Do you ever feel like exploring somewhere far beyond your doorstep? By now, chances are you’ve done weekend trips to Whistler, rode the coastal waves in Tofino, and wine toured in Kelowna.
But the wonderful thing about living in BC is that there is a whole other world out there waiting for you. When you venture into the unknown, even just for a few days, we can tell you that the rewards are abundant; just like nature.
Wondering where to go? The Land of Hidden Waters. A spectacular, awe-inspiring region that stretches from the North Thompson Okanagan to the Cariboo Mountains — it’s certainly one for the bucket list.
So, with that in mind, here’s a look at some of the epic treasures (and off-the-beaten-path accommodations) waiting for you in the Land of Hidden Waters.
Fishing lodges and lakeside yurts
Travelling is all about being open to new experiences and doing as the locals do. There are more than 8,000 lakes and over 15,000 kilometres of rivers and streams along the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast with nutrient-rich waters — fishing is a way of life here.
In fact, the area between Little Fort and 100 Mile House is referred to as “Fishing Highway 24” due to its access to large and smaller lakes. Sheridan Lake is a must when you visit — especially if you’re keen to catch giant rainbow trout.
Whether you decide to camp or stay at a resort, fishing is accessible to you. Wettstone Guest Ranch is one of our personal favourites when we’re not camping. Reminiscent of the kind of cozy cabin accommodation you see in movies, it’s nestled in the Interlakes Area of the South Cariboo.
Another haven in the Land of Hidden Waters is Rainbow Spirit Retreat. This beautiful mountaintop resort boasts quaint yurt accommodations and a stunning view of Lac des Roches. Sleep in serenity and schedule everything from acupuncture to massage during your stay.
Camping in wilderness
Approximately one hour’s drive from Wettstone Guest Ranch lies one of BC’s most diverse wilderness parks. To put it simply, Wells Gray Provincial Park is a nature enthusiast’s dream. Filled with dense alpine meadows, mineral springs, glaciers, volcanoes (yes!), and plenty of opportunities to view wildlife, it’s a key spot to visit.
The park is home to 41 cascading waterfalls; Helmcken Falls and Dawson Falls are our go-to falls to see. Interested in extending your visit? Book a stay at one of the park’s campgrounds and wake up to the sounds of birds chirping.
Another option is to stay near Barriere Lake in the Lower North Thompson Valley. This area is the gateway to the Thompson Okanagan region and it feels as though it’s completely off the grid, even though it’s accessible via Kamloops in the north, Mount Robson, and Jasper.
Camping lakeside is easy when you book at East Barriere Lake campsite or North Barriere Lake Resort. Before you leave, be sure to explore the majestic Seven Sisters Trail System and take in the incredible scenes of the surrounding mountains.
Paddling and boating
As the name suggests, water activities are a mainstay in the Land of Hidden Waters. If you enjoy racing down rapids, the gentle glide of a canoe, teaming up with your friend for a kayak adventure, or testing your balance on a stand-up paddleboard, rest assured that this is the region to explore. The biggest decision you’ll have to make is choosing which excursion to try first and the body of water you wish to venture out on.
If connecting with the powerful elements of nature is more your style, add a white water rafting tour to your bucket list. Wells Gray Provincial Park is home to the Clearwater River — one of the world’s greatest white water rivers! But don’t worry, the slower-paced waters of the Clearwater are perfect for all levels of canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
It goes without saying that you’ll want to experience Murtle Lake — the largest paddle-only lake in North America. The lake is lined with sandy beaches, making it easy to transition between paddling and relaxing as you read a book. Of course, there’s always the option to sit back and enjoy the ride during a boat trip in the stunning wilderness of Wells Gray Park or the Lower North Thompson.
Mountain biking and hiking
If you’re badass enough to try white water rafting, mountain biking is the next activity to conquer. Start off with an easier trail before moving on to the more technical forested routes with jumps and winding twists. Kamloops is famed as one of the best places for mountain biking in the country, with its rugged landscape, awesome trail systems traversing rolling hills, and single-track ridges. Plus, Kamloops Bike Ranch is Canada’s largest municipal bike park!
Hiking options are plentiful in the Land of Hidden Waters with regional parks, established trails, backcountry multi-day hikes, and trails suitable for your four-legged friends. Enjoy a lakeside stroll or challenge yourself as the uphill gradient increases (it’s worth it when you reach epic viewpoints).
Kenna Cartwright Nature Park in Kamloops is home to more than 40 kms of trails offering breathtaking views of the Thompson Valley and Kamloops. Likewise, in Barriere, there are hundreds of trails to choose from, each one offering even more sensational views of the Lower North Thompson.
Ready to visit one of BC’s most enchanting destinations? Spring is the perfect time to visit the Land of Hidden Waters and experience an authentic sense of renewal. Before you do, download the hidden water map and points of interest here.
For more information about planning your trip visit landofhiddenwaters.com now.