Flowers in the Thompson Okanagan, Photo Allen Jones

Travel Spotlight

Blue River

The small community of Blue River provides access to nearby Wells Gray Park, a three-million-acre wildlife park that stretches from Clearwater’s Wells Gray Country to Blue River’s Murtle Lake and is home to over 200 species of birds and 56 mammals. Within the park is Helmcken Falls, one of the most photographed sites in BC, being the fourth tallest waterfall in Canada. Lots of hiking and biking opportunities abound and swimming and fishing is popular in Eleanor Lake which is also known for its cross-country skiing and ice fishing in winter.

Location

Located in Wells Gray to Mt. Robson region of the Thompson Okanagan, 210 km (130 mi) north of Kamloops on Yellowhead Hwy 5.

A Step Back in Time

Canadian Aboriginal people were the first to use the North Thompson route, followed later by a party of settlers who, after leaving Jasper, travelled a route by land to Kamloops. After their safe arrival, they became known as the Overlanders.

Prior to the establishment of the town of Blue River, a large forest fire engulfed the valley. Thus, the forest surrounding the town of Blue River is all second growth. In 1890, Frank Bowen was one of the first settlers known to have trapped in the Blue River area. Later settlers were Dan Crowley in 1909, the Lawson brothers and their partner Wilkins in 1910. In 1910, J. Maher arrived in the area. He set up a cabin 11 miles east of Blue River, which is still visible today near Highway 5. Other settlers who arrived in the area around the same time were Austin Cook, Smith and J. Dales. Mt. Cook was named after Austin Cook’s son. Stanley Harrison (Doc) arrived in 1912 with Angus Horne.

Together they acquired an area of land, which included Goose Lake. Doc later had a daughter who was the first Caucasian child born in Blue River, and Goose Lake was then named Lake Eleanor after her. Lake Eleanor is at the centre of Blue River and is admired by locals and tourists alike. It is a great spot for recreation especially swimming, fishing, and picnics.

When the Canadian Northern Railway (CNR) connected the east and west in 1914, Blue River became a divisional point. Each week two trains passed through the community. As the many small railways across Canada became unified in 1923, Blue River became part of the Canadian National mainline. The first section foreman was Billy Davies. A wagon road was built during the construction of the railway. The total number of families living in Blue River at that time was seven! Dave McLaren established the first store in 1922 across from the railway station. Johnny Kuffa built the first hotel.

Contact Information

North Thompson Valley Tourism

Blue River & Nearby Accommodations

16 Listings

Blue River Campground & RV Park

Blue River Campground & RV Park

Blue River

Enjoy the space and wilderness of Blue River at our campground and RV Park. Our cabins and tipis provide a fantastic resting spot, ideal after a long day of travelling! Take a wilderness hike or bike ride; paddle a pristine mountain lake; fish a mountain stream; swim in Eleanor Lake or relax by your ... Read more
Bone Creek Wilderness Retreat

Bone Creek Wilderness Retreat

Blue River

Bone Creek Wilderness Retreat is north of Blue River, BC in the heart of the Cariboo and Monashee Mountains. Take a breath of fresh air and savor the clean clear wilderness experience of a stay at our retreat. Come to relax, come to play, come to recharge." Endless Things To Do" Our retreat offers ... Read more
Wells Gray RV Resort & Campground

Wells Gray RV Resort & Campground

Clearwater

Located in one of British Columbia’s largest provincial park, Wells Gray Golf Course & RV Park is the ideal destination for family trips, reunions or retreats. With Hemp Creek running alongside our RV Park, we offer fantastic creek side and open campsites that feature power, water and private fire ... Read more
Wells Gray Guest Ranch

Wells Gray Guest Ranch

Clearwater

Nestled amongst the majestic mountains and wilderness, Wells Gray Guest Ranch is the ideal destination to escape urban life and unwind in a tranquil retreat. We offer various accommodations for you to pick your best fit. Choose from our log cabin rooms, rustic cabins or campground. Our log cabin roo ... Read more
Birch Island Campground

Birch Island Campground

Clearwater

10 km north of Clearwater on Hwy 5, beautiful quiet country setting with river access, mountain views, hiking, fishing, games yard and playground. Each site is a private, treed pull-thru. No "I'm camping in a field" feeling here. Firewood, showers and WiFi. Full-service country-style store and gas n ... Read more
Clearwater Country Inn & RV Park

Clearwater Country Inn & RV Park

Clearwater

After a long day of travelling on Hwy 5, spend a well-deserved night’s sleep at Clearwater Country Inn & RV Park. Relax in our well-appointed guestrooms or our well-maintained campground. Whether you’re staying overnight or for a week-long, we are happy to exceed your expectations and needs. We ... Read more
Clearwater Valley Resort

Clearwater Valley Resort

Clearwater

200 meters from Information Center on the road to Wells Gray Park. Modern, friendly motel which consists of individual bungalows and motel rooms in a park-like setting. Queen and king beds, family rooms, in-room coffee, cable TV and kitchenettes available. Secure on-line reservations at www.clearwat ... Read more
Clearwater/Wells Gray KOA

Clearwater/Wells Gray KOA

Clearwater

Situated in a beautiful parklike setting, Clearwater Valley Resort & KOA Campground invites your family to book their next vacation with us! Our resort and campground is ideal for guests to explore Wells Gray Park and its spectacular waterfalls, ancient volcanoes, various wildlife and glistening lak ... Read more
Dutch Lake Resort & RV Park

Dutch Lake Resort & RV Park

Clearwater

Stay at the lake in Clearwater! This is the perfect location for a vacation or as part of your tour between Jaspar and Vancouver. Guests have direct access to Dutch Lake from all nine private cabins. Each cabin is self-contained with kitchens and full bathrooms, including linens and towels. There is ... Read more
Canoe River Campground Ltd.

Canoe River Campground Ltd.

Valemount

Stay at Valemount's newest campground. Camp along the river side or enjoy one of the spectacular mountain views. Campsites are situated far enough apart for privacy. Also offer group rates. Washrooms and showers are centrally located. We offer 30-50 amp services. Tent sites also available. Hiking, b ... Read more
1 2
Travel Spotlight
Camping Lodging

The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989