100 Mile House is a town of about 1,900 people (2011), and the main service centre of the southern Cariboo region of British Columbia. Its name harkens back to the days of the Cariboo Gold Rush when the settlement was little more than a roadhouse at the 100-mile mark of the Cariboo Wagon Road. There are amenities for the traveller although little in the way of attractions, but the surrounding area has many lakes, ranch resorts, cross country skiing and other outdoor activities.
The primary industries of 100 Mile House are forestry and ranching. Log home building and tourism are also an important part of the community.
- 1 100 Mile House Visitor Center, 155 Wrangler Way (Airport Rd), ☏ , toll-free: . M-F 8:30AM-6PM, Sa-Su 9AM-5:30PM. Information on local attractions and activities, washrooms and Wi-Fi.
100 Mile House was founded as Bridge Creek House, named after the creek running through the area. Its origins as a settlement go back to when Thomas Miller owned a collection of ramshackle buildings serving the traffic of the gold rush as a resting point for travellers moving between Kamloops and Fort Alexandria, which was 98 miles (158 km) north of 100 Mile House farther along the HBC Brigade Trail. It acquired its current name during the Cariboo Gold Rush where a roadhouse was constructed in 1862 at the 100 miles (160 km) mark up the Old Cariboo Road from Lillooet.
In 1930, Lord Martin Cecil left England to come to 100 Mile House and manage the estate owned by his father, the 5th Marquess of Exeter. The estate's train stop on the Pacific Great Eastern (now CNR) railway is to the west of town and called Exeter. The town, which at the time consisted of the roadhouse, a general store, a post office, telegraph office and a power plant, had a population of 12. The original road house burned down in 1937. 100 Mile House residents often go by the demonym BX'ers, in relation to Barnard's Express.
100 Mile House is on Secwepemc unceded territory. The nearest Secwepemc band is the Tsq'escen, for whom a geographic reference point is the Canim Lake Reserve.
100 Mile House has a humid continental climate with mild summers combined with cool nights, along with cold, but not very cold winters for its latitude. In spite of the moderation that comes from its relative proximity to the Pacific Ocean, extreme winter temperatures can occasionally occur, with a record low of −48 °C (−54 °F). 100 Mile House is in a rain shadow of the coastal mountains, resulting in reduced precipitation, much of it falling as snow.
100 Mile House isn’t large, but if you want to take in the surrounding countryside, you will need a car.
- 1 World’s Largest Cross-Country Skis (at the Visitor Info Center). They’re blue, long and very tall (just over 10 m). The skis were a community project in recognition of the area’s status as cross-country skiing center.
- 2 100 Mile Marsh, Airport Rd & Hwy 97 (just south of the Visitor Info Center). A small wetland with a trail around it and a small picnic area. It’s a popular spot with birdwatchers.
- 3 108 Mile Ranch Heritage Site, Cariboo Highway, 108 Mile Ranch, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. The buildings can be viewed any time; the museum is open daily 10AM-5PM from late May to the first weekend of Sept. A very nice rest area along the Cariboo Highway with a collection of pioneer era buildings set on the shore of 108 Mile Lake. Highlights include the striking red 105 Mile Roadhouse (now a museum) and the Log Clydesdale Barn, which is the largest log barn in Canada. The site includes seven other buildings, a number of picnic tables and a souvenir shop. There is access to the 108 Mile ski and hiking trails from the southern end of the parking lot.
- Parkside Art Gallery, 401 Cedar Avenue, ☏ . Tu-F 10AM-4PM, Sa 10AM-3PM. Paintings by local artists. The Gallery's Gift Shop offers locally-crafted items, from pottery and woodwork to jewellery and original art cards.
Befitting a place with the largest cross-country skis in the world, cross-country skiing is very popular. In a good winter, there about 150 km of groomed trails across two facilities within 20 min of the town. Use of groomed trails requires purchase of a day, week or season pass.
- 99 Mile Ski Trails, 500 Ainsworth Rd (2 km south of town on Hwy 97). 50 km of trails with some steeper terrain and more challenging sections better suited for more skilled skiers. The area hosts the annual Cariboo Marathon. Passes can be purchased from the lodge attendant at the 99 Mile Ski Lodge.
- 108 Mile Ranch Trails, 108 Mile Ranch. Varied terrain with some gentle sections making it a better option for beginner or intermediate skiers. The trails can be accessed at the parking lot to the 108 Mile Heritage Site or from the Hills Guest Ranch. Daily trail fees can be paid for at the Hills Guest Ranch, which also does ski, pole and boot rentals. Trail fees $8.50, equipment rental $14-18 (children/adults).
- 1 Lac La Hache Provincial Park, Highway 97 & Campsite Road, Lac La Hache, ☏ . 34-ha park with flush toilets, tap water, a sani-station and a self-guided nature trail. The day-use area is across Highway 97 on the shore of Lac La Hache and has an adventure playground, picnic tables, picnic shelter, boat launch, developed beach, changehouse and flush toilets. This is an excellent fishing lake for Kokanee and lake trout, and for rainbow trout and burbot during the summer months. The lake is also a popular place for power boating and water-skiing.
The town has a couple of chain grocery stores (Save-on-Foods and Safeway) along the Cariboo Highway that are good for stocking up on groceries or getting some takeaways.
- Happy Landing Restaurant, 725 Alder, ☏ . Tu-F 11:30AM–2PM, 5–10PM; Sa 5–10PM. German and Swiss food.
- Red Rock Grill, 94 Cariboo Highway 97, ☏ . Sa W F 8AM-10PM, Su-Tu Th 8AM-9PM.
- G.B.R., 378 Taylor Way, ☏ . Daily 11:30AM-8PM. Craft burgers & gourmet poutines.
- El Caballo Restaurant, 909 Alder Avenue, ☏ . M-Sa 5-9PM. Mexican and German food.
- Jackson's Social Club and Brew House, 175 Cariboo Hwy 97 S, ☏ . M-Th 11:30AM-7PM, F noon-8PM, Sa noon-7PM.
There is some choice of accommodation in and around 100 Mile House, although don’t expect five-star luxury. The chain hotels along the highway at the south end of town provide some cheaper options, while nearby guest ranches offer a more interesting albeit expensive stay.
- Ramada Limited, 917 Alder Ave (Alder Ave and Hwy 97), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Rooms with one or two beds and a small number of suites with a hot tub and fridge. Free Wifi and continental breakfast. $110 and up.
- 1 Spruce Hill Resort & Spa, 4871 Highway 97, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Working ranch set amidst over 100 km of trails. There are lodge rooms and cabins for rent. Amenities include a swimming pool, two restaurants and a tea parlour. Horseback riding lessons and guided tours are available. And when you’re ready to relax, there is a spa, as well.
- Super 8, 989 Alder Ave, ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Mix of rooms with one or two beds. Some rooms have a fridge and microwave, or a kitchen. $100 and up.
- 2 Lac La Hache Provincial Park, Highway 97 & Campsite Road, Lac La Hache, ☏ . 34-ha park with 83 campsites, flush toilets, tap water, a sani-station. The campground is open and can be reserved [dead link] from mid-May through Sep. Vehicle accessible camping fee: $18 per party/night.
|Routes through 100 Mile House|
|Prince George ← Williams Lake ←||N S||→ Cache Creek → Kamloops|