A broad collage of landscapes swathes the South Cariboo; often, touring by motorized vehicle is the best way to cover our large and diverse environment. Circle tours will take you through a variety of forested and non-forested areas with side trips to scenic lookouts, good swimming and fishing holes, or just relaxing picnic spots. View South Cariboo wildlife and scenery from the comfort of your own vehicle. The trips you can take include tours to visit the Canim-Mahood waterfalls, forestry lookouts, Painted Chasm and other Provincial Parks in the area.
The South Cariboo encompasses a vast forested plateau country dotted with open meadow lands, sparkling clear lakes, and rolling hills. By leaving the main highways, one can truly experience the natural beauty of the South Cariboo as well as the variety of activities. The four circle tours described here originate from the Visitor Centre in 100 Mile House located beside the World’s Largest X-Country Skis, and enable the traveller to enjoy a leisurely outing on some of the back roads of this scenic region.
Eagle Creek / Ruth Lake Tour
The Eagle Creek / Ruth Lake tour provides a pleasant afternoon trip featuring several of the beautiful lakes of this area. This 100-kilometre (three hour) tour first follows Bridge Creek through valley farmlands to Canim Lake and then turns northward as it climbs above this scenic lake. At Eagle Creek the route turns westward onto a good gravel road and snakes through quiet forests and small ranches around Hawkins Lake. The return leg skirts the shoreline of Ruth Lake and crosses rolling pasture lands back to Forest Grove. An alternate route circles west of Ruth Lake following along Bradley Creek before ascending a forested ridge and then down past valley ranches back to Forest Grove.
Canim Lake / Horse Lake Tour
Requiring approximately 3-4 hours of easy driving, this tour passes several of the beautiful lakes the South Cariboo is famous for. Heading northeast from 100 Mile House, this tour begins by winding through the scenic farming country along Bridge Creek. The second leg of the tour skirts beautiful Canim Lake and then climbs a thickly forested valley before descending along a chain of picturesque lakes. The return route runs through forest and ranch lands surrounding Horse Lake. The tour is 130 km (80 miles) in length, over half of which is paved; the remainder is good gravel.
1. Canim Lake
Nestled between low mountains, Canim Lake is a large body of water with excellent camping and fishing facilities on both the north and south shores. The several resorts located towards the west end of the lake offer lakeside cottages, serviced campsites, boat rentals, fishing supplies, and provide the vacationer the opportunity to enjoy a full range of water sports and outdoor leisure activities.
2. Canim / Mahood and Deception Falls
A scenic side trip of the tour is a visit to the west end of Wells Gray Provincial Park. Spectacular Canim and Mahood Falls are located on the waterway separating Mahood and Canim Lakes, Canim Falls can be easily reached by a short hike from the road. The trailhead to Deception Falls is located on the north shore of Mahood Lake.
3. Interlakes Area
The Interlakes area along Hwy. 24 - also called the Fishing Highway - offers a variety of fishing experiences with its hundreds of lakes. Rainbow and lake trout abound in the many lakes of the area, and fish of over 12 lbs. have been landed.
Bridge Lake / Green Lake Tour
The Bridge Lake / Green Lake tour covers approximately 160 km (100 miles), over two-thirds of which is paved, and can be completed in 3-4 hours. Along this route some of the diverse landscapes of the Cariboo can be seen. Leaving 100 Mile House, the tour follows Hwy. 24 east to Bridge Lake. The route then swings westward, passing pristine road-side lakes and sprawling cattle ranches through the Rayfield River valley. The final leg of the tour follows the path of the old fur brigade trail of the 1840’s that ran between Fort Kamloops and Fort Alexandria along the west side of Green Lake.
1. 100 Mile House
Originally named Bridge Creek House, 100 Mile House began in 1862 as a rest stop on the Cariboo Trail. This early roadhouse, which was 100 miles from the starting point of the Cariboo Wagon Road at Lillooet, catered to fur traders and prospectors on their way north to the Cariboo gold fields. The original settlement has grown since, stimulated by the establishment of ranching, forestry, mining, and service industries. 100 Mile House today offers a full range of visitor services and such attractions as Centennial Park, a bird sanctuary, and the fully restored Concord stagecoach. The “Little Britches Rodeo”, held each May, and the “Great Cariboo Ride” in the first week of August, are popular local events that reflect the western frontier character of this community.
2. Lone Butte
Local landmarks include the distinctive wooden water tank dating from the era of steam engines in downtown Lone Butte. East of Lone Butte along Hwy. 24 are numerous lakes and resorts offering excellent year-round fishing, including ice fishing in the winter months.
3. Bridge Lake
Bridge Lake offers several resorts, Bridge Lake Provincial Park, and is a popular fishing location.
4. Green Lake / Watch Lake
Set amidst rolling forest lands of birch and pine, broken occasionally by open meadows, Green Lake and Watch Lake attract vacationers year-round. The two lakes offer a broad choice of recreational activities ranging from swimming, boating, water-skiing, fishing, riding, or hiking in the summer, to hunting, cross-country skiing, ice fishing, and snowmobiling in the fall and winter. Green Lake Provincial Park’s three campgrounds and day-use areas as well as other resorts are scattered along the shores of both of these beautiful lakes.
100 Mile / Dog Creek / Chasm Tour
Longest of the four circle tours originating from 100 Mile House, this route covers just over 270 km (170 miles), a third of which is paved, and requires approximately 5 hours to complete. Travelling along this tour, however, one will be treated to a wide variety of landscapes found in the South Cariboo. The tour starts north from 100 Mile House tracing the route of the old Cariboo Wagon Road through valley ranch lands and passing the lake resort areas of the 108 and Lac La Hache. Leaving Hwy. 97 at Enterprise Road, the route cuts south across a portion of the vast, densely treed Fraser Plateau. The tour then turns west to Dog Creek and descends into the arid, sagebrush covered benchlands along the Fraser River before returning to Hwy. 97 at Chasm. The return leg follows Hwy. 97 to 100 Mile House and passes the old Cariboo roadhouses of 70 Mile and 83 Mile.
1. 108 Mile Ranch
Originally a large cattle ranch, the 108 is now a growing residential community with two year-round recreational resorts. Among the many activities offered are an 18-hole PGA golf course, horseback riding, tennis, fishing, and cross-country skiing over 150 km of groomed trails.
2. Lac La Hache
This long, beautiful lake is said to have gained its name from an early voyageur’s loss of his axe through a hole in the lake ice. Today the area offers splendid
year-round fishing as well as resort facilities for camping, boating, and swimming.
Built in 1856, the hotel at Dog Creek served as a stopping place on the River Trail, the earliest route to the gold fields, and later became the headquarters of the first officially licensed stagecoach line in B.C. A Native Indian settlement was located there previously, and their pictographs can be seen at the base of the nearby basaltic escarpment. Dog Creek is perched high above the spectacular canyon scoured by the Fraser River.
4. The Painted Chasm
Located just east of Hwy. 97, Painted Chasm Provincial Park features a day-use area right at the edge of the deeply eroded box canyon.