No matter how much you plan, summer never seems long enough to tick off all the adventure boxes you have drawn out. Luckily, there are more adventures to be had in a season that others often overlook. Welcome to fall; a seemingly secret season where BC’s wildest moments are found as animals prepare for winter hibernation. One that invites those who haven’t hung up their boots, camera, and jacket yet to explore more and milk out every last snowless second our Canadian climate brings – and out here, you can do this right up until the end of October.
BC’s Land of Hidden Waters is bordered by the adventure hub city of Kamloops, the countless lakes and guest ranch experiences of the South Cariboo and Lower North Thompson Valley regions, and the famous Wells Gray Provincial Park – an otherworldly mountainscape born of volcanoes and carved by glaciers. As summer turns to fall, warm days and cool nights transform our trees into vibrant displays that photographers and travellers marvel over.
Looking for a fall adventure road trip to cap off your sightseeing season with? Here are 4 regions to add to your map:
By now you may have driven through or visited Kamloops before, but have you really explored the city and its surrounding adventures? From culinary fills that are the perfect place to fuel up for fall, to its many adventures like hiking amongst fall colours in and around the city, walking tours, guided fly fishing (which fall is perfect for!), biking, wine touring and more. We recommend starting or ending your fall road trip with a night or two in Kamloops, and you can find recommendations on where to stay here.
2. South Cariboo & Fishing Highway 24
Whether it be paddling waters that reflect gold and scarlet colours shimmering on the lakes and streams below, or experiencing fall trout fishing in some of North America’s best still-water fishing, hidden waters are never far in this region. Guided fishing experiences are a perfect way for the family to get familiar with a new sport, and prime fall fishing extends right until the lakes freeze over. Stay at a cozy lakeside B&B like Little Black Bear Lodge B&B, the log cabins of Eagle Island Resort or Lac Des Roches Resort, or head up to the Canim Lake area and stay with Ruth Lake Lodge or South Point Resort.
3. Barriere & Lower North Thompson Valley
Rivers, resorts and ranches are dotted around this region and beckon to be explored on foot, horse, in drift boats or in waders. Experience cowboy culture at Sundance Guest Ranch or a unique fall fishing retreat at Meadow Lake Fishing Resort or Caverhill Flyfishing Lodge. Witness the Adams River Salmon Run seen only in fall as the salmon journey from the Pacific Ocean to spawn. If you’re in the area on a Thursday, stop by the Barriere Farmers’ Market (try the donuts!) and after a stop at High Five Diner in Little Fort, take the Little Fort Ferry to Dunn Lake Road where you’ll find Alpine Meadows Resort, a surprisingly upscale yet affordable Swiss lodge experience on its own lakes with nature at the doorstep. Find fall colours amongst old-growth forests on the Seven Sisters Trail System and rest your head at one of the many unique accommodations in the area.
4. Wells Gray Provincial Park
It may serve as no surprise that ancient forests might be one of the better places to find fall foliage, and Wells Gray is home to one of the largest inland temperate rainforests in the world! Amongst the colours are also 41 named waterfalls (and counting!), roaring rivers, ample hiking trails, horseback riding, and especially this time of year – wildlife viewing. The salmon spawn attracts wildlife from the highest peaks around the park. See one of nature’s most incredible spectacles as salmon jump up falls and rapids at Bailey’s Chute or Raft River Viewing Platform (see #9 of our Points of Interest map). Be patient and on the lookout as you may even spot bears feeding on the salmon below. Watch salmon jumping through the same rivers you’ll later see cascading down mountains as you hike and drive to Wells Gray’s main attraction – waterfalls. For a unique stay in Wells Gray and the Clearwater area, check Clearwater Springs Ranch, Cedar Haven Resort, Moose Camp Fishing Resort, or Dutch Lake Resort which is conveniently located in Clearwater itself.