Discover Williams Lake, BC

Explore this year-round haven for outdoor enthusiasts

Williams Lake has year-round opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts and is a must-visit area for the entire family summer through winter.

Williams Lake is truly known as the Shangri-La of mountain biking, boasting the largest trail network in BC’s Interior, with more than 200 kilometres of single-track trails and tens of thousands of board feet of lumber constructing various riding features.

The lake city is a great base for hiking, four wheeling and sport fishing. Their indoor recreation facilities are top-notch and with recent upgrades, the Cariboo Memorial Recreational Complex offer a waterslide and training lanes, lazy river and beautiful fitness centre, in addition to two ice rinks.

A vibrant downtown core boasts a wide variety of shopping, dining and service opportunities.

Scout Island features 2 1/2km of trails weaving through marshland, forests and along the lake. A new walking bridge has been installed for a more pleasant crossing and tying into the trail system. Continue your outdoor adventure with a hike or bike ride along the incredible Williams Lake River Valley Trail to the mighty Fraser River.

While the world-famous rodeo is a highlight of summer, if you’re a winter sports enthusiast, there’s cross-country skiing, downhill skiing as well as groomed snowmobile trails to some of the most beautiful snow-covered mountains in the world.

If Williams Lake is your destination this year, discover for yourself the world-class western hospitality and a wide range of adventures that await.

Facts

• Three major industries have made these Cariboo Chilcotin and Central Coast communities thrive: forestry, mining and agriculture. BUT unprecedented wildfires in 2017 heavily impacted forests in the region, which has resulted in forestry companies, ranchers and First Nations communities salvaging burned timber while it is still viable.

• Sawmills at Tolko Industries, West Fraser and Sigurdson Forest Products and West Fraser Plywood are major employers in Williams Lake. There are also several log home and timber frame companies with their work visible throughout the region.

• The agriculture industry is vital to everyday life for even those outside of the Cariboo Chilcotin, as many products, from beef to vegetables, end up on tables in homes and restaurants around the province. The Williams Lake Stockyards on Cattle Drive play an integral part in the local ranching community, hosting several sales throughout the year.

• The Cariboo-Chilcotin is enriched by its Indigenous peoples. For thousands of years the Secwepemc, Tsilhqot’in and Dakelh have called the area home. Archaeological evidence such as petroglyphs, pictographs and depressions of pit houses or Kekuli holes are still visible in many areas throughout the region.

Scout Island Nature Centre is a tranquil oasis in the heart of the city, directly on the migration path of hundreds of bird species, including rare white pelicans, swans, eagles, many species of ducks, and smaller birds that come from as far south as Peru and Chile and will head as far north as the Northwest Territories and Alaska, after resting and feeding in the lush marsh here.

Weather

A generally temperate provides Williams Lake with warm summers and cold winters, with significant precipitation, with 394 mm (15.5 inches, annually).

Destination BC is developing a new campaign to promote hyper-local travel where residents are “tourists-in-their own hometown,” while practising the COVID-19 safety protocols as recommended by the B.C. Provincial Health Officer. Many B.C. parks are now open, and national parks were to open as of June 1.

(Check this website for current details on travel.)

Getting Here

Driving: Williams Lake is 549 km (341 mi) from Vancouver following the Hwy 1E route, for a travel time of about six hours.

Map

Dream now, travel later. To plan for future adventures here and throughout the West Coast, visit westcoasttraveller.com

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