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Bowron Lake

Bowron Lake Provincial Park canoe circuit in British Columbia, Canada, is world famous. People from all walks of life, from different countries, speaking different languages have canoed the Bowron Lake Chain.

In 1926, thanks to the work done by Frank Kibbee and Thomas and Eleanor McCabe, the BC provincial government classified this area as a game reserve. In 1961 it was reclassified as a park and named after John Bowron, a gold rush pioneer who became the Gold Commissioner at Barkerville, now BC's famous restored gold rush town of the 1860's.

Bowron Lake Provincial Park is located in the Cariboo Mountains on central BC, and Wells on Hwy 26 is the nearest community. Take Hwy 26 from Quesnel to Wells, a distance of 90km (55.8mi) and it is 30 km (18.6mi) by secondary road to the park from Wells.

Bowron Lake Provincial Park is a BC wilderness park covering more than 121,600 hectares (300,352 acres) of land with a system of six major lakes. Making up the canoe circuit are Indian point, Isaac, Lanezi, Sandy, Spectacle and Bowron Lakes, the Cariboo and Bowron Rivers, other smaller lakes and streams and several portages. Forming a backdrop are the rugged and majestic Cariboo Mountains. The canoe circuit is 116km (72mi) and paddlers can do the route at their own preferred speed. Ideally the circuit can be completed in six or seven days, but if you plan to do some fishing or just plain relaxing in the serene surroundings, you can take longer. And it is possible to be storm bound for several days. There is a shorter and less strenuous canoe trip available, its known as the West Side Trip, and takes you from Bowron Lake to Unna Lake.

Bowron Lake Provincial Park, 32 km east of Wells, provides one of the world's best canoeing opportunities and some of BC's finest wildlife viewing. Here, you can see bald eagles, osprey, moose, mink, beaver, bears and a wide variety of bird life from your canoe.

The full "Bowron Chain of Lakes" circuit is 116 kilometers of lakes, rivers and short portages. Typically, the full chain takes about a week; shorter trips of the "west side" or of just Bowron Lake are options for those on tighter schedules. Reservations with BC Parks are necessary for most overnight canoe trips, although limited drop-ins are available.

Although many people come for the canoeing, there is also a variety of trails that provide summer hiking opportunities into spectacular alpine meadows with fabulous views. Winter touring is more challenging, but equally rewarding. If you're lookin for a peaceful getaway, you can stay overnight at one of the lodges or campgrounds or just relax by the lake for the day. For evening are, BBQ over an open fire or eat in one of the local restaurants.

Visitors can bring their own gear when they visit Bowron Lakes, or they can stop at their choice of two stores that provide groceries, camping supplies, fishing tackle and souvenirs.

If you are looking for a guided experience, trips of the canoe circuit are available from a number of local providers, as well as horse back trips in the surrounding moutnains or guided hiking and mountainbike tours. For more information on guiding and touring providers in the Wells, Barkerville and Bowron Lakes area you can call the District office at 250-994-3330.


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