Once a major hub on the Cariboo Wagon Road, 100 Mile House is now a major service and commercial area for outlying communities and industries within the Cariboo.
Many towns along the Cariboo Highway are helpfully referred to by the distance north along the Gold Rush Trail from Lillooet (Mile 0). Thus 100 Mile House marks the 100-mile distance between Lillooet and this town, originally known as Bridge Creek, a resting place for travellers between Kamloops and Fort Alexandria as early as 1861.
The town’s original roadhouse, built in 1862, has since burnt down, but 100 Mile House remains an important part of this region’s past and present.
Location: 100 Mile House is located on Cariboo Highway 97, 74 km (46 miles) north of Clinton and 91 km (57 miles) south of Williams Lake.
Thought your skis were expensive? Check out the 11-metre Kharu cross-country racing skis, accompanied by a pair of 9-metre poles, outside the 100 Mile House Visitor Centre. 100 Mile House is the self-professed International Nordic Skiing Capital, offering an outstanding 150-km groomed trail system, much of it lit for night skiing. Most of these trails are suitable for excellent mountain biking in summer.
Viewpoint: Rise above the rest, at the Mt. Begbie Lookout, 16 kilometres south of 100 Mile House, for excellent views as far as Wells Gray Park in the east, and the Marble Range to the west.
The Lone Butte Water Tower is one of the few remaining water towers used to service steam engines. For many years Lone Butte was the hub of the South Cariboo, and the rail line played a significant part in this role.
West of 100 Mile House you’ll find another wonderful wilderness recreation area, Moose Valley Provincial Park. Bring your cameras or binoculars to get a closer look at the bald eagles, sand cranes and the moose you’ll see while you take a few inspiring days to canoe the chain of 12 lakes that make up the park.
On display at the Red Coach Inn is the original BC Express Stage Coach No. 14, the only surviving wagon of the Barnard Express and Stage Line, which travelled between Ashcroft and Prince George as late as 1917. With its glossy red paint and leather trim, the wagon is a reminder of the days when a constant traffic of prospectors, merchants and other travelers flooded through this once-bustling junction.
Looking for an easy walk close to town? Head to the parking lot in Centennial Park, and follow the level trail that leads up a shady cleft between forested slopes along the banks of Bridge Creek to Bridge Creek Falls. The enchanting falls cascade over a face of ancient lava beds that form the mini canyon surrounding the waterfall. Watch for the merican Dipper, a slate gray songbird that lives around rushing water, and is often seen diving under water in search of aquatic snacks.
Relive the colourful past at the 108 Mile Ranch Heritage Site, north of 100 Mile House at the entrance to 108 Guest Ranch, which displays many restored log buildings from the days of the Cariboo Waggon Road. Features include a huge log horse barn, the 1867 version of the 108 Mile Hotel, a 1905 farmhouse, and various period tools, implements and artifacts.
Green Lake of Green Lake Provincial Park is wide and shallow, fed by two small creeks, lake-bottom springs, and upland runoff. Located south of 100 Mile House, this lake is excellent for both summer and winter recreation. The undulating plateau and highlands around the lake have become a cross-country skier’s paradise; sandy beaches dot the irregular shoreline at five spots, and there are vehicle/tent campsites at three locations in the park. Naturalists should stop here to observe the thriving avian population of eagles and osprey, as well as loons and a variety of ducks.
The small but beautifully situated Bridge Lake Provincial Park is particularly popular with anglers looking for rainbow and lake trout. It will win the heart of anyone who has the good fortune to spend a night here, particularly in fall, once the mosquito season has ended. A walking trail skirts the lake and provides an excellent afternoon’s exercise. There are vehicle/tent sites and walk-in campsites at Bridge Lake, 50 km east of 100 Mile House.
Three kilometres north of 100 Mile House you will reach the turnoff that heads east to Canim Lake. During summer this beautiful area is fantastic for hiking, canoeing, boating and fishing. Winter brings backcountry skiing, as well as snowmobiling, snowshoeing, dogsledding and sleigh rides.
Check at the Visitor Centre for details on Guided Walking Tours to wetlands, ponds and marshes in the area. Learn about the natural habitat and the remarkable variety of birds that exist within a few minutes walk of the town, including the long-billed dowitcher, Wilson’s phalarope, and many other songbirds, shorebirds and waterfowl. Tours include trips through the ponds and marshes of Walker Valley.
In winter, 100 Mile House is a popular skiing destination, for both downhill and Nordic skiers. The area boasts a 200-km trail system; one of the best, most beautiful and most extensively groomed networks in North America, and one of the longest in Canada. Trail passes are required for use of the groomed trail system. February hosts the annual cross-country Cariboo Marathon, that draws an international field of between 700 and 1,000 Nordic ski enthusiasts to the second oldest loppet in Canada. The race covers lengths of 10, 20 30 and 50 kilometres.
Golf: Golfers can head north to 108 Mile Ranch for a game of golf. Rolling hills create a stunning backdrop for the championship 108 Golf Resort. The 18-hole, par 71 course overlooks two lakes on 108 Mile Ranch.
Golf Vacations in British Columbia.
Summer: There are plenty of summer outdoor activities to enjoy around 100 Mile House, such as hiking, fishing for the famous rainbow trout, and horseback riding. From Lac des Roches westward, there are 125 lakes all within an hours drive, and each with beautiful lakeshore scenery. Try Bridge Lake, Deka Lake and Sulphurous Lake for kokanee, and Sheridan Lake for rainbow trout.
Downhill skiers and snowboarders are catered for as well, 24 kilometres east of Lac la Hache. The Mt. Timothy Ski Area operates a family ski hill featuring a snowboard park and a seven-minute scenic t-bar ride up the 1,635-metre hill. Overnight RV plug-in sites are available. Skiing & Winter Activities in the Cariboo.
Dog Sledding: Experience the romance and thrill of Dog Sledding through Cariboo Country, where the heavy and reliable snowfalls provide excellent backcountry trails. Local companies will take you on a short tour, or set you up to mush your own team of enthusiastic and friendly huskies.
Snowmobiling: Wide open wilderness and frozen lakes invite snowmobilers to the area during winter to participate in snowmobile races, or to venture out for the pure adventure of it. The 100 Mile Snowmobile Club has developed a scenic touring trail network that stretches from 70 Mile House north to Spout Lake. Another network from 70 Mile House, south of Green Lake, connects with trails in Kamloops. The snowmobile corridor joins into the Trans Canada Snowmobile Trail, a project that will stretch 10,000 km when finished, and link all provinces and territories. Trail passes are required for use of the groomed trail system.
The annual Little Britches Rodeo is held during the long weekend in May. Visitors can enjoy watching the trials and tribulations of young rodeo stars “mutton busting”, in this scaled-down version of a traditional Cariboo rodeo. Yup, folks … you’re in cattle country.
See the best of the Cariboo, Chilcotin and BC Coast on the Discovery Coast Circle Tour. Cross to Vancouver Island from Vancouver and head north, boarding the Queen of Chilliwack in Port Hardy. Return to the mainland at Bella Coola, and enjoy the grassy plateaus, rolling meadows, picturesque canyons and high mountain peaks of the Chilcotin. The old Cariboo Wagon Road will lead you back to Vancouver through the heart of the Cariboo region. The Inside Passage Tour, the Native Heritage Tour, and the Circle Tour of Northern BC all incorporate the Cariboo Highway 97 for the journey between Prince George and Vancouver.
Circle Tours in British Columbia.