The small community of 100 Mile House dates back to the early days of the Cariboo gold rush era. During this time period, certain roadhouses, because of their favourable locations along the Cariboo Wagon Road from Lillooet to Soda Creek, grew to be supply points for the gold seekers and the surrounding district. 100 Mile House became South Cariboo’s dominant community, and was originally one of these stopping points along the gold rush trail. Between 1862 and 1870, over 100,000 people traveled the Cariboo Wagon Road from Lillooet making their way north into the Cariboo country. 100 Mile House established its name because it was located 100 Miles from Lillooet (Mile 0) of the Cariboo Wagon Road.
The land around 100 Mile House was purchased by British nobleman, the Marquis of Exeter, in 1912. The son of the Marquis, Lord Martin Cecil, arrived in the South Cariboo in 1930 to look after his father’s holdings. The population of the settlement was about 12 at this time.
During the late 40’s and 50’s the economy shifted and the construction of Highway 97 began. This community remains a welcome stop for visitors on their way through the Cariboo Highway 97. Today, the South Cariboo consists of various small unincorporated communities in the outlying area surrounding the District of 100 Mile House and has a population of greater than 20,000.
The District of 100 Mile House is situated on Highway 97, BC’s main arterial north-south route, located in the South Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region. It lies 458 km northeast of Vancouver and 334 km south of Prince George.
Places to See
100 Mile Marsh
100 Mile Marsh is a small wetland area popular for birds, especially water fowl, and birdwatchers. Circling the marsh is an interpretive walking path leading to some viewing benches and a grassy picnic area located near the highway entrance. The picnic area is also the location of some historic artifacts and a First Nation teepee.
Barnard Express & Stage Line Coach
Another remnant from the Gold Rush Days can be found at the north end of 100 Mile House, where one of the original Barnard Express stage coaches is on display. Have a look and imagine how people traveled back in those days!
Centennial Park Waterfalls
Centennial Park is a hidden treasure located in the heart of 100 Mile House. The waterfalls are only a short walk from the parking lot along tree-lined nature trails and easily accessible to everyone.
The World’s Tallest Skis
Created for a community project the x-country skis were constructed to be admired for the February 7th, 1987 Cariboo Marathon. Over 36 feet (10.9 m) in length and weighing over 600 pounds (273 kg), the skis are located right beside the South Cariboo Visitor Info Centre in downtown 100 Mile House.
Things to Do
If you feel best with rod and reel in hand, the South Cariboo features some of BC’s best fresh-water sport fishing. With hundreds of lakes in the South Cariboo, anglers, trollers, and fly-fishers will find something to satisfy all their tastes. Many lakes are regularly stocked with most native varieties to ensure a good catch. Summertime brings camping and trout fishing enthusiasts to the hundreds of lakes in the surrounding area. Highway 24, between 93 Mile and Little Fort is known as “The Fishing Highway” and provides access to some of the world’s best rainbow trout fishing lakes, plus a large number of BC’s best fishing resorts, guest ranches and wilderness lodges.
The region offers contoured fairways and impeccably manicured greens, stunning countryside landscapes enveloped by post-card scenery, inviting and shrewdly designed holes that can reward the novice player, as well as the scratch golfer. There is also a lovely nine hole golf course in 100 Mile House. The shorter fairways are challengingly narrow, demanding finesse and good judgment. The clubhouse features a restaurant with patio and a pub, a fully appointed Pro Shop, a driving net, and a fun mini-putt. So, come to tee, and play a round in the South Cariboo!
Birders can visit the 100 Mile Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary behind the South Cariboo Visitor Info Centre, paddle Moose Valley Provincial Park, or hike through 108 Mile’s Walker Valley. Bald eagles and red-tail hawks frequent the North shore of Canim Lake. Drop-in or call the Visitor Info Centre and they will point you in the right direction for the best bird-viewing during the year.
The South Cariboo describes itself as the International Nordic Ski Capital, and who can argue with a town that displays the world’s largest cross country skis, outside it’s Visitor Info Centre. This interior region of British Columbia prides itself as one of the foremost Nordic ski holiday destinations in North America.
The area boasts a 200-km (125 mi) trail system; one of the best, most beautiful and most extensively groomed networks in North America, and one of the longest in Canada. Trail passes are required for use of the groomed trail system.
Downhill skiing can be enjoyed at Mount Timothy, 45 minutes north of 100 Mile House and 23 km east of Lac La Hache. Boasting terrific powder skiing, small crowds, and diverse terrain. Mount Timothy is a welcoming, fun-filled ski area that attracts avid skiers and boarders alike. The 27 runs offer everything from slow cruisers, exceptionally groomed runs, and steep powder filled basins. Enjoy 3 new terrain parks and when you need a rest – relax in the beautiful log day lodge.