www.flycma.com | TF: 1-888-865-8585 Firearms in Canada For information regarding the importation of firearms to Canada, contact the Canadian Firearms Centre TF: 1-800-731- 4000 from anywhere in Canada or the U.S. P: 1-506- 624-5380 from other locations www.cfc-cafc.gc.ca. Watercraft Regulations All Canadians must have proof of operator competency on board at all times. For more information visit Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety online or call the safe boating line. www.tc.gc.ca | TF: 1-800-267-6687 Recreational Vehicle Operation Operators of recreational vehicles in B.C. are required to comply with evolving provincial regulations. To ensure you are aware of current updates and requirements in your area, review websites regularly. www.tti.gov.bc.ca/tourism/orv | TF: 1-250-356-0104 Visitor Info Booths Gold Bridge Tourist / Visitor Info Booth 104 Haylmore Ave, Gold Bridge P: 1-250-238-2534 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.bridgerivervalley.ca Cache Creek Tourist / Visitor Info Booth 1270 Stage Road, Cache Creek TF: 1-888-457-7661 E: email@example.com Horsefly Tourist / Visitor Info Booth Jack Lynn Memorial Museum on Boswell Street P: 1-250-620-0544 (Seasonal) or 1-250-620-3440 (winter) E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.horsefly.bc.ca Likely Tourist / Visitor Info Booth Cedar Point Provincial Park, Likely P: 1-250-790-2207 or 1-250-790-2459 E: email@example.com W: www.likely-bc.ca Alexis Creek / Visitor Info Booth Hwy 20 in Alexis Creek P: 1-250-394-4900 (Seasonal: May – September) Tatla Lake / Visitor Roadside Kiosk Hwy 20, Tatla Lake Nimpo Lake / Visitor Roadside Kiosk Hwy 20, Nimpo Lake Anahim Lake / Visitor Roadside Kiosk Hwy 20, Anahim Lake Bella Coola Tourist / Visitor Info Booth Norwegian Heritage House, 1881 Hwy 20, Hagensborg TF: 1-866-799-5202 (Seasonal: June – September) E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.bellacoola.ca Emergency Information Drive B.C. - Highway information 1- 800-550-4997 Emergency: Police, Fire, Ambulance 911* Bella Coola Ambulance 1-800-461-9911 Bella Coola Police 1-250-799-5363 Poison Helpline 1-800-567-8911 Provincial Emergency Preparedness 1-800-663-3456 Report a Forest Fire 1-800-663-5555 Report All Poachers and Polluters 1-877-952-7277 (*not accessible in remote backcountry areas, dial “0” for operator) 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 113 Glossary Cariboo • Cariboo A region of British Columbia set along a plateau that stretches from the Fraser Canyon to the Cariboo Mountains. The name is derived from a mountain species of caribou once numerous in the region. • Central Cariboo The area of the Cariboo that extends from Lac la Hache in the south to north of McLeese Lake, and from the Fraser River Bridge west of Williams Lake to the Cariboo Mountains east of Likely and Horsefly. • South Cariboo The area of the Cariboo that extends from the height of land west of Hwy. 5’s Little Fort to the Fraser River west of Clinton, and from Hwy. 99 at Lillooet in the south to Lac la Hache on Hwy. 97 in the north. • North Cariboo The area extending from south of Quesnel near Kersley to Hixon on Hwy. 97, and from the Nazko and Blackwater rivers in the west to the goldfields of the Cariboo Mountains and the Bowron Lake chain in the east. • Carrier The Carrier language is a northern Athabaskan language. It is named after the Dakelh First Nations of the central Interior of B.C., for whom Carrier is the usual English name. • Lac la Hache There are many stories to explain how this lake was named. According to one account, it is named after a French-Canadian trapper who lost his only hatchet when chopping a hole in the frozen lake. • Lillooet Adapted from the proper name for the Lower St’at’imc (statlee-um) people, the Lil’wat of Mount Currie. Lil’wat means “wild onions.” • Quesnel (kwe-nel) This city name is the legacy of Jules Maurice Quesnelle, a lieutenant on Simon Fraser’s epic 1808 portage-cum-whitewater exploration of the Fraser River. • Xatśūll (hats’ull) The Soda Creek/Deep Creek Band of the Secwepemc Nation, located in the Cariboo. In the Shuswap language, Soda Creek is called Xatśūll , while Deep Creek is Cmetem. Xatśūll means “on the cliff where the bubbling water comes out”. of the Athabaskan-speaking aboriginal peoples in B.C. The name Tsilhqot’in means “people of the red-ochre river.” • Tsy?los (SYE-loss) Ts’il?os is the official B.C. Parks designation for this provincial park, though sometimes it is written as Ts’il-os, Ts’yl-os or Tsylos. The “?” in the name represents a glottal stop. The park is part of the traditional territory of the Xeni’ Gwet’in First Nation. • Xeni’ Gwet’in (honey-ko-teen) The First Nation of the Nemiah Valley is one of six Tsilhqot’in communities. Coast • Coast The B.C. Coast is Canada’s western continental coastline on the Pacific Ocean. For the purpose of this guide, we are referring to the area from Rivers Inlet in the south to the southern half of Princes Royal Island in the north, and from the eastern boundary of Tweedsmuir Provincial Park and west to Queens, Milbanke, Loredo and Caamano sounds. • Heiltsuk (hel-sic) The First Nations descendants of tribal groups who came together in Bella Bella in the 19th century, after which they became popularly known as the Bella Bella Indians. • Bella Bella An adaption of the Heiltsuk First Nation name for its own people. • Bella Coola The former name of the local First Nation; these indigenous peoples now call themselves Nuxalk (nu-halk). • Klemtu, from the Coast Tsimshian word klemdoo-oolk, meaning “impassable”. Chilcotin • Chezacut “Birds without feathers” in the Chilcotin language. • Chilcotin The name refers to the Chilcotin region, which the Chilcotin First Nation traditionally inhabited and still numerically dominate; this territory largely consists of a plateau set between the Coast Range in the west and the Fraser River in the east. • Oolichan (or eulachon) A small type of B.C. smelt valued by First Nations because they are the first fresh food source to return to native communities after the long winter. Oolichan oil is also used as a medicine. • Tatlayoko (tatlahco) This lake is also called Talhiqox Biny (“biny lake”) by the Tsilhqot’in peoples of Xeni. • The Tsilhqot’in (tseelh-coht-een), along with the Chilcotin, Tsilhqut’in, Tsinlhqot’in, Chilkhodin, Tsilkótin and Tsilkotin, are the most southern Growing Tourism 2014 Tourism Summit & AGM Hosted by the City of Quesnel An event not to be missed! Save the dates October 3-5, 2014 www.landwithoutlimits.com email@example.com 114 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide 1-800-663-5885 | www.landwithoutlimits.com 115 116 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Travel & Touring Guide