Williams Lake

Population: 12,000

Williams Lake is located on the shore of Williams Lake, at the junction of Highways 97 and 20, 126 miles north of Cache Creek and 147 miles south of Prince George. 

Visitor Information: Tourism Discovery Centre on Highway 97, south edge of town.

Williams Lake was named for Shuswap Indian Chief Willyum. The town began with the Cariboo gold rush in the 1800s, and grew rapidly with the advent of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway (later British Columbia Railway) in 1919. Williams Lake is a major cattle marketing and shipping centre for the Cariboo–Chilcotin. Williams Lake has complete services, including hotels/motels, gas stations, fast-food outlets and restaurants, and campgrounds.


  • The Williams Lake Stampede, British Columbia’s premier rodeo, is held on the July 1 holiday.
  • Walk the River Valley Trail from Williams Lake to the Fraser River.
  • Explore local flora and fauna at Scout Island Nature Centre.
  • Visit the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin, home to the  BC Cowboy Hall of Fame.
  • Chances Signal Point Gaming is located adjacent the Tourism Discovery Centre.