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Fall Colours Tour: Canim Lake & The Interlakes

Three – Five Days

Circle Route: 100 Mile House – Canim Lake & the Interlakes – Highway 24 – Highway 97 – 70 Mile House

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If you want to indulge in your favourite active pastime, whether it is walking, cycling, riding, birding, canoeing, fishing or golfing, the south Cariboo’s lovely autumn scenery will add an extra dimension. An unspoilt, colourful countryside is there to be enjoyed in almost any way you choose.

In autumn, the colours change slowly from green to shades of red and bronze, turning golden and leaving a golden carpet along the trail. As the green summer foliage shrinks back, new views and vistas open up to offer photographers and explorers stunning scenes during warm and dry days. While the nights are cool, the starry sky seems all the more brilliant, with the northern lights paying more frequent visits.

The hundreds of south Cariboo lakes are particularly bewitching at this time of year, shining like mercury, lying as mirrors to the clouds and blue sky, and reflecting the colourful golden and crimson of the woods. Resorts, lodges and B&B’s throughout the area provide facilities ranging from primitive to luxurious.

Fall Colours Tour Canim Lake

DAY ONE

Distance: 100 Mile House to Canim Lake Area – 39 km (40 minutes)

Directions: North on Hwy 97, east on the Canim Lake Road

Points of Interest:

100 Mile House

100 Mile House is the service centre for the South Cariboo and features many excellent restaurants and accommodations. For some autumn bird watching, just west of the town’s information centre is a peaceful, eight-hectare wetland marsh. If you’ve arrived late and would like to recuperate, Days Inn 100 Mile House is a great choice.

Forest Grove

A small community 20 km east of Highway 97. Take the north fork at the three-way stop for a 9 km side trip to Ruth Lake Provincial Park to find a picnic site with a nice sandy beach. If you’re ready to stop and stay for a while to explore, Ruth Lake Lodge Resort is perfect for an overnight stay.

Canim Lake Area

This large, 37-kilometre-long lake surrounded by rugged hills and mountains is located 16 km east of Forest Grove and 36 km east of Hwy 97. There are many family-oriented resorts and some great fall fishing, hiking and canoeing spots. Archeologists studying native pictographs and ancient pit houses in the area suggest that Plains Indigenous People came to this area after their prairie buffalo had been depleted. They found the fishing to be great and the wildlife plentiful, which means nothing much has changed. Feel free to spend the night (or stay for a while) at Canim Lake Resort,  South Point Resort or Kayanara Guest Ranch and Resort.

Canim, Mahood and Deception Falls

Travel 24 km on South Canim Lake Road to the junction of the Interlakes connector. Take a side-trip on the northeast fork, 6 km to a forestry pull-out, and a short, pleasant walk to spectacular Canim and Mahood Falls. Just beyond these falls is Mahood Lake, part of Wells Gray Provincial Park, and a longer hike to Deception Falls.

Fall Colours Tour Fawn Lake

DAY TWO

Distance: Canim Lake to the Interlakes Area (1 hour)

Directions: South on the gravel Interlake connector from South Canim Lake Road. To avoid the gravel road, return to 100 Mile House from Canim, head south on Hwy 97 to 93 Mile, and then east on Hwy 24 through Lone Butte to the Interlakes.

Points of Interest:

Hathaway Sulphurous and Horse Lakes

Take the south fork at the junction of the South Canim Lake Road and the Interlakes connector for a good gravel road to Hathaway, Sulphurous and Horse Lakes. The road leads to the Interlakes area at Sheridan Lake. If this is where you’d like to stop and explore, check out Moosehaven Resort & Campground or Hathaway Lake Resort.

The Fishing Highway, Hwy. 24

Highway 24 offers a scenic autumn drive east of Hwy 97 at 93 Mile, 97 kilometres to Little Fort on the Yellowhead Hwy. Highway 24, known as “The Fishing Highway,” accesses the Interlakes, a realm of over 100 lakes, all within an hour’s drive. The highway follows the historic Fur Brigade Trail. As the name suggests, the fishing is great; for rainbow, brook, and lake trout, burbot and kokanee. Interlakes-area resorts and shops can supply you with all your fishing needs. Canoeing is also excellent here, and the guest ranches are plentiful if you’re looking to go for a ride. There is a longer, more in-depth tour you can take of this region, for more details we recommend starting here.

Sheridan Lake

Well known for its trophy fishing, Sheridan Lake offers the opportunity to catch rainbow trout. Take your time and enjoy a stay at Sheridan Lake Resort, Loon Bay Resort or at nearby Fawn Lake Resort.

Bridge Lake

From Sheridan, head east to Bridge Lake and then on to Lac Des Roches. Bridge Lake is a beautiful recreational lake 51 km east of Hwy. 97 and Cottonwood Bay Resort is a perfect place for an overnight stay.

Lac des Roches

The 14 km long lake is one of the most photographed lakes in BC. There is a picturesque view of the lake, with its neat little islands and narrow channels, from the Macdonald Summit rest area at the lakes east end. The lake is known for its fly hatch – the fly fishing is top-notch, so if you’d like to spend more time here the amenities at Lac Des Roches Resort are ideal.

Green Lake Flying U Ranch

DAY THREE

Distance: The Interlakes to 100 Mile House (1 – 2 hours)

Direction: Return west on Highway 24 to Hwy 97, north to 100 Mile House

Points of Interest:

Lone Butte

Ten kilometres east of Hwy. 97, Lone Butte was once the Cariboo’s largest town and, as a BC Rail station, a busy centre for ranchers. The plug of an ancient volcano, a columnar basalt that was formed within a prehistoric volcano six million years ago, provides the town’s name and the village boasts the last standing water tower along the rail line. Visitors can drive west of Lone Butte to Highway 97 and then north to 100 Mile House or take the Watch Lake/Green Lake Drive south to 70 Mile House, before heading north on Highway 97.

Watch Lake/Green Lake Drive

A beautiful side-trip in autumn, with the golden leaves of the trembling aspen and larch lining the roadway. Horseback riding is available, and watch for eagle, osprey and loons. The 15 km long Green Lake gets its greenish hues, and thus its name, from algae and other microorganisms for a stunning backdrop to fall photography. This alternate return route takes you south of Lone Butte and west to 70 Mile House, before returning north to 100 Mile. Accommodations in this area include Watch Lake Lodge, Flying U Ranch, and Wind and the Pillows B&B.

70 Mile House

Historic roadhouse location and one of the first stopping places on the Cariboo Waggon Road, 70 Mile House is 42 kilometres south of 100 Mile House. From here, you can continue exploring the Cariboo or South Chilcotin, or head home full of memories and photos of your remarkable trip to the Interlakes.

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