Be part of the Gold Rush Days and come camping in Cariboo Chilcotin Coast. With over 100,000 square kilometres of land stretching from the foothills of the Cariboo Mountains in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, this is a land of lakes, rivers and forests. In the Cariboo, spruce and fir grow thick, and snow is deep and penetrating in the wintertime. Farther west, in the Chilcotin, the climate is drier and the vegetation more sparse. This is cowboy country and home to the highest concentration of guest ranches in the province.
From the Fraser River to the Coast Mountains is the rolling rangelands of the Chilcotin, a region of lakes and rivers, superb fishing and some of the world’s largest cattle ranches. Cariboo Chilcotin Coast boasts more than 8,000 lakes. Fish for trout in Loon, Canim (near 100 Mile House), Anahim, Nimpo, Puntzi (in Chilcotin) and Bonaparte (near Clinton) Lakes; or fish for kokanee salmon in Lac la Hache and trophy sized rainbow trout in Quesnel and Sheridan Lakes.
Fishing isn't the only activity that can be enjoyed in the area's sparkling waters. A host of watersports are available to the traveller. Boating, swimming, rafting and water skiing are all there for your enjoyment.
An abundance of wildlife dwells in the Cariboo Chilcotin a nature lover’s dream. See moose, deer, black bear, wolf and coyote. In the mountains live bighorn sheep, mountain goats, caribou, cougar and grizzly bears. The marshes along the coast are home to many varieties of waterfowl, and you will often see eagles soaring high above.
Experience the Wild West in cowboy country with roundups, barbecues and half day to six day trail rides on the open range. Take in a rodeo in Clinton, Riske Creek, Big Creek or Anahim Lake; for the biggest rodeo in the area, check out the Williams Lake Stampede on the July 1 weekend.
There are many buildings and markers along the Cariboo Trail to remind us of the days of the Gold Rush. The Cariboo Waggon Road was built in the 1860s when gold miners came from all over the world in search of their fortune. Along the same highway today, the aptly named Gold Rush Trail leads to adventure and unique entertainment. Roadhouses still stand where stagecoaches and their travellers once came to rest after a long, weary day. Start at Mile 0 in Lillooet. Visit the Jack Lynn Memorial Museum in Horsefly as well as other interesting museums along the way. Take in a square dance or an old time fiddler’s contest. Stop off at Cottonwood House, one of the last original roadhouses along the Cariboo Waggon Road.
Take a day trip to Western Canada’s most famous gold rush town, Barkerville, and relive the magic of the 1870s. Over 40 original buildings have been restored, and there are over 100 displays, professional shows, demonstrations and special events. Try panning for gold - you can still find real gold in Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region.
Head through the Coast Mountains to Bella Coola on the coast, where legends tell of the home of the Thunderbird. Tweedsmuir Park offers unforgettable hikes, waterfalls and fishing. At Bella Coola you can charter a boat to Mackenzie Rock in Dean Channel and see Alexander Mackenzie’s historic inscription. Fishing trips are also available from Bella Coola, Bella Bella and Ocean Falls.
Cariboo Chilcotin Coast is a different kind of camping vacation.