One of the few sections of the original Cariboo Wagon Road is open to the public at Hat Creek Ranch, 11 km north of Cache Creek on Highway 97. Hat Creek Ranch is a popular heritage site, with restored original buildings – some dating as far back as 1860.
Before Donald McLean bought the roadhouse, he was a chief trader with the Hudson’s Bay Company. Turned Cariboo rancher, his roadhouse served the teams and passengers of the B.C. Express Stage Line (formerly Barnard Express).
Freight wagons pulled by as many as 16 horses rumbled through the Ranch, carrying mining supplies and settlers’ effects to Barkerville and beyond. Hat Creek Ranch passed from owner to owner, and each added or expanded, maintaining both ranch and roadhouse. Guides in period costume demonstrate various crafts, and visitors can enjoy wagon jaunts along the original Cariboo Road, which runs through the middle of the ranch.
Watch the blacksmith at his forge, appreciate a collection of antique farm machinery, or tour the fascinating Shuswap Nation village display beside Hat Creek. This is a rare opportunity to see an actual kekuli pit house.
Guides will also show you the crafts, tools, and technologies of a self-sufficient culture that has always been closely integrated with the natural resources of this region.
You can stroll the ranch grounds year-round; however, regular visitor services are offered between 9 am – 5 pm every day from May to September, and 9 am – 6 pm July to August.
Once a midway point on the Gold Rush Trail, Cache Creek now attracts visitors with its western mystique and beautiful scenery. Surrounded by grasslands and working ranches, this is the place in the High Country to see and ride horses at one of the many great western ranches.
Hat Creek Ranch
Junction of Highway 97 and 99
Cache Creek, BC
P.O. Box 878,
Cache Creek, BC