The Cariboo Gold Rush Overview and Historical Map Journey By Sea
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Journey by Sea

Overlanders of 1862

Travel Cost


Imagine it is 1862. You are living at home in England. You have heard of the great fortunes to be made mining gold in British Columbia. You want to become a gold miner in British Columbia.

How will you get there?

There are three main routes to British Columbia to choose from.

1) The fastest but most expensive way to get there is to sail from England to Panama.

The isthmus of Panama is a narrow strip of land connecting North and South America.

You get off the ship at Colon on the Atlantic side. You cross the isthmus by stage coach, and get on another ship at Darien on the Pacific side.

From Darien you sail north to San Francisco, and once arriving in San Francisco, you board another ship that takes you north to Victoria on Vancouver Island.

This trip could take you six to eight weeks!

2) A cheaper, but slower, way to get to the gold-fields in the Cariboo would be to sail all the way around the southern tip of South America at Cape Horn. Next, it's up the coast to San Fransisco and onward north to Victoria.

This trip could take you four or five months!

Supplies might include:
Salt pork, salt beef, ham, hard bread, salt, 40 pounds of butter and cheese, tea, sugar and spices.

Problems with supplies:

Salt meat often went bad.
Wine turned to vinegar.
Candles melted near the equator.

Rats ate cheese.
Butter and lard went rancid.

3) A third route would take you by steamer to Quebec or New York and then you have to travel over land to British Columbia.

This could be a very long and treacherous trip.

First, you have to travel from Quebec or New York by train on an American railway to St. Paul Minnesota.

Then you would head north by stage and steam boat to Fort Garry (Winnipeg).

From here you join up with a small party of Overlanders to finish your trip to the Cariboo!

The Overlanders travel by horse, cart and wagon westward across the prairies. There are no roads, only trails to travel. Along the way there are rivers and mountains to cross.

This is the longest and most dangerous way to travel to the Cariboo!

Last updated November 30, 1998.
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