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Travel to Cariboo

Settle in the Cariboo

Roads and Trails

The Gold Rushes

Cariboo Map 1862-1865


Roads and Trails

Cariboo Road:

Starting in 1858, wave after wave of eager gold miners advanced northward into British Columbia's interior. This influx presented transportation problems that led to the construction of the Cariboo Road.

Government officials, led by Governor James Douglas, soon realized that with the huge influx of people, success in the Cariboo was impossible without roads.

They also knew that building a road into the Cariboo was crucial for colonial communication to the interior.

The task was given to a small detachment of Royal Engineers led by Col. R.C. Moody.

Begun at Yale in 1861, it eventually stretched nearly 400 miles (650 kilometers) north to Barkerville. By 1865 the Cariboo Road allowed mule trains, freight wagons and stage coaches to serve central British Columbia.

Dewdney Trail:

As control of the southeastern part of the province was equally vital, Governor Douglas proclaimed a Southern Boundary Act in 1860.

Intended as a customs barrier between Washington Territory and British Columbia, the Act was hard to enforce without having an east-west route on British soil.

Gold strikes in the Kootneys in 1863 made such a road mandatory. Starting at Hope in 1865, Edgar Dewdney pressed east towards the Rockies. Later that year a 360-mile (580 kilometers), 4 foot wide road was laid along the trail he had explored and surveyed.

The Gold Rushes

Last updated November 30, 1998.
Produced by Carollyne Yardley
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