Man walking down the street in Barkerville

(Rob Lloyd/Destination BC photo)

Trip Ideas

Arts, Culture and History in the Cariboo Chilcotin

Saddle up and head into Cariboo country for a scenic road trip filled with amazing artistic talent and encounters from British Columbia's past. From the historic gold rush town of Barkerville to the Aboriginal fishing banks of the mighty Fraser River at Lillooet, this vast area is filled with history and cultural. Whether following in the footsteps of pioneers and prospectors, or discovering the diverse cultures of the province's Indigenous people, your adventure starts on the Gold Rush Trail. The region's heritage sites, events and museums paint a vivid picture of its early and frontier days while the impressive works of emerging and established artists and craftspeople are on display at public and private galleries.

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Tom Ryan/Destination BC photo

The Gold Rush Trail

Step into the Cariboo's colorful past filled with villains, heroes and characters,  all seeking the elusive yellow nuggets. Continual waves of prospectors created the historic Cariboo Wagon Road that was eventually used by more than 10,000 gold-seeking miners and pioneers. Today's Highway 1 between Yale and Lytton, and Highway 97 to Quesnel, approximate the route.

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Lillooet's Golden Mile of History

Lillooet's Golden Mile of History is a self-guided walking tour along Main Street. The tour features 14 locations of historical interest, beginning at the "Bridge of 23 Camels" and ending at the "Old Bridge," a suspension bridge built of steel cables and wood in 1913. The Old Bridge was constructed to replace a cable ferry powered by the river current that had been in use since 1860.

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Miyazaki Heritage House

Lillooet's Miyazaki Heritage House is a must see. Built in the late 1880s, it features fine craftsmanship and Victorian architecture. The house and property was a gift to the community of Lillooet from the late Dr. Miyazaki. His office and examina...
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Xwisten Experience Tour

Witness the St'at'imc people harvesting salmon and preserving it through the wind-dried method. The tour includes a walk along the Xwisten fishing grounds, a demonstration of the wind-dried method, a sample of wind-dried fish (ts'wan), and a BBQ s...
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Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin

The Museum of the Cariboo Chicotin is British Columbia's only ranching & rodeo museum & home of the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame. Stories, photographs & artifacts tell the history of First Nations, cattle ranching, the famous Williams Lake Stampede, the...
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Brendan van Son/Destination BC photo

Wells: The Arts Hub of the Cariboo

Wells is a gold-mine of galleries, live entertainment, arts retreats and heritage attractions. Whether you love visual, written, musical or theatre arts, you can find it all near the end of Highway 26, nestled in a picturesque mountain valley. Every year, the community blooms with vitality as visitors arrive for the popular Artswells Festival or sidetrip from Barkerville. Between mid-May and late September, numerous art galleries throw open their doors,  arts workshop take place, and performances can be found at Sunset Theatre or in local pubs and restaurants.

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Island Mountain Arts

Island Mountain Arts has been operating in the vibrant 1930s gold rush town of Wells since 1977 & is just down the road from Barkerville Historic Town & the Bowron Lakes. Island Mountain Arts runs a Public Gallery/Artisan Gift Shop, Artist-in-Resi...
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(BC Heritage/Leif Grandell photo)


See if you can strike gold in historic Barkerville, a gold rush-era heritage town east of Quensel. A true gold-rush boomtown, Barkerville has come back to life with more than 140 restored buildings and displays (bystanders are encouraged to participate) including a courthouse, 1800s-style school house, stagecoach rides and a music hall. In summer, actors recreate gold rush life.
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