Quesnel is located 114 km (71 miles) south of Prince
George and 120 km (75 miles) north of Williams
Lake on Hwy 97, or about 660 km (410 miles) north of Vancouver.
Quesnel is situated between the Fraser and the Quesnel Rivers just
north of the point at which the Quesnel flows into the Fraser. In
the past the Fraser River provided a major transportation route
for trading among the aboriginal peoples.
In time the Fraser River provided the explorer, Alexander Mackenzie,
a route to Quesnel and later, the Pacific Ocean at Bella
Coola. You can view this historic rock where the first landing
by Mackenzie was recorded. It is located near the pedestrian bridge
to west Quesnel on the Quesnel side on the River Front Trail.
Then, in the late 1800's, gold was discovered with vast fortunes
being made. Major saloons, taverns, business ventures and a small
area called Chinatown were financed through the gold seekers looking
for a large vein of gold. Fraser River provided a catalyst for the
gold seekers to the prospectors.
The Quesnel Museum is located next to the Fraser River where you
can share the history of the Cariboo. The buildings are easily located
right past the Hwy 97 Bridge just over the Quesnel River at the
Visitor Info Centre on Legion Drive. The museum contains over 30,415
artifacts dealing with local history of Quesnel, the Cariboo and
the gold rush era.
If you enjoy gaming Quesnel has a unique casino called the Billy
Barker Casino. Built like an old Sternwheeler to reflect the proud
past of the Fraser and Quesnel Rivers, the Billy Barker Casino is
conveniently located in downtown Quesnel.
Quesnel has done an excellent job of connecting downtown Quesnel
and West Quesnel together with the natural river environment with
the Riverfront Trail System. The trail takes you around parts of
the Quesnel River, the railyards, the confluence of the Fraser River
then up the Fraser to Ceal Tangley Memorial Park where you can view
a restored antique steam shovel and other equipment.
There is also an option of another trail loop in West Quesnel. The
trail takes you over the Fraser River at the pedestrian bridge.
West Quesnel has a few stores and pubs plus a great selection of
Chinese food if you have the urge for something to eat.
Another part of Quesnel where you can find a lot of development
taking place is on the south side of downtown called South Quesnel
or by the locals as Red Bluff. Here you can find the major stores
like Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire, Extra Foods and Tim Hortons. For entertainment
there is Murphy's Pub plus a wide selection of accommodation including
a Super 8 Motel and a Sandman Inn which features a Shark Club.
Just south of here on Hwy 97 is a large lake called Dragon Lake
where you can find stately homes, plus some large horse and cattle
ranches. For historic artifacts visit the heritage equipment museum
situated near Dragon Lake.
Arts and Recreation Centre
The Quesnel Arts and Recreation Centre contain the Quesnel Art Gallery
and the Aquatic Centre. The Aquatic Centre features a 25-metre swimming
pool, a weight room, a hot tub and fun fitness centre. The Quesnel
Arts and Recreation Centre are on the east side of the Quesnel River
at 500 North Star Road.
For the best view of Quesnel, take the short trip up to Pinnacles
Provincial Park. The park is located 8 km (5 miles) from downtown
off Pinnacles Road in West Quesnel. From inside Pinnacles Park you
can view steep cliffs, different rock formations called hoodoos,
with Baker Creek and the city of Quesnel in the background.
Quesnel sits at an elevation of 474 m (1,555 feet) near an area
of high volcanic geological formations called the Anahim Volcanic
Belt. One area called the Nazko Cone is located 75 km (47 miles)
west of Quesnel near Nazko. In order to
get here, go over the Moffat Bridge across the Fraser River to West
Quesnel. You then take Elliott Road north towards Blackwater Road
and Bouchie Lake where you'll find the Nazko Highway.
The Nazko Valley is an interesting place with some great deer hunting
and trout fishing available. If you're prepared and a little more
adventurous the Blackwater Road from Nazko eventually travels north-west
travelling parts of the original Alexander Mackenzie Heritage Trail/Nuxalk
Barkerville is located 82 km (51 miles)
east on Hwy 26 from the north side of Quesnel. In its time, Barkerville
had one of the biggest gold finds in the Cariboo region during the
1850's and 1860's. Various miners from all over the West Coast,
notably San Francisco and, at least 8,000 Chinese from the province
of Guangdong, China, made it to Barkerville. The small community
of Wells is near Barkerville.
Mile Lake Provincial Park
If you are travelling through Quesnel and need a convenient RV or
tenting campground, try Ten
Mile Lake Provincial Park. Easily found on the north side of
Quesnel, Ten Mile Lake features spacious and private campsites,
walking trails and a fishing lake that features a good swimming