Chase is the western gateway to the recreational splendor of the Shuswap Region. The village is located on the shores of Little Shuswap Lake in the mountainous eastern region of the South Thompson River Valley. Mount Scatchard and Mount Boysee dominate the southern horizon, while the northern side of the valley is defined by the Shuswap Highlands that rise to 1,830 meters. Chase has a population of roughly 2,500 and its main industries are forestry and tourism.
The town of Chase was named after Whitfield Chase, an American from New York State who arrived in the area in 1867 after coming to Canada during the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush. He was the first non-native settler who farmed and raised a family in what was then called the Shuswap Prairie. He married a young Secwepemc girl who became Elizabeth Chase, and they raised nine children together. The town was named in honour of Whitfield Chase, although the community did not exist until more than 10 years after his death.
An American logging company first came to the area in 1907 and purchased what became the original town site from Whitfield's heir. They subdivided the land into lots, installed water and electricity, and sold the lots to workers and business people. For the location of the mill, they leased approximately 70 acres of land from the Chase family that bordered the Thompson River near Little Shuswap Lake.
The Chase mill became known as the Adams River Lumber Company because they logged exclusively off the Adams River and Adams Lake area. The Adams River Lumber Company, after logging within 100 feet of the Adams River and Lake, closed the mill in 1925 and took their profits back to the United States. This lease will terminate in 2006 and the property will revert to descendants and heirs of the Chase family.
Chase grew slowly over the next few decades with only a small core of permanent residents. It was not until incorporation in 1969 that the community began to market itself as a tourist destination and people began to explore the area. The community, as a result, saw an increase in population with visitors to the area returning to live, work, and retire. Chase also benefited from the construction of the Coquihalla Highway in the mid-1980's. Improved access to the area brought new life to the local economy in the form of another tourist explosion that has expanded the community's economic base and resident population. Chase continues to benefit as the number of businesses, population, and tourism increase and contribute to the local economy.
Chase is located on the Trans-Canada Highway 1, 58 km (36 mi) east of Kamloops and 45 km (28 mi) west of Salmon Arm.
Reflect on life as it was on this land beside Little Shuswap Lake, at the Chase Museum & Archives. Catch a glimpse of the hard work, the primitive living conditions, and the challenge of survival that faced the early settlers. View displays on early ranching, logging, the railroad and Shuswap First Nations history. The museum is Located on Shuswap Avenue in a former church building.
View the Chase Falls by following Chase Creek a short distance from the Chase Creek Rest Area, on the east side of Highway 1.
A very popular destination, the park is situated on the old delta of Scotch Creek, has one kilometer of sandy, pebble beach, and includes the whole of Copper Island. The park also offers a large grassy play area, an adventure playground, a large boat launch. and a self-guiding nature trail.
Boaters may wish to visit Copper Island, located two kilometres offshore. A 2.8 km hiking trail provides beautiful views of the area.
Supplies, groceries, and many recreational opportunities including bumper boats, mini-golf driving range, go-carts, para-sailing, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, boat and jet-ski rentals are offered by near-by businesses.
Niskonlith Lake offers rustic camping and is popular for swimming, fishing and boating.
This is a fascinating place to visit at any time of year, but particularly in early October during the run of the Adams River sockeye salmon. Every 4th year is a "dominant" run, with millions of fish to be seen. The Adams River Salmon Society coordinate the celebration known as the 'Salute to the Sockeye' during the dominant years. During the last three weeks of October in years where there isn't a 'dominant' or 'sub-dominant' return, a small number of salmon begin their spawning cycle. The best place to view spawning salmon will be in the channel next to the parking lot.
The 26 kilometre trail system is used for cross-country skiing & snow-shoeing in winter, for hiking and mountain biking in summer.
Spend a day relaxing on the water - Little Shuswap Lake is the place to be. Boating, kayaking, or canoeing amidst the splendor. The laughter of children and the hum of excitement can be heard from the public beach at Memorial Park. Access to the lake is made easy via the boat launch in the park, and access to South Thompson River can be gained at the boat launch located at Mill Park.
Sunshore Golf Course invites golfing enthusiasts to enjoy this exceptional 9 hole golf course. Splendid views of the Little Shuswap Lake and tree lined slopes of the Highlands Range await you.
There are many trails to explore on the Switchbacks which can be accessed from many locations within Chase. The views are exceptional and there are trails for all hiking abilities. There are many trails within the community that follow Chase Creek that provides for a relaxing walk around town, what a way to explore Chase.
The Shuswap Lake area supports an exciting diversity of fish species, including Kamloops, Rainbow, Bull, and Eastern Brook Trout, Kokanee, Whitefish, Lingcod, and Perch.
Other lakes nearby include White Lake, Arthur Lake, Bolcan Lake (Falkland area), Gardom Lake, Humamilt Lake, Joyce Lake, Mara Lake, Pinaus Lake, Skimikin Lake, and Spa Lake.
Chase Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Information Centre
Background Photo Credit: Destination British Columbia