Our Area - Local ProfilesExplore Clearwater – our wilderness outpost and your gateway to Wells Gray Park. It’s a welcome rest stop on your journey and the first stop on your Wells Gray getaway. Fuel up. Gather provisions. Play in our backyard. Clearwater is so much more than a wilderness outpost –
It’s your gateway to adventure!
ClearwaterLocated 134km north of Kamloops, Clearwater is the largest town in the North Thompson Valley. A thriving community, it’s home to the countless recreational activities .
If you’re planning on spending any amount of time exploring Wells Gray Park you’ll want to fuel up and stock up on groceries in Clearwater as there are no such services once you’re in the Park. The same holds true for restaurants – if you’re looking to dine out.
Clearwater is a welcome rest stop on any journey. You’ll find a variety of accommodations here including hotels, motels, RV resorts and family-run B&Bs.
Medical facilities include a hospital, medical clinic and dental practice servicing the surrounding area. Emergency services include a fire department, police detachment and search and rescue operation. The Kamloops Animal Clinic operates a satellite veterinary clinic in Clearwater on Wednesdays. Kamloops, 129km south has a variety of vets available to handle pet emergencies.
Upper Clearwater ValleyExplore the Upper Clearwater Valley, the narrow corridor between the town of Clearwater and its urban amenities, and the raw wilderness that is the heart of Wells Gray Provincial Park. Dotted with homesteads and cattle ranches, the Upper Clearwater Valley was settled by pioneers more than a century ago who have left a legacy that lives on in the place names you’ll still find in the Park…and in the legends and stories you’ll hear gathered around a campfire.
Home to the Upper Clearwater Community Hall and the leading edge Wells Gray Education and Research Centre, it’s where you can uncover countless tales: of pioneering spirit, the Great Fire of 1926, and the people who called this place home. Discover natural and artistic wonders at exhibits, workshops and interpretive presentations at the Community Hall, a log cabin built of salvaged timber from the Great Fire.
Explore a network of survey trails and sampling sites learning the classification of ecosystems &wildlife habitats, where old growth forests and pioneer communities are all within reach.
The Upper Clearwater Valley is a transition zone between urban and wild, the past and the present, and like Wells Gray Provincial Park itself, it is devoid of shops, restaurants and service stations, so be sure to make provisions before making the journey up the Clearwater Valley Road.
Wells Gray Provincial Park
5,250 square kilometres of pure wilderness, borne from volcanoes and carved by glaciers; where your days are measured in vertical feet, big game sightings and the number of waterfall shots on your camera. It’s your staging ground for wilderness adventures…camping, hiking , white-water rafting , canoeing , dog-sledding or touring ,by car, on foot, or from high in the saddle.
Accommodations in the Park range from rustic, rugged and eclectic. Bed down at a western ranch, an alpine cabin or in a tent beside a river. Luxury seekers will find a handful of upscale B&Bs at the gateway to the Park, offering a wilderness safari experience.
Devoid of grocery stores,banks or gas stations, visitors to Wells Gray Park will find those amenities and services in neighbouring Clearwater.
BlackpoolThe Community of Blackpool is 5 km south of Clearwater on the shores of the North Thompson River. With roots firmly planted in agriculture, forestry, railroads and mining, Blackpool is home to Star Lake, one of the best fishing spots for Kamloops Rainbows and Lacarya Golf course and RV park.
Birch Island is located 8km north of Clearwater. Here you’ll find Serenity Performing Arts Centre and the site of the Serenity Music Festival each summer.
VavenbyThe Community of Vavenby is located 27km northeast of Clearwater on Yellowhead Highway (BC Highway 5). The community is host to a post office, general store, thrift shop, a Petro Canada Bulk Plant and a Canfor mill site.
Clearwater & Wells Gray Top 25
- Adventure the easy way on a family-friendly river floa down the North Thompson River
- Hike the Trophy Mountain wildflower meadows
- Visit Helmcken Falls – the fourth highest waterfall in Canada.
- Rekindle your love of nature by camping under the stars
- Discover life above the tree line on a guided hut-to-hut hiking expedition
- Explore Murtle Lake the only way you’re allowed, by canoe
- Marvel at the sight of bears feeding just steps away from your car – remember to snap that photo!
- Cool off in the mist of Moul Falls then hike behind its watery veil
- Hike with a local guide to learn about the Park’s history, geology and wild wonders
- Enjoy a gourmet picnic of fresh smoked trout while cruising Clearwater Lake
- Fish for salmon and trout – drink in the glories of the great outdoors while you wait for something to bite
- Explore our vast wilderness from the seat of a Cessna, discovering hidden waterfalls, ancient volcanoes
- Create warm family memories playing at the Clearwater Canoe Regatta
- Count the falling stars at our annual Star Gazing Party each August
- Take to the trails: Blackwater, Stillwater, McLeod Hill and South Murtle Trails – 30-kilometres of muddy-tire mountain biking surprises
- Explore the Park from the seat of your sled – dog-sled that is!
- Discover Dawson Falls – a 10-minute hike through an old growth forest lets you watch water cascade over 200,000 year old lava beds
- Carve fresh tracks skiing the un-crowded alpine on a hut-to-hut ski tour
- Savour the serenity of skiing above the tree-line in the Trophy Mountains
- Experience the wonder of night skiing at the Clearwater Ski Hill
- Explore the Park from the seat of a snowmobile on a guided safari
- Bonspiel! Clearwater’s North Thompson Sportsplex is the place to play in the winter
- Cross-country ski the Clearwater Valley Road Trail to experience Helmcken Falls’ ice cone
- Snowshoe tranquil trails through ancient forests that smell like Christmas
- Cosy up with a hot toddy and watch migrating moose in a distant meadow from the comfort of your B&B