Selecting locations for trips for us is always based on two things, really: quality of fishing and the related adventure opportunities near our selected destination!
Mahood Lake is in Wells Gray Provincial Park, on the edge of the Cariboo Chilcotin and the north Thompson region boundaries. On paper, it looked as though this place had it all. So, after careful calculation (by careful, I mean Jax and I put locations into a hat and drew one), Mahood was the clear adventure venue of choice!
By Friday afternoon at 3:00 pm, Jax and I had the windows down, tunes pumping and Chemo RV rental trailer in tow heading to our destination Mahood Lake—both of us for the first time.
After we turned off HWY 97 South and headed east on the Canim Lake Road, time started to slow down and we instantly began feeling calm and excited.
There was less traffic and the drive was really beautiful. We stopped at the Forest Grove Store for some last-minute supplies and ice cream.
From here, the drive really grabbed a gear (pun intended). We zig-zagged our way along the narrow road, overlooking beautiful Canim Lake, heading slightly northeast from Forest Grove towards the Mahood Lake campground!
The drive is roughly 40km from Forest Grove to Mahood. The further we drove, the prettier the landscape got, and fewer and farther between the houses. Soon, we were dropping down into a full-on cedar and fir tree forest where there was a sign that read “Wells Gray Provincial Park”
I really have to be honest—I’ve explored our local region fairly extensively, and this place really blew my mind! It’s one of those places you hear of, but no-one’s actually been, kind-of-thing. At least, that’s what I got from it.
When you first drive through the park gates, you’re immediately taken aback by two things: how huge and beautiful the forest is, and by how clean the campsite is! I mean, this place looked like something from a fairy-tale.
After a lap around the area to evaluate the campsite situation, another surprise was revealed: out of the 30 or so sites, 26 were available! How could a place so beautiful and so easily accessible be so empty?! But hey—we weren’t complaining!
After two laps around the site, Jax finally chose our spot—Site #15. It was right next to the kids’ playground, offered a lake view and was easy access to the beautiful beach. We parked our RV, the door flew open and Jax was gone straight to the playground while I set up camp and started dinner.
Within what seemed like minutes, Jax zoomed back and said “Dad! I met a new best friend. His name is Cash!” He grabbed his pedal bike and was gone again with me, jogging in tow, trying to be the adult and let him know dinner would be ready in 15 minutes!
After dinner, we jumped on our mountain bikes and went for a ride to assess the adventure possibilities and develop some kind of itinerary for the next few days.
We came to a sign that showed multiple waterfalls and hikes in every direction—the closest being 1km away (Canim River Trail) and the furthest being 8 km away (Deception Falls Trail).
We rode our bikes 3km to the Canim River Bridge, threw some rocks, and rode back to the campsite where we threw our kayaks in the water for a sunset paddle. We excitedly watched large fish jump all around us.
A momma duck with her babies swam by, proudly showing off her ducklings while we talked about the next day’s plan. It was basically dark by the time we made it back to the trailer, and time to put a tired little boy (that was up way passed bed time) to sleep!
As if it was even a question, he immediately laid claim to top bunk and snuggled into his sleeping bag like a little mouse in his nest. “Good night daddy, I love this trailer,” was followed by the tiny little-man’s snoring!