The Best Things to Do in Barkerville in Summer 2024

Get ready for an unforgettable summer adventure! Barkerville Historic Town & Park is opening its heritage site for the 2024 season from June 1st to September 8th, attracting thousands of tourists for fun activities, interesting cultural tours, exquisite shopping, and an array of exciting events. You can trust that you won’t run out of things to do in this charming little town!

Barkerville, named after Billy Barker, an English prospector who struck gold in the area in 1862, was the main town of the Cariboo Gold Rush. Now a preserved historic town full of colour and vitality, Barkerville has something for everyone: history aficionados can immerse themselves in the stories of the Original Peoples of this land, foodies can explore the many cozy restaurants, and knowledge-seekers can learn about Chinese culture.

Things to do in Barkerville
Thomas Drasdauskis

Getting to Barkerville

From Quesnel on Highway 97, head east on Highway 26 for about 74 km (46 miles) to reach the enchanting community of Wells. From there, it’s only 8 km (5 miles) to Barkerville, where you’ll find many things to do such as history, culture, and many joyous moments for your summer. If you’re coming from Williams Lake, the drive takes a little over two hours. Enjoy the journey as the scenic route promises to be one for the books!

Barkerville’s Live Programming for 2024

Barkerville activities
Tyler Cave

So now that you’re settled in town, unpacked your belongings, and are camera-ready for exploration, you might need some guidance while choosing from the many activities happening! Check out some of the most popular and incredible things to do during Barkerville’s thrilling summer season:

Guided Town Tour: Highly recommended for first time visitors, the tour takes you on an in-depth understanding of the gold rush history, Barkerville, and characters of years past.

Chinatown Tours: Discover one of Canada’s oldest Chinatowns. Learn about the lives of Chinese miners and merchants in Barkerville, and explore how their culture thrived and evolved in the rugged landscape of the Cariboo.

Amazing Tales from the Gold Rush Trail: Explore a historical overview of British Columbia’s Gold Rush and delve into the chronicles of the events and individuals who journeyed to Williams Creek.

Barnard’s Express: Francis Jones Barnard’s B.X. Express freight company had a significant impact on communication and travel to and from Barkerville, serving as the primary cartage and passenger service along the Cariboo Waggon Road. Experience Barkerville with a horse-drawn tour aboard an authentic stagecoach!

Barkerville’s Dominion Day Celebrations: On July 1st, join games for all ages and evening festivities at the House Hotel.

9th Annual Indigenous Peoples’ Celebrations: The event makes its return on August 17th, offering visitors a glimpse into Indigenous culture and history. The day will feature an artists’ market, games, dancers, storytelling sessions, and complimentary Bannock.

Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival: On Saturday, August 24th, enjoy lion and dragon dances along with special evening performances at the Theatre Royal.

Don’t forget to visit their daily programs for the full list, including times and admission prices (if any). Let the fun begin!

Where to Stay in Barkerville

barkerville bc
Tyler Cave

When heading to Barkerville in the summer, make sure to book your accommodation in advance as they fill up quickly. For an immersive experience in Barkeville’s history and atmosphere, the St. George Hotel is the place to go. Located within the historic site, and featuring authentic 1800’s furniture and amenities, you are in for a memorable stay. Another amazing option inside the village that will transport you back to the Gold Rush era is Kelly Guest House, a restored heritage home surrounded by period decor.

Visitors will find more accommodation options in nearby Wells, just 8 km from Barkerville Historic Town and Site. The Wells Hotel is an excellent choice, offering a full-service experience with Cariboo charm and friendliness. For a more private and unique stay, Historic Stays provides quaint suites with all the amenities you might need, all within walking distance of galleries, shops, and theatres.

Barkerville’s main season will conclude on September 8th, as they start preparing for Olde-Fashioned Christmas on December 14th and 15th, when the town transforms with different colours, moods, smells, and unique things to do during winter. Barkerville is truly a town for any season, deserving of many visits all year round!