Set in the North Thompson region of BC, Sun Peaks is something of an anomaly. You’d think that the second-largest ski resort in Canada – home to Olympic legend Nancy Greene Raine, epic in-bounds backcountry and 2000 hours of annual sunshine – would be one of the province’s busiest hills.
But it isn’t. In fact, lift lines are usually short, it’s easy to get a seat at local eateries and the overall vibe of the European-feeling ski village is low-key and accessible.
Set along the shore of the North Thompson River, 20 minutes from the confluence of the North Thompson and South Thompson Rivers sits the quiet hamlet of Barriere. Take the Yellowhead Highway 5 and follow the North Thompson River some 66 kilometres north of Kamloops. The charred and rounded slopes of the Monashee Mountains gently give way to waving meadows of alfalfa. The landscape makes it easy to believe you’ve gone back to the old western days of riding high in the saddle.
Little Fort is known as the Hub of the North Thompson, the small community of Little Fort in the North Thompson Valley is surrounded by farming (hay farms and cattle farms), forestry operations, fishing resorts, and guest ranches. Little Fort offers visitors and weary travellers a restaurant, a café and pub, hotel, campground, gas station, general store, craft store, and a fishing tackle shop.
Clearwater, the “Gateway to Wells Gray Park”, is situated in the North Thompson Valley, 134 kilometres north of Kamloops on the Yellowhead Highway 5. As a gateway to Wells Gray, Clearwater serves as a centre providing to both its own residents and the travelling public. Clearwater is a thriving community with an economy based in forestry and tourism, with tourism experiencing significant growth as travellers around the world flock to the wilderness that surrounds the community.
Wells Gray Provincial Park
The Land of 39 Named Waterfalls- and Counting!
Imagine a place where the Clearwater, Thompson, and Murtle Rivers soar and wildlife sightings are as common as sunrise and sunset. “Canada’s Waterfall Park” welcomes you in every season.
The place you imagine is Wells Gray Country, the mountain communities centered around Clearwater and Wells Gray Provincial Park, 5,250 square kilometres (1.3 million acres) of alpine wilderness, borne from volcanoes and carved by glaciers. It’s one of the most unique landscapes in all of BC, where your days are measured in your steps hiked, wildlife sightings, and the number of waterfall shots on your camera.
It’s here, among old-growth inland rainforests and soaring mountain peaks that you’ll find your wild. During Spring, Summer, and Fall you can hike through ancient forests, paddle pristine lakes, and raft on some of Canada’s fiercest rapids. In the winter, gaze upon the frozen waterfalls and ski down untouched backcountry slopes.
100 Mile House
Once a major hub on the Cariboo Wagon Road, the town of 100 Mile House is a major service and commercial area for outlying communities and industries within the Cariboo region of BC. 100 Mile House was a resting place for travellers between Kamloops and Fort Alexandria as early as 1861.
Lone Butte was once the Cariboo’s largest town and now a busy centre for the ranchers who settled in the area between the turn of the century and the 1950s. At the centre of the countless lakes providing great swimming, boating, and fishing, Lone Butte offers a BC Railway station, cafes, restaurants, shops, a rather impressive log pub, and numerous resorts, guest ranches, and campgrounds to offer the visitor.
Sheridan Lake holds spectacular-sized rainbow trout in the 14 to 16 pound range. The crystal clear lake is fed by underground springs and is stocked with 350,000 rainbow trout every year. The best time to try your luck here is as soon as the ice is off the lakes in May. May fly hatch brings out the fly-fishers for rainbow trout and brook trout.
Bridge Lake on Highway 24 is ranch country, with plenty of trails for horse riding and opportunities for horse riding lessons. Bridge Lake has numerous bays and both large and small islands, offering good fishing for rainbow trout, lake trout, and kokanee as well as ling cod and burbot.
The High Country region is better known as the North Thompson, and incorporates the North Thompson River, the Nicola Valley, and the Shuswap Highlands. High Country is served by three major highways: the Yellowhead Highway in the northern part of High Country, the Trans Canada Highway along the southern section, and the Coquihalla Highway entering High Country from the town of Hope in the south.