A Wildlife Management Area before 1995, the area was recommended for park status through the Cariboo CORE process, and eventually designated through the Cariboo Chilcotin Land Use Plan. Wildlife managers have recognized the value of this river valley's important wildlife habitat for many years.
A 1997 study suggests that the river may have been used by the Carrier and Secwepemc First Nations as a travel corridor and food source of salmon and trout. Specific cultural heritage sites have not yet been identified in the park. However, if you find such a site, do not disturb it or remove any artifacts.
During the Cariboo Gold Rush of the 1860's, the park area was used as a route for those seeking gold at Barkerville and the surrounding areas.
Cariboo River Park provides important winter habitat for moose in its valley bottom wetlands and forests. The river and wetlands are an excellent nesting and rearing area for waterfowl. The area remains in a nearly natural state. Protection of the wildlife habitats are critical in the management of this park.
The riparian area (river bank, wetlands and nearby forest cover) is home to many large and small mammals such as black and grizzly bear, moose, deer, wolf, martin, otter, mink and squirrel. Migrating flocks of ducks and geese use the river and Kimball Lake as a stop on their way north.
Songbirds are abundant along the shoreline and near the old forest. Viewing wildlife is possible from canoe, raft, boat or by driving the 3100 Road to the bridge that crosses the river near the south end of Kimball Lake and watching for activity.
Please do not cause stress to wildlife by approaching too closely. Bring telephoto lenses and binoculars, and your reward will be seeing wild creatures behaving naturally.