Williams Lake, BC
With an area population over 36,000, Williams Lake has managed to maintain its western charm and rustic look while still being the fastest growing city in the region. The town is thought to be named after Chief William, the leader of the Shuswap First Nations Band that lived in the area when fur traders made their first appearance.
A tradition that first began in 1919, the Williams Lake Stampede is celebrated every year during the weekend closest to July 1, Canada Day. With events such as bull riding, barrel racing, and steer wrestling, and the anticipation of barn dances and a midway, Williams Lake Stampede promises fun for the whole family!If you can’t wait for the Stampede, check out the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin, the only museum in BC dedicated to the history of the rodeo. Throughout the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region, despite the constant wear and tear, the cowboy is still alive and kicking.
Williams Lake is located on Highway 97, 540 km (338 mi.) Northeast of Vancouver. Train and bus access are available, with a commercial airport situated 13 km (8 mi.) north of the city. BC Ferries also sails from Port Hardy on Vancouver Island to Bella Coola, 456 km (285 mi.) east of Williams Lake on Highway 20. Population: 11,917Elevation: 599 m (1965 ft.)Avg. July Temp: 22ºC (71.6ºF)Avg. Jan Temp: -10ºC (14ºF)Avg. Yearly Snowfall: 1.45 m (4.75 ft.)
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