Hip and Happening in the South Cariboo, BC – 10 Reasons to Visit Today
The South Cariboo area of British Columbia is known as a land of big adventures, outdoor recreation and cowboys. And with the proliferation of world-class guest ranches dotted across its wide-open landscape, it definitely comes by its reputation naturally. But many don’t realize that the South Cariboo is also a land of rich history, talented artisans, and culinary enthusiasts. Read on for 10 reasons to visit the South Cariboo today:
This hidden gem located just minutes off the main road, in 100 Mile House, is most definitely worth a visit. Bring a picnic and lounge on the grass while the kids play in the playground. Then take an easy stroll along 500-metre Bridge Creek Waterfall Trail. The trail meanders through the park, criss-crossing two wooden bridges, before winding up at the picturesque Bridge Creek Waterfall.
This charming heritage site is located midway between 100 Mile House and Lac La Hache, on Highway 97. Named 108 Mile, for the distance the community was located from Lillooet, visiting the 108 Heritage site is like taking a step back in time to the days of the Mile Houses of the Cariboo Waggon Road. The 13 heritage buildings, some original to the site and some that were relocated from other areas in the South Cariboo. Take some time to explore the site, tour the stately McNiel House and learn about the history of the South Cariboo.
Every Friday from 9am – 2pm from early May until the end of September, you’ll find the lively South Cariboo Farmers Market in 100 Mile House. With over 20 vendors, offering everything from fresh produce, flowers, handmade jewellery, baked goods, beauty products, art, quilting and birdhouses, everyone will find something special to take home.
Located in an old gas station – there’s even an old car worked into the bar – Jackson’s Social Club & Brew House is the newest nano-brewery in the Cariboo. Stop by for a flight and some food! They have a small, but diverse, menu of beer, including their newest brew, the crisp and refreshing, Summer Blizzard. And the food menu focuses on using locally sourced ingredients to create delicious pub fare like soft tacos, hot dogs and pretzels. (175 Highway 97, 100 Mile House)
No visit to the South Cariboo is complete without a visit to the Canim Lake General Store. This local legend is a community hub, post office, bakeshop, gallery and provider of goods and services. During the 2017 fires, the folks at Canim Lake were integral in keeping locals updated and providing for anyone who chose not to evacuate. And … the store happens to be the home of Granny Grace, legendary for baking the best fruit pies you’ll ever taste, not to mention the butter tarts, cheesecakes and other tasty treats.
Tucked into the quaint community of Forest Grove, about 20 minutes east of 100 Mile House, the Dandelion Kitchen is a must try. This charming restaurant is small in stature, but big on flavours, and their menu focuses on local and seasonal items. The beef is naturally raised, and grain fed, on their farm, and rumour has it that their baked duck breast is a life changer! Reservations are strongly recommended.
Looking for a light meal and a wicked cup of coffee? The Chartreuse Moose in downtown 100 Mile House has you covered. The coffee is roasted in-house daily and the café is warm and welcoming. Visitors can enjoy Paninis, wraps and sandwiches, or all-day breakfast, while checking out the local art that’s displayed on the walls. (3-150 Birch Avenue, 100 Mile House).
At the east end of Canim Lake, follow an easy one-kilometre hiking trail to viewpoints overlooking the river valley and two spectacular waterfalls. In just 20 minutes, visitors can walk to both Mahood Falls and Canim Falls. You should be aware that although the trail is very well groomed, there are no guard rails and the edges of the trail drop quickly down into the canyon. After 10 minutes of walking, stop at the first viewpoint and look through the trees to the 50-foot Mahood Falls. Continue on for another 10 minutes to the even taller (65 feet) Canim Falls. At the Canim Falls viewpoint there is a steep, hidden trail that will take you the base of the waterfall.
Photographer, Chris Harris has made a name for himself as one of the country’s most respected nature photographers. With his camera and keen eye, he has documented all corners of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast in thousands of images and has published multiple books. His studio gallery, tucked into a grove of aspen trees, is located between 100 Mile House and 108 Mile Ranch and was designed specifically to showcase his photography. Recently they’ve added an immersive slide-sound presentation, with photos set to music. Definitely worth a visit, the Studio Gallery is open officially “by chance or by appointment”, but unofficially they try to be there as often as possible. We recommend calling ahead to make an appointment.
If you’re a garlic lover (or not) and find yourself near Lac La Hache on the last weekend of August, be sure to check out the South Cariboo Garlic Festival. The tagline for the festival is “Bring the whole family … for a stinkin’ good time”, and that is exactly what they do! Enjoy family fun, live music and entertainment, while celebrating all things garlic! There will be garlic sales, tastings and in previous years there has even been a garlic-eating contest.
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If the Cariboo interests you, check our suggested drives:
Canadian Rockies, Cowboy Country to Coast Mountains
Following the Gold Rush Trail Through the Cariboo and Beyond
For places to camp in the Cariboo and elsewhere in British Columbia go to Camping & RVing BC Camping Map.
Post your BC travel and camping photos using the hashtag #CampinBC
Published: August 2, 2018
Last Updated: June 20, 2023
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