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Cariboo Mountains Provincial Park
About This Park
Cariboo Mountains Provincial Park is true wilderness, dominated by high, serrated peaks and glaciers, and densely forested valleys featuring attractive lakes and lush wetlands. The park is situated in the interior wet belt between Bowron Lake and Wells Gray Provincial Parks. These parks now create one continuous protected area in the Cariboo Mountains that is over 760,000 hectares in size.
The park incorporates a diverse landscape ranging from mountain peaks and tarn lakes in hanging alpine valleys, to extensive meadows, large wetland complexes, and ancient red-cedar and hemlock forests. These diverse habitats support an equally diverse array of wildlife species. Though current use levels are low, Cariboo Mountains Provincial Park offers extensive, though undeveloped, opportunities for backcountry adventures.
Vehicle access camping is available at the Ghost Lake Recreation Site. This small, remote site features views down the lake and up into the surrounding mountains, and is adjacent to the scenic Matthew River Falls.
Park Size: 113,469 hectares
Know Before You Go
- There are few facilities at Cariboo Mountains Provincial Park; therefore, visitors should be self-sufficient and experienced in wilderness travel. Drive on gravel access roads at your own risk. They are active logging roads.
- Bring your own water, as potable water is not available in the park. Boil or treat any surface water before consuming.
- Although in the past horses were used to access hunting in this park,
this is not horse country. Horseback riding is still permitted,
but the park is very wet, routes have become overgrown and many routes
have become impassable to horses.
The park is located northeast of Likely and east of Quesnel. The Ghost Lake recreation site can be accessed by travelling to Barkerville from Quesnel via Highway 26, and then taking the 3100 Forestry Road (gravel) from Barkerville. The park is located approximately 70 km (allow 1.5 hours) from Barkerville on the 3100 road. This is an active logging road: please drive cautiously with headlights on. Turn left onto a sign-posted 4-km access road, which leads to the recreation site.
Another route to Ghost Lake is via Likely (about 90 km). The 8400 Road (Cariboo Lake Road) from Likely leads north past Cariboo Lake, and eventually connects up with the 3100 Road. Follow this to the Ghost Lake turnoff (signed), turn right and drive another 4 km to the recreation site. The park can also be accessed from the McBride Valley via the Castle Creek Forest Service Road, which leads up Castle Creek and ends about 5 km from the park boundary.
Cariboo Mountains Provincial Park can also be accessed from Quesnel Lake by boat or along logging roads. However, no trails link Bowron Lake and Wells Gray Provincial Parks to Cariboo Mountains Provincial Park.
Please refer to the Cariboo Forest Region Recreation Map (East) published by the Ministry of Forests for more information. For map information, refer to topographic map numbers: 1:50, 000 92A/16, 92A/15, and 92A/9.
- Management Planning Information
- The approved management plan for Bowron Lake/Cariboo Mountains/Cariboo River Provincial Parks is now available in PDF format. Because of the large size of the file, the plan is divided into separate section, map and plate files for ease of access:
- Table of Contents, Acknowledgements, Plan Highlights & 1.0 Introduction [PDF]
- 2.0 The Role of the Protected Areas [PDF]
- 3.0 Protected Area Zoning [PDF]
- 4.0 Natural, Cultural Heritage and Recreational Values Management [PDF]
- 5.0 Communications, 6.0 Monitoring Strategy, and 7.0 Plan Implementation [PDF]
- List of Plates & Appendices [PDF] - See list of clickable plates below
- Regional Context and Ecosections Map [PDF 1,921KB]
- Zoning Map [PDF]
- Tenures Map [PDF 1,151KB]
- Forest Health and Fire Management Zones [PDF]
- Commercial Recreation Opportunities and Public Use Targets [PDF]
Plate 1 [PDF] - The dramatic landscape around Mitchell Lake in Cariboo Mountains Park.
Plate 2 [PDF] - Avalanche tracks at the headwaters of the Mitchell River in Cariboo Mountains Park.
Plate 3 [PDF] - Looking south down Niagara Creek in Cariboo Mountains Park.
Plate 4 [PDF] - Looking east into the Betty Wendle addition to Bowron Lake Park.
Plate 5 [PDF] - Looking northeast in the Cariboo River addition to Bowron Lake Park.
Plate 6 [PDF] - Looking northeast in the Wolverine addition to Bowron Lake Park.
Plate 7 [PDF] - Looking northeast across the Matthew River Valley into Ghost Lake. Photo courtesy of Don Olesiuk
Plate 8 [PDF] - Looking south down Cariboo River Park.
Plate 9 [PDF]- Typical backcountry in Cariboo Mountains Park.
Plate 10 [PDF] - Canoeist preparing to enter Kibbee Lake. Photo courtesy of Peter Tasker.
Plate 11 [PDF] - Looking east up the headwaters of Bowron Lake Park
Plate 12 [PDF] - Looking east into Upper Niagara Creek in Cariboo Mountains Park
Plate 13 [PDF] - The Mitchell River wetlands.
Plate 14 [PDF] - Looking west down Ghost Lake in the Natural Environment Zone.
Plate 15 [PDF] - The Bowron Lake campground in 1973. Photo courtesy of Peter Tasker.
Plate 16 [PDF] - Looking east down Mitchell Lake. Mitchell River in foreground.
Plate 17 [PDF] - Looking west over Summit and Stranger Lakes at Quesnel Lake in background.
Plate 18 [PDF] - Cow moose feeding in the Bowron wetlands.
Plate 19 [PDF] - The Bowron Lake wetlands.
Plate 20 [PDF] - Looking northeast across Isaac Lake up the Wolverine Creek. Anonymous.
Plate 21 [PDF] - Twin Lakes in the alpine of Cariboo Mountains Park and Wells Gray Park.
Plate 22 [PDF] - One of the old trapper cabins located around the Bowron canoe circuit at McLeary Lake. Photo courtesy of Leif Grandell.
Plate 23 [PDF] - Trails on the Bowron Circuit have been vastly improved from the knee high mud that existed in 1973. Photo courtesy of Peter Tasker.
Plate 24 [PDF] - The west side of the Bowron Lake canoe circuit. Photo courtesy of Don Olesiuk
Plate 25 [PDF] - A side valley draining into the Matthew River Valley from Cariboo Mountains Park.
Activities Available at this Park
Pets on Leash
Facilities Available at this Park
Pit or Flush Toilets
Vehicle Accessible Camping
Recreation Sites and Trails BC manages the recreation site at Ghost Lake. There are 4 small sites, which are fairly open. The sites are open year-round when accessible extra vehicles can park in the parking lot. Its attractive location near Matthew River Falls makes it worth a visit. The closest stores are in Likely or Wells. There is no fee to stay in this recreation site.