Location: Highway 97; 116 km (72 miles) north of Cache Creek; 95 km (59 miles) south of Williams Lake. Population: 1,906; Area Population: 23,000. Visitor Information: South Cariboo Visitor Centre, in 100 Mile House off Highway 97 at 155 Airport Road; Phone (250) 395-5353. South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce: Box 2312, 100 Mile House, B.C. V0K 2E0. Phone: (250) 395-6124; Website: www.southcariboochamber.org
The South Cariboo region in south central British Columbia is nestled on the Fraser Plateau between the heights of the Coastal and Rocky mountain ranges. The Fraser River cuts through the middle of this rolling plateau, dividing the Cariboo from the wilds of the Chilcotin. To the south are the lower, drier hills of the Thompson-Okanagan, and to the north is the central Cariboo, extending into the vast forests of Northern BC.
The town of 100 Mile House is the main service centre for the South Cariboo region. Many small communities dot the region with their own special character. Just a few kilometers north of 100 Mile House are the bedroom communities of 103 Mile, 105 Mile, and the well-known 108 Mile Ranch. The community names originate from the stopping houses on the old Goldrush Trail, or Cariboo Wagon Road, as it was called in the late 1800s.
Visitors can enjoy spectacular golfing experiences, exceptional bird and wildlife viewing, boating, fishing, hiking, biking and horse rides.
The South Cariboo is home to many fine musicians, writers, artists and craftspeople. Parkside Centre provides a cozy setting for local and provincial artists. Martin Exeter Hall is a cherished venue for theatre productions and musical performances. Community halls, pubs and dining establishments throughout the region host concerts and entertainers from around the world.
Heading east into more mountainous terrain, you will encounter the slopes of the Mt. Timothy ski hill, and many great fishing lakes. Some of the largest lakes in the South Cariboo are located along the Canim-Hendrix Road, which passes beside Canim Lake before turning into a maze of gravel back roads. Mahood Lake with its spectacular waterfalls provides western access to Wells Gray Provincial Park. Just south of 100 Mile House, Hwy 24 (aka the Fishing Highway) passes east through the Interlakes area, finally cresting over McDonald Summit at 1311m before dropping down into the North Thompson region.
South from 100 Mile House along Hwy 97, you will drive through the plateau to 70 Mile House, where roads head east to Green Lake. The South Cariboo’s most southern community on Hwy 97 is the historic town of Clinton.
The western forests and grasslands of the South Cariboo are sparsely settled but offer many unique landscapes to discover. The whole region is linked by trails and back roads, some of which are only accessible by small machines or on foot and horseback.