Bowron Lake Provincial Park
The Bowron Lake Wilderness Park is now considered one of the most popular paddling adventures in the world. People from many different countries; and all walks of life, have now experienced and traveled the Circuit.
In 1926, through the efforts of Frank Kibbee and the McCabe's, the inside of the chain of lakes was declared a Game Reserve. Then In 1961 this area was reclassified; and became the Bowron Lake Wilderness Provincial Park; named after John Bowron, who was the Gold Commissioner at Barkerville.
Bowron Lake Park is an unspoiled wilderness of 121,600 hectares; with a unique system of connecting lakes, rivers, and portages. The lake lay at the elevation is 950 meters,beneath the rugged Cariboo Mountains that average an elevation of 2,100 meters. These form a scenic backdrop for this wilderness experience.Wildlife abounds along the lakeshores and rivers.
The Park is open between May and October, but July and August are usually the busiest. On a typical tour expect 5-6 days of sun, a couple of cloudy days with a few mountain storms. A touch of frost in May & mid September. All visitors must register.
Circuit Trip (7–10 days)
The Circuit is 116 km in length and most paddlers allow 7 days for their trip; but if you plan on doing some relaxing or fishing; a 10 day trip is much more enjoyable. The extra days enable you to stay in camp for 2 days at a favorite spot; and allows the possibility of being storm bound for a few days.
You should be prepared and well equipped. Good physical fitness and outdoor experience make the trip more enjoyable; however people of all skills and fitness continue to travel with relatively few problems. Most say "I had the time of my life!" If you are inexperienced, do some conditioning and practice before your trip. Purchase or rent only quality equipment.
The Westside Trip (1–4 Days)
The trip up the West Side is a shorter and less strenuous trip than the complete circuit. The rivers are slower, the lakes are usually less windy, the portages are shorter and the terrain is more flat. The sandy beaches and warmer waters make this area great for swimming also.
You travel counter-clockwise from Bowron Lake through the Spectacle Lakes to as far as Unna Lake and then return. At Unna Lake you can visit the Cariboo River Falls; a highlight of the Park. If you have time restrictions; or maybe your gear and equipment are not light weight; or if you want to avoid any portaging; you can travel as far as the end of the Spectacle Lakes and then return.
Bowron Lake Park is a trip of a lifetime, planning being one of the keys.You must take everything needed with you as there are no services on the tour.
Tips And Suggestions For Your Trip
Bowron Lake Park is a trip of a lifetime, planning being one of the keys.You must take everything needed with you as there are no services on the tour. The park is nature's best so expect hot sunny days, wind, clouds, rain or a hail storm. Travel early, camp by early afternoon to avoid any wind.
- long pants, shirts, vest,
- shorts, t- shirt, jacket
- hikingboots / shoes
- sandals, wool socks
- swimsuit, raingear, hat
- sun cream, after sun cream
- biodegrable soap, first aid kit
- lip balm, personal hygiene items
- Insect repellant, after bite
- flashlight, sun glasses, water bottle
- playing cards, game, book
- camera, waterproof matches
- Fishing gear, paddling gloves
- water filter.
- tent, sleeping bag
- sleeping pad, camp pillow,stove
- axe, fuel, firestarter
- s/s cook set & dishes, dry bags
- food buckets (20l),lg & sm plastic bags
Good food makes a good trip
A balance of freeze dried, dried, & fresh is great. Take vaccum pkg. Fresh Frozen for the first 2 days, then dried. Pastas /sauce, granolas, nuts, fruit, soups, heavy breads, crackers,cheese, european sausage, juice crystals and beverage.
20 liter buckets work well for food containers. (get them at the bulk food dept) they are waterproof, easy to pack, stow in the canoe / bear cache, not too heavy,& make great chairs at the campsite. Usually 3 buckets & 2 dry bags, plus a tent bag is all you need for your trip.The park allows 60 lbs/ 28kilos in gear weight to put in the canoe AS YOU PORTAGE to the next lake. The rest of your gear you must carry. Heavy Duty Dry Bags (rental) work good for portageing. Pack clothing in Zip-Loc bags. 40-60 liter totes and coolers are not recommended by parks staff as they are big,heavy & awkward. Balance what is needed with what has to be carried. Everything should be in waterproof containers or dry bags.