One tiny mistake and you’re branded for life! That may well have been the complaint of the luckless French Canadian fur trader who lost his axe here while ice fishing. No doubt, to the delight of his trading buddies, the name (translated as Lake of the Axe) stuck, and will remain so for eternity.
That’s one version of the origin of the town name. Another credits a hapless Hudson’s Bay Company mule that fell through the lake ice, taking its load of hatches with it.
The small, friendly community of Lac la Hache describes itself as the Longest Town in the Cariboo. Highway 97 skirts the entire 19-kilometre shoreline of this beautiful lake in its rolling Fraser Plateau setting, which has many fishing lodges, guest ranches and vacation homes sprinkled along its perimeter.
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Outfit yourself in the latest riding gear in a western specialty store, or browse through the interesting exhibits and artifacts from the past at the Lac la Hache Museum, an old school loghouse from the 1930s.
Lac La Hache Provincial Park, 13 kilometres north of the town, offers 83 vehicle/tent sites set in relatively open Douglas-fir and aspen woodlands beside one of the biggest lakes seen from Highway 97. Campsites are uphill from the highway, while the picnic site and boat launch are right on the lake. This park is great for afternoon munching, swimming and boating.
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.
Fishing: One of the prettiest lakes in the Cariboo, Lac La Hache Lake is especially famous for its kokanee and trophy sized lake trout fishing. Ice fishing is popular in winter, but hang on to your axe!
Summer: Boaters, swimmers and water-skiers all arrive here during the summer, to vacation on this picturesque lake, and to play in this area that is noted for its fine recreational opportunities.
Golf: Golfers can head south on Highway 97 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. Unwind and play a game of golf while enjoying the peaceful views of the rolling Cariboo landscape. Golf Vacations in British Columbia.
Fishing: If fly-fishing is your passion, head to Timothy Lake, a little distance east of Lac La Hache, which is stocked annually to maintain good fishing right through the warmer months. There are three resorts on Timothy Lake offering accommodation, fishing licences, and rental of boats and fishing gear, and one of the lodges features a fully licenced restaurant.
Skiing: 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 scenic chairlift ride up the 1,635-metre hill. Overnight RV plug-in sites are available.
Cross-country Skiing: In winter, the area 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. 100 Mile House hosts the annual Cariboo Cross-country Marathon, that draws an international field of between 700 and 1,000 Nordic ski enthusiasts to the second oldest loppet in Canada. The race is held in February, and covers lengths of 10, 20 30 and 50 kilometres.
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.
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.
Circle Tour: 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.