When a French Canadian fur trader dropped his axe into a remote Cariboo Lake while ice fishing, he most likely never would have suspected that he was making history. The name Lac La Hache translated into English means" Lake of the Axe", and has remained the name to represent this beautiful lakeshore destination.
This area is rich in tales of fur traders, gold seekers and cattle ranchers. By the 1860's, gold fever was running high, as miners searched for the jackpot first near Likely, and later at Barkerville. With teams of horses, mules and oxen, the fortune-seekers plodded north along the Cariboo Wagon Road skirting the eastern shores of the lake.
Both the Shuswap and Chilcotin First Nations habitated the area. Long before the lure of wealth brought the fur traders west, the Shuswap Indians established pit houses near the present day village of Lac La Hache. The Chilcotins named the lake Kumatakwa, meaning Chief or Queen of the waters.
The small, friendly community of Lac La Hache describes itself as the "Longest Town in the Cariboo". Highway 97 skirts the entire 18-kilometre shoreline of this beautiful lake in its rolling Fraser Plateau setting, which has many fishing lodges, guest ranches and vacation homes sprinkled along its perimeter.
The lake is well known for its kokanee fishing as well as its trophy size lake trout. During the summer months, the Lac La Hache area attracts anglers, boats, swimmers, and water skiers. Many resorts, offering camping and cabins are located on the lakeshore, as well as a British Columbia Provincial Campground.
Lac La Hache, located in the Cariboo region of British Columbia is situated about 20 km (12 mi) north of 100 Mile House on Hwy 97, 141 km (88 mi) north of Cache Creek, 56 km (35 mi) south of 150 Mile House, and 71 km (44 mi) south of Williams Lake.
The historic Felker Homestead situated along both sides of Highway 97, was an important site in the days of the Cariboo Gold Rush. The two storey house was the center of the 118 Mile Homestead and was built around 1884 by Dick Felker. The Felker Homestead became an integral link in the series of roadhouses that lined the corridor of the Cariboo Road, providing services to those on their way to the goldfields and supplying produce and other necessities to Barkerville. The Felkers were one of the early pioneer families to settle in Lac La Hache and one of the most influential. The Lac La Hache Historical Society is currently accepting donations to assist in the restoration of the Felker Homestead. The site provides a source of history of the foundations of the community, and serves to promote interest and pride in the community and its origins.
Outfit yourself in the latest riding gear in a western specialty store, or browse through the interesting exhibits and artifacts from the past at the Lac la Hache Museum, an old fashioned log house from the 1930s.
Lac La Hache Provincial Park is located in the Cariboo region of British Columbia, 30 km (19 mi) northwest of 100 Mile House off Cariboo Highway 97. This park is great for picnics, swimming and boating. Within the park there is also a boat launch available for public use and an adventure playground for children. The small community of Lac La Hache is located at the south end of the lake. The provincial park also has 83 campsites set in relatively open Douglas fir and aspen woodlands. The park is open from May to September 30 and fees are collected during this time.
The Cariboo Nature Park is a small park just 3 km (1.8 mi) north of Lac La Hache. This undeveloped natural area protects waterfowl nesting at Woodfrog Lake, a section of the San Jose River, and is a good spot for bird watching and walking. A variety of waterfowl congregate within the park and nest boxes, floating nest islands and interpretive signs have been placed for the purpose of education and preservation.
If you are looking for small crowds and diverse terrain, Mount Timothy Ski Area is just 24 km (15 mi) east of Lac La Hache. Boasting terrific powder skiing, 32 runs and 2 terrain parks, Mount Timothy is a welcoming, fun-filled ski area that attracts avid skiers and snowboarders alike. The ski runs range from easy cruising to the challenge of black diamond trails. Mount Timothy is a society-run ski area and is proud of the many improvements; especially the new three seating chairlift that recently began operating.
Golfers can head south to 108 Mile Ranch for a game of golf. Rolling hills create a stunning backdrop for the championship 108 Golf Resort. The 18-hole, par 71 course overlooks two lakes on 108 Mile Ranch.
One of the prettiest lakes in the Cariboo, Lac La Hache Lake is especially famous for its kokanee and trophy sized lake trout fishing. Kokanee fish caught here can weigh anywhere between 1 to 1.5 pounds and trout can be found up to 30 pounds. Ice fishing is popular in winter, but hang on to your axe! If fly-fishing is your passion, head to Timothy Lake, a little distance east of Lac La Hache, which is stocked annually to maintain good fishing right through the warmer months. There are three resorts on Timothy Lake offering accommodation, fishing licenses, and rental of boats and fishing gear.
Lac La Hache is one of the most popular recreation lakes along Highway 97. This region is well liked for its beautiful lake shore and water recreation; swimming, power boating, parasailing, water and jet skiing. Holiday resorts, hotels and motels, guest ranches and a large provincial campground surround the lake.
Experience the romance and thrill of Dog Sledding through Cariboo Country, where the heavy and reliable snowfalls provide excellent backcountry trails. Local companies will take you on a short tour, or set you up to train your own team of enthusiastic and friendly huskies.
South Cariboo Visitor Centre
Box 340 155 Airport Rd.
100 mile House, BC V0K 2E0
Toll Free: 1-877-511-5353
Background Photo Credit: Destination British Columbia