Welcome to the Chilcotin, BC
Beautiful Chilcotin. The best kept secret in the province. The Chilcotin is a remote haven for wilderness-loving people who love mountains, pine trees, ranches, and a semi-arid climate. A good place to start exploring: Chilcotin maps.
Chilcotin, a word with many meanings. What is the Chilcotin?
Meaning "people of the red ochre river" in the Chilcotin language, the language spoken by the Tsilhqotin First Nations people, Chilcotin may refer to many things, including the Chilcotin District, the Chilcotin Plateau, and the central part of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast division of Tourism BC.
Generally speaking, the Chilcotin is the region in British Columbia's interior that lies west of the Fraser River and east of the Coast Mountains in southwestern BC. People usually access the Chilcotin region via Highway 20, which travels right through it, and connects most of the communities located in the Chilcotin.
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The Chilcotin has three somewhat distinct sub-regions: the West Chilcotin, the East Chilcotin, and the South Chilcotin.
The West Chilcotin is the area in the rain shadow of BC's southern Coast Mountain Range, accessible via Highway 20, containing the communities of Anahim Lake, Tatla Lake, and the surrounding areas. The West Chilcotin is a mountain culture, as it is in close proximity to, and largely affected by the mountains to the west and southwest.
The East Chilcotin is located just west of the Fraser River, comprising most of the Chilcotin Plateau. This is ranch country at its finest. The East Chilcotin is a somewhat flat expanse of grasslands, Lodgepole Pine forests, and cattle ranchlands. Running right through it, Highway 20 makes for a fine drive, and you can access the backcountry via a network of logging roads.
The South Chilcotin is the mountainous southern continuation of the West Chilcotin. Road access is what makes this area primarily distinctive from the West Chilcotin, in that the South chilcotin is mainly accessible from the south (Vancouver/Whistler), and includes communities such as Bralorne and Gold Bridge, and the Spruce Lake Protected Area.
The climate of the Chilcotin area is generally continental in nature and quite dry or semi-arid, with warm to hot summers and cold winters. Yet, climatic conditions vary strongly across the region.
One of the special things about the area is that the Chilcotin features an unusual concentration of publicly protected lands and wilderness areas. Dozens of provincial parks are located here, including BC's largest: Tweedsmuir Provincial Park.
There are also numerous websites and online resources about the Chilcotin, which you can access to learn more about the different regions and topics.