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Hit the Road: Memorable Road Trips from Williams Lake, BC

Posted on 26 Jul, 2020 at 12:00 am - by Mia Bach

Williams Lake, BC, is not only a destination in itself but also an excellent starting point for exploring the wonders of British Columbia. With its central location in the Cariboo region, the city serves as a gateway to breathtaking landscapes, charming towns, and hidden gems that are best discovered through unforgettable road trips. Buckle up and get ready to hit the road as we guide you through the most memorable road trips starting from Williams Lake.

The Gold Rush Trail: A Journey into History

Step back in time and follow the footsteps of gold rush pioneers on the historic Gold Rush Trail. This road trip will take you through the rugged Cariboo Mountains, passing by towns that once boomed during the gold rush era. Start your journey from Williams Lake and head north towards Barkerville Historic Town and Park. This well-preserved gold rush town offers a captivating glimpse into the past with its restored buildings, interactive exhibits, and lively street performances.

Continue along the trail and explore the historic communities of Wells and Quesnel, where you can visit museums, browse through local shops, and learn more about the region's rich mining history. The Gold Rush Trail is not only a journey into history but also a scenic drive through picturesque landscapes and majestic mountain ranges.

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Loop: Nature's Wonderland

If you crave the perfect blend of outdoor adventures and awe-inspiring landscapes, the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Loop is the road trip for you. This loop starts from Williams Lake and takes you on a grand tour through some of British Columbia's most remarkable natural wonders.

As you leave Williams Lake, head west towards the pristine waters of Big Bar Lake Provincial Park. This hidden gem is perfect for fishing, paddling, and hiking along scenic trails. From there, continue your journey to the enchanting Chilcotin Plateau, where you can explore the stunning wilderness of Tsilhqot'in National Park. Immerse yourself in the serenity of the vast alpine meadows, crystal-clear lakes, and snow-capped mountains.

Next, make your way to the coastal city of Bella Coola, where the road trip takes a dramatic turn as you descend through the breathtaking Chilcotin Mountains and arrive at the Pacific Ocean. Experience the raw beauty of the Great Bear Rainforest, home to diverse wildlife, including grizzly bears, eagles, and whales. Take a wildlife tour or hike through ancient forests to truly appreciate the untouched wilderness of this region.

The Barkerville-Bowron Lakes Circuit: Wilderness Escape

For nature lovers seeking a true wilderness escape, the Barkerville-Bowron Lakes Circuit is an unparalleled road trip adventure. Starting from Williams Lake, head north to Barkerville Historic Town and Park, where you can immerse yourself in the gold rush history before embarking on your journey.

From Barkerville, continue east to the Bowron Lake Provincial Park, a pristine wilderness area known for its interconnected chain of lakes. The Bowron Lakes Circuit is a world-renowned canoe route that offers a unique backcountry experience. Paddle through serene lakes, navigate gentle rivers, and portage between waterways as you soak in the untouched beauty of the surrounding mountains and forests.

The circuit takes approximately 6 to 10 days to complete, and camping is available along the route. Keep your eyes open for wildlife sightings, including moose, beavers, and a variety of bird species. The Barkerville-Bowron Lakes Circuit is a truly immersive journey into the heart of British Columbia's wilderness.

Circle Tour to Wells Gray Provincial Park: Waterfall Wonders

If you're captivated by the beauty of cascading waterfalls, a circle tour to Wells Gray Provincial Park should be on your road trip itinerary. From Williams Lake, head south on Highway 97 and make your way to the town of Clearwater, the gateway to Wells Gray Provincial Park.

Once in the park, prepare to be mesmerized by a series of magnificent waterfalls. Helmcken Falls, one of the park's most famous attractions, plunges 141 meters into a rugged canyon. Take in the awe-inspiring views from various viewpoints and capture the beauty of nature through your lens.

Explore other stunning waterfalls, such as Dawson Falls and Spahats Falls, and enjoy activities like hiking, camping, and wildlife spotting. The pristine wilderness of Wells Gray Provincial Park will leave you with a deep appreciation for the natural wonders of British Columbia.

The Cariboo Heritage Discovery Circuit: Rich Cultural Experience

For those seeking a road trip that combines history, culture, and stunning landscapes, the Cariboo Heritage Discovery Circuit is a perfect choice. This circuit takes you through the Cariboo region, offering a glimpse into the rich heritage of the area.

Start your journey from Williams Lake and head south towards the historic town of Clinton, known as the "Gateway to the Cariboo." Explore the Clinton Museum and learn about the area's ranching and First Nations history. Continue your road trip to 100 Mile House, where you can visit the South Cariboo Historical Museum and delve into the region's pioneer past.

As you travel through the circuit, make stops at charming communities like Ashcroft, Cache Creek, and Lillooet, each with its own unique history and cultural attractions. Explore First Nations heritage sites, visit local museums, and enjoy the picturesque landscapes along the way.


Williams Lake, BC, is the perfect starting point for embarking on unforgettable road trips that will take you through the stunning landscapes, hidden gems, and breathtaking destinations of British Columbia. From historic gold rush trails and nature's wonderlands to wilderness escapes and cultural journeys, these road trips offer a diverse range of experiences for every traveler. So, fuel up your car, hit the road, and get ready to create lasting memories as you explore the wonders beyond Williams Lake, BC.

About Author
  • Mia Bach

    Mia produces the best blogs when it comes to the cuisines of different countries. She's a foodie-cum-travel enthusiast, which makes her one of the best food travel bloggers!

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