The Canada You Imagine
The largest community in the North Thompson Valley, Clearwater (pop. 4,150) is your gateway to rugged wilderness most people imagine all of Canada to be. Some 125 km (78 mi) north of Kamloops, the Yellowhead Highway bisects Clearwater — turn west on the Clearwater Valley Road and you’ll soon discover Wells Gray Provincial Park, where Canada’s wild places are easily accessed from the top of any trailhead.
Clearwater and Wells Gray are roughly halfway between Vancouver, BC and the Canadian Rockies. Don’t just drive right through — take that western turn and discover 5,250 square km (3,262 square miles) of alpine playground, 39 named (and even more yet to be named) waterfalls, serene, glacial lakes, epic white water rafting, and more get-away-from-it-all than you could ever imagine.
Come Play in a Land of Fire and Ice
Unique in all of British Columbia, the landscape of Wells Gray Provincial Park was created from the struggle between fire and ice — sub-aqueous volcanic eruptions beneath a glacial crust scoured and scarred the land, carving canyons and leaving behind layer-after-layer of molten lava and rock. This battle of fire and ice shaped breathtaking landscapes you can uncover on alpine or forest hikes, while seeking out waterfalls, or floating along the Clearwater River on a white-water rafting ride. Go ahead, plug into nature; it’s really the only connection you’ll need out here.
Make plans for an extended backcountry getaway, and paddle the tranquil water of Murtle Lake, beneath the shadows of glacier-capped mountains. North America’s largest paddle only lake — so far away from it all, but still easy to access. Paddle your kayak or canoe to golden sand beaches, make camp, fish for trophy-size trout, eat over the campfire while the sun begins to set and the auroras come out to dance in the heavens above.
Hike up the Trophy Mountains, easily accessed from the Clearwater Valley Road, and marvel in the painter’s-palette of colour the wild blooms adorning the southern slopes provide. Rumble through cedar trees dipped in snow, spraying dry, white powder as you snowmobile along the trails. Cross-country ski or hike the countryside the amazing hut-to-hut, capturing the wondrous view-scape along the way. No matter your adventure, watch out for the wild creatures that call this area home. Bears, beavers, deer, moose and 250 species of bird camp out here — how many can you spot?
Party in the Park
Join us for celebrations in nature that are simply heart-warming. Encounter the yearly return of the salmon and experience First Nations tradition during the Simpcw First Fish Ceremony Bring your family and play on the water at the Clearwater Canoe Regatta, located on beautiful Dutch Lake in Clearwater’s centre. Head to Trophy Mountain Buffalo Ranch and join astronomers as meteors blaze through the sky during the annual Stargazing Festival.