Hanceville is located around 92 km (58 miles) west of Williams
Lake on Hwy 20, the 'Freedom Highway' to Anahim
Lake and Bella Coola.
The Hanceville area was originally named Lee's Corner after Norman
Lee one of the early pioneers and legendary cattle ranchers in the
Chilcotin Region. Norman Lee tried to push a herd of cattle 2,500
km (1,563 miles) through this rugged country during the winter.
Norman Lee met with bad fate and with little success in his quest
to go to the Klondike Gold Fields in the Yukon. His book Klondike
Cattle Drive chronicles this massive undertaking to the Yukon
and describes his epic journey and disastrous consequences.
The name Lee's Corner was later changed to Hanceville after American
Tom Hance another pioneer. Tom Hance came from Oregon to the Cariboo
in 1875 and founded the original T H Ranch. Not only a rancher but
also he set up the original trading post in the now new settlement
The area around Hanceville supports a population of under one hundred
inhabitants. Most seem to make a living out of cattle ranching.
There are also a few employed in the forestry industry usually on
contract including logging, road building and to help clear the
Mountain Pine Beetle infected timber.
There was a small store in Hanceville called Lee's Corner Store,
unfortunately it was destroyed in the wildfire that ripped through
here in 2017.
The terrain and geography around Hanceville is absolutely stunning
especially near the river valleys. Sandstone carved canyons, rivers
cutting and flowing through ancient lava flows, endless graze land
and spectacular views are all part of Hanceville and the Chilcotin
Even today, there is a drastic change in the forests with the spread
of the Mountain Pine Beetle. This dramatic change has brought about
wild fires in the summer, different jobs in the forest industry
and a change of life for the locals.
There are some great areas for you to explore by gravel road from
Hanceville, especially towards the south. From Hanceville a number
of circle travel routes can be planned including Farwell Canyon
near Riske Creek, Junction Sheep Range
Provincial Park, Gang Ranch and Big Creek. Towards Alexis
Creek, there is Nazko Lake and White Pelican Provincial Parks.
For the adventurous there is Nemaiah
Valley and Ts'yl-O's
Provincial Park towards the south-west.
H Guest Ranch
For accommodation there is the T H Guest Ranch on Hanceville Cutoff
Just remember if you are enjoying the countryside around Hanceville
and the rest of the British Columbia, please remember this is bear
country. Try to avoid the rivers during heavy salmon spawning times
unless you feel comfortable with bears around and take the usual
precautions. There is also the possibilities of encounters with
wolves or cougars so please play it safe.