Tunkwa Lake Resort in BC’s Gold Country – Come for the Loons, Not the Tunes
It was August long weekend and we were looking for a premier fishing destination, yet without too much travel. Tunkwa Lake Resort checked all the boxes, plus also added some sentimental value as it was where my husband learned to ride his bike many years ago. Located just a one-hour drive from Kamloops, Tunkwa Lake Resort is on the other side of Logan Lake when coming in from Highway 5. It offers both campsites and cabins, as well as boat rentals. While we only stayed for the long weekend, many stay longer and the resort operates through all four seasons.
Upon checking in we learned of the resort catch phrase – Come for the Loons, not the Tunes – and quickly saw this to be true. It was very quiet and peaceful throughout the resort at all times. This is the perfect location to reconnect with nature and disconnect from the world of technology. That is aided by the fact that cell phone reception is quite limited.
The first priority for us was getting ready to fish. We rented a boat and the staff were knowledgeable and helpful with getting it ready and orienting us to the lake. They also helped us pick out the best, tried and true tackle. Both kids enjoyed looking at all the tackle in the store and each picked out a lucky fly. The fish were jumping like crazy, although catching them proved to be much more difficult!
The mark of a good fishing trip is leaving with a good story, and we had a doozy. Having been shut out thus far, the boys hit the lake bright and early Sunday morning. Finally, a bite! They reeled it close and my 7-year-old was anxious to help get the fish in the boat. Somehow during the netting process the line broke and the fish escaped, with the hook, line and the bobber in tow! Disappointment ensued of course as they watched the bobber swim away. But then it happened… a nearby fisherman who no doubt saw the events unfold was able to net the fish. He kindly delivered the fish to my son and we will always remember the one that almost got away!
In addition to fishing we found numerous ways to enjoy the area. Tunkwa Lake itself is beautiful and if you’re lucky you’ll even see the wild horses roaming the meadow on the other side. Also adjacent to the lake is Tunkwa Provincial Park with many campsites, a boat launch and access to nearby Leighton Lake. There are several day use areas as well as numerous hiking and walking trails to explore. We enjoyed the little path through Tunkwa Lake Resort that leads over to the point, just on the other side of the camping area. Many different kinds of birds can be spotted in the little lagoon, and a perfect bench awaits for you to take in the view, watch the fish jump or just sit back and enjoy the quiet. Much like many years ago, the resort is bike friendly. The kids loved that they could ride with virtually no traffic and their favourite destination was the playground. We also enjoyed the open spaces for bubbles and family games of tag.
Overall, our weekend at Tunkwa Lake Resort was everything we wanted it to be – accessible, peaceful and kind enough to provide rainbow trout for dinner!
For other camping options in this area and all of British Columbia go to our Camping Map.
Share your BC camping and travel photos using hashtag #campinbc.
Treasure Hunting in British Columbia’s Gold Country
The thrill of a modern treasure hunt comes alive with Geocaching in Gold Country – an area of BC’s interior rich in cultural and geographic diversity. Geocaching combines outdoor recreation, technology, and a good old-fashioned treasure hunt. Location coordinates can be entered into a GPS, or a smartphone app can set you on your way, or you can explore with a lower-tech version of Geocaching called Letterboxing. Your purpose? To visit places of historical, cultural, and geographic significance and bring BC’s past to life.
Gold Country started a Geo-Tourism initiative in 2008, and in 2010 launched a more ambitious project with the publication of their first book, Gold Country GeoTourism Adventures: Field Guide Volume 1. This book details 72 caches – hidden containers containing a log book, some trade items, and collectable stickers unique to each cache – hidden throughout Gold Country. In 2012, a second book, Gold Country GeoTourism Adventures: Field Guide Volume 2 was published, providing another 72 opportunities for exploration.
Gold Country provides a wide variety of terrain to explore and Geocaching helps provide inspiration – whether it is a day trip, a weekend away, or a more extended visit. Each Geocache listed in the Field Guides (or on the Geocaching website www.geocaching.com) is given a score between one and five for both overall difficulty (how challenging it is to find the cache) and terrain difficulty (how challenging it is to access the cache site – think length of hike, steepness, exposure, etc.). Each geocache is also given a unique code, making it easy to search and plan your route.
Gold Country Geocaches range in difficulty from what are referred to as simple “park and grab” style caches to ones that require significant off-road driving and extended uphill hikes. One of the benefits of geocaching in Gold Country is that each cache is located at a point of significance to the area. In fact, in Volume 1, each geocache is sorted into one of five categories: Pioneers & Early Settlers, Geological Wonders, Views & Vistas, Gravesites & Mystical Places, and Historic Churches. In Volume 2, the caches are categorized as Settlers & Pioneers, Geological & Views, Rails & Trails, Feature Film, or Agriculture.
As you travel from cache to cache in Gold Country you can consult your Field Guide, which provides information about the nearest community, parking, and any access information and restrictions. The Field Guides also provide an excellent background description of the cache’s significance. I have learned some truly fascinating history and geology through Gold Country’s caches.
I have had many excellent experiences in Gold Country, but a few of my favourite geocache discoveries are:
- The Cache Creek Mélange: A site of geological wonder that I first visited as part of a university Geology trip. The Cache Creek Mélange exposes the movement of tectonic plates in a way not often visible, accessible, or understood by the average person.
- Lytton Reaction Ferry: This Pioneers & Early Settlers site is fascinating as it provides a great view and history of the Lytton Reaction Ferry. This free ferry (yes, you should definitely take it across the river!) has no motor and instead uses a rudder, a fixed cable, and the current of the river to cross the mighty Fraser with up to two cars and twelve passengers per trip.
- Marble Canyon: Marble Canyon, on Highway 99 between Cache Creek and Lillooet, is a spectacular destination. A provincial park campsite offers a great place to spend the night, the towering limestone and dolomite cliffs are uncommon in BC and offer excellent rock climbing, and the hunt for this geocache takes you on a short hike to the base of an impressive waterfall.
- Logan Lake Shovel: This one is not hard to find, as the Logan Lake Shovel is also the home of the Logan Lake Visitor Centre! The impressive thing about hunting for this cache; however, is the sheer size of the 235-ton ore hauling truck and the enormous bucket on the mining shovel, from which the cache takes its name. Make sure you climb the steps and sit in the shovel’s cab!
- Cornwall Hills Park & Lookout: This is one of my absolute favourite Gold Country geocaches! The Cornwall Hills Park & Lookout requires a 4×4 to get to it, but it is so worth it to make the trek up the gravel road to the 2036 metre summit where an old fire tower provides 360-degree views stretching as far as Mount Baker in Washington state.
Geocaching in Gold Country offers something for everyone, from history buffs to adventure seekers. The Gold Country GeoTourism website offers detailed information for each cache, helping you to plan your journey before setting foot out the door. Just keep in mind that once you are there, a whole new world of possibilities will be opened to you, and you will likely find yourself wishing you had planned to spend more time in Gold Country.
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If this blog was of interest to you, check out our suggested drive:
Following the BC Gold Rush Trail through the Cariboo & Beyond
For campgrounds in this area and elsewhere in British Columbia go to the Camping Map.
Share your BC travel and camping photos using hashtag #campinbc, #explorebc
Published: March 16th, 2017
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