Anglers and swimmers alike gravitate to Juniper Beach Provincial Park. This 260-hectare park is situated in the arid Thompson-Nicola region, and Juniper Beach 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, including sagebrush, prickly pear cacti, junipers and cottonwoods. 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.
Recreational activities include canoeing, kayaking, and swimming. Visitors can plunge into a large, natural pool that is separated from the swift, and potentially dangerous waters of the Thompson Rivers. The closest waterskiing would be on Kamloops Lake, a 15 minute drive from Juniper Beach.
The Thompson, Nahatlatch, and Fraser Rivers are all justifiably well known for their river-rafting experiences. Of the three, the Thompson and Fraser are more prominent, though not necessarily more challenging than the Nahatlatch. The season begins in May, once water levels become manageable. Although it is entirely possible to run these rivers unaccompanied, the majority of paddlers opt for the services of a certified guide, at least the first time.
Nearby is Hat Creek Ranch and Ashcroft Manor. Between 1885 and 1905, the Cariboo Wagon Road bustled with stagecoaches and freight wagons. One of the few sections of the original road is still open to the public at Hat Creek Ranch. Many of the original buildings still stand, and visitors can watch the blacksmith at his forge, appreciate a collection of antique farm machinery, enjoy a picnic lunch in the orchard, or take a guided tour of the ranch house.
There are 30 vehicle/tent campsites within the park. Fees are collected April – October. In addition to basic facilities – picnic tables, pit toilets, fire pits, firewood and water – flush toilets, a sani-station, showers and electrical hook-ups are also provided. Some facilities are wheelchair accessible.
Juniper Beach Provincial Park is located 19 km east of Cache Creek off Highway 1 on the north shore of the Thompson River.
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