Williams Lake is situated in the center of the vast Cariboo Chilcotin region of British Columbia, Canada, approximately 550 kilometers north of Vancouver BC and 240 kilometers south of Prince George. Because of it’s central location at the junction of Highways 97 and Chilcotin Highway 20, Williams Lake has long been known as the “The Hub of the Cariboo”.
Highway 97 is BC’s major interior route for commerce and tourism, bringing thousands of travellers north and south each year. For much of it’s way it follows the historic Gold Rush Trail that in the 1860’s brought miners and supplies to the gold rich creeks of the Cariboo Mountains, spawning the towns of Barkerville, Quesnel Forks, Likely and Horsefly.
Chilcotin Highway 20 travels three hundred miles west from Williams Lake, through BC’s ‘last frontier’, the sprawling ranch land and forests of the Chilcotin Plateau, passing by Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, before making a breathtaking descent to the Bella Coola Valley and the Pacific Ocean. This beautiful valley is home to the Nuxalk people and is rich in first nations history. It is also where explorer Alexander Mackenzie arrived at the far shores of the continent in his epic journey across Canada by land in 1793.
Outdoor Recreation Abounds! The Cariboo Chilcotin offers some of Canada’s finest fishing and camping. Hundreds of lakes support excellent populations of rainbow trout, while the rivers offer angling for salmon and steelhead. Wilderness lodges, resorts, guest ranches and provincial campgrounds dot the region. Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy swimming, hiking, boating, canoeing, rafting, horseback riding, mountain biking, cross country skiing, sledding and much more.
Situated at the heart of the region, Williams Lake is the perfect place to start and finish your Cariboo vacation. Time your visit to coincide with the Famous Williams Lake Stampede, and you will experience the family adventure of a lifetime.
So, come for the Stampede, stay for your vacation!