Bowron Lake Provincial Park is located just north of the gold rush
towns of Barkerville
approximately 120 km (75 miles) east of Quesnel.
To get to Bowron Lake Provincial Park, take Hwy 97 to the Hwy 26
junction point which is located on the north side of Quesnel near
the A&W. Once on Hwy 26, you then travel approximately 86 km
(54 miles) to the turnoff for the Bowron Lake Road, about 1 km (0.6
mile) west of Barkerville. From here, the headquarters and visitor
info centre for Bowron Lake Provincial Park is another 34 km (21
miles) on a gravel road.
Bowron Lake Provincial Park is situated north-west of the Cariboo
Mountains Provincial Park and is well-noted for the world famous
Bowron Lakes canoe circuit which involves a total trip of approximately
116 km (72 miles). The experience involves paddling a series of
rivers, a chain of eleven lakes, and hiking through a number of
portages. The canoe circuit, which is shaped like a large rectangle,
is open from May 15 to September 30. To do it requires reservations,
6 to 10 days to complete it, plus it involves being self reliant
and camping out in rustic campgrounds nestled in the deep forest
in a wilderness setting.
Reservations and registration for the canoe and kayak circuit is
required by BC Parks and must be completed before the beginning
of your trip. Look for the boat launch and the registration kiosk
next to the Bowron Lake Provincial Campground where you can find
parking for your vehicle. Reservations for the trip can be made
by using the Discover Camping website starting on January 2nd.
There are wilderness campgrounds along the route and they should
be studied on a map before starting out, in order to know the stamina
requirements, distances, and availability of campsites. A detailed
map is available from BC Parks for Bowron Lakes Provincial Park.
Pit-toilets are located throughout the provincial park and at each
campsite designation on the canoe circuit.
For anglers, fishing is very good throughout the park and with the
appropriate license, you can try your luck for Kokanee, Rainbow,
Lake, and Bull trout. The best time to go is usually in June or
September; just make sure you have a good selection of flies and
lures, and check at the local stores or lodges if you need a license
or more information.
There is a vehicle-accessible campground with 25 campsites available
if you would like to camp near the registration building. From here,
there is a small boat launch on Bowron Lake within walking distance
of your campsite on a short trail. The campground features fairly
private sites with pit-toilets and tap water available, plus scales
for weighing your canoe and its load, as there are restrictions
on the portages when going on the canoe circuit.
For relaxing along the route, there are a number of sandy beaches
situated on the various lakes with some swimming available, especially
on the western side. Just remember the water is cold; wear proper
safety equipment around the water and keep in your water craft,
plus if you are swimming, there are no lifeguards present anywhere
in the BC Provincial Park system.
Pets are only allowed on-leash in the vehicle-accessible campground
in Bowron Lake Provincial Park. Dogs and other domestic animals
are prohibited from coming along when participating in the Bowron
Lake canoe circuit. Make sure you are also aware of safe bear and
other wildlife procedures when encountering animals in the area.
Bears especially have been encountered by many people when completing
the canoe circuit or travelling to and from the park, or within
the park itself.
If you need or have forgotten anything before the canoe circuit,
there is a store located near the entrance to the park called the
Bear River Mercantile. Here you can find friendly owners offering
a wide range of stuff, including information on what to expect while
travelling the Bowron Lakes circuit trip, a general store, restaurant,
various rental cabins, campground, canoe, and cart rentals, plus
a small museum for curiosity seekers.
Another place where you can rent canoes or kayaks plus get information
on the canoe circuit is at Becker's Lodge. The wilderness resort
which is located near the provincial park boat launch has been operating
since 1933 and offers a range of adventure services. Becker's Lodge
features rustic-style cabins and campground, some of which are serviced
with electricity. There is a general store and a beautiful beach
along Bowron Lake.
Lake Lodge and Resort
a private campground located on Bowron Lake try the Bowron Lake
Lodge and Resort situated next to the Bowron River.
Fishing at Bowron
Lake Provincial Park
Moose in Bowron