The town of Likely emerged on British Columbia's historic Gold Rush Trail in 1858. The economy has revolved mainly around mining and forestry, when you travel through the area you can see evidence of past mining activities, particularly at Cedar Point Provincial Park where a display of relic mining equipment exists. Only 9 km (5.6 mi) from Likely is Quesnel Forks, the oldest mining camp in the Cariboo Region. Today Quesnel Forks is BC's last remaining ghost town, dating back to 1858. By the early 1860's, gold fever was rampant at the forks of the Quesnel and Cariboo Rivers and "The Forks" quickly became a rowdy gold camp attracting close to 5,000 people. Even after prospectors moved further north, the Forks remained a busy centre until bypassed by the Cariboo Wagon Road. By 1875, it became a thriving Chinese community with over 200 merchants and miners. The site had several revivals, but during the 1920's most of the area mines closed and by 1956, it was abandoned. Today, the Likely Cemetery Society lovingly cares for Quesnel Forks.
In 1898 the Quesnel River was dammed near Likely to enable down river areas to be explored for gold. During the last week of October in 1922, more than 697 ounces of gold were recovered at the Cedar Creek Mine. In 1935 the Bullion Pit became the site of the largest hydraulic monitors ever installed in North America. It operated from 1892 to 1942, constructing over 64 kilometres of canals to draw water from nearby lakes and creeks to feed the hydraulic nozzles. In fact, Morehead Lake was created to supply water to the Bullion mine. Today, the Bullion Pit stands as an astonishing man-made canyon, which can be viewed, from the trail above
Likely is a small community situated where the west arm of Quesnel Lake empties into the Quesnel River, near the southern end of the Matthew River Road leading to Barkerville. Likely is located 150 km (94 mi) northeast of 150 Mile House. There are two main routes to Likely; taking the junction at 150 Mile House only 14 km (9 mi) south of Williams Lake, or by taking the backcountry road from McLeese Lake, which is 50 km (31 mi) north of Williams Lake.
Cedar Point Park was once a rendezvous point for the Hudson's Bay Fur Brigade in the 1850's; today it is a Provincial Park and campground. Situated only 6km (3.75 mi) from Likely the Cedar Point Provincial Park is located on the shores of the Quesnel River and is named after the abundance of ‘old growth' cedar trees, which are found there. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy camping, hiking the many historic forest service roads or fishing on the Quesnel Lake.
The Quesnel Lake is the largest lake in the Cariboo region at 157 km (100 mi) long. It is also renowned for being the world's deepest fjord lake, 1,800 feet (549 m) and was formed during the last glaciation period. There are many activities for visitors to do at Quesnel Lake, including boating and fishing as well as experiencing some beautiful waterfalls, which are tumbling down from the mountains of the Cariboo.
Yanks Peak was named after Bill Luce, a well-known American Miner. For the adventurous traveller a trip to Yanks Peak is well worth the time and effort, accessible only by four-wheel vehicles or on foot. Enjoy the fantastic, awe inspiring scenery, of old mines, wildlife and rolling hills, which lead to the historic mining town of Barkerville.
A visit to Quesnel Forks is a must see when visiting Likely and the surrounding area. As mentioned above, Quesnel Forks is BC's last remaining ghost town. Take a stroll through this historic mining town and feel as if you've gone back in time.
The Likely area boasts endless miles of forest service roads and historic mining trails, which are popular hiking trails. The Cedar Point Provincial Park is an excellent place to embark on a hike.
Fishing is an extremely popular activity in Likely, anglers can fish for 10-16 pound rainbow trout, lake trout and kokanee on the Quesnel Lake. The Quesnel River, which flows west out of the Quesnel Lake, also offers excellent fishing conditions. There is an angling closure covering 50 meters on either side of the Likely Bridge.
For those who enjoy the challenge of rapids, the Quesnel River is a great place to enjoy some whitewater rafting. There are a number of rapids along the river, for those unfamiliar with the area; there are experienced guides in Likely to help find the best location to embark from.
Plan a visit to Likely in late August and watch thousands of salmon migrate up the Quesnel River to their spawning grounds in the Horsefly and Mitchell Rivers. The Quesnel River Hatchery produces over 2 million Chinook salmon every year, view adult salmon from August 1st until late September and between November and April the fry can be observed during different stages of development. The hatchery is open seven days a week, from 8am to 4pm.
During the winter months, visitors to Likely can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. Snowmobiling is very popular at Yanks Peak between November and May. Outdoor enthusiasts can also go cross-county skiing and ice fishing in the area surrounding Likely.
Likely Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 29
Likely, British Columbia
Canada, V0L 1N0
Background Photo Credit: Destination British Columbia