Quesnel’s location at the confluence of the Fraser and Quesnel rivers has been key to the community’s development. In the 1860s, the Fraser River guided prospectors to gold fortune, including many Chinese immigrants. Gold on the Fraser River was unusually fine and difficult to catch, but through the use of mercury in mining the Chinese found great success. Gold rush history can still be seen throughout the community from a stop at the Quesnel and District Museum, which houses one of the most important collections of Chinese artifacts in North America, to a historical walking tour which includes the Fraser River Foot Bridge, proclaimed to be the world’s longest wooden truss footbridge.
Quesnel to Wells – 79 km
NUGGET: Governor Douglas ordered construction of the Cariboo Wagon Road in 1861. In 1863 it was completed to Soda Creek where a sternwheeler, the Enterprise, serviced traffic to Quesnel. By 1865 the road reached Barkerville.