Trial History

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How did the CMHT come into such acclaim? (trial History)

Spruce Lake area -Trial HistoryLong before the Europeans discovered North America, the trail was part of a network of trails that the Aboriginal people used for trade and travel from the west coast into the interior of British Columbia. Trial History

The CMHT has five distinct periods of use: the indigenousfur traders; explorersprospectors and outfitters. Trial History

Indigenous Use

grizzly bears -Trial HistoryCenturies before European arrival, Aboriginal peoples brought their rich and diverse cultures to the Chilcotin Coast. Living by land and sea, the coastal tribes of Heiltsuk, Nuxalk and Kwakwaka’wakw subsisted on salmon and eulachon (or smelt fish).

They traded with the Carrier tribes across the Coast Mountains for obsidian, furs and other goods. While it was gold that opened up the Chilcotin Coast region to the world, the Aboriginal peoples thrived on the diverse and dramatic landscape centuries before Europeans arrived late in the 18th century (Archaeological evidence dates the Aboriginal cultures back 10,000 years.) Trial History

Fur Traders

Among the places in British Columbia that began as a fur trading posts is Kamloops in 1812.

Eagle over Spruce Lake -Trial HistoryEuropeans first visited the Kamloops area in 1811, when fur trading (mostly beaver pelts) began along the Okanagan Valley to the Thompson River, subsequently resulting in the establishment of a Hudson Company Bay post. Following the fur trade Sir Alexander Mackenzie was the first European to journey across North America overland to the Pacific Ocean. A succession of other fur company explorers charted the maze of rivers and mountain ranges afterwards. Trial History


The Chilcotin region with it’s vast stretches of grassland remained isolated from the rest of the province until Europeans and other explorers began arriving in the early 1800s. Principally, ranching remained the major economic activity in the region until the 1960s. Since then forestry has become the largest industry, followed by ranching and agriculture. Tourism and recreation is playing an increasingly important role.

Prospectors (Trial History)

The discovery of gold in the Fraser River and the Cariboo brought a rapid influx of prospectors, merchants, pioneers and other colourful figures to BC in the 1800s. They came from around the world, arriving from as far away as China. Trial History

Eldorado Mountain with Mountain Goats -Trial HistoryIt was a time of rapid economic expansion; sleepy hamlets became bustling cities, and new roads, railways and steamships were constructed to carry the extra load. Prospectors and settlers made their way north up this highway that is now called the Cariboo Gold Rush Trail (Highways 99 and 97). Lillooet is situated on the banks of the mighty Fraser River, affording visitors a wonderful display of nature’s beauty. Trial History

Those who arrive from the south either by rail or road will see some of British Columbia’s most awe-inspiring sights — everything from roaring river canyons to majestic mountains.