Nestled in the valley beside the mighty Thompson River is the historic community of Ashcroft, a desert oasis rich in history and big on hospitality.
Born as a connection between the railway and the Cariboo Wagon Road, Ashcroft has a history steeped in transportation and agriculture – potatoes, tomatoes, and today, melons and ginseng. The ranching industry grew in response to miners needs for beef, and grain and hay to feed mules and oxen. Ranches in the Ashcroft area continue to flourish to this day.
Once the supply centre for the north, this feisty community thrives today as a commercial centre for area residents and a haven for travellers.
Discover Ashcroft, Arizona with Water, in the heart of the Gold Country!
Heritage buildings from the Gold Rush days of the 1860s invite you to browse around Ashcroft. A devastating fire raged through a block of historic wooden buildings in the heart of downtown Ashcroft on 2 June 2001, tragically destroying some of the most historic buildings, including the Harvey Bailey building, named after a pioneer.
Museum: The Biggest little Museum in Gold Country, rated one of the best in the British Columbia, lets you experience the pioneer days of the early settlement of Ashcroft with some impressive displays of historical artifacts of the area. Located on Brink Street in a 1916 heritage building.
Fishing is great in this region, and very popular on the Thompson River. Among the best of the area lakes is Loon Lake, a long narrow, well-stocked rainbow trout lake that also contains kokanee and steelhead. Boat launch facilities are located at Barnes Lake, Loon Lake, and Pavillion Lake. There are few fishing runs as legendary – or as threatened – as the steelhead run on the Thompson River, and one of the main tributaries, the Nicola. Steelhead are an oceangoing species of trout famous for their size, speed, stamina, and tremendous strength. In order to surmount obstacles in the Fraser Canyon before entering the Thompson near Lytton, steelhead must possess all these characteristics.
The surrounding mountains are a paradise for rock climbers and particularly for rockhounders, who head to the High Country in search of Jade. Recreation in the Thompson Okanagan area.
Golf: Semlin Valley Golf Course is a lovely 9-hole public golf course located on the hillside just 1 km east of Cache Creek on the Trans Canada Highway. Set in the nexus of three majestic valleys in the rugged heart of Cariboo Gold Country, this gorgeous track features lush, well-maintained fairways, panoramic vistas and the best-kept greens around. Another option is the Tobiano Golf Course, situated eight minutes east of Savona on a gentle bluff that traces the washes and swales along the shoreline of pristine Kamloops Lake, the former site of the historic Six Mile Ranch now transformed from rugged bench lands into a visually captivating golf course. Golf Vacations in British Columbia.
Juniper Beach Provincial Park is one of the few access points to the Thompson River between Savona and Spences Bridge. One of the newest parks in British Columbia, it was created to help protect a desert landscape. Some of the world’s best steelhead fishing is found here. In July, you’ll be able to watch sockeye salmon as they travel upstream to spawn in the Adams River. Visitors can pretend to join them by taking a plunge in a large, natural pool that is separated from the river for swimming. Take Hwy 1 east of Cache Creek for about 25 km.
Cornwall Hills Provincial Park to the west of Ashcroft protects 2,055-metre Cornwall Hill and the surrounding slopes. This new park is undeveloped, and can be accessed on the Cornwall Hills Lookout FSR off Creek Road. The Three Sisters Recreation site is located south of the park entrance, with the wilderness Bedard Aspen Provincial Park to the southwest.
At the foot of White Mountain is the new Blue Lake Provincial Park encompassing Blue Lake and the Blue Lake Recreation site at the east end of the lake. Facilities include a campsite and a cartop boat launch. The park is located southeast of Ashcroft on the Blue Earth Lake FSR, by way of the Twaal Lake FSR.
Drop by Cache Creek over the second weekend in June for the BC Old Time Drags and Rod Run, when hot rods from all over the Pacific Northwest hit town to take part in races and a hot rod parade. Held at the Municipal Park and Eagle Motorplex.
Don’t miss the Ashcroft & District Stampede and Parade, held for over 40 years on the third weekend in June.
Farm Guide: Travellers looking for a down-to-earth experience can find a list of resources and activities featured in the Kamloops Farm Fresh Guide. The guide showcases the diversity of life in the Thompson Nicola region, which ranges from wine tasting to guided family horseback rides on a working cattle ranch. Visitors can use the guide (available from Tourism Kamloops) to locate area farmer’s markets and fall fairs, discover fresh-picked fruit and vegetables, farm-raised meat and eggs, and value-added products like honey and jellies.
East of Ashcroft is the historic community of Walhachin, originally established in 1910 as a farming community for British settlers attracted by somewhat exaggerated claims of an agricultural utopia. The new colony was not successful, and today Walhachin is a small community of approximately 100 residents, located off the Trans-Canada Highway, between Savona and Cache Creek. Walhachin has been used as a filming location for the television series, the X-Files.
North of Ashcroft is the bustling little town of Cache Creek , set amid a desert-like climate of cactus, sagebrush and rolling tumbleweeds, providing an oasis of motels at the junction of the Trans Canada Highway and the Cariboo Highway (97).
South of Ashcroft is the small community of Spences Bridge, an important Nlaka’pamux centre located at the confluence of the Thompson and Nicola Rivers.
Circle Tours: See the best of the area on Okanagan and Kootenay Rockies Circle Tour. Travel the sunny interior of British Columbia, north through the Okanagan to Sicamous, following Highway 1 into the mountains of the BC Rockies. From Golden, head south through the Columbia Valley to Creston, and west through the Southern Okanagan, starting and ending your sun-drenched voyage in Osoyoos, the place where two lakes come together. Circle Tours in British Columbia.