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BC Road Trip Itinerary: Cariboo Gold Rush Trail

BC Highway 9, dubbed the Cariboo Gold Rush Trail, closely follows the same route used by those who came to the stunning but remote wilderness of British Columbia during the 1860s seeking to make their fortunes. Miners, entrepreneurs, adventurers and the desperately poor from around the world were lured by the promises of "rivers of gold" and "nuggets as big as a man's head". Transportation routes and new towns with services were hastily created and thrived. This post presents a 10-day road trip itinerary along BC's Gold Rush Trail to the historic town of Barkerville, once the largest gold rush town in the province.

A stage coach pulled by two horses on a street in Barkerville
Barkerville, BC

 

Table of Contents

Vancouver Vibes

The Cariboo Gold Rush

BC Gold Rush Trail Road Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Vancouver to Whistler

Day 2: Whistler to Cache Creek

Day 3: Cache Creek to Williams Lake

Day 4: Williams Lake to Quesnel

Day 5: Quesnel to Barkerville

Day 6: Barkerville

Day 7: Barkerville to Green Lake Provincial Park 

Day 8: Green Lake Provincial Park to Kamloops

Day 9: Kamloops to Princeton

Day 10: Princeton to Vancouver

Final Thoughts


 

I urge you to follow the links provided to other posts which fill in more details about the stops along the way.


Vancouver Vibes

Before setting out on your adventure, spend some time in Vancouver. I am biased but Vancouver is a vibrant city in a stunning location that has so much to offer that several posts are needed.


First things first, check out this comprehensive guide to Vancouver – a downtown local's perspective on the best places to eat, shop, and explore. Trish's Guide to Vancouver has got you covered. You might also want to check out some great Vancouver Day Trips, the charming suburb of Richmond BC, or the serene Nitobe Memorial Park.

A view of the Vancouver skyline in the background as seen from the beach at Spanish Banks
Vancouver as seen from Spanish Banks Beach

Vancouver can be easily explored on foot or with excellent public transportation but you will need a vehicle for the rest of the trip. Public transportation options are very limited. For those considering camping options, check out my post on RV and campervan rentals in Metro Vancouver.


The Cariboo Gold Rush Trail

Long before gold was "discovered" the Cariboo region was home to diverse Indigenous cultures. The Secwepemc (suh-WEP-muhc), Dakelh (DAHL-kell), and Tsilhqot'in (Tsill-COAT-ten) had a deep reverence and connection to the natural world for sustenance and spirituality. They had made this region home at the same time in history as the trees, rivers, mountains, and animals. The transient fur traders were the first outsiders to arrive. Settlers found better land for farms further south and at lower elevations.


A vintage photo of a stage coach pulled by 4 horses. There are 9 men seated on the top and driver's seat.More passengers can be seen inside.
Early travellers on the Cariboo Wagon Road. Image credit: BC archives

The arrival of gold-seekers in 1861 changed everything. Indigenous communities were disregarded, pushed aside, and exposed to deadly foreign diseases. Few understood the laws made by the colonial government in London. Tensions were inevitable. The Cariboo Gold Rush triggered a frenzy of global fortune seekers. While some of the arrivals were miners who had been following various gold rushes up and down the west coast of the Americas for two decades, most were woefully unprepared to carry all their supplies on their backs on a wild journey through dense forests, rushing rivers and treacherous mountain passes. Few miners found their fortunes. Those who did find gold, rarely kept it. those with more modest dreams, quickly realized they could make an easier living providing goods and services. The Cariboo Wagon Road, built in sections, not only made it easier for people to travel but also provided a more efficient way of moving supplies and goods to the new towns that sprung up along the way.


A blue and white road sign showing an image of a man leading a loaded pack horse. Text reads "Cariboo Gold Rush Trail"

BC Gold Rush Trail Road Trip Itinerary

This 10-day road trip along the Cariboo Gold Rush Trail combines history with breathtaking landscapes. For those intrigued by Gold Rush history, I urge you to stop at every small town museum, mining exhibit, and "place of interest" along the way to learn local stories. For those who are more drawn to nature, you will want to stop at Provincial and Regional Parks to hike, mountain bike, canoe/kayak, or simply appreciate your closeness to nature. Consider camping at the parks or renting self-catering cottages. Stop at every viewpoint and fill your memory and photo gallery.

There are long stretches of the highway without mobile connectivity. Outside of towns and further from the main highway, you are unlikely to have a reliable connection, so make sure to download music, podcasts, and navigation maps before each day's drive. It would be wise to carry paper maps, too.



Day 1: Vancouver to Whistler (121 km, 1 hr 40 min)

As you leave Vancouver, follow the Sea to Sky Highway (Highway 99), a route known for its stunning views. Draw inspiration from my Sea to Sky Highway post to choose your stops along the way. This is a trip that can take under 2 hours or multiple days to complete, depending upon your choices.


A mountain with campers parked in front
Stawamus Chief Park

Things to Do: Whistler-Blackcomb is a world-renowned ski resort and a quaint village that is popular year-round. In summer, visitors can hike or mountain bike on the extensive trail system. In winter, hit the slopes for some unforgettable skiing or snowboarding. The village is full of small shops and interesting activities. It is rare to visit Whistler without encountering some event, so check ahead.

people wallking on a street in an alpine ski village during the summer
Whistler Village

Where to Stay: There are many choices for accommodations in Whistler ranging from the luxurious Fairmont Chateau Whistler to the more budget-friendly HI Whistler Hostel. There are also many guest houses, Airbnb-style apartments and townhouses available. Costs do tend to be pricier in Whistler. To avoid elevated resort prices, continue north along Highway 99 for about 30 minutes to the community of Pemberton. Campers have a choice of Provincial Parks nearby including Garibaldi Provincial Park and Nairn Falls Provincial Park.


a child sitting on a log in front of a mountain Lake
Garibaaldi Lake Image Credit: Catherine Aird - pixabay

Where to Eat: Prepare to be overwhelmed with choices for food in Whistler. My favourite casual eats are Zog's Dogs and El Furniture Warehouse, For more of a splurge the Araxi Restaurant + Oyster Bar is always a delicious treat. Many of the restaurants have expansive outdoor patios perfect for an afternoon of beverages and people-watching throughout the year. In winter, heater and cozy blankets are offered.


Day 2: Whistler to Cache Creek (216 km, 3 hrs 1 min)

Just a short distance from Whistler, the town of Pemberton makes a charming stop for morning explorations. A vibrant farmer's market runs every Friday afternoon during the summer. The picturesque One Mile Lake Park is perfect for a short break.

 sidewalk view in a small town. Hanging baskets are suspended from store fronts.
Pemberton BC

Plan to stop in Lillooet, the official "Mile 0" of the Cariboo Gold Rush Trail. The Lillooet Museum includes exhibits and artifacts that tell the history of the Indigenous peoples and the Gold Rush era. Wine fans may want to visit the Fort Berens Estate Winery for a taste of local wines.


A turn of the century home refurbished as a Tourist Information Office
Miyasaki House/Tourist Information Lillooet

Cache Creek, is a small town at the junction of the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) and the Cariboo Highway (Highway 97) is where we stop for the night. Lillooet may have greater choice of lodgings but Cache Creek or Clinton are more charming. During the Gold Rush, Cache Creek was a supply point. Some say the name is derived from the fur trade of the 1800s when supplies were stored or “cached” here.


My favourite story is less likely but much more fun. It tells of a stagecoach robbery. During the police chase of two robbers, one was killed and the other mortally wounded. Before the robber died, he buried the loot beside the river. The treasure is yet to be found.

Town Welcome Sign with the words "Welcome to Cache Creek" in red and the town logo above

Things to Do: I highly recommend going on a Geocaching adventure where you can explore the area and learn about the history and mining techniques as you seek the treasures hidden in caches in the area. Follow the link above or pick up a field guide at the local tourist information office. It's great fun whether you are travelling solo or in a group.


A flask and jar filled with small toys (a snaake, car, dinosaur)
Geocache treasure

Where to Stay: The Destination Inn is comfortable and close to local attractions. Another option is the Sandman Inn Cache Creek. A great (but somewhat noisy) campground nearby is Juniper Beach Provincial Park. 


A long double container high train passing a campground
Juniper Beach campground

Where to Eat; Cache Creek offers a variety of choices. Husky House Restaurant is a great choice for hearty comfort food. Junctions Coffee House is my pick for morning coffee and a tasty treat or light meal.


Day 3: Cache Creek to Williams Lake (204 km, 2 hrs 5 min)

Day 3 continues north along Highway 97N from Cache Creek to Williams Lake. Our morning stop is the nearby town of Clinton. Stop at The Junction Coffee Shop  (yes, this is different than the Junctions Coffee House in Cache Creek) wander along the main road to visit the Clinton Museum  or browse the market.


A wooden sign post for The North Road Trading Post in Clinton BC. hints of vintage farming equipment can be seen on the edges of the photo
Cllinton BC

Back on the highway, you'll pass by the curiously numbered towns of 100 Mile House, 108 Mile and 150 Mile House. While there isn't a lot left to see in these towns, it is interesting to note that they are named for the distance (in miles) from Lillooet and were once important hubs for the miners looking for an inn or supplies. A quick stop of interest in 150 Mile House is the Little Red Schoolhouse, which is the only Gold Rush Era building in the region still being used.


A typical one room school house of Victoria Era, painted red with white trim
The Little Red Schoolhouse, 150 Mile House

The stop for the night is Williams Lake, which played a pivotal role as a supply point and resting place for those seeking their fortunes. The town became a bustling center for trade and commerce. Williams Lake's economy is now based in forestry, ranching, and outdoor recreation.


Things to Do: Active souls can hike the Scout Island Nature Trail or tackle the extensive mountain biking trails. Nature enthusiasts can meander along the Williams Lake River Valley Trail, while culture seekers can immerse themselves in the local arts scene at the Station House Gallery and the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin. If your timing works, the Williams Lake Stampede is an annual rodeo that happens during the July 1st Canada Day celebrations.


A rodeo scene with a man riding a bucking bull and a clown
Williams Lake Stampede

Places to Stay: A good 3-star hotel to consider is the Coast Fraser Inn. The Drummond Lodge offers basic accommodations. The Williams Lake Stampede Campground is a good choice for campers wanting to explore the town.


Places to Eat: Williams Lake is a larger town and has many options from humble chain restaurants to fine dining experiences. My favourite places in Willliams Lake include Fox's Den Bar and Grill (located in the Williams Lake Golf Club) and the Laughing Loon Restaurant .


Day 4: Williams Lake to Quesnel (118 km, 1 hr 13 min)

On this leg of the road trip, a must-stop is the Xatsull Heritage Village, a fantastic living museum showcasing Secwepemc Indigenous culture. Volunteers from the local Soda Creek First Nation share their traditions and stories. The village is a fascinating glimpse into the history and heritage of the Indigenous community. Check out the full report on my visit linked here.


The interior of a First Nations pit lodge with a fire ring in the center. The sun is shining in through an opening in the roof. A log ladder leads to the roof opening.
Xatsull Lodge

The stop tonight is the riverside town of Quesnel (kweh-NELL). In the mid-1800s, this riverside town was another essential supply hub for prospectors. Today, Quesnel blends history with a contemporary ambiance. The historic downtown, with heritage buildings, charming boutiques, local eateries, and galleries is delightful.


Town welcome sign for Quesnel in the shape of a Gold pan with aa shovel on the left and a pick to the right. Written on the pan are the words "Quesnel Gold Pan City" and a square gold nugget

Things to Do: In Quesnel (kweh-nell), hike the scenic trails of Pinnacles Provincial Park or wander along the Quesnel Riverfront Trail for an active day. The exhibits at the Quesnel & District Museum tell tales of the town's past and showcases local artists.


Where to Stay: Accommodations in Quesnel are diverse, from the luxurious charm of the Billy Barker Casino Hotel to the comfortable midrange Quality Inn Quesnel. Campers wanting to be within walking distance of the downtown area will want to consider Quesnel Downtown RV Park and Campground but I prefer Roberts Roost Resort on the shores of Dragon Lake.


Where to Eat: Quesnel has a good selection of dining options from fine dining to casual and the usual assortment of fast food joints. Granville's Coffee always has something tempting on the menu, while Begbie's Bar & Bistro has a budget-friendly yet diverse menu.


Day 5: Quesnel to Barkerville (85.6 km, 1 hr 4 min)

Today you will be driving east on Highway 26 between Quesnel and Barkerville. Plan to stop along the way at Cottonwood River Bridge and Cottonwood House Historic Site. As you drive, notice signs marking "places of interest" and pullouts. Here you'll find all kinds of gems including abandoned structures and fascinating stories.


A sign for "Blessing's Grave" which relates the story of the murder of Charles Blessing by his travel companion

There is no cellular connection past the village of Wells but Barkerville does have excellent free WIFI available throughout the historic site. Make any phone calls, download all important information, and let loved ones know you'll be out of touch for a couple of days before leaving the village.


Where to Stay: You can stay right in the middle of Barkerville village in historical hotels on site such as the St. George Hotel or King & Kelly House. For those yearning for a dark-skies night under the stars, local campsites such as Forest Rose Campground or Bowron Lake Provincial Park Campground are great choices. I recommend reserving your spot in advance. There are first-come first-serve sites available but these are very popular campgrounds. Additionally, nearby lodgings like the Wells Hotel in Wells may be a better choice for those who would find it difficult to be without cellular service for more than 24 hours.

Entrance to a mid 1800s style hotel with an upper balcony
The Saint George Hotel, Barkerville

Day 6: Barkerville

In its prime, Barkerville was a bustling town, teeming with prospectors, merchants, and dreamers. The town grew from wilderness into a vibrant community of over 5000 people within months of the news that Englishman Billy Barker had struck a huge reserve of gold. The busy town had saloons, theatres, shops and a myriad of establishments catering to every desire and need of the residents and prospectors.

A look down a long dirt stret lind with wooden buildings built on pilings slightly aabove street level. Raaised wooden sidewalks run the length of each side of the street
Main Street, Barkerrville

Billy had been following rumours of gold for over 20 years. He had arrived too late for success during the California Gold Rush but was one of the earliest BC arrivals after hearing that gold had been found in the Fraser River. Knowing that panning required a lot of hard work, he dreamed of finding a rich vein far from other prospectors. Using his previous knowledge as a canal waterman to identify ancient streambeds, he sunk a shaft deep into the earth. His claim pulled the equivalent of more than $1 billion of today's money. Unfortunately with pockets weighted with gold, Billy was an extravagant man who spent, gambled or gave away his entire fortune and ended up buried in a pauper's grave.


A man dressed as a miner in front of a water wheel.
Demonstrating how miners used water wheels in shaft mining

Barkerville today is a living museum with exhibits and activities that breathe life into the past. Historical interpreters in period costumes reenact scenes. The Theatre Royal offers captivating daily performances. The Chinatown section includes a Chinese School, Taoist Temple and an apothecary.


the side of a rustic wooden cabin with flat straw hats hanging on hoooks outside and a miner's pack leaning against the wall.
A residence in Barkerville's Chinatown

Barkerville's streets are dotted with charming shops and services. The Wagon Shop, Mason & Daly General Store, and Eldorado Gold Shop along with Wake Up Jake Restaurant or the House Hotel Saloon keep your visit full of historical ambiance. Learn to pan for gold, watch a demonstration of mining techniques, grab a treat from the bakery, and take a wagon ride around the town. More details can be found in the Barkerville or Bust post.


Day 7: Barkerville to Green Lake (346 km, 4 hrs 4 min)

Day 7 starts our return trip towards Vancouver. This itinerary heads south along Highway 97, the same way we travelled north. Today includes a longer drive, so pace yourself and plan to make some stops along the way. Load up your road trip snack box before hitting the road. As you drive back towards Quesnel, check out any stops you missed on the way up.

If you are willing to take a detour and have a couple of extra hours, plan to turn east near 150 Mile House to follow Horsefly/Likely Road. Keithley Creek has some beautiful trails and the tiny communities of Horsefly and Likely are very popular for salmon fishing and wildlife photography. Do NOT attempt taking the back road from Barkeville unless you and your vehicle are off-road ready.


In Green Lake, there are accommodations to cater to every travel style. From lakeside cabins at the Big Bar Guest Ranch to the rustic charm of the Loon Bay Resort, or AirBnB-style cabin rentals and guesthouses, you will have plenty of choice.

A quiet lake shore with cottages
Green Lake

Campers will find campgrounds scattered around the lake within the Green Lake Provincial Park Campground. Because this is cottage country, the cellular connection is strong. Each campground and day-use area around the lake includes access to beach areas and trails. The lake is fairly shallow and gets quite warm in the summer months.


Day 8: Green Lake to Kamloops (173 km, 1 hr 59 min)

The next stop is the City of Kamloops, a major urban city in central BC that was once a supply and staging area for prospectors. Expect all the choices and services common to cities. You'll notice a very different landscape here as Kamloops is part of BC's pocket desert.

a view of the city of Kamloops showing bridges crossing the Thompson River, which runs though the city. Dry rounded and plantless hills are in the background
image credit: Kamloops This Week

For travellers with more time, Kamloops is your gateway to exploring other interior regions (check out Sampling the Shuswap) or heading east to Banff National Park.


Things to Do: The Kamloops Heritage Railway recounts the city's railway history with vintage locomotives. Riverside Park includes a paved walkway along the river. The Secwepemc Museum and Heritage Park is an excellent place to learn more about Indigenous perspectives and traditions. Kamloops is very proud of its craft beer scene and summer festivals. Check out this blog by Emma of Forever Lost in Travel to learn about her brewery tour.

A flight of craft beers labelled lager, Pepper and porter
image credit; Tourism Kamloops

For those with a taste for adventure, the Kamloops Bike Ranch has thrilling mountain biking trails, while the nearby Sun Peaks Resort is a ski resort with lots of year-round activities. The BC Wildlife Park is a favourite for nature enthusiasts, offering a chance to observe native wildlife in a natural habitat. If you are lucky, you'll spot big horn sheep!


Places to Eat: Casual eats at The Yew Street Food Hall showcase the city's culinary prowess with a selection of local restaurants. For a higher-end experience, consider Hoodoos at Sun Rivers for a foodie experience with stunning views.


A round sign attached to an exterior wall. The sign is whiite with black image and text. The image shows a tree.
image credit: Yew Street Food Hall

Places to Stay: Accommodations in Kamloops are plentiful with a full range of lodging choices from waterfront resorts to basic motels. For campers, the Kamloops RV Park is right next to the BC Wildlife Park.


Day 9: Kamloops to Princeton (174 km, 1 hr 53 minutes)

From Kamloops, you could choose to take a direct route back to Vancouver via Highway 5 (The Coquihalla) but this route suggests branching off Highway 5 at Merritt to follow Highway 5A to the town of Princeton.


Things to Do: Princeton is another mining town that wears its history proudly. There is a cowboy vibe evident throughout the town. The Princeton Museum is small but very interesting. Take a hike along the Kettle Valley Rail Trail -- my personal favourite trail in the area. Princeton is known as the "Bronze Sculpture Capital of Canada". Pick up a map at the local tourist office and follow a self-guided route around town

A man wearing a cowboy hat and boots walking away

Places to Eat: My favourite places to eat in Princeton include The Copper Pit BBQ, and the Brown Bridge Pub offers a cozy atmosphere to unwind. My favourite coffee shop is Thomasina's where I know I can always get a tasty cup of coffee, a hearty bowl of soup and some house-made treats.

Business sign for Thomasina's Bakery Cafe and Bistro with a line drawing image of bread, coffee and cookies

Places to Stay: There are several 3-star hotels and plenty of other local accommodations available in Princeton. The Sandman Inn Princeton is a comfortable mid-range option, while budget-conscious travellers may prefer the more basic option of Deerview Motel. For a camping experience, the Princeton Municipal RV Park offers a scenic spot within walking distance of the town.

Day 10: Princeton to Vancouver (285 km, 3 hrs 12 min)

On this last day, we make the final drive back to Vancouver but there is still much for us to explore as our drive will follow the portion of Highway 3 known as the Hope-Princeton Highway. This route goes through Manning Provincial Park, past the Hope Slide site and on to the town of Hope before making our way through the Fraser Valley along Highway 1 back into the city.

Sign for Manning park with a carved wooden beaver. in the background are tree covered tall mountains

Manning Park is a vast wilderness park packed full of incredible hikes, serene lakes, and amazing adventures. If you have more flexibility in your schedule I suggest lingering at least a couple of days. If sticking to this schedule, stop at the Lightning Lake Loop Trail, to stretch your legs on a short and easy hike.


Continuing along the highway, you will see signs directing you to the Hope Slide Lookout. In January 1965, a massive rockslide, triggered by a combination of heavy rain and unstable conditions, sent millions of cubic meters of debris hurtling down the mountainside, burying a stretch of the Hope-Princeton Highway. From the lookout, the sheer scale of the slide becomes apparent. Massive boulders, some weighing as much as houses, are strewn across the valley floor. You won't need a lot of time here but it is well worth a brief stop.

A mountain scarred by a huge rock slide with massive piles of boulders and debris at the base
The Hope Slide

The next stop, the town of Hope, has wooden chainsaw sculptures decorating its streets. Grab a map at the tourist information office for a self-guided tour. Don't be surprised to see Sylvester Stallon as Rambo depicted -- Hope was where the original was filmed more than 40 years ago but still a source of great pride. For a satisfying lunch, The Blue Moose Café is a local favourite

A line of wooden sculptures with the most prominent a figure of the movie character Rambo
image credit: Hope Examiner

As we continue the last stretch of highway towards Vancouver, we leave the mountains behind to enter the Fraser Valley. Drawing inspiration from my previous road trip itinerary, The Fraser Valley Loop, you might want to consider detouring to explore more gems along the way. Try to plan your drive to avoid the stretch of highway between Chilliwack and Vancouver between the hours of 15;00 and 18:00. Traffic is completely bumper to bumper during this time. Instead, plan an early start to the day or plan to linger along the route and enjoy a dinner meal in Hope.

Final Thoughts

As the skyline of Vancouver approaches, our road trip comes to a close but your memories will be filled with tales of grand adventures and incredible scenery. It's been a long journey of more than 1700 km of cities, small towns, remote wilderness, and breathtaking views. If you have more time to explore, check out my other BC Road Trip itineraries to consider extending your road trip to discover even more of this stunning province.


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13 Comments


Guest
Feb 10

Oh, wow what a fantastic detailed itinerary and I particularly loved your picture from the bull fight. That was the perfect capture of a great moment. Exploring the Cariboo Gold Rush Trail according to your post felt like stepping into a captivating chapter of Canada's history filled with adventure, resilience, and natural beauty. Every mile is packed with a rich heritage, no surprised you stopped so often and really got to know this part of Canada.


Carolin | <a href="https://solotravelstory.com/">Solo Travel Story</a>

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What a great itinerary! It was fascinating to learn the history of the Cariboo trail. While the road trip has a gold rush theme, I love that you have also given indications of loads of other activities at each destination - as well as food and drink recommendations. Geocaching looks like fun! It was also really useful to understand distances and drive times. I really enjoyed reading about this road trip. Mitch from https://www.verytastyworld.com 

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Replying to

I like a variety of activities when I am travelling, so I assume others do too! Road trips obviously include driving but I don't want to spend all day behind the wheel!

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Taking the Gold Rush trail up to Barkerville was one of my favorite BC road trips. What a great place and so much history. We stayed in Wells but I kind of wish I'd stayed in Barkerville itself now. Maybe next time. So many small towns along the way that are too easy to miss or ignore, but you're right about not rushing it and making the time to stop. I will be planning Manning Park this year so might need to add Princeton to my list too. And Green Lake looks like a lovely stop if heading up north. Thanks for including my post on Kamloops - somewhere else I need to get back to soon

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Replying to

It's one of my favourite places. I would love to stay right in Barkerville next time.


Your post on breweries in Kamloops is a perfect compliment and I appreciate you allowing me to link!

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Guest
Jan 26

Lots of things to unpack here! Aside from hopping from place to another, I would certainly enjoy doing a geocaching. The excitement of uncovering something - either learning a history and culture, finding hidden treasures or stumbling into cowboys and then be taken to a carriage ride. I think I'll strike gold on the last one. Yehaww ;-) #flyingbaguette


Jan - https://flyingbaguette.com/


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Replying to

Geocaching is something I recently discovered and has been fun to explore in various destinations. It's amazing how thrilling it is to find a stash of plastic toys! However nothing beats the feeling when you find a flake of gold in your pan!

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Guest
Jan 25

Here's a very interesting itinerary on the gold route, which always fascinates me because of its history.

I'm always enchanted by the beauty, culture and architecture of these small historic towns, which reflect so much about the people who lived there and have so much to offer visitors.

I think it was a wonderful choice for the culmination of a long road-trip adventure :) Angela | Blonde Around The World Travel -

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Replying to

I am always excited by historic towns and living museums -- I get so much joy from being immersed rather than looking at exhibits in traditional museums. The gold rush era fascinates me.

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