Where do you find your happy space? For many travellers, it’s the chance to get away from it all while taking in experiences that will resonate for years in their hearts and minds.
A place like the Cariboo, in other words.
Whether your explorations are rooted in ancient traditions or modern pastimes, here you’re free to explore, to live and to breathe it all in.
Come explore with us!
Pack your tent or RV
Autumn is a fantastic time for camping in the Cariboo. Against a backdrop of changing leaves, days dawn crisp and refreshing before warming up – but not too much – for a mid-day hike. Start or finish by casting your line in one of the numerous local lakes and rivers for a fresh catch that will be perfectly prepared over the evening campfire or camp stove.
Nights are perfect for cosying up around a campfire, or gas fire ring where summer fire bans persist, enjoying a starry sky distinct from anything you’ll see when surrounded by city lights.
From 100 Mile House in the south through to Williams Lake, Quesnel and Wells farther north, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to camping options – everything from a mountain park with all the amenities to more rustic away-from-it-all options.
Whether you have a must-visit destination in mind, or are looking for a little inspiration, start with a look at Explore Cariboo’s interactive camping page and map, where you can search by destination, site type, or amenities like “trails” or “fishing lakes.” Click on the icon and you’ll receive a detailed description of the area, amenities and contact information.
If only planning every camping trip was this easy!
Don’t forget the bikes
Cooler fall temperatures also offer so many options for exploring. It’s no surprise that the Cariboo’s numerous lakes and rivers make it a must-visit destination for anglers but for those whose happy space involves dry land, hiking, mountain biking and golf are also celebrated adventures, in a dramatic landscape of open skies, grasslands, mountain and forest.
Families will love a weekend getaway to explore 100 Mile House’s biking trail network, or Desous Mountain campground near Williams Lake, which links to the nearby mountain bike trail network. Others who don’t need to worry about “non-school days” can take advantage of those quieter mid-week trails to explore Desous, or venture north to Quesnel’s Dragon Mountain and Wonderland trail network, featuring fantastic single-track options near Dragon Lake.
Rides continue through the Cariboo Regional District and on to the Wells and Barkerville region.
Here, of course, on a “rest day” from tackling the network of trails, you can also explore the historic Gold Rush towns of Wells and Barkerville, a living history museum and National Historic Site.
Explore a rich and diverse past
While a starring attraction of the Cariboo’s heritage network, Barkerville is just one of many possibilities for those fascinated by history. Other nearby destinations include the Quesnel Museum and Archives, whose exhibits explore the region’s rich and diverse history, and the fully operational blacksmith shop and sawmill at the Antique Machinery Park in South Quesnel, open during special events or by appointment outside of peak times.
Heading south, the Xatśūll Heritage Village welcomes visitors through mid-October. Located along the mighty Fraser River, the award-winning site invites you to explore the history of the Secwépemc Nation and their traditional way of life through tours, activities and teepee accommodation. Traditional Northern Secwepemc cooking demonstrations and meals are also available when booked in advance.
Heritage and cultural explorations, outdoor adventures and camping also come together at Williams Lake First Nation, home to the Chief Will-Yum Campground, Heritage Site and RV Park, numerous mountain bike trails, and the Coyote Rock Golf Course.
In downtown Williams Lake, the Station House Gallery is the community’s oldest building and first designated heritage site – today an art gallery and gift shop. Across the street is the sustainability-focused Potato House Project, a heritage building that’s today home to community gardens, school programming and drive-through food waste composting.
And at the Visitor Centre in Williams Lake, the Museum of the Cariboo-Chilcotin is a must-visit destination whose vast collection explores the Cariboo’s Indigenous peoples, forest fire devastation and the Gold Rush and fur trade eras. Walk the spiral staircase for a 360-degree view of a massive tree climbing through the centre.
To find your happy space in the Cariboo, visit explorecariboo.com
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