Bucket List Worthy
Next time you’re driving British Columbia’s Hwy # 97, between Clinton and 150 Mile House, take a break to explore Mount Begbie Lookout, Chasm Provincial Park and 108 Mile Ranch. These accessible trail networks and historic sites have fantastic views of southern BC’s forested landscape and grassy meadows. You won’t be disappointed.
This ancient volcanic cone lies along the historic Cariboo Gold Rush trail, between 70 Mile House and the Highway 24 junction. Named after British Columbia’s famous “hanging judge,” Matthew Baillie Begbie, this feature is now home to a Forest Service fire lookout that was built in the 1920s. Pull into the large parking area next to Highway 97 and walk or ride the short trail to the summit. Gnarly Douglas fir and grassy meadows line the trail while wildflowers poke out of cracks in the basalt cliffs. The two-story fire lookout has great views of Wells Gray Provincial Park to the north and the Marble Mt. range to the southwest. If you want to see through the eyes of a Fire Warden, chill out in the lookout and see if you can spot smoke in the distance.
Carved by glacial melt water over 10, 000 years ago, Chasm Provincial Park’s volcanic canyon is stunning. Take the Chasm road turnoff approx. 25 kilometers north of Clinton and park near the fence and lookout. Snap a few photos then follow the trail that parallels the train tracks to the north. The trail then heads south and forks. Be sure to take the trail heading southwest. This trail follows the canyon edge for kilometers and is lined with old growth Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir and scattered grassy meadows. If you’re brave enough, venture to the edge of the canyon and look for bighorn sheep tracks going over the edge and down the cliff. You may even see some sheep grazing on pine grass nearby. Be sure to download a park map with up-to-date trail information .
Well known for its historic Cariboo Gold Rush buildings and local arts and crafts, 108 Mile Ranch also has fantastic biking, hiking and cross-country ski trails. This prominent roadside stop is just south of Lac La Hache alongside Highway 97. The creepy looking tunnel on the south end of the parking area is your gateway to adventure. Watch your head! This rolling plateau is covered with fir, pine and expansive grassy meadows and prairies. You can explore ATV width ski trails or single-track routes that wind through the trees. Follow the trails to the west for a few kilometers and stop for a picnic at Sucker Lake or simply find some sunny spot to sit and enjoy the view.
Next time you book your holiday in southern British Columbia be sure to check out these stellar trails and historic sites. Take a flight, book a hotel and rent a car and enjoy this province’s fantastic landscape and history.
Looking for some winter adventure on Fatbikes? Check out 7 Reasons to Winter Ride and follow the links at the end to book a vacation to Jasper, Alberta where you can rent bikes and explore the Rocky Mountains.