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Celebrating 150 Years of Travel and Adventure From San Francisco to the Cariboo Goldfields of British Columbia, 1862 – 2012

by NationTalk on June 7, 2012577 Views Joins In on the Celebration

San Francisco, CA – Jun 6, 2012 – With the price of gold being what it is these days we thought you might be interested to know that adventurers have been travelling in search of wealth to the gold fields of British Columbia for at least the last 150 years. In fact there are still many successful claims being worked in the Cariboo Mountains near the historic town of Barkerville to this day.

The first gold rush in North America started in 1848 in California, but by the late 1850s the California gold rush was pretty much over and stories circulating around Sacramento and San Francisco rumored of gold in the Fraser River. Thanks to the newspapers of the day (The Alta California, The San Francisco Herald, S.F. Bulletin and the Sacramento Daily Union broke the news) everyone wanted a part of it. Looking back it’s safe to say that the news from California played a significant role in the development of British Columbia as we know it today.British Columbia had two big gold rushes, one in 1858 on the Fraser River and another even bigger one in 1862 in the “Cariboo district.” In each, tens of thousands of men (and a few women) sailed north from San Francisco to Vancouver Island, landing not far from the Hudson’s Bay company “Fort Victoria.” People flocked to the young Province, mostly via the port of San Francisco from all over the world. Some travelled from Scotland, England, Germany and even China. They came by ship because there were no roads linking the Fraser River or Cariboo region to the Oregon or Washington territories. Once they arrived at the mouth of the Fraser they took to First Nations trading trails. Some were fur brigade trails used by the Hudson’s Bay Company. In May 1862, the Royal Engineers commenced construction of the Cariboo Wagon Road. Starting at Yale, the road lead through the Fraser Canyon, on to Lytton, and then along the Thompson and Fraser rivers to Quesnel (pr. Kwenel) and by 1864 into Barkerville. Overtime it was built wide enough to accommodate wagons, and greatly accelerated the movement of men and materials into the goldfields. Imagine a road built entirely by hand, pick and shovel — what a road trip that must have been!

The Cariboo Wagon Road has evolved to become parts of Highways #1, #97 and #26. Today’s traveler can still experience remnants of the original Cariboo Wagon Road from Vancouver north through the Fraser Canyon and into the Goldfields in style and the comfort of their own modern coaches. One aspect of the route that has not changed with the passage of time is the raw beauty of the landscape; another is the character of the people you meet who live along the route.

There is no lack of history, culture or activities to entertain all who visit this unique and beautiful part of the world. A small sampling of the diverse activities available include First Nations cultural tours, historical hiking trails, river rafting, canoe and kayak routes, guest & working ranch experiences, fishing and hunting opportunities abound, many music festivals and events.

British Columbia is very well organized with regards to access to travel and tourism information. For more background on the regions see . The size of BC and the geographic diversity of the land lend to trip lengths that average from 6 to 10 days. Warning: Many travelers find that they discover so many interesting places and activities that they immediately start planning return trips just a couple of days into their first BC experience. Join us in celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Gold Rush Trail and we hope to see you soon in this amazing Land Without Limits.

We have included a few great travel planning links that will help you connect your future to both the past and the present. Land Without Limits – Free Travel Planners/Guides

About The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association: A Destination Marketing Organization that works in conjunction with Tourism BC and the tourism industry in the Cariboo, Chilcotin and Central Coast area to help foster the growth of the tourism industry in the region. For more information on the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region visit

About is the Official Directory of Tours & Vacations Worldwide. On-line since 1995, has a deep and searchable database of tour and vacation companies searchable by company name, destination and/or activity. Also a one-stop resource for major Travel Channels such as travel insurance, passport & visa information, major travel booking sites by categories such as hotels, air, cars, cruises, barges, yachts & ferries, railroad & rail travel, etc.. Plus all other pertinent travel categories/channels. The Find a Travel Agent search field allows one to search for travel agents certified with in-depth knowledge in their chosen specialty.

Contact Information


Maria Polk
President & C EO
Phone: 415-332-7916

Brad McGuire
Tel: (250) 392 2226

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