Sundance Guest Ranch, Ashcroft
The Village of Ashcroft is located in Gold Country in the Thompson Okanagan region of British Columbia. It lies along the magnificent Thompson River in a unique desert setting. Steeped in history from the days of the Gold Rush, the community is surrounded by rolling hills that rise steeply in the east and extend to the west to form the Highland Valley Plateau. A small town proud of its heritage buildings and history that has been used in several Hollywood movies. You can embrace this history through the Ashcroft Museum and in the Heritage Place Park with walk-through displays, a waterwheel and caboose. Take the Mosaic Walking Tour and see the amazing art throughout the town.
Several Provincial Parks are located in the area. Elephant Hill is good for walking and wildlife viewing, Cornwall Hills has stunning wildflowers in the summer and is a favourite spot for hang-gliding and hiking, Oregon Jack is known for its pictographs and waterfalls.
Ashcroft is located 10 km (6 mi) south of the junction between Trans-Canada Highway 1 and Highway 97, on Highway 97C. Travelling the Trans-Canada Highway 1, Ashcroft is located 93 km (58 mi) west of Kamloops and 104 km (64 mi) north of Merritt via Highway 97C.
The Village is steeped in the history of the Gold Rush. With the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the late 1800s, Ashcroft became Mile “O” on the road to the goldfields. Freight and mining supplies off-loaded from the train, made their way north to the Cariboo Gold fields by stagecoach, freight wagon, and sleighs in the winter. With the influx of people business grew, and by 1887, the BC Express Company (a stagecoach line in Yale) had relocated to Ashcroft, where it stayed for 35 years.
From 1886 to 1920, the Village of Ashcroft prospered, however in 1920 the Pacific Great Eastern Railway was built accessing Prince George and the Northern Interior of British Columbia from Alberta. This spelled the decline of Ashcroft. To survive, the people of Ashcroft came to rely on the area’s resources. It was already known that when water was added to the parched soil of the “benches” between the hills, practically anything would grow well under the intense heat of this northern desert’s sun.
During the same time, Chinese immigrants were doing experimental planting, and reaping benefits from the sale of tomatoes and potatoes. The BC Express Company converted their freight barn in Ashcroft into a tomato cannery, and consequently put BC Express workers back to work. The cannery remained open until 1957.