Cari­boo Chilcotin Coast

Super Camping - - CONTENTS -

1. Kaya­nara Guest Ranch & Re­sort, Ea­gle Creek, pages 40 & 56

The Cari­boo

This is a land born of dreams of dis­cov­ery, yel­low dust and in­stant riches, with the “Cari­boo Gold Rush Trail” travers­ing through this re­gion. In 1862, Billy Barker struck gold near Bark­erville on Wil­liams Creek, which started a rush of adventurers from around the globe travers­ing the dif­fi­cult ter­rain of this now fa­mous Gold Rush Trail, be­gins in New West­min­ster in the south, to its ter­mi­nus in Bark­erville – a Na­tional His­toric Site and home to 150 re­stored 1860’s build­ings. The rush for gold ex­plo­ration, pan­ning and min­ing are still ac­tive to­day. Vis­i­tors from around the world still fol­low in the foot­steps of prior ex­pe­di­tions. In­ter­est­ing road­houses and mu­se­ums still stand where stage­coaches once stopped. High­way 97, the main north/south cor­ri­dor through the re­gion, is also the key north to Alaska route. Plan your fam­ily ad­ven­ture this sum­mer and in­clude sum­mer fes­ti­vals, wa­ter­sports, moun­tain bik­ing, hik­ing and wildlife view­ing ac­tiv­i­ties along the way.

The Chilcotin

Ac­cessed by road on High­way 20 (The Free­dom Hwy) or by sea on the North­ern Sea Wolf from Van­cou­ver Is­land to Bella Coola, the Chilcotin is a land of dra­matic scenery, rugged land­scapes and thick forests. Here, BC’s high­est moun­tain, Mount Wadding­ton, rises 4,016 me­ters. The jagged cen­tral coast Moun­tain peaks in the Chilcotin are cov­ered in vast ice fields and wide alpine meadows, grad­u­ally soft­en­ing into large val­leys, rolling foothills, pine cov­ered forests, lakes and rivers and the grass­lands of the Chilcotin Plateau. Along the way dis­cover some of the best fish­ing lakes and rivers to be found in North Amer­ica. Nimpo Lake op­er­a­tors of­fer fabulous float plane sight­see­ing tours and fly-in fish­ing trips. The trav­eller will ex­pe­ri­ence rolling semi-desert ter­rain, ex­quis­ite canyons, to flat grass­lands, river cross­ings and past lakes through moun­tains and old growth forests, to the ocean in­lets and fjords of BC’s Great Bear Rain­for­est.

The Coast

Once you reach the cen­tral coast you are met with 15,000 kilo­me­ters of awein­spir­ing coast­line scat­tered with fjords and in­lets, pris­tine beaches and rocky shores. Here is some of the world’s best salt­wa­ter fish­ing and wildlife view­ing of sea birds, whales, dol­phins, griz­zly bears and the sa­cred white Ker­mode, also known as the ‘Spirit Bear’. Get­ting there is an ex­cit­ing ad­ven­ture; with ac­cess by road along the Free­dom High­way (High­way 20) from Wil­liams Lake to Bella Coola, or by sea on the “North­ern Sea Wolf” ves­sel and route sched­ules. (See www. Hel­lobc.com for Cir­cle Route info and re­serve with www.bc­fer­ries.com well in ad­vance for ferry ser­vice to and from Bella Coola).

North/South High­way Cor­ri­dor, (Hwy 97) - Ac­cess Hwy 26 to Bark­erville

This main north/south cor­ri­dor, trav­els through the Cari­boo, much of it along the same route as the Cari­boo Wagon Road and Gold Rush Trail of days gone by. At Cache Creek, the Tran­sCanada High­way (Hwy 1) veers east to­ward Kam­loops, while a con­tin­ued north­ward jour­ney takes you onto High­way 97. A few kilo­me­tres north of Cache Creek, stop at Hat Creek Ranch His­toric Site for some Gold Rush His­tory. Con­tinue north to the many lakes and rivers of the Cari­boo. Visit Clin­ton, 100 Mile House, Wil­liams Lake and Ques­nel with the link to Hwy 26 for Bark­erville. Why not plan to veer east and west from th­ese com­mu­ni­ties into the back­coun­try to dis­cover wa­ter­sports, hik­ing, horse­back rid­ing and bik­ing ad­ven­tures. This is also your north to Alaska route. There are many RV and camp­ing op­tions avail­able along this route.

The Fish­ing High­way (Hwy 24)

Start­ing from the east at Lit­tle Fort, the junc­tion of High­ways 5 and 24, this route branches and ex­its two ways onto High­way 97; via the 70 Mile House junc­tion; or via 93 Mile House. High­way 24, known as “The Fish­ing High­way”. The Fish­ing High­way through Cari­boo’s In­ter­lakes Re­gion ac­cesses a tran­quil and beau­ti­ful area of re­sorts, B&B’s, guest ranches, rolling hills of pine and alder forests, and boasts over 250 lakes teem­ing with rain­bow trout, lake trout and koka­nee. If you’re not fish­ing, the drive it­self is well worth tak­ing for the scenery alone! In ad­di­tion to fish­ing, other ac­tiv­i­ties in the area in­clude swim­ming and wa­ter­sports, horse­back rid­ing, ATVing, bik­ing & hik­ing, wildlife view­ing, and snow­mo­bil­ing the Gold Rush Snow­mo­bile Trail in win­ter.

The Free­dom High­way (Hwy 20)

The Chilcotin back­bone is High­way

20, also known as the “The Free­dom High­way” and is a key por­tion of the “Dis­cov­ery Coast” cir­cle tour route. (See Cir­cle Driv­ing Routes on www.Hel­lobc.com). It tra­verses 456 km

(274 mi) from Wil­liams Lake to Bella Coola, and is the only link from BC’s In­te­rior to the Cen­tral Coast, pass­ing Far­well Canyon on the Chilcotin

Plateau to­ward the Coast Moun­tains, Tweedsmuir Pro­vin­cial Park and the Bella Coola Valley. High­way 20 is well worth tak­ing a few days to drive with sev­eral stops of in­ter­est in­clud­ing Nimpo Lake. The only un­paved sec­tion of the high­way (57 km/36mi) con­sists of well-main­tained gravel from Anahim Lake to the bot­tom of “The Hill” (up to 18% grade) into the Bella Coola Valley. It is rec­om­mended that you use a de­tailed back­coun­try map for off High­way 20 travel into the pris­tine wilder­ness of ar­eas such as the Nemiah Valley and stun­ning Chilko Lake.

More In­for­ma­tion: www.travel-british-columbia.com www.land­with­out­lim­its.com www.gol­drush­trail.ca www.fish­inghigh­way24.com www.hel­lobc.com

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