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Bowron Lakes Canoe Tour

Bowron Lake Provinicial Park is a magnificent 121,600 hectare wilderness area in the Cariboo Mountain Ranges of BC. Rugged snow capped peaks and powerful waterfalls contrast with tranquil lakes and fertile marshlands to create a park of varied natural splendour. The park includes a world renowned canoe circuit comprised of lakes and interconnecting rivers. Today the park is a wildlife sanctuary that protects a wide array of wildlife in diverse habitats. Abundant wildlife and rich flora, set amidst a backdrop of azure lakes and high mountain peaks provide a truly inspirational setting fro the canoeist, photographer and naturalist

Day 1

Pick up at your Wells accommodation by your guide and then drive to the start of the Bowron Lake Circuit, register, and begin with the first portage. It is a 2.4 km portage over varied terrain that takes you to Kibbee Lake. From there it will be a short paddle to your first camp. The afternoon is for canoe instruction, exploration and relaxation.

Day 2

You canoe Indianpoint Lake, the site of the ruins of Thomas and Eleanor McCabe's log home. From this lake, there is a portage to Isaac Lake. Your second night campsite is at Nigoo Creek in Wolverine Bay, a good place to fish...

Day 3

The whole day is spent paddling on to Isaac Lake, the largest lake on the circuit (38 km) named after George Isaac, a logger and sawyer. Your third night is at a nice, sandy beach directly opposite Betty Wendle Creek, named for the wife of Joe Wendle. Together, they spent 20 years as guides in the area and were instrumental in having the interior of the lake chain set aside as a game reserve in 1925.

Day 4

You paddle the rest of Isaac Lake and spend your fourth night at The Chute, where Isaac Lake empties into the Isaac River.

Day 5

Isaac River and the chute:  there is a stretch of white water (about 8km) which can be canoed or portaged. For those who choose to run it, your guide goes over all the strokes you will need and teach you how to read moving water, followed by some practice runs. From the chute to McLeary Lake there are two short portages and two short stretches of river. McLeary Lake is a beautiful, small lake with a great view of the mountains and the Cariboo glacier. You pass the swift-moving Cariboo River, whose source is the Cariboo glacier and which leads us to Lanezi Lake, the second largest on the circuit with spectacular mountain peaks towering over it. Here you may encounter a number of log jams but your guide knows all the right channels and will see you through with no problem. You spend your fifth night at the Turner Creek camp site on Lanezi Lake.

Day 6

Today you pass along Sandy Lake, fringed with aspen trees and beautiful beaches all along one shore. Your sixth night camp site is at Rum Lake which has the warmest water - and best for swimming - on the circuit. It is connected to Unna Lake by a channel. From Unna Lake there is a lovely, 1.2 km. hiking trail leading to the impressive 24-metre high Cariboo Falls.

Day 7

Next, via a portage, is Babcock Lake, named for J.P.Babcock, a B.C. Fish Commissioner, who was instrumental in having the interior of the lake chain set aside as a game reserve in 1925. Then a short portage to Skoi Lake, the smallest on the circuit, and another equally short portage to Spectacle Lake. You have left the mountains now and are into more open, marsh type country where, if you're watchful, you may even see a moose. Tonight’s camp site offers a great view of the mountains in the middle of the lake chain.

Day 8

You enter the Bowron Marsh, teeming with bird and wildlife and where you are likely to see moose, beaver, muskrat and marten. Wolves can be heard and salmon spawn in the river. Finally you are on Bowron Lake, formerly known as Bear Lake. It was named for John Bowron, one of Barkerville's residents in the 1860's. He held positions such as postmaster, fire warden, government agent and gold commissioner. Your trip ends on the morning of the eighth day after breakfast.