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 Home > Travel BC > BC Cities and Towns > Cariboo Chilcotin Coast > Williams Lake

Williams Lake
Williams Lake is located 120 km (75 miles) south of Quesnel and 92 km (58 miles) north of 100 Mile House on Hwy 97.

'Stampede Capital of B.C.'
Williams Lake is located in the heart of British Columbia's Cariboo-Chilcotin Region and is often recognized as being the 'Stampede Capital of B.C.' because of the world-famous Williams Lake Stampede which occurs during the July 1st Canada Day long weekend.

Williams Lake Stampede
When you talk to anybody about Williams Lake, there is always conversation regarding past experiences at the Williams Lake Stampede. Happening annually the Williams Lake Stampede is one of those events you have to experience first hand. Live country music, entertainment galore and great Williams Lake hospitality make this event a must to attend.

Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin
Things you might want to see in Williams Lake include visiting the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin. Highlighted displays and artifacts highlight the Cariboo Chilcotin Region, revolving around ranching, cattle drives, forestry and settlement in this part of British Columbia.

Station House Gallery
For local artists and artisans the Station House Gallery situated in the old train station exhibits a number of displays of various exhibits celebrating local flavour. The Station House gallery also gives you the opportunity to buy individual pieces at the gift shop.

Winter Recreation
Things to do during the winter in Williams Lake include skiing at the local community hill Mt. Timothy, snowmobiling, curling, cross-country and backcountry skiing, snow-shoeing and ice-fishing.

Scout Island
For bird watching and other naturalist endeavours, try visiting Scout Island located on the west side of Williams Lake just off South Mackenzie Avenue. At Scout Island you can find a picnic ground, beach, a nature walk and a boat launch. There is also a nature house offering displays, guest speakers and informative help regarding the sensitivity and ecologically diverse environment of Scout Island.

Williams Lake River Valley Trail
An excellent walking or cycling trail where you can get out and view other examples of the Cariboo eco-system is along the 11.5 km (7 miles) long Williams Lake River Valley Trail. This one-way trail follows the Williams Lake River from the mouth where it empties into the Fraser River upstream through a canyon. To access the gravel paved trail go to Mackenzie Avenue just beside Comer Street; here you can find a large parking lot and the trail head.

Gateway to the Cariboo and Chilcotin Regions
Williams Lake is at the gateway to both the rest of the Cariboo and the Chilcotin Regions with its location being on Hwy 97 at the junction to Hwy 20. To the west over the Chilcotin Bridge and the Fraser River is Anahim Lake and Bella Coola. Then, to the east, there are routes that will take you either into Likely and Horsefly via 150 Mile House. Then on Hwy 97 to the north is Quesnel and, to the south, is 100 Mile House.

Golf Courses
For golfers, try the Williams Lake Golf & Tennis Club, where you can expect to find some very scenic views from this 18-hole course as it plays across the local Chilcotin hills. The course is very enjoyable with 'Stay and Play' packages using the local Sandman Inn.

Williams Lake Cycling Club
For mountainbiking, the Williams Lake Cycling Club has developed a number of trails in the near area, notably up Desous Mountain. The cycling trails include all types for the level of rider. Please check with the club for availability, free map and local information for Desous Mountain.

Tourism Discovery Centre
If you do visit Williams Lake, try and visit the Tourism Discovery Centre, a beautiful log-built wooden building located near McDonalds on Hwy 97. Here you will find helpful staff for all your inquiries regarding Williams Lake and the rest of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Region.

Farwell Canyon Hoodoos
Other exploring close by is along the badlands at Farwell Canyon found near Riske Creek. Riske Creek is found only 48 km (30 miles) of Williams Lake on Hwy 20, just west of the Fraser River. Turn on the Chilcotin South Forest Service Road to view these amazing sandstone hoodoos situated adjacent to the Chilcotin River.

Xat'sull Heritage Village
To help understand the first nation heritage around Williams Lake, try and visit the Xat'sull Heritage Village located 37 km (23 miles) north of Williams Lake near Soda Creek. Here you can find and experience the traditional way of life in the award-winning heritage village complete with cultural and spiritual understanding of the First Nations.

Stampede Campground
If you require RV camping in Williams Lake there are a number of outlets on the outskirts located near fishing lakes. For something closer to downtown, try the Stampede Campground which is conveniently situated near the Scout Island Nature Center plus is within walking distance to the trailhead along the Williams Lake River Valley Trail.

Provincial Parks
For discovering the provincial parks near Williams Lake there are three near Riske Creek that are within an easy travel distance. Big Creek, Junction Sheep Range and White Pelican Provincial Parks have extremely good opportunities for wildlife watching but no vehicle-accessible campgrounds. Nazko Lake Provincial Park north of Alexis Creek has a first-come, first-served vehicle-accessible campground.

Thunder Mountain Speedway
For those people who love cars and enjoy speed you can enjoy both at the Thunder Mountain Speedway located towards Riske Creek on Hwy 20. Thunder Mountain Speedway starts early in May and wraps-up with the awards ceremony in November.

Information on Williams Lake

Resorts and RV Camping

 

 

Map of Williams Lake
click map for larger image

City of Williams Lake Map


Williams Lake Stampede Grounds
Williams Lake Stampede Grounds

 

Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin
Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin

 

Stationhouse Gallery
Stationhouse Gallery

 

Williams Lake
Williams Lake

 

Williams Lake River Valley Trail
Williams Lake River Valley Trail

 

Chilcotin Bridge over the Fraser River
Chilcotin Bridge over the Fraser River

 

Fraser and Williams Lake Rivers
Fraser and Williams Lake Rivers

 

Tourism Discovery Centre
Tourism Discovery Centre

 

Farwell Canyon Hoodoos
Farwell Canyon Hoodoos

 
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