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Canim Lake

A Step Back in Time

Canim Lake is the traditional territory of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) First Nations Band. The Native people of Canim Lake and their ancestors are a part of what is known as the Lake Division of the Shuswap Tribe within the Interior Salish Nations in B.C. Canim Lake region is made up of six parcels of designated reserve land totaling 2,029 hectares that were originally set aside for the band by the Reilly Commission in 1887.

Archaeological evidence of ancient habitation in the Soda Creek region of the Cariboo during the summer of 1995 was carbon dated at approximately 4,300 years old.

The name Canim appropriately means canoe in the Chinook language.

Canim Lake is located on Canim Lake Road, approximately 35 km (22 mi) northeast of 100 Mile House in the Cariboo Region. From 100 Mile House, proceed north on Highway 97. Approximately 3 km (2 mi) north of 100 Mile House is the turnoff that heads east via Forest Grove to the community of Canim Lake.
Things to See and Do
  • Canim Lake

The 37 km (23 mi) long Canim Lake is one of the larger lakes in the Cariboo, surrounded by expansive meadows, mountains, rolling hills, and forests of pine, spruce and Douglas-fir trees. Numerous resorts dot the shoreline of the magnificent Canim Lake, which has a distinctive lushness to it due in part to its lower elevation. Many summer and winter activities can be enjoyed on the lake.

  • Canim Falls

Located at the east end of Canim Lake in Wells Gray Provincial Park, Canim Falls can be reached by following the trail that starts from the logging road that parallels the south side of Canim Lake. Deception Falls and Mahood Falls are other magnificent waterfalls to see in the area.

  • Wells Gray Provincial Park

This provincial park is one of British Columbia's largest and most spectacular parks. There are five major lakes here, as well as two large river systems, numerous small lakes, streams, and waterways, and a multitude of waterfalls, rapids, and cataracts. Although boating and paddling are major attractions for campers, the area has something for everyone. In winter, there are just as many opportunities for recreation as in summer, with the advantage of no bugs! This park is as ideal as any other in the province, with a climate and terrain varied enough to suit the most demanding backpacker or mountaineer.

  • Cross-country skiing

Backcountry enthusiasts love the landscape when Canim Lake freezes over. Snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and Dog-sledding are all other adventurous ways one can experience the beauty of the Canim Lake trails.

  • Fishing

Canim Lake is serious angling country in summer, offering some of the finest freshwater fly-fishing in British Columbia. Canim Lake is the angling centre of a region famed for the size of its char, or laker, as the fish are referred to locally. Anglers look for kokanee, rainbow, lake trout up to 25 lbs, or ling cod. Ice Fishing season on Canim Lake runs from mid December to mid March, offering Rainbow Trout, Lake Trout, Kokanee and Burbot (freshwater Ling Cod).

  • Hiking

Through out the area and nearby provincial parks there are an endless amount of trails for hiking and mountain biking. The hundreds of kilometres of logging roads lead far into the wilderness providing good access to the backcountry and provide great opportunities for some exciting wildlife viewing. Wildlife is abundant in the Canim Lake area, including black bears, moose, mule deer, wolves, coyotes, cougars, beavers, otters, waterfowl, hawks, bald eagles and song birds.

  • Horseback Riding

The surrounding mountains and ranch country offers excellent terrain for horseback riding. If you want a horse adventure, this is the way to go. Local lodges offer rides for beginner and experienced riders, as well as overnight packaged trips that offer camping under the stars after a day in the saddle.

  • Canoeing & Kayaking

Canim Lake offers beautiful scenery for one to enjoy while participating in various water activities. Canoeing and kayaking on the lake are popular ways to spend a day on the waters. Due to the significant size of the lake, it is advised to remain close to the shoreline in case the wind picks up. Large waves can develop quite suddenly and present risky paddling conditions. Furthermore, other water recreational activities are offered such as boating, jet skiing and great beaches.

Nearby Communities
Contact Information

South Cariboo Tourism


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Background Photo Credit: Destination British Columbia

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