Williams Lake is located 120 km (75 miles) south of Quesnel
and 92 km (58 miles) north of 100 Mile
House on Hwy 97.
Capital of B.C.'
Williams Lake is located in the heart of British Columbia's Cariboo-Chilcotin
Region and is often recognized as being the 'Stampede Capital of
B.C.' because of the world-famous Williams Lake Stampede which occurs
during the July 1st Canada Day long weekend.
Williams Lake Stampede
When you talk to anybody about Williams Lake, there is always conversation
regarding past experiences at the Williams Lake Stampede. Happening
annually the Williams Lake Stampede is one of those events you have
to experience first hand. Live country music, entertainment galore
and great Williams Lake hospitality make this event a must to attend.
of the Cariboo Chilcotin
Things you might want to see in Williams Lake include visiting the
Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin. Highlighted displays and artifacts
highlight the Cariboo Chilcotin Region, revolving around ranching,
cattle drives, forestry and settlement in this part of British Columbia.
For local artists and artisans the Station House Gallery situated
in the old train station exhibits a number of displays of various
exhibits celebrating local flavour. The Station House gallery also
gives you the opportunity to buy individual pieces at the gift shop.
Things to do during the winter in Williams Lake include skiing at
the local community hill Mt. Timothy, snowmobiling, curling, cross-country
and backcountry skiing, snow-shoeing and ice-fishing.
For bird watching and other naturalist endeavours, try visiting
Scout Island located on the west side of Williams Lake just off
South Mackenzie Avenue. At Scout Island you can find a picnic ground,
beach, a nature walk and a boat launch. There is also a nature house
offering displays, guest speakers and informative help regarding
the sensitivity and ecologically diverse environment of Scout Island.
Lake River Valley Trail
An excellent walking or cycling trail where you can get out and
view other examples of the Cariboo eco-system is along the 11.5
km (7 miles) long Williams Lake River Valley Trail. This one-way
trail follows the Williams Lake River from the mouth where it empties
into the Fraser River upstream through a canyon. To access the gravel
paved trail go to Mackenzie Avenue just beside Comer Street; here
you can find a large parking lot and the trail head.
to the Cariboo and Chilcotin Regions
Williams Lake is at the gateway to both the rest of the Cariboo
and the Chilcotin Regions with its location being on Hwy 97 at the
junction to Hwy 20. To the west over the Chilcotin Bridge and the
Fraser River is Anahim Lake and Bella
Coola. Then, to the east, there are routes that will take you
either into Likely and Horsefly via 150
Mile House. Then on Hwy 97 to the north is Quesnel and, to the south,
is 100 Mile House.
For golfers, try the Williams Lake Golf & Tennis Club, where
you can expect to find some very scenic views from this 18-hole
course as it plays across the local Chilcotin hills. The course
is very enjoyable with 'Stay and Play' packages using the local
Lake Cycling Club
For mountainbiking, the Williams Lake Cycling Club has developed
a number of trails in the near area, notably up Desous Mountain.
The cycling trails include all types for the level of rider. Please
check with the club for availability, free map and local information
for Desous Mountain.
If you do visit Williams Lake, try and visit the Tourism Discovery
Centre, a beautiful log-built wooden building located near McDonalds
on Hwy 97. Here you will find helpful staff for all your inquiries
regarding Williams Lake and the rest of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Region.
Other exploring close by is along the badlands at Farwell Canyon
found near Riske Creek. Riske Creek
is found only 48 km (30 miles) of Williams Lake on Hwy 20, just
west of the Fraser River. Turn on the Chilcotin South Forest Service
Road to view these amazing sandstone hoodoos situated adjacent to
the Chilcotin River.
To help understand the first nation heritage around Williams Lake,
try and visit the Xat'sull Heritage Village located 37 km (23 miles)
north of Williams Lake near Soda Creek. Here you can find and experience
the traditional way of life in the award-winning heritage village
complete with cultural and spiritual understanding of the First
If you require RV camping in Williams Lake there are a number of
outlets on the outskirts located near fishing lakes. For something
closer to downtown, try the Stampede Campground which is conveniently
situated near the Scout Island Nature Center plus is within walking
distance to the trailhead along the Williams Lake River Valley Trail.
For discovering the provincial parks near Williams Lake there are
three near Riske Creek that are within an easy travel distance.
Big Creek, Junction Sheep Range and White Pelican Provincial Parks
have extremely good opportunities for wildlife watching but no vehicle-accessible
campgrounds. Nazko Lake Provincial Park north of Alexis
Creek has a first-come, first-served vehicle-accessible campground.
For those people who love cars and enjoy speed you can enjoy
both at the Thunder Mountain Speedway located towards Riske Creek
on Hwy 20. Thunder Mountain Speedway starts early in May and wraps-up
with the awards ceremony in November.
on Williams Lake
and RV Camping