British Columbia

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Cariboo, Chilcotin and the Coast

Distinctive Tours

Our First Visitors Thought This Route Was Paved With Gold

Unfortunately for them, it wasn't paved at all. But for a lucky few, it did lead to gold. This is the Gold Rush Trail that gold-seekers from around the world flocked to after Billy Barker discovered gold on Williams Creek in 1862.

The Gold Rush Tour

1 Start your tour where the Gold Rush Trail begins. Mile 0 on the old Cariboo Waggon Road, built in 1861. Mile 0 is now called Lillooet. And the Old Wagon road is Highway 97.

2 Go gold panning in Lillooet before heading north on Highway 97 to Clinton. Visit one of the many guest ranches for ropin', ridin' or relaxin'.

3 Heading north, take a turn to the east at Lone Butte and follow Highway 24, the 'Fishing Highway', to Little Fort. Fish for rainbow trout, Dolly Varden and Kokanee in one of 100 lakes.

4 Back on Highway 97, meander through 100 Mile House to Williams Lake, home of the largest rodeo in B.C. Close by is Xats'ull Heritage Village, with pit houses, teepees, ancient petroglyphs and a sweat lodge.

5 Continue on Highway 97 to Quesnel, where you'll find the world's largest gold pan. And if you're lucky, you may find something more. Gold-seeking tours into the gold fields are available. Close by are the Pinnacles Provincial Park hoodoos, wind carved into the strangest shapes.

6 Leaving Quesnel, travel east on Highway 26 through the town of Wells to Barkerville, the end of the trail.

7 In Barkerville, an authentic Gold Rush town of the 1870's, named after Billy Barker, the first to strike gold in the Cariboo, the past comes to life. Costumed actors roam the streets and the 125 original and restored buildings.

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