The Gold Rush Trail

Gold Rush Trail

Barkerville Visitors Guide: BarkervilleGuide 2018 FN-GRT 36-40. Includes information on the Gold Rush Trail and our First Nations Heritage.

On a trail that once took months to journey, the route can be completed in a day. But  take it slow. Enjoy. Learn. Explore. Experience the Gold Rush Trail. So many different routes, with so many stops of interest, side roads, attractions, adventures, communities offering all manner of visitor services indeed make the expedition the experience!   

Place names along the Gold Rush Trail rattle together like they do in Hank Snow’s famed “I’ve Been Everywhere”… New Westminster, Langley, Hope, Yale, Boston Bar, Lytton, Lillooet, Spences Bridge, Hat Creek, Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Clinton, 70 Mile House, 100 Mile House, Lac La Hache, 150 Mile House, Horesefly, Likely, Williams Lake, McLeese Lake, Kersley, Quesnel, Cottonwood House, Wells and eventually stopping at the Motherlode… the Eldorado… British Columbia’s Gold Rush Town and Park of Barkerville. 

First Nations continue to play an important part in preserving, presenting and interpreting BC’s Gold Rush Legacy… from the gold seekers’ initial contact with Coastal First Nations, and on to include the peoples of Spuzzum, Tuckkwiowhum (tuk-we-ohm), Nlaka’pamux (Ing-la-kap-ma) St’at’imc, T’it’qet (tlee-ti-cut), Secwepemc (Shuswap), Xats’ull (hat-sul), Lhtako Dene, Ulgatcho, Nazko and others. 

The Chinese also aided the endeavours of the Gold Rush, with Barkerville housing one of the largest and most significant collections of rare Chinese artifacts outside of China. In fact, increasing numbers of visitors from China are discovering the Barkerville connection with their heritage every year. 

Visitor services along Hwy 97 range from an authentic native village, to delightful gift shops, to lakeside resorts and motels with fuel, restaurants and RV hook-ups. Highway 26 (the Barkerville Highway) climbs from 545 m (1789’) at Quesnel to 1265 m (4215’) at Barkerville, a distance of about 80 km (50 mi.). This stretch of the Gold Rush Trail passes through Barlow Creek, Cottonwood House (another “must see”), and the extinct towns of Wingdam and Stanley (detour on Stanley Road to see the old cemetery and the
Lightning Inn). The colourful village of Wells lies 8 km from Barkerville.

For much of your trip, you will follow the route of the early gold seekers, a journey of several days by stage coach, or several weeks on foot! 

New Pathways to Gold

The Fraser Canyon to Barkerville corridor is popping with projects as the New Pathways to Gold Society (NPTGS) celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Having a picnic at a Cariboo recreation site? You may be using one of the 35 new tables built under the Jobs Creation Partnership Project, a partnership between NPTGS, government, First Nations and community organizations. And when it comes to trails, NPTGS puts First Nations first. Whether it’s restoring an ancient route in the Fraser Canyon or helping the Xat’sull First Nation construct three new trails, NPTGS ensures Aboriginal heritage is acknowledged.

There’s a lot more happening in the corridor as NPTGS celebrates a decade of travelling down the New Pathways to Gold with our partners. Check out their website (newpathwaystogold.ca) for updates.