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Rivers, ranches and ranges: from historic sites to wilderness adventure

Experience some of B.C.’s rich history in the interior this summer through guest ranch stays, cultural tours, museum visits, guided trips into the backcountry, and more.
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Fraser River, near Jesmond. Photo: Blake Jorgenson

Wedged between the Coast Mountains and the Rockies, BC's interior puts you at a crossroads of sweeping ranchlands, grassy vistas, and golden plateaus. And that’s just the landscape. There is a rich history here, too, from the Indigenous peoples whose stories, traditions, and stewardship of the land span millennia, to the ranchers, gold prospectors, and adventurers who braved unknown wilderness to traverse rough terrain and uncharted waterways.

Challenge yourself to try something new and experience some of BC’s history this summer through guest ranch stays, cultural tours, museum visits, guided trips into the backcountry, and more.

DRIVE THROUGH THE HISTORIC GOLD RUSH COUNTRY

Follow in the footsteps of 1860s Gold Rush prospectors and see how the mighty Fraser River shaped life in these parts. From Kamloops, head west toward Lillooet and “Mile 0” of the historic Cariboo Waggon Road. Visit sites ranging from preserved road houses to ghost towns and connect with locals in small towns along the way. Travel as far as Barkerville Historic Town, which brings this era to life with a restored townsite and costumed interpreters, and en route discover a vital Indigenous culture that dates back thousands of years.

STAY AT A GUEST RANCH

If you’ve dreamed of long trail rides through peaceful pastures or into meadows bursting with wildflowers, consider a stay at one of BC’s many guest ranches, most of which are found in the Cariboo and Chilcotin. The quintessential guest ranch experience is, of course, riding the range, but when you need a break from the saddle, the possibilities are many. Whether you’re looking for a true cowboy experience (think: corralling livestock or mucking out stalls) or something a little less rugged (a day at the onsite spa, anyone?), you’ll find freedom and adventure in the wide-open spaces.


Eagle Creek. Photo: Blake Jorgenson

Cast a line in calm lakes and fast-moving rivers, hike into the mountains for expansive views, or stick close to the ranch—and to the cowboy theme—with wagon rides, lasso throwing, and, of course, tall tales around a campfire under a clear, starry sky.

FIND ADVENTURE IN THE WILD

With wide-open spaces come wide-open opportunities for adventure. The lakes and rivers of BC’s interior beckon with more places to fish than you can experience in a lifetime. There are calm waters for paddling—including multi-day wilderness canoe routes—and there are stretches of thrilling whitewater for adrenaline junkies. You can fly into the backcountry for some hardcore hiking and mountain biking from an alpine basecamp or saddle up for an off-the-grid horse-packing trip. Whichever option you choose, keep your camera close as you’re very likely to spot some of BC’s four-legged residents along the way.

 

This Content is made possible by our Sponsor; it is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff.