Wells and Cottonwood House Historic Site


Barkerville Visitors’ Guide: download pages 10-19. Includes information on Cottonwood House Historic Site, Wells and Wells Events.

A nugget near the end of the Cariboo Gold Rush Trail, the scenic mountain town of Wells, in a peaceful fresh-air valley, is sure to inspire every traveler.

Wells was founded in 1934 as the Cariboo Gold Quartz “company town” by Fred Wells. It is now distinguished by its historic 1930s buildings and architecture.

The former mine office houses the Wells Museum. The Wells Community Hall, another heritage attraction, has been restored and is now open for conferences, meetings and weddings.

You’ll find evening entertainment as well as dining, accommodation, galleries, groceries and fuel, local ambulance and police.

The local art school, Island Mountain Arts (www.imarts.com) offers a variety of courses. The 2018

The town of Wells and ArtsWells Festival

ArtsWells Festival is slated for August 3–6 (www.artswells.com), and is billed as “100 musical acts on 12 stages over 4 days in 2 towns”. Throughout the summer, live music, live theatre and concerts are featured at the Sunset Theatre. An added assortment of active galleries makes Wells the place to be for all things art.

Recreation trails abound on the meadow and mountains surrounding Wells. In summer and winter, venture into the backcountry with local tour operators or on your own to enjoy scenic views, fresh air and peaceful surroundings. Multi-use trails options include hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and dog-sledding.

Cottonwood House

Cottonwood House Historic SiteCottonwood House Historic Site located east of Quesnel, British Columbia, on the Gold Rush Trail to Barkerville Historic Town, offers heritage interpretation, accommodation and food to those wanting to explore and experience the Cariboo and its rich history.

Cottonwood House is one of the last remaining roadhouses in British Columbia. It was built in the 1860s to offer accommodation, meals and provisions to miners and travellers on their journey along the Cariboo ‘Waggon’ Road to Barkerville or Quesnel.

Today, this wheelchair accessible provincial historic site will allow you to experience first hand over 75 years of the Boyd family history and the many features this unique heritage site has to offer.

Cottonwood House is open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm, May 17 to September 3, 2018. Admission by donation.


Stay overnight at this beautifully groomed site in the rustic cabins, heritage Guest Cabin, tent or RV sites. Your accommodation booking includes access to:

  • Washrooms with hot showers
  • Heated activity building with a small kitchen, tables & benches
  • Outdoor activities and games area 
  • Picnic tables and firepits ($5.00 per bundle for firewood)
  • Enclosed shelter with tables and chairs
  • Wheelchair accessible trails 
  • Cottonwood River

Reservations are recommended for overnight bookings and may be made by clicking on the link in the Request Information section of our website, www.cottonwoodhouse.ca emailing 1864cottonwoodhouse@gmail.com, or calling 250 992 2071 from mid-May to Labour Day weekend.

Employing post-secondary and secondary school students, the site provides valuable training in the areas of tourism and agriculture. The employees receive training in heritage interpretation and provide tours of Cottonwood House. They are also responsible for developing and implementing a wide range of programs and activities for groups of all ages, including school programs and events. Through partnerships, wood products manufacturing programming, a restaurant, gift shop, rental cabins, tent and RV sites, washrooms with showers, and an activity building with kitchen have been added to the site.

Pets on a leash are welcome near the cabins and camp area, but it is requested they remain outside of the heritage zone.