Cache Creek is a very small town of less than 1,000 people (2016) in the Thompson-Nicola region of British Columbia. It is little more than a few gas stations and restaurants at the junction of Highway 1 (east and west) and Highway 97 north to Prince George. The closest city is Kamloops, about 45 minutes east. Though not part of the region, Cache Creek is the starting point for exploring the Cariboo region of British Columbia.
The name is derived, apparently, from a cache or buried and hidden supply and trade goods depot used by the fur traders of either the Hudson's Bay Company or its rival the North West Company. The first Cache Creek post office was established here in 1868.
Although still very active with traffic, Cache Creek was extremely busy for a few decades before the Trans-Canada Highway was superseded by the newer and shorter Coquihalla Highway, which bypasses the Fraser and Thompson Canyons between Hope and Kamloops via Merritt, about 97 km (60 mi) southeast.
The nearby fossil locality, the McAbee fossil beds, is noted for the wide diversity of Eocene plants and animals preserved in the shale, including the extinct plants Dillhoffia and Trochodendron drachukii.
Cache Creek is the crossroads of a few major highways that serve the interior of British Columbia.
- Highway 1 (Trans-Canada Highway) travels north from Vancouver and Hope through the Fraser and Thompson River Canyons, and west from Kamloops.
- Highway 97 travels south from Prince George and the Alaska Highway, and north from Kamloops and Kelowna.
- Highway 97C travels north from Merritt and is a good alternate for travelers heading from Kelowna to points north.
- Highway 99 travels north from Vancouver and Whistler; and is a slower-paced, scenic alternative to the Trans-Canada Highway.
The Canadian is a train operated by VIA Rail three times weekly between Vancouver and Toronto, serving passengers from Edmonton and Winnipeg. The Canadian passes three times per week as a flag stop (48-hour advance notice required) through the nearby town of Ashcroft, located 11 km (7 mi) southeast of Cache Creek, at the 1 Ashcroft railway station.
The town is very small. You can see everything wandering around on foot; however, you will need a private car for visit the surrounding area attractions.
- 1 Ashcroft Manor Ranch, Trans-Canada Hwy & Cornwall Rd (11 km south of Cache Creek), ☏ . Daily 11AM-5PM. Historic ranch with the manor converted to a teahouse.
- 2 Historic Hat Creek, 3484 Jackson Road (12 km north of Cache Creek, near the Hwy 97/99 junction), ☏ , toll-free: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. May 1 to Sep 30: 9AM-5PM. Historic Hat Creek is on one of the few sections of the original Cariboo Wagon Roads still accessible to the public. The ranch includes almost 130 hectares (320 acres) of fields and hills. The buildings stand as they did in 1901; some were built as early as 1860. Between 1885 and 1905 they witnessed the busiest era of transportation along the road, serving the needs of freight wagons and passengers of the BC Express lin. Explore this era through the exhibits and special interpretive activities presented by the staff. Family (2 adults, 2children) $30.00, adult (13-54) $13.50, senior (55+) $12.00, child (6-17) $8.00, under 6 free (includes guided tours of the roadhouse, the native village and a stagecoach ride; 5% GST will be added).
- 1 Juniper Beach Provincial Park, Highway 1, ☏ . This 260-ha park protects a representative desert landscape which contains sagebrush, prickly pear cactus and juniper. Part of the landscape includes deep post-glacial deposits and large scale erosion features. It is a convenient overnight camping spot for travellers on Hwy #1 and provides access to the Thompson River. The CNR and CPR railway tracks run by the park and provide an attraction to train-buffs. This park is also a popular base camp for visitors enjoying boating, fishing, photography and touring historic Hat Creek Ranch and Ashcroft Manor, both nearby. Vehicle-accessible camping is available May-Sep, $23 per party per night. It can booked online. Only one pit toilet is wheelchair accessible. Roads and campsites are gravel.
- 2 Marble Canyon Provincial Park (off Highway 99, 40 km northwest of Cache Creek), ☏ . A small, quiet campground, set between two small lakes. This 355-ha park is popular with fishermen and birders. Nestled in the rugged Pavilion Mountain Range, the white, chalk-faced slopes of its limestone canyon is a rather rare geological formation in British Columbia. The weathered peaks, surmounted by Chimney Rock, have the appearance of a crumbling castle wall. This canyon was once part of a Pacific island chain, another section of which lies in the northwest corner of the province. The campground is accessible but may not offer full services such as water, security) year-round. Full services and fees apply May–Sep. There are 30 high-density vehicle/tent accessible campsites on a first-come, first-served basis – campsite reservations are not accepted. Vehicle-accessible camping fee: $18.00 per party per night. During the camping season, overnight visitors can pay at the campground by depositing cash in the envelope and place in the vault provided at the water pump. Staff will be at the campground at least once a day during the camping season.
- Horstings Farm Market, 2540 Cariboo Highway 97, ☏ . Daily 9AM-5PM. Home-made bread, pies, soups, sandwiches, farm-fresh produce, canning.
- Cariboo Jade & Gifts, 1093 Todd Rd, ☏ . Jan-Apr: Tu-Th 9AM-5:30PM; May-Sep: M-Sa 9AM-5:30PM, Su 9AM-4:30PM; Oct-Dec 24: Tu-Sa 9AM-5:30PM. Wide selection of jade jewellery, carvings, other semi-precious stone items, gifts, souvenirs, moccasins, greeting cards, and local books.
- Heartland Restaurant, 987 Trans-Canada Hwy, ☏ . 7AM-10PM. Greek and Mediterranean.
- Star House Restaurant, 854 Trans Canada Highway, ☏ . Daily 11:30AM-2:30PM, 3:30PM-9PM. Chinese.
- Sandman Inn Cache Creek, 987 Hwy 1 South (at the junction of the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 97N), ☏ . Pet-friendly suites, free high-speed Internet access, on-site restaurant, smoke-free hotel, wheelchair accessible. From $101.
- [dead link] Canada's Best Value Inn & Suites-Desert Motel, 1069 South Trans Canada Hwy, ☏ . Pet-friendly, guest laundromat. All guest rooms are equipped with free wireless high-speed Internet access, microwave, mini-fridge, coffeemaker, cable TV. Non-smoking rooms. From $69.
- Sage Hills Motel, 1390 Cariboo Hwy 97. Free Wi-Fi and a refrigerator in rooms. A seasonal outdoor heated pool and a garden with BBQ facilities are offered. Free in-room coffee and tea are provided. All air-conditioned rooms offer ground-level access. Guests can make food in the morning by using the public kitchen with provided ingredients such as eggs, waffle mix, bacon, loaf of bread, and yogurt. Laundry facilities and non-smoking rooms are available. From $75.
|Routes through Cache Creek|
|Hope ← Lytton ←||W E||→ Kamloops → Banff|
|Prince George ← 100 Mile House ←||N S||→ Kamloops → Vernon|
|END ←||N S||→ Ashcroft → Merritt|
|END ←||N S||→ Lillooet → Whistler|
|Routes through Ashcroft|
|Vancouver ← Boston Bar ←||W E||→ Kamloops → Edmonton|
|END ← Cache Creek ←||N S||→ Merritt → Kelowna|