View Full Version : Cariboo Chilcotin holiday - LOTS of pics -56k argh!

08-02-2007, 10:55 AM
I spent last week with my family, mother and niece out west of Williams Lake in the Chilcotin, about halfway to Bella Coola. We set up camp at Horn Lake which is a forestry rec site. It's one of the maintained sites and cost $10/night but at least there were outhouses. From there we also checked out Sapeye Lake, Bluff Lake and Tatlayoko Lake (huge!) and explored a couple of old mining/forestry roads. When we got home we spent Saturday afternoon and evening at a friends place on Chimney Lake, about 1/2 hour out of Williams Lake. Only had a bit of rain the first night then cleared up nicely. Didn't need any bug spray the whole time out west but at Chimney Lake they sure come out in the evening! On with the pics!

Side note: I'm using a 4yr old Canon A60 digital cam for these pics and I used to be super impressed with the quality of the pics it took, but lately they have not been as sharp and crisp. time for a new cam I guess - I can now buy a 7+ mp cam for less than what I paid for my A60 (2mp) 4 yrs ago!!

These first 3 pics are on the way out of town, just after crossing the fraser river and heading up a very long, steep hill. had to stop and let the XJ cool down part way - it really cooks when pulling that tent trailer. The views are looking up the fraser and at the ranch across the river.

This is about 2 hours out of Williams Lake, and 1 hour from Horn lake - the road is sealcoated, no lines and they've been slacking off on clearing the brush at the edges - this is a HIGHWAY (20) after all!! It also has one of the longest straight stretches I've ever seen.


A couple shots of the view from our campsite at Horn Lake. Nice rec site with sites well spaced out and lots of trees/bushes in between for privacy. All of the sites are right on the water but none have any sort of 'beach' - it is all rocky and some snaggy logs.


Taking the girls for a little spin in the canoe - had to be careful as the wind was really blowing and I didn't want to get too far downwind as I would end up paddling against it


I can't believe how many seagulls there were out there. There are actually 2 in this pic, and they are standing on a submerged log, exactly one in front of the other so it looks like there is only one.


Then the girls headed out alone in the canoe. They did really well at handling it on their own.


For the first couple days there was rarely a calm moment on the lake - very windy but once in a while it eased up.


Saw a few eagles, hawks, owls and ospreys, sometimes circling over the lake fishing but never did see them take anything. This guy hung around close to camp for a while


The next 10 shots are of Bluff Lake which is just up the road from Horn. Doesn't have any 'developed' campsites and not really any room for wilderness camping there either. A very rough boat launch but incredible scenery and the road goes around one side of the lake, pretty much right at the water the whole time. Very windy here as well - wouldn't want to be out in a canoe.

This is the creek heading out of Bluff Lake - found some nice pools and pulled out a couple of nice fish.


A couple days in, my mom came with me to explore an old road from the backroads mapbook. She didn't freak out too badly, but I was taking it easy...


I'm pretty sure this water was right around 0 degrees C. A couple of hours ago it was ice/snow at the top of the mountain.


The next 7 shots are views from a road that we found going up into the mountains. Eventually had to turn around (sooner than I wanted but mom is 67 yrs old so I had to have some consideration). We kept looking at that glacier in the first shot hoping that it would calve while we were there - you can see how it has already slipped a bit



A couple that didn't get away. Pulled these dollies out of Bluff Lake. Horn Lake had lots of people fishing it, lots jumping but we never even had a strike the whole time there - tried trolling, flys, everything...and nada. I took the girls up to fish the creek out of Bluff lake and caught a couple decent trout and headed back. We stopped at the lake itself and the girls were fishing from shore and landed these 2 beauties.


Next 2 pics are shots of Sapeye Lake which is right close to Horn, but at a much lower elevation - pretty neat when you see how close they are on the map and when you go to Sapeye - it's down, down, down. Much calmer lake as it is more protected from the wind. The rec site is more rustic and there is very little room to manouver so trailers are discouraged (as per the sign at the start of the road) It has a much nicer swimming area - a pebbly beach that goes out for quite a ways, but loses the sun early in the day because of the mountains.


Hard to tell cause it's a lousy pic, but this is an adult duck (I assume mommy?) and 5 babies. They hung around our campsite the whole time and sure made a lot of splashing.


The girls out fishing on one of those rare calm moments. They didn't catch a thing on Horn lake but sure had fun sitting out there trying. They just wouldn't give up.


We did a 'day trip' to hang out at Bluff lake - it was more swimmer friendly than Horn Lake, although still very cold water. The kids freaked mom out by climbing all over the rocks ( I think DNA tests are in order - they seem to be part monkey). We were standing one big rock there, trying to coerce the kids into jumping in and hmming and hawing about going in when SPLASH! My niece was fed up with the discussion and just jumped in - well we couldn't have that so my girls and I also jumped in. That's BRISK, baby!


Just the wife and I headed out to explore another really old road and this got ugly - got some serious pinstriping before I finally relented and turned around. At a couple points I got out to break some branches out of the way and just about got eaten alive by the bugs. They weren't mosquitos but some sort of little flies that just took major bites. That was bad. I'd like to do that road again sometime in the fall with machetes and chainsaws - according to the mapbook it should go quite high and might even end at an old mine.


One of the nice sunsets we enjoyed while there


Did a day trip up the Tatlayoko Lake valley - a lot more people living up there than I thought- we even't stopped in at a place and had some very good freshly baked blueberry pie.

The Tatlayoko post office - open by appointment, I think? LOL!


Tatloyoko Lake rec site - if we had gone here first, this is where we would have stayed. Gorgeous site in amongst the trees, only 1 other vehicle camped out there. The water on the lake was super high and almost flooded the road heading in and when we got there the wind and waves were off the cuff. All that was missing was a salty smell and I could have sworn we were at the ocean. Talking to a local later on he told us that earlier that day the lake was smooth as glass - I bet that doesn't happen often on a lake that size. We saw some windsurfers and parasailers out there - They were ripping across the water.


I could not get a shot that would do justice to this sunset - I guess you had to be there.


Heading home, the runaway lane before crossing the fraser river....why?


Because it's a sharp right hand turn onto the bridge and you don't want to miss it!


The next shots were at Chimney Lake on Saturday. don't those first couple shots look peaceful? (what you don't get in the pic is the freakin music blasting from the campground across the bay)


The kids out in the kayaks...


Absolutely beautiful moonrise and sunset to cap off an awesome week long holiday


We got the kids a bunch of glow sticks and they connected them in rows and were whipping them around. photos don't do justice, it looks really cool in person.


One last shot of the moon, after it got darker out....


Oh yeah, one morning out at Horn lake we woke up to 3 degrees. brrrr! Once the sun came out it warmed up quickly though. Nice area to camp out at and to do some exploring. seems any side roads we found were really overgrown so bring some people and machetes if you want to go out there wheelin.

Dirty Girls
08-02-2007, 11:13 AM
Nice pictures. Looks very relaxing.

08-02-2007, 12:09 PM
awsome pictures!!! makes me want to get away to my cabin

08-02-2007, 12:24 PM
wicked pics.. gotta like travelin aroiund for a week!

08-02-2007, 12:28 PM
Great pics and trip report - looks like a nice week off
Thanks for all the pics - never been up that way (yet) so its nice to be able to see

08-02-2007, 12:30 PM
[36] [36] :happy0045: Looks like a lot of nice country vagely familiar. cool pic's looks like everyone had fun[36] [36]

08-02-2007, 01:58 PM
Now that looks like "Fun in BC"

Cool pics

08-02-2007, 02:00 PM
WOW those are some pretty awesome pics [36][36][36][36][36][36]

08-02-2007, 02:27 PM
Looks like a great time with the family.:happy0045: Nice to be able to relate to a lot of the pics. [36]

08-02-2007, 03:16 PM
looks like you guys had a great time, good fun for the kids too.

08-02-2007, 03:16 PM

sweeet pics

08-02-2007, 03:38 PM
beautiful pics and perfect posting time. Gets you all pumped up for the long weekend!!!! great post [36] [36] [36]

08-02-2007, 06:49 PM
Hmmmm..... some of those look familiar.
We were there at the beginning of July.

Went in to Horn lake, Cochin Lake, Tatlayoko lake and Chilco Lake

Crawled out of the camper one morning at Tatlayoko lake, walked down to the boat ramp and back up again. Heard a comotion across the road and there were a couple black bears ripping apart a tree (digging for bugs).

The fire warden had a grizzly out side his cabin at Tatlayoko that same morning.

08-02-2007, 06:59 PM
Nice pics Fuzzy. [cheers] What's with the sea gulls, we got them here too now. :dontknow: Have to get out exploring one of these days.[36] [cheers]

08-02-2007, 07:12 PM
Those are some very georgeous photos's. the scenery is spectaular.

And I love those pics of the old trucks.

08-02-2007, 07:52 PM
Nice pics Fuzzy. [cheers] What's with the sea gulls, we got them here too now. :dontknow: Have to get out exploring one of these days.[36] [cheers]

Hey Joe, are we gonna get you out for our Yank's Peak run on Sept 2nd?

08-02-2007, 09:16 PM
nice pic's, I like the moonrise shots, those are great

09-19-2007, 11:12 AM
Okay Buddy, you've got me all excited about going west again. I've been to Chilko which is spectacular. But I want to go MORE places out there and get all the way to Bella Coola. There's some 4x4ing and backcountry camping that I want to do in Bella Coola. We'll have to do some western stuff next season. I'm going to have my new (and Bigger) canoe next year too. Can't wait!

09-19-2007, 12:48 PM
nice pics man, got any more?

Redneck Cowgirl
09-19-2007, 03:18 PM
WOW some great pics you took, looks like a great trip[cheers]

09-19-2007, 04:34 PM
Thanks for the kind words everyone. Glad I could share. It really is nice country out there - you can just step back in time and leave all your worries behind

09-19-2007, 06:53 PM
Great photos and stories! [cheers] Too bad you couldn't make it up the high elevation mining roads. They are usually worth the pinstriping and pucker factor!

09-20-2007, 12:58 PM
awesome pics, I sure will try to visit Bluff Lake in the future