This park is currently closed due to fire hazard.
Please Note: During a campfire ban, smoking is restricted in all public areas of a park or protected area. Please read this Information Bulletin [PDF].
Visitor InformationThere are few facilities at Cariboo Mountains Provincial Park; therefore, visitors should be self-sufficient and experienced in wilderness travel. Drive on gravel access roads at your own risk. They are active logging roads.
Bring your own water, as potable water is not available in the park. Boil or treat any surface water before consuming.
Although in the past horses were used to access hunting in this park, this is not horse country. Horseback riding is still permitted, but the park is very wet, routes have become overgrown and many routes have become impassable to horses.
Cariboo Mountains Provincial Park
About This ParkCariboo Mountains Provincial Park is true wilderness, dominated by high serrated peaks and glaciers, and densely forested valleys featuring attractive lakes and lush wetlands. The Park is situated in the interior wet belt between Bowron and Wells Gray Provincial Parks. These parks now create one continuous protected area in the Cariboo Mountains that is over 760,000 hectares in size.
The park incorporates a diverse landscape ranging from mountain peaks and tarn lakes in hanging alpine valleys, to extensive meadows, large wetland complexes, and ancient red-cedar and hemlock forests. These diverse habitats support an equally diverse array of wildlife species. Though current use levels are low, Cariboo Mountains Provincial Park offers extensive (though undeveloped) opportunities for backcountry adventures.
Vehicle access camping is available at Ghost Lake. This small, remote site features views down the lake and up into the surrounding mountains, and is adjacent to the scenic Matthew River Falls.
Park Size: 113,469 hectares
Location and MapsPlease note: Any maps listed are for information only - they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
Another route to Ghost Lake is via Likely (about 90 km). The 8400 Road (Cariboo Lake Road) from Likely leads north past Cariboo Lake, and eventually connects up with the 3100 Road. Follow this to the Ghost Lake turnoff (signed), turn right and drive another 4 km to the campsite. The park can also be accessed from the McBride Valley via the Castle Creek Forest Service Road, which leads up Castle Creek and ends about 5 km from the park boundary.
Cariboo Mountains Provincial Park can also be accessed from Quesnel Lake by boat or along logging roads. However, no trails link Bowron Lake and Wells Gray Provincial Parks to Cariboo Mountains Provincial Park.
Please refer to the Cariboo Forest Region Recreation Map (East) published by the Ministry of Forests for more information. For map information, refer to topographic map numbers: 1:50, 000 92A/16, 92A/15, and 92A/9.
Management PlanningManagement Planning Information
- The approved management plan for Bowron Lake/Cariboo Mountains/Cariboo River Provincial Parks is now available in PDF format. Because of the large size of the file, the plan is divided into separate section, map and plate files for ease of access:
- Table of Contents, Acknowledgements, Plan Highlights & 1.0 Introduction [PDF 379KB]
- 2.0 The Role of the Protected Areas [PDF 196KB]
- 3.0 Protected Area Zoning [PDF 227KB]
- 4.0 Natural, Cultural Heritage and Recreational Values Management [PDF 299KB]
- 5.0 Communications, 6.0 Monitoring Strategy, and 7.0 Plan Implementation [PDF 157KB]
- List of Plates & Appendices [PDF 224KB] - See list of clickable plates below
- Regional Context and Ecosections Map [PDF 1,921KB]
- Zoning Map [PDF 796KB]
- Tenures Map [PDF 1,151KB]
- Forest Health and Fire Management Zones [PDF 557KB]
- Commercial Recreation Opportunities and Public Use Targets [PDF 475KB]
Plate 1 [PDF 675KB] - The dramatic landscape around Mitchell Lake in Cariboo Mountains Park.
Plate 2 [PDF 702KB] - Avalanche tracks at the headwaters of the Mitchell River in Cariboo Mountains Park.
Plate 3 [PDF 759KB] - Looking south down Niagara Creek in Cariboo Mountains Park.
Plate 4 [PDF 680KB] - Looking east into the Betty Wendle addition to Bowron Lake Park.
Plate 5 [PDF 734KB] - Looking northeast in the Cariboo River addition to Bowron Lake Park.
Plate 6 [PDF 800KB] - Looking northeast in the Wolverine addition to Bowron Lake Park.
Plate 7 [PDF 640KB] - Looking northeast across the Matthew River Valley into Ghost Lake. Photo courtesy of Don Olesiuk
Plate 8 [PDF 823KB] - Looking south down Cariboo River Park.
Plate 9 [PDF 746KB]- Typical backcountry in Cariboo Mountains Park.
Plate 10 [PDF 564KB] - Canoeist preparing to enter Kibbee Lake. Photo courtesy of Peter Tasker.
Plate 11 [PDF 668KB] - Looking east up the headwaters of Bowron Lake Park
Plate 12 [PDF 663KB] - Looking east into Upper Niagara Creek in Cariboo Mountains Park
Plate 13 [PDF 882KB] - The Mitchell River wetlands.
Plate 14 [PDF 716KB] - Looking west down Ghost Lake in the Natural Environment Zone.
Plate 15 [PDF 583KB] - The Bowron Lake campground in 1973. Photo courtesy of Peter Tasker.
Plate 16 [PDF 801KB] - Looking east down Mitchell Lake. Mitchell River in foreground.
Plate 17 [PDF 744KB] - Looking west over Summit and Stranger Lakes at Quesnel Lake in background.
Plate 18 [PDF 828KB] - Cow moose feeding in the Bowron wetlands.
Plate 19 [PDF 706KB] - The Bowron Lake wetlands.
Plate 20 [PDF 650KB] - Looking northeast across Isaac Lake up the Wolverine Creek. Anonymous.
Plate 21 [PDF 675KB] - Twin Lakes in the alpine of Cariboo Mountains Park and Wells Gray Park.
Plate 22 [PDF 634KB] - One of the old trapper cabins located around the Bowron canoe circuit at McLeary Lake. Photo courtesy of Leif Grandell.
Plate 23 [PDF 585KB] - Trails on the Bowron Circuit have been vastly improved from the knee high mud that existed in 1973. Photo courtesy of Peter Tasker.
Plate 24 [PDF 730KB] - The west side of the Bowron Lake canoe circuit. Photo courtesy of Don Olesiuk
Plate 25 [PDF 842KB] - A side valley draining into the Matthew River Valley from Cariboo Mountains Park.
Activities Available at this Park
Canoeing and kayaking are possible at Ghost Lake. The trail to the lake is fairly rough, though not long. Please wear your PFD at all times; this is a remote mountain lake and bad weather can come in with little warning.
Fish for sockeye, coho, chinook, kokanee, bull trout or rainbow trout. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
The park is open to hunting. Please refer to the Hunting and Trapping regulations for more information.
Pets on Leash
Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed in beach areas or park buildings. You are responsible for their behaviour and must dispose of their excrement.Backcountry areas are not suitable for dogs or other pets due to wildlife issues and the potential for problems with bears.
Although swimming is permitted, you will not find the lakes inviting. They are cold, and shorelines are typically vegetated and silty. There is no developed beach and no lifeguard on duty.
Visitors can cross-country ski or snowshoe in the park but no trails are set.
Facilities Available at this Park
Campfires are permitted. No firewood is provided. Please bring your own or use dead and down wood, if you must have a fire.
Pit or Flush Toilets
This park only has a pit toilet located at Ghost Lake
Vehicle Accessible Camping
This park offers vehicle accessible campsites on a first-come, first-served basis - campsite reservations are not accepted. Ghost Lake, off the 3100 Road, used to be a Forest Service Recreation Site, so it is small, and offers very basic facilities. There are 5 small sites, which are fairly open. The sites are open year-round when accessible Extra vehicles can park in the parking lot. Its attractive location near Matthew River Falls makes it worth a visit. The closest stores are in Likely or Wells. There is no fee to stay in this park.
Wilderness, backcountry or walk-in camping is allowed, but no facilities are provided.