Hat Creek Ranch
Historic Hat Creek Ranch offers a rare opportunity to explore the original buildings of a key location in the transportation history of the Cariboo. The site also presents the story of early use of Bonaparte Valley by people of the Shuswap nation and their more recent contributions to the growth of the ranching industry.
Prominent among the 20 historic structures here is Hat Creek House, established in 1861 by former Hudson's Bay Company trader Donald McLean. Originally a small log building, it soon became popular as a stopping house offering good meals for travelers and was enlarged over the years. In 1863 the building momentum of the Cariboo Gold Rush brought the Royal Engineers and their Cariboo Wagon Road right past the front door!. McLean was ready to provide rooms, food, whiskey, and stables to thousands of miners and settlers heading north. Alas, while riding with a posse in 1864, he was shot and killed, and a succession of other managers assumed operation of the ranch over the following years.
Where You'll Find Us:
Hat Creek Ranch is located within a one hour drive west of Kamloops. The ranch is at the junction of Highway 99 (from Whistler) and Highway 97, the "Gold Rush Trail" route that leads north from Cache Creek. This town is at the junction of the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 97, and Historic Hat Creek Ranch is only 11 km north of Cache Creek. This location makes it a very convenient stop when you're traveling on any of these major highways.
Historic Hat Creek Ranch is operated by "the Friends of Historic Hat Creek Ranch".