Spences Bridge: Photo Don Weixl

Spences Bridge

For the ultimate water-sport experience, head to the small town of Spences Bridge. Located at the confluence of the Thompson and Nicola Rivers, people come here for two primary reasons: to fish or to river raft. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, an angler or a rafter, the quaint town of Spences Bridge has much to offer. Nearby Goldpan Provincial Park offers a quiet spot to swim, canoe, kayak or do a little fishing. Take a short hike to Murray Falls just west of the town, try your hand at goldpanning, or pick up a handy guide and do some geocaching.

Location

Spences Bridge is located on Trans-Canada Highway 1 on the western shore of the Thompson River, 60 kilometres (38 miles) south of Cache Creek and approximately 50 kilometres (39 miles) north of Lytton.

A Step Back in Time

Prior to the Goldrush, Mortimer Cook, an American, and his partner Charles Kimball, had been freighters for the Hudson’s Bay Company. The Thompson and Nicola River peoples had previously lived in the region for thousands of years, hunting deer and fishing for salmon. With the sudden influx of prospectors on their way to the goldfields, Cook and Kimball built a rope ferry across the Thompson River, and the area became known as Cook’s Ferry. By 1864, the ferry had been replaced with a bridge that was built by road contractor Thomas Spence during the construction of the Cariboo Road from Yale to Barkerville. In 1892, the population of Spences Bridge included 32 people of European ancestry and 130 First Nations people. There were 5 general stores, 3 hotels, one Church of England, and one school.

In 1905, a terrible tragedy occurred just below Spence’s Bridge. A large slide came down, burying a First Nations village, damming the river for four hours, and washing the bridge out. Today the area is mostly a wasteland of sagebrush with some cultivated fields where irrigation allows.

Today the population of Spences Bridge is about 140. Both the Trans-Canada Highway and the CPR railway pass through the community, and Highway 8 from Merritt and the rest of the Nicola Country meet the Trans-Canada in town. Today, this is still the main rancherie of the Cook’s Ferry First Nation, a Nlaka’pamux band of the Nicola Tribal Alliance. Agriculture is a major industry and produce of soft fruits and vegetables are sold in stalls beside the highway in town, at wayside stops, and at nearby roadside communities such as Bighorn and Shaw Springs.

Contact Information

Explore Gold Country

Spences Bridge & Nearby Accommodations

12 Listings

Acacia Grove RV Park & Cabins

Acacia Grove RV Park & Cabins

Spences Bridge

Located in the historic community of Spences Bridge, Acacia Grove RV Park & Cabins is situated on a lush setting overlooking the famous Thompson River. Our well-appointed duplex and triplex cabins are self-contained with air conditioning, fully-equipped kitchens, two or three beds, and picnic tables ... Read more
Sundance Guest Ranch

Sundance Guest Ranch

Ashcroft

Located in warm Ashcroft with endless panoramic views of the open Thompson River Valley, Sundance Guest Ranch is the ideal getaway for the weekend or a week-long vacation. Only a four hour drive from Vancouver and easy access via three different picturesque routes, guests can escape their busy lives ... Read more
KUMSHEEN Rafting Resort

KUMSHEEN Rafting Resort

Lytton

Kick back and relax or stay active, the choice is yours. Kumsheen’s luxurious, activity-filled adventure resort is one of BC’s premier tourism destinations, ideal for short or long visits. Offering first class service and a variety of accommodation options, we welcome guests to enjoy their stay ... Read more
Logan Lake Municipal Campground

Logan Lake Municipal Campground

Logan Lake

On Logan Lake beside Meadow Creek Golf Course, Copper Ridge Disk Golf and Bike Skills Park 1 km. from downtown, hiking on nature trail. Clean and quiet. Reservation fee $8. Nightly fee $30.00 powered site; tent site is $24.00 ... Read more
Tunkwa Lake Resort

Tunkwa Lake Resort

Logan Lake

Tunkwa Lake Resort is a premier family vacation destination that has fantastic fishing and hunting for outdoor enthusiasts. Situated on the shores of Tunkwa Lake, our resort is in the southern interior Thompson Nicola region, which is a short drive from Kamloops and Logan Lake, and a three and half ... Read more
The Rock & River Rustic Retreat

The Rock & River Rustic Retreat

Savona

Each Glamping Tent experience has a different theme and fits every budget. Decorated with western themes, luxury chambers, to our basic rustic "cowboy" up units. Glamping is the ultimate outdoor hotel, you just have to bring yourself and let nature do the rest. We also have RV camping - a log cabin ... Read more
Mile High Resort

Mile High Resort

Logan Lake

Enjoy a piece of paradise at Mile High Resort! Surrounded by pristine forests with breathtaking lake views, our resort is a tranquil oasis for guests to escape their busy lives. We have 14 cabins, eight are deluxe and six are heritage styles. Our cabins offer guests privacy and comfortable beds for ... Read more
Claybanks RV Park & Campground

Claybanks RV Park & Campground

Merritt

Large grassy sites, flowers galore, along Coldwater River. Gift shop with local art, crafts and snacks. Clean heated washrooms, free showers. Easy walk to downtown core with many amenities; shopping, restaurants, aquatic center, playgrounds, water park, museum, 9-hole golf course. We have golf disco ... Read more
Moon Shadows RV Park & Campground

Moon Shadows RV Park & Campground

Merritt

Moon Shadows is located south of Merritt along the spectacular Coldwater River. Enjoy this year round, brand new campground hosting a variety of secure and immaculate campsites and facilities. Moon Shadows has everything....natural beauty, sun and shade, relaxation and friends. Come and visit us. ... Read more
Quilchena on the Lake Golf & RV Park

Quilchena on the Lake Golf & RV Park

Quilchena

Visit Quilchena on the Lake Golf and RV Park for a relaxed golfing and recreational camping experience. The well-tended greens of the golf course and RV park feature nine holes and full facilities. ... Read more
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Travel Spotlight
Camping Lodging

The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989