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 Home > Travel BC > BC Cities and Towns > Cariboo Chilcotin Coast > Chilanko Forks

Chilanko Forks
Chilanko Forks is located 60 km (35 miles) west of Alexis Creek and 48 km (30 miles) east of Tatla Lake on Hwy 20 in the Cariboo Chilcotin Region.

Puntzi Lake
Chilanko Forks is at the junction point for travel into Puntzi Lake which is about 8 km (5 miles) north on the Puntzi Lake Road. Puntzi Lake is approximately 5 km (3 miles) wide by around 10 km (6 miles) long and depending on the time of year, has some good fishing for either Kokanee and Rainbow trout about .75 kilo (1.5 lbs) minimum size or better.

Fishing Resorts at Puntzi
There are a number of fishing resorts and serviced RV campsites at Puntzi Lake. When you travel Puntzi Lake Road South is the turnoff is to Howdy's Lakeside Resort, then if you continue on Puntzi Lake Road, there are other fishing resorts including, Barney's Lakeside, Puntzi Lake Resort, Kokanee Bay Resort and the Woodland Caribou Resort.

Puntzi Lake Fishing Derby
Usually taking place on the first weekend in July, the annual Puntzi Lake Fishing Derby, sponsored by the local resorts, has been a family tradition since 1984. This is just a great time for kids and their parents to get together and hopefully win a prize adults for the largest fish and children for the most total pounds.

BC Forest Service Recreation Site
If you prefer a rustic RV camp or tenting site, Puntzi Lake has a very nice clean BC Forest Service Recreation Site with some campsites right on the lakeshore. The popular recreation site is first-come, first-served and is located just past Barney's Lakeside on Puntzi Lake Road.

Big Country Service Station
Chilanko Forks, at the turnoff for Puntzi Lake Road was, for the longest time, the site of a small service station that did automotive repairs called Big Country Service Station. Unfortunately, the station is now closed so if you need fuel, you need to go to Redstone Flat.

Redstone Flat
Redstone Flat, or known locally as Tsi Deldel by the Alexis Creek First Nations, is located just east of Chilanko Forks on Hwy 20 by 27 km (17 miles). Redstone Flat is home to a reserve and the Redstone Gas Bar. The Redstone Gas Bar has a convenience store with a limited selection, propane and probably the best prices on fuel in the Cariboo Chilcotin Region.

Puntzi Mountain Airport (YPU)
There is an airstrip at Chilanko Forks, the Puntzi Mountain Airport (YPU). The airport is a holdover from when the US and Canadian governments at different times with an air force base established here as part of the Pinetree Air Defense Line. The public landing strip is 6,000-feet long x 250-feet wide with an asphalt surface.

Find the Airstrip
To find the Puntzi Mountain Airport when travelling by vehicle on Hwy 20, go west of Puntzi Lake Road by 2 km (1.3 miles) to where you'll find Puntzi Airport Road. Turn here and travel another 6.5 km (4 miles) to the airstrip.

Chilanko Forks Wildlife Management Area
For wildlife and birdwatching, try and make it to the Chilanko Forks Wildlife Management Area, a protected marshland situated right near the airstrip for the Puntzi Mountain Airport. The reserve has a number of animal species including beaver, moose, muskrat and at least 52 species of waterfowl.

Birdwatching
The best time to visit the Chilanko Forks Wildlife Management Area for birdwatching starts in May and lasts right up to early September. Puntzi Lake also has numerous birdwatching opportunities, especially for trumpeter swans which live here from early fall to sometimes freeze-up and white pelicans between spring and summer.

Winter Time
Chilanko Forks in the winter is very cold but nonetheless quite incredible. If you dress warmly, there is great snowmobiling, snowshoeing plus cross-country skiing in the immediate area and excellent ice-fishing on Puntzi Lake, especially for whitefish in January.

Tatla Lake
For small items like candy bars, pop and chips, Kokanee Bay Fishing Resort at Puntzi Lake has a small store plus for food, a restaurant. For hardware, fishing gear and a greater selection of groceries, try going to Tatla Lake 50 km (30 miles) west on Hwy 20. Here you can also find fuel and a mechanic for vehicle repairs.

Information on Chilanko Forks

Resorts on Puntzi Lake

 

 

Map of Chilanko Forks
click map for larger image

 

Barney's Lakeside Resort
Barney's Lakeside Resort

 

Puntzi Lake Recreation Site
Puntzi Lake Recreation Site

 

Big Country Service Station
Big Country Service Station

 

Redstone Flat Store
Redstone Flat Store

 

Hwy 20 at Redstone Flat
Hwy 20 at Redstone Flat

 

Puntzi Lake
Puntzi Lake

 
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