Located amongst pine and spruce trees northwest of Clinton off the Cariboo Highway, Big Bar Lake Provincial Park offers a perfect place to get away from it all and enjoy the Cariboo wilderness at its best.
You can stand on the shore of the lake in Big Bar Lake Provincial Park for half an hour simply trying to memorize the view – the Cariboo encourages that kind of behaviour. Glaciers melting as recently as 10,000 to 20,000 years ago have left a hummocky landscape marked with lakes and ponds; a real treat for open-eyed adventurers.
Popular outdoor activities in the park include bird watching, swimming, boating, fishing, canoeing, kayaking and hiking. Nearby guest ranches offer horseback excursions into the open range that lies north of the lake. If those activities don’t sound interesting to you, exploring the park by 4×4 or mountain bike might get you going. Whatever way you explore this park, the Jesmond Fire lookout provides wonderful views of the Fraser River and the mountains and land of the Chilcotin.
Black bear, moose, lynx and cougar are some of the large mammals found in the park and surrounding area. Park visitors also often see snowshoe hares, chipmunks and marmots. Big Bar Lake also supports an active beaver population. Fishing is great in the Cariboo, there are literally thousands of lakes, ponds, and rivers in this region. Among the best of them is Big Bar Lake that contains rainbow trout – fishing is active nearly all season, but is best between mid May and late July. There is a paved, single-wide boat launch on the lake adjacent to the lakeside campsites. Towing behind boats is not allowed and there is a speed limit of 10 km per hour at Big Bar Lake. Boat launch is open until Canada Thanksgiving weekend.
There are plenty of provincial campgrounds within easy reach of the Cariboo Highway, the beautiful Big Bar Lake Provincial Park being one of them. The park offers 46 campsites – there are 2 campgrounds; Lakeside Campground and the Upper Campground. The Lakeside Campground consists of 25 sites that overlook the lake. There are 10 high density sites that can accommodate large rigs. There is also 1 pull through site at this campground and parking for extra vehicles is available in the park but not on the sites. The campsites in the Upper Campground are larger and more double sites are available. This campground is used for overflow camping. Fees are collected from May to September 30. The park is closed and gated after September 30th.
Big Bar Lake Provincial Park is located 26.50 miles (42 km) northwest of Clinton off the Cariboo Highway 97.
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