4 road trip adventures to embark on this fall in B.C.’s Cariboo Chilcotin Coast

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Whatever you’re hoping to experience this fall, chances are you can find it in British Columbia’s Cariboo Chilcotin Coast.



Spirit bears.

Over 100 fishing lakes.

And the possibility of striking it rich on the Gold Rush Trail.

With driving routes that cascade throughout the province’s lakes, forests and historic sites, road-tripping in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast offers visitors a transformational experience punctuated by a vast array of scenery, culture, and awe-inspiring hidden gems. To make the most of this fall’s road tripping adventures, we’ve partnered with Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism and Kal Tire to highlight the region’s most popular destinations and itineraries. Enjoy your trip!

BC’S CHILCOTIN HIGHWAY

Photo: Nimpo Lake, BC by Grant Harder

One of the best drives in BC! The Chilcotin Highway boasts epic adventures, grasslands, mountains, rivers and lakes. More commonly known as Highway 20, The Chilcotin Highway is a 457 km expanse of epic scenery, abundant wildlife, never-ending horizons, and distinct tranquility that extends from Williams Lake to Bella Coola.

Along the way, you can stop over at the floatplane capital of British Columbia; Nimpo Lake. From here, adventurers can take to the air for a bucket-list flight-seeing trip, access wilderness resorts and isolated cabins nestled in the area’s dramatic scenery or enjoy all that Nimpo Lake itself has to offer, including rainbow trout fishing, day-hikes, bird-watching and wildlife viewing. Proceeding west, you’ll head through Anahim Lake and Tweedsmuir Provincial Park as you journey through Heckman Pass and down “the hill” to Bella Coola and a 15,000 km stretch of pristine shoreline and ecological preserve known as The Great Bear Rainforest.

THE GREAT BEAR RAINFOREST LOOP

Photo: Pacific Wild by Ian McAllister

Arguably the most diverse area in BC, the Great Bear Rainforest encompasses a massive boreal forest and giant stretch of protected coastal rainforest along the spectacular BC central coast. The area is teeming with sea life, black bears, grizzlies, and even wolves that can be seen swimming from island to island! The enchanting forest is also home to both the elusive Kermode (Spirit) bear population and rock carvings dated between 4000-5000 years old that depict ancient stories and lessons of the indigenous people. Here, you’ll also find pictographs; symbols painted with blood and berries on the rocks surrounding the region’s glacial fjords.

Your journey to the rainforest will start close to home in Nanaimo, from which you’ll travel north to Port Hardy to hop aboard the new Northern Sea Wolf ferry to Bella Coola. Take BC-20E up and out of Bella Coola, through the switchbacks and over the Heckman Pass Summit toward Anahim Lake. On your journey home, you’ll pass through the home of one of the largest stampedes in Canada, Williams Lake, and then many small towns along the Gold Rush Trail  before heading back home through Lillooet and Whistler. There are dozens of incredible things to see along the way and you can find special deals on activities and lodging along the Great Bear Rainforest Loop by visiting the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association HERE.

THE GOLD RUSH TRAIL

One of the incredible highlights on the Gold Rush Trail; Crooked Lake in Horsefly B.C. Photo: Michael Bednar

Originally a travel route for those with dreams of finding gold and “striking it rich”, today’s Gold Rush Trail serves as an experiential corridor; a journey of diverse stories, people, activities and places that every British Columbian should experience at least once in their lifetime.

Your final destination on this epic road trip is the historic town of Barkerville. Now a Canadian National Historic Site, Barkerville Historic Town & Park is British Columbia’s best known heritage destination, and the largest historic site in western North America, boasting more than 125 heritage buildings with an additional 62 replicas. September 30th was the last day of the main season of programming, but be sure to check out the  special programming all year, including a ghostly Halloween event on October 26th and 27th, and a Victorian Christmas event from December 14th – 16th.

BC’S FISHING HIGHWAY

Photo: Thomas Drasdauskis

If you live to fish, you haven’t really lived until you’ve cast a line along BC’s famous Fishing Highway — Highway 24! Within this 97 km stretch of highway (beginning in Little Fort and continuing to 93 Mile House on BC Highway 97), you’ll find 100+ well-stocked lakes containing a mix of wild and stocked trout — Brook, Bull, Burbot, Char, Kokanee, Lake, and Rainbow — and some even contain a few species of whitefish. 

Highway 24 is a once-in-a-lifetime destination for fishing fans around the world as it can be enjoyed year round. That said, it’s a particularly phenomenal trip to take in the autumn months when the surrounding foliage turns hues of red, orange, and yellow, providing a fantastic backdrop for your next big catch.

Whether you’re headed to the mystical Great Bear Rainforest or historic Gold Rush Trail the most important part of any road trip is…

Safety!

Kal Tire’s Customer Care Plan offers a free 30-day no-hassle guarantee when you buy any new tires. When you buy your tires from Kal Tire, you automatically receive a ton of other awesome benefits too, including free flat repairs, free rotations, free road hazard protection, free lifetime balancing and free air at any of Kal Tire’s 250 locations across Canada; helping you get to wherever you want to go.

For more information on visiting the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, visit landwithoutlimits.com