Hop on a floatplane to explore untamed wilderness and backcountry adventure, or find a serene path closer to civilization. Regardless, the Chilcotin offers hikers incredible scenery – snowy peaks footed by glacial lakes, flower-filled meadows in the alpine regions and a plateau of basaltic lava (including the Rainbow Mountains which form an enormous dome of eroded lava and fragmented rock that presents an astonishing spectrum of reds, oranges, yellows, and lavenders) for some of British Columbia’s most diverse hiking views.
Anahim Lake (Various)
Kappan Mountain Lookout Trail (3.6 km/2.2 mi, Moderate/Strenuous): A rugged backcountry destination offering elevated views contrasting the rugged Coast Mountains against the Chilcotin plateau, as well as views of Kappan Mountain, Kappan and Hotnarko Lakes, Anahim Peak, Hunlen Falls, and Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. The trail takes about 2-3 hours to reach the top. Don’t underestimate difficulty as there is 553 meters (0.34 mi) of elevation gain. Access via Kappan Mountain Road just west of Anahim Lake Airport and approximately 23 km/14 mi to the trailhead on the south side of the road.
Precipice Rimrock (Hotnarko Falls) Trail (Short, Easy): Hike along the edge of “The Precipice,” with basalt cliffs and pillars and beautiful viewscapes leading to Hotnarko Falls. The best view of the waterfalls can be reached by following a trail to the north along the edge of the precipice. From Anahim Lake, head west on Highway 20 and turn left after Anahim Lake Airport onto Kappan Mountain Road. After 5 km (3 mi), turn right onto Beeftrail Road, then just before 12 km / 7.5 mi turn left onto Hotnarko Road (shortly after the “19 km” marker) for 3.4 km/2.1 mi to the parking area.
Junction Sheep Range, Riske Creek | Grant Harder
Junction Sheep Range Provincial Park (Various)
Explore various day-hike options overlooking the junction of the Fraser and Chilcotin Rivers. Various wildlife inhabit the park, including bighorn sheep, birds and snakes. Get to the park by travelling 20 km (12 mi) to the bottom of the canyon from Highway 20, south of Riske Creek.
Potato Mountain Trails (Various)
Crest Route (15 km/9 mi, Moderate): Begins at the end of a rough four-wheel-drive road near the north end of Tatlayoko Lake, ending at Bracewell’s Wilderness Lodge.
North Potato Trail (6 km/4 mi, Moderate): This trail branches off the Potato Crest Trail and leads to a small subalpine lake with 100 m (330 ft) elevation gain.
Potato Mountain Trail (9 km/6 mi, Moderate): This moderately strenuous full-day hike has a steady uphill grade, with short steep sections but will reward you with wonderful views of the Tatlayoko Valley and interesting alpine ecosystems.
Access to the trails begins about 40 km (25 mi) south of Tatla Lake on Tatlayoko Rd.
Puntzi Lake Trails (Various, Easy)
Approximately 9 km (6 mi) of trails extending south of the lake, weaving through the forest and around a marsh. Minimal elevation gain.
South Chilcotin mountains Provincial Park [Various]
This visually-spectacular area provides views of mid elevation grasslands, sub alpine and alpine meadows, alpine lakes and mountain peaks. The park encompasses the watersheds of Lizard and Leckie Creeks and portions of other watersheds and headwaters. Discover broad valleys and ridges with more than 200 km (124 mi) of trails through valleys, meadows and along ridges for a variety of trips – varying in difficulty and distance. Here are a few top trails to explore:
Lizard Lake via Lizard Creek Trail (76 km/47 mi, Strenuous): A multi-day out and back trail near Squamish-Lillooet Regional, great for backpacking and fishing.
Spruce Lake via Gun Creek Trail (16 km/10 mi, Strenuous): Point-to-point trail that is beautiful all year round.
Open Heart Trail (8 km/5 mi, Moderate): Terrific day hike option with panoramic views of Gun Creek and Tyaughton Creek valleys.
Graveyard Cabin via Relay Creek Trail (12 km/7.5 mi): An superb trail that climbs up to the alpine and a few creek crossings.
Tatla Lake Community Trails (Various, Easy/Moderate)
Find over 17 km (11 mi) of trails starting from the townsite, including everything from alpine flowers to rugged terrain and stunning views.
Ts’ilʔos Provincial Park (Various)
Tchaikazan-Yohetta Trail (4-6 days, Moderate): A popular backcountry hike that heads west through the Tchaikazan Valley and then back through the Yohetta Valley, linking together through Spectrum Pass and by Dorothy Lake. Access is via Highway 20, then south on Chilko Lake Road from Hanceville.
Tullin Mountain Trail (12 km/7 mi, Moderate): An excellent day hike beginning at the Gwa Da Ts’ih campground, offering an elevation gain of 730 m (2,400 feet).
Hunlen Falls – Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, BC | Kari Medig
Tweedsmuir Provincial Park (Various)
Rainbow Range | Tyler Cave
Hunlen Creek & Falls (4-6 days or via floatplane, Strenuous): No water is available along this route, so you’ll have to pack in your own or bring a purifier, but an incredible experience to see Canada’s highest free-falling waterfall. Start at Young Creek Picnic Site in Tweedsmuir Park. Upon reaching Hunlen Falls and Turner Lake, feel free to explore further, but ensure you are properly equipped and aware of wildlife in the area.
Rainbow Range (Assorted, Moderate/Strenuous): An exceptionally beautiful hiking experience due to the volcanic mountains creating layers of red, yellow and magenta. Nearly unlimited routes, most are above the treeline, with lakes and meadows for backcountry camping. Head to Heckman Pass on Highway 20 and take the road for Octopus Lake to the trailhead.
Discover more fantastic hiking trails throughout the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, or download a travel guide to help plan your next adventure.
Respecting Communities and Cultures while hiking in the Land Without Limits
When travelling through our beautiful Land Without Limits, some undesignated hiking trails and backcountry routes will take you through Indigenous community areas. If possible, ask if you are permitted to hike through their land before you arrive. If you plan to take photos of buildings, art, artifacts or people, kindly ask permission first. By respecting the communities and culture you visit during your journey, you help make the experience a positive one for all involved.
Responsible Hiking in the Land Without Limits
No matter where you are hiking throughout the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, use the following tips to ensure a safe and successful experience:
Never attempt a trail that is too difficult for your capabilities;
Carry the appropriate gear and supplies for the length of hike;
Pack extra clothing for changes in weather conditions or an unexpected overnight stay;