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Outdoors Winter Sports

A Winter Road Trip Finding BC’s Best Frozen Lakes & Waterfalls

Embrace winter and find frozen adventures in gushing waterfalls and on countless lakes in BC’s Land of Hidden Waters!

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My kind of adventure is off the beaten path, undiscovered, and surrounded by nature. This itinerary of massive free-flowing frozen waterfalls, countless lakes, endless activities, and few people is the best way to disconnect and take in the winter wilderness of British Columbia.

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Jonny Bierman is a writer and photographer based in Vancouver, Canada. He primarily reports on regenerative travel stories that balance culture and sustainability.

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Boldly unscripted isn't just a tagline in Kamloops. This outdoor adventure town just two two hours drive from tourist favourites like Kelowna, is filled with culinary, cultural, and outdoor surprises for any style of traveller.

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Who is it for

Adventurers

Families

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Nature lovers

When to visit

Winter

Time needed

4 hours

For a quick snowshoe adventure

4 days

To do it all

What to bring

Warm clothing

Distance to major centres

20 to 100 km from Kamloops

Travel times from Downtown Vancouver

4-5 hour drive

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A Winter Road Trip Finding BC’s Best Frozen Lakes & Waterfalls


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Chasing Frozen Waterfalls in a Narnia-like Wonderland

One of the many beautiful things I enjoy about finding waterfalls in the winter vs. the summer is that they’re ever-changing. Depending on the outside temperature and time of winter you visit, the waterfalls of Wells Gray Provincial Park reveal a sculpted work of art each different than the next. Many falls continue to rage at astonishing levels and I discovered that rather than freezing entirely, some freeze from the bottom up with a cone and ice crystals around. This was the case at the famous Helmcken Falls where nature’s elements of water and frigid air created an otherworldly crystalized spectacle I’d never seen anywhere else before. Helmcken Falls can be accessed year-round and doesn’t r

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Visit Tourism Wells Gray

Hosted by Tourism Wells Gray

Ice Fishing BC’s Fishing Highway 24 or Canim Lake

There’s something nostalgic about ice fishing while surrounded by mountains and wilderness that gets me every time. Bundle up, grab your partner, friends or the whole family, drill a hole and hope for the best! There could be a monster rainbow trout and an adrenaline-pumping experience of pulling it in waiting for you. My favourite part about this trip is frying it up on the ice with some lemon and butter using a camping stove–delicious! BC’s fishing highway 24 in the Cariboo region is an area famed for countless lakes that offer an abundance of adventure at any time of year. Bottle up some hot chocolate (I prefer to bring a little Irish cream as well!), some snacks and head out on the ice. If y

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Book a Tour at South Point Resort

Hosted by South Point Resort

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Pond Hockey and Outdoor Ice Skating

Probably the most quintessentially Canadian activity you can do is a good old fashioned game of pond hockey. Compliment it with a log cabin in the background, and you have just another winter day in the Cariboo. Many resorts in the Fishing Highway area have their own private rinks outside their accommodations and this is my favourite way to hit the ice. It’s fun to see even seasoned winter warriors lose their appetites for chirping and throwing hip checks as a slow setting sun paints the ice a gentle tint of yellow - my favourite is the enormous surface at Fawn Lake Resort near 100 Mile House. Dress in layers because it’s easily twice as cold as a traditional rink.

Try hockey at Fawn Lake Resort

Hosted by Fawn Lake Resort

Cross Country Skiing & Snowshoeing

The Cariboo is full of all sorts of hidden gems that I feel like people from the Lower Mainland and other parts of BC know nothing about! This is one of my favourite parts of the province and one that you’ll likely have all to yourself. Going along with common themes, this area definitely has plenty of spaces and few faces. Among these gems is one that I recently discovered and loved – 100 Mile Nordics Club. Cross country ski rentals and lessons take amateurs (like me) on groomed trails through the pine-rich forests that smell of the freshest nature scents around! Sometimes there’s just not enough light in the day for all the activities you have planned, so I took advantage of the Nordics Club L

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Inquire at 100 Mile Nordics Club

Hosted by 100 Mile Nordics Club

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Cozy Cabins & Stargazing

The whole Wells Gray and Cariboo regions are some of the most affordable places to vacation in BC. Private log cabins can be rented for under $150/night and come with a kitchen and everything you need to be self-sufficient. Don’t forget to look up, because winter is the best time of year to stargaze and these areas have no light pollution. And when it’s time to warm up, get toasty around the wood-burning fire. This region has cozy cabins throughout the area (I stayed at Nakiska Ranch in Wells Gray which was perfect!) and places like Fawn Lake Resort and Wind & the Pillows also have beautiful cabins available for rent.

Book a Cabin at Nakiska Ranch

Hosted by Nakiska Ranch

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