Feel the Powder rush of Barkerville


Barkerville along British Columbia's Highway 26 is lined with gold, literally.

We all think Klondike when someone says gold, but we should think Barkerville, B.C., not the American West. (More on that later.)

Learn more about #SkiNorthBC 2.0

“Where else can you go snowshoe or Nordic ski around a meticulously preserved town that goes back over 150 years?”  James Douglas asks, one of Barkerville's best ambassadors.

Watch Barkerville #SkiNorthBC on YouTube.

Dig up your own white gold in a living history experience. Uncover Barkerville this winter and set the stage for adventure

This living attraction, an authentic 19th-century gold rush town, commonly known as one of Canada's signature historical destinations, had a special surprise for us while we were on SnowSeekers’ latest #SkiNorthBC expedition.

Check out how you can make the break from a hectic life by discovering Barkerville.

Following a very busy summer, the town of Barkerville converts into a winter nirvana, which, for starters, features more than 100 kilometres of Nordic, snowmobile and snowshoe trails. 

Sure, anyone can show up and you may strike the motherlode, but if you are coming here in the winter, one thing's for sure, you're guaranteed to strike white gold -- aka powdery snow.

“Because of Barkerville, B.C. is a part of Canada and not the US,” explains Douglas.  

It was'nt until gold was struck here that Eastern Canada had any interest in the West Coast; it was so far and remote. For the United States, owning B.C. would have meant it owned the entire North American Pacific coastline. The mid-1800's that was an appealing situation, keeping in mind that roads didn't exist; rivers and oceans were your highways.  

While we explored Barkerville on snowshoes, Douglas explained how in 1862, Billy Barker (who the town was named after) found the largest creek-side gold deposit the world had ever seen right where we were standing.

"Immediately, people started flooding into the area. Within that same year, this area was the wealthiest gold-plated creek in the world per linear foot. What resulted was a boom town, the likes Canada had never seen.”  

Snowshoeing in Barkerville
Photo: Doc Pow

With snowshoe rentals on site, treat the crew to an experience they will not soon forget; go for a walk through history.

All that gold caught the attention of Eastern Canada, the Hudson Bay Trading Company, and the British Government, and the rest is history.

A lot of Scandinavians also came to Canada during the Depression era and many found gold. (Many still come today hoping to get rich because there is renewed active gold digging going on in the area)

Those gold-digging talents meant more residents for the town who were hired and recruited into the area. They had to be hearty and keep themselves amused so most skied.  

Wells, five minutes up the road (read my story about Wells here), from the late 1860s through the Depression era, became home to thousands of people. Over the years, recreational trails for Nordic skiing were put into place, something the Wells Nordic and Trail Society maintain with regular grooming.  

Tubing in Barkerville
Photo: Doc Pow

Outside of snowmobiling, snowshoeing and nordic skiing; new to Barkerville this winter is snow tubing.

You can easily make a weekend or more out of a visit here, exploring the Barkerville Highway with stops in Quesnel, a downhill adventure at Troll Mountain Resort, discovering Wells, and of course, finding adventures around Barkerville. 

Unlike some of the bigger Nordic ski destinations across B.C., Barkerville/Wells trails are, for the most part, big loops, with little danger of getting disoriented or lost. Onsite snowshoe rentals at Barkerville allow you to mix it up. You can spend some of the day out on the skinny skis while the rest, like we did, can be spent exploring history walking through it and/or up on the mountainside for a bird’s eye view.  


Downtown Barkerville
Photo: Doc Pow

Enjoy the streets of historic Barkerville

Add in snow tubing, a new addition to Barkerville this winter, and it’s a place that is calling for you to come and add to your own adventure story of hitting the (white) gold. 

Watch Barkerville #SkiNorthBC on YouTube.

Learn more

Check out how you can make the break from a hectic life by discovering Barkerville. Head to http://www.barkerville.ca/ to learn more.

Contact Barkerville at 1-888-994-3332

For more on the entire region, home to Troll Ski Resort and the historic town of Barkerville, check out the website for the Cariboo Regional District http://cariboord.bc.ca .

Barkerville is found at the end of the Barkerville Highway - make a weekend or a week of exploring this drive through history, you'll start in Quesnel

Learn more about what BC has in store for you this winter, search #ExploreBC

Like Our Facebook Page