Here are the top 10 reasons why we love the Bowron Lakes.
1. The circuit is made up of thirteen beautiful, unique lakes, rivers and connecting waterways which form a 116km rectangle shape that brings the you right back to where you started, a rare occurrence in the paddling world!
2. On the Eastern and Southern portions of the circuit you paddle at 1000m surrounded by the Cariboo Mountains many reaching over 2200m. It is stunning mountain scenery enjoyed from the seat of your canoe. Mount Ishpa (the “Father”) is the tallest peak in the area at 2537m (8323ft).
The rest of the circuit is through the Quesnel highlands, a land of rounded hills and grassy estuaries perfect for…
3. Spotting amazing North American wildlife! Moose are almost a guaranteed sighting, best to be up early though! Grizzly and black bear, beavers, otters, bald eagles and the most elusive but rewarding sighting, the Mountain Caribou, an at risk species for whom the mountain ranges are named.
4. If your going to be spending all that time in a boat you’d better bring your Fishing rod along! The lakes are full of bull trout, kokanee, rainbow trout and lake trout. Try your luck where the many side streams bring fresh oxygen into the lakes or troll along behind the canoe while paddling the larger lakes.
5. This park encompasses an area full of both First Nations and mining history. The Cariboo goldrush reached this area in 1861 and left the land rich with character’s whose stories are almost too good to be true;)
6. The final estuary which winds its way slowly into Bowron Lake (the final lake in the circuit) is a birder’s paradise with a wide variety of species to see and hear.
7. There are two powerful, beautiful waterfalls to see along the circuit. Isaac falls is 11m high and is a rolling bouncing cascade. Cariboo falls (a great side hike highlight) thunders away as it falls 26m straight down. Don’t miss the turn-off to avoid this waterfall, we suspect your canoe won’t survive the journey!
8. The amazing array of scenery including mountain vistas, beautiful wildlife and excellent lighting off of the water makes the Bowron Lakes an amazing place to practice your wilderness photography.
9. The bad news is there are 10.8km’s of portage trails on the circuit, the good news is the trails are designed so that you can drag your boat along on a set of wheels! BC Parks allows you to put 60lbs in the boats, the rest of your personal gear has to be carried on your back. It is certainly easier than carrying that canoe on your head!
10. Maybe the best thing about paddling the Bowron Lakes in a canoe is that it forces you to slow down and appreciate a different rhythm of life in the wilderness. Take the opportunity to unplug from your busy daily routine and reconnect with nature, yourself and hopefully some new friends along the way.