Ranchlands & Rivers

Fishing on the Chilko River (Steve Ogle/All Canada Photos)

(Steve Ogle/All Canada Photos)

Transportation & Maps

Ranchlands & Rivers Circle Route

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3 to 7 days, 836.88 km (520.01 mi)

Horseback riding on a sand dune
Horseback riding on a sand dune

Travel across roaring rivers, delve into historic Gold Country and experience outdoor adventures. Enjoy dramatic scenery at every turn, whether rafting the tumultuous Fraser River or roaming high in the saddle.

Select one of the parts to view its details:

All Parts
Hell's Gate Airtram, Hell's Gate Airtram photo
Part 1
Fraser Canyon

108.15 km - about 1 hours 31 min

Start your journey in Hope, nestled against the Cascade Mountains on the banks of the Fraser River, then head north on Highway 1. You’ll follow the mighty Fraser River, named after explorer Simon Fraser, the first European to navigate its raging waters.

Once a transportation link for wagons and stage coaches travelling the old Cariboo Wagon Road, the Fraser Canyon roadway now transports you through awe-inspiring scenery.

Cutting a heart-stopping swath through the Cascade Mountains and the Coast Mountains, the river creates a colossal valley of lush forests, dramatic gorges and mountainside farmlands. Stop at Hell’s Gate to see nature at its most magnificent. More than 760 million litres of water/200 million gallons surge through this narrow, 35-metre/110-ft gorge every minute – twice the volume of Niagara Falls. Take an airtram on a smooth 152-m/500-ft descent above the gorge to feel the rush of raging waters, view the International Fishways that flank the gorge and maybe even spot rafters shooting the rapids.

Head north to Lytton.

Whitewater rafting between Spences Bridge and Lytton, Tom Ryan photo
Part 2
Lytton and Lillooet

227.84 km - about 3 hours 4 min

In Lytton, the Fraser and Thompson rivers meet to create a dramatic surge that’s earned this area the title of “Rafting Capital of Canada.” Rapids such as Devil’s Gorge and Witch’s Cauldron swirl and dip to heights of 4.5m/15ft. Want more? Tackle the near-continuous rapids of the Nahatlatch River 45 minutes south. Scenic fishing, hiking and camping are also nearby.

Continue north to Lillooet – official start of the old Cariboo Wagon Road – to try panning for gold. Snap a photo of the Mile 0 cairn before journeying on Highway 99 back to Highway 97, and then head north towards the cowboy town of Clinton and 93 Mile House.

Fishing on Sheridan Lake near Highway 24, Loon Bay Resort photo
Part 3
Interlakes and the "Fishing Highway"

189.39 km - about 2 hours 40 min

At 93 Mile, turn east on Highway 24, better known as the “Fishing Highway,” to make your way through the Interlakes community. This famous road, stretching from here to Little Fort, is your access to more than 100 fishing lakes. Stop to fly fish or troll for trout, burbot and kokanee. Paddle some of the smaller pristine lakes, enjoy wildlife viewing or set off on a backcountry trail ride at one of the area’s many guest ranches.

Turn south at Little Fort and head to Kamloops.

Horseback riding near Kamloops
Part 4

88.02 km - about 0 hours 55 min

Kamloops is home of the annual Kamloops Pro Rodeo; this region’s rivers, mountains, lakes and grasslands will leave an indelible impression on you.

Stay at any of the area’s many resorts, from the four-season Sun Peaks Resort to fly-fishing lodges, remote cabins and luxury retreats. Some resorts cater to the entire family while others provide pampering and solitude for a special getaway complete with spa services and gourmet dining.

Visit the Kamloops Heritage Railway to ride a historic steam engine and watch a re-enactment of an Old West-style train robbery.

Head south on Highway 5 to Merritt and the sunny Nicola Valley – home of grasslands, rolling hills and shimmering lakes.

Cattle Round-up in Merritt
Part 5
Nicola Valley

89.67 km - about 1 hours 13 min

Ranching is a huge part of the Nicola Valley and the area around Merritt. Listen to the birds along the Harmon Lake Interpretive Trail in Kane Valley, or explore the Nicola Valley Museum & Archives, which depicts valley life at the turn of the 20th century.

From Merritt, head south on Highway 5A (Princeton-Kamloops Highway) to Princeton.

Highway near Hope, JF Bergeron photo
Part 6
Princeton to Hope

133.81 km - about 1 hours 46 min

Hike or bike the TransCanada Trail along one of two rivers that meet in Princeton. To the west, you’ll go through tunnels and over bridges; to the east, the higher elevation takes you through grasslands, lakes and forests. Back on the road, continue west along Highway 3 to Hope.

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 City  Visitor Centre  Driving Route

Driving Directions

Part 1 - Fraser Canyon - 108.15 km - about 1 hours 31 min

Head northwest on Trans-Canada Hwy/Water Ave/BC-1 E toward Commission StContinue to follow Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 E

107.65 km

Turn left onto Lytton-Lillooet Hwy/Main St/BC-12 NDestination will be on the left

0.50 km
Part 2 - Lytton and Lillooet - 227.84 km - about 3 hours 4 min

Head northwest on Lytton-Lillooet Hwy/Main St/BC-12 N toward 1 St

0.86 km

Turn left onto Lytton-Lillooet Hwy/BC-12 N (signs for Lillooet)

60.42 km

Continue onto BC-99 NDestination will be on the left

0.19 km

Head north on BC-99 N

55.88 km

Head northeast on BC-99 N

18.44 km

Turn left onto Cariboo Hwy/BC-97 N (signs for Prince George/100 Mile House)Destination will be on the left

28.80 km

Head northeast on Cariboo Hwy/BC-97 N toward Le Bourdais AveDestination will be on the right

63.26 km
Part 3 - Interlakes and the "Fishing Highway" - 189.39 km - about 2 hours 40 min

Head northeast on Cariboo Hwy/BC-97 N

0.03 km

Take the 1st right onto Interlakes Hwy/Little Fort Hwy/BC-24 E (signs for Long Butte/Bridge Lake)

97.22 km

Continue straight onto Ferry Rd

0.00 km

Head northwest on Ferry Rd toward Southern Yellowhead Hwy/BC-5 S

0.00 km

Take the 1st left onto Southern Yellowhead Hwy/BC-5 S

92.13 km
Part 4 - Kamloops - 88.02 km - about 0 hours 55 min

Head south on Southern Yellowhead Hwy/BC-5 S toward River St

0.69 km

Take the Trans Canada Highway/BC-1 W/BC-5 S ramp on the left to Cache Creek/Vancouver

0.60 km

Merge onto BC-1 W/BC-5 S/BC-97 NContinue to follow BC-5 S

83.42 km

Take exit 290 for British Columbia 5A N/Voght Street toward City Centre

0.35 km

Turn right onto Princeton-Kamloops Hwy/Voght St/BC-5A (signs for Merritt/City Centre)

2.66 km

Turn left onto Nicola Ave/Princeton-Kamloops Hwy/BC-5A/BC-97C (signs for BC-5 S/Yellowhead Highway/British Columbia 5A S/Princeton/Kelowna/Vancouver)Destination will be on the left

0.30 km
Part 5 - Nicola Valley - 89.67 km - about 1 hours 13 min

Head east on Nicola Ave/Princeton-Kamloops Hwy/BC-5A/BC-97C toward Charters StContinue to follow Princeton-Kamloops Hwy/BC-5A

27.24 km

Turn right to stay on Princeton-Kamloops Hwy/BC-5A (signs for British Columbia 5A S)Destination will be on the left

62.42 km
Part 6 - Princeton to Hope - 133.81 km - about 1 hours 46 min

Head southeast on Princeton-Kamloops Hwy/BC-5A

0.06 km

Take the 1st right onto Crowsnest Trail/BC-3 W (signs for Vancouver)

126.04 km

Keep left at the fork, follow signs for BC-3 W/Crowsnest Highway/Hope and merge onto BC-3 W

6.13 km

Take exit 171 toward Trans Canada Highway/BC-1 E/Hope/Cache Creek

0.58 km

Turn left onto Old Hope Princeton Way

0.29 km

Take the 1st right onto Trans-Canada Hwy/Water Ave/BC-1 E (signs for Trans Canada Highway/kamloops)

0.70 km