100 Mile House near Canim Lake, Photo Destination BC Albert Normandin
This may be a small community but 100 Mile House has a lot going for it with plenty to see and do. Galleries, unique shops, eateries and more are all here. Near the Visitor Centre is 100 Mile Marsh, a small wetland area popular for birds, especially water fowl, and birdwatchers. Circling the marsh is an interpretive walking path leading to some viewing benches and a grassy picnic area. Centennial Park is a hidden treasure located in the heart of 100 Mile House. The waterfalls are only a short walk from the parking lot along tree-lined nature trails and easily accessible to everyone. Fishing is a popular sport in this area of the Cariboo. Many lakes are stocked with native species and anglers, trollers and fly-fishers will find something to satisfy all their tastes.
100 Mile House and the South Cariboo area also brings visitors here in the winter to experience some amazing x-country skiing and snowmobiling. There are hundreds of miles of trails including the Gold Rush Snowmobile Trail. The city is famous for having the world’s tallest skis. Created for a community project the x-country skis were constructed to be admired for the 1987 Cariboo Marathon. Over 36 feet (10.9 m) in length and weighing over 600 pounds (273 kg), the skis are located right beside the South Cariboo Visitor Info Centre.
The District of 100 Mile House is situated on Hwy 97, BC’s main arterial north-south route, located in the South Cariboo. It is 198 km / 120 mi north west of Kamloops, 458 km northeast of Vancouver and 334 km south of Prince George.
The small community of 100 Mile House dates back to the early days of the Cariboo gold rush era. During this time period, certain roadhouses, because of their favorable locations along the Cariboo Wagon Road from Lillooet to Soda Creek, grew to be supply points for the gold seekers and the surrounding district. 100 Mile House became South Cariboo’s dominant community and was originally one of these stopping points along the gold rush trail. Between 1862 and 1870, over 100,000 people traveled the Cariboo Waggon Road from Lillooet making their way north into the Cariboo country. 100 Mile House established its name because it was located 100 Miles from Lillooet (Mile 0) of the Cariboo Waggon Road.
The land around 100 Mile House was purchased by British nobleman, the Marquis of Exeter, in 1912. The son of the Marquis, Lord Martin Cecil, arrived in the South Cariboo in 1930 to look after his father’s holdings. The population of the settlement was about 12 at this time.
During the late 40s and 50s the economy shifted and the construction of Highway 97 began. This community remains a welcome stop for visitors on their way through the Cariboo via Highway 97. Today, the South Cariboo consists of various small unincorporated communities in the outlying area surrounding the District of 100 Mile House.