"Williams Lake, Gateway to the Chilcotin" Williams Lake by Darby2

Williams Lake Travel Guide: 15 reviews and 14 photos

Williams Lake lies on the lake of the same name and the nearby Fraser River. To the west is the vast plateau of the Chilcotin and the highest mountains in the Coast Range. The area surrounding Williams Lake is low hills and mountains with open plateaus and rangeland. Chief industry here is Forestry with ranching and farming as well. One of the largest ranches in Canada, the famous Gang Ranch covering over 1,080,000 acres is just west of Williams Lake. There is also excellent fishing in this area.

As you preoceed west from Williams Lake on Highway 20, the Freedom Road, it crosses the Fraser River and begins a climb up to the Chilcotin Plateau near Riske Creek. The area around Riske Creek is beautiful rolling ranchland and nearby on the north side of the highway you will see a very tall tower with flashing strobe lights on it. This is one of the Loran C navigation transmitter towers operated by the Coast Guard. It stands more than 600' high. Tours can be arranged.

Crossing the Fraser

About 28 km west of Williams Lake, Highway 20 crosses the mighty Fraser River. There are very steep hills with switchbacks on both sides of the river, so use caution and above all, watch for loaded logging trucks.

Horses and ranchlands

Much of the Chilcotin Plateau is devoted to ranching, with cattle and horses a frequent sight. Cattle drives are common in both spring and fall. Much of the best grassland is near Riske Creek.

  • Last visit to Williams Lake: Jul 2005
  • Intro Updated Jul 9, 2005
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“"Stay Calm, Be Brave, and Watch for the Signs"”

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