Cariboo Gold Rush Trail
Cariboo country stretches from Cache Creek in the south, north to Hixon and Stoner, 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 non-indigenous people, playing a significant role in the early settlement of the province. Explore networks of biking, hiking and walking trails; hear the mystical call of a loon and seek out our 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 the many festivals that embrace a variety of cultural celebrations in our lively communities. The heavily forested North Cariboo, where the major goldfields were located, was once the most settled and powerful district in B.C.’s Interior.
The Central Cariboo has geography ranging from a rare inland rainforest and mountain lakes to arid, lava-formed canyons. The South Cariboo consists of rolling grasslands, pine and aspen forests, semi-arid desert views, tranquil lakes and granite-walled river gorges. All which make up the Cariboo portion of the Gold Rush Trail, sprinkled with pioneer cabins, clusters of Indian paintbrush and trout-filled waters. In the 1860s, this region was home to a rush that brought gold seekers from all corners of the world. Mining towns and roadhouses sprang up almost overnight and today, the legends from that era remain. Evidence of this raucous heritage endures in places like Historic Hat Creek, 108 Mile Heritage Site, Cottonwood House, and Barkerville Historic Town & Park, a National Historic Site, where the Cariboo Gold Rush is re-created in 1860s detail.
Outdoor recreational opportunities abound in the Cariboo, renowned for its mountain biking, hiking and fishing, as well as for geocaching, wildlife-viewing, Nordic 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 rodeos, including one of Canada’s largest, the Williams Lake Stampede.