Interpretive school program

in Barkerville and Wells
British Columbia

Logo - Whitegold outdoor adventures in British Columbia, Canada

Gold panning school group

Whitegold Adventures is offering a variety of daily options for your school or group to help round out your visit to Barkerville and Wells. These programs are specially designed to complement your group's visit to the area.

Choose our Gold Panning Adventure which maintains the theme of the students visit to the area. Visit the Historical Barkerville Cemetery and support the Friends of Barkerville Society, or enjoy our New Games Evening of Play which completely changes the topic, directs excess energy and refreshes the mind.

Give your students the opportunity to participate in our fun, positive programming which keeps their interest and excitement focused. In addition these activities provide an opportunity for chaperones and teachers to participate in a relaxing and informal atmosphere.

Whichever you choose, your evening package will help to make your entire Barkerville experience a more memorable one while providing constructive and enriching venues for engaging your students


Gold panning on Lowhee CreekLowhee Gulch, with its headwaters on Barkerville Mountain, was created when turn-of-the- century hydraulic miners turned their hoses on the creek bed. Over many years they scoured out the valley and created a large alluvial fan upon which half the town of Wells was eventually built. Lowhee Creek still runs along the back of the town and still carries gold nuggets and flakes washed out of its upper gravel deposits.

After a stimulating day of Barkerville history, students are invited to try their hand panning an actual gold-bearing creek in the evening. Take advantage of this opportunity to get your group outside for a couple of hours and capture their attention as they look for their own lucky strike on a guided adventure, right in Wells.

Each session is two hours and includes an interpretive talk, supervision and panning instruction by your guide. Gold pans are provided. Pans and glass storage vials are also available for purchase. Meet outside the Bear's Paw Café at the appropriate time. The cost is only $5 per person, or a minimum of $100. Chaperones and teachers play for free.

We suggest that you book early to avoid disappointment and make sure that there is space available for your group, as there are many school groups in Wells for the season. Alternative booking times may be available to suit your groups itinerary.

To book your activity use this form. [PDF]


BARKERVILLE CEMETERY HISTORICAL AND ECOLOGICAL TOUR (NEW in 2008) - in partnership with the Friends of Barkerville Society

On July 4, 1863, Peter Gibson, 31 years old and employee of "Cariboo Cameron", was buried on this hillside above the mine, and so theBarkerville Cemetery was born. Today, this Graveyard is a rich depository of historical and ecological information. Whitegold Adventures has partnered with "The Friends of Barkerville" to offer your students the opportunity to contribute to long-term maintenance of this historical artifact while learning about the characters that shaped British Columbia, and also investigating the botany of the Cariboo Goldfields.

The men, women, and children buried here, through their lives and their deaths help illustrate the glory and the hardship of the Cariboo Gold Rush. In an entertaining manner, students will be introduced to many of the key players. However, the graveyard is also home to a variety of indigenous and non-native plant species that also, by their presence, describe the ecology and geography of this region. Students will be given the opportunity to learn about the ecology, and contribute to the preservation of this site by participating in a prudent and thoughtful removal of some of the plant species that are causing problems with preservation and access to this site. Tools, gloves and instruction will be provided.

One and one half, to Two hour program of interactive interpretation in the Barkerville Cemetery. Including 1 hour and 15 minutes of interpretation, and ½ hour of weed control. Your school will become a member of the Friends of Barkerville ($30 value), and your class, or group will be issued a certificate of contribution to the work of the Friends. Your work will contribute to the total volunteer hours logged for the Friends of Barkerville Society.

$7/Student. Minimum $140. plus GST.
To book your activity use this form. [PDF]


It's been a long day of interpretation and now it's time to relax. Book your class or group for an evening of interesting and innovative games meant to deliver fun, keep kids occupied and provide messages about cooperation, group dynamics, competition, and self- awareness.

You can relax or jump into the action while your group falls under the guidance of an enthusiastic and professional outdoor educator for two hours of outdoor evening programming at the Wells/Barkerville school grounds. Games are chosen based on the group size, weather conditions and in consideration of any programming objectives of the teacher (e.g. have fun, problem solving for smaller groups, develop handicap awareness, or improve cooperative skills.)


Typical outdoor/large group games include:
To book your activity use this form. [PDF]


In addition to our school programs we offer canoeing and hiking adventures on Bowron Lakes and in the Cariboo Mountains. We also offer custom school group historic day hikes and integrated adventure/art programs with Island Mountain School of the Arts in Wells.

Hike the Lowhee Gulch - 7 km

Lowhee Gulch with its headwaters on Barkerville Mountain was created when turn of the century hydraulic miners turned their hoses on the original Lowhee creek bed. Over many years they scoured out the valley and created a large alluvial fan upon which half the town of Wells was eventually built. Lowhee Creek still runs along the back of the town and still carries gold nuggets and flakes washed out of its upper gravel deposits.

Children will hike from Wells, up the creek valley and step into 150 years of history. This hike will include opportunities to pan for gold like the first miners of 1861, see the remains of the huge hydraulic mining operations which ran from the 1860s to the 1930s, and observe present day attempts at gold extraction, both placer, and hard rock. This all takes place in an outdoor hike setting with two options, return to Wells from the Lowhee Summit via the Hard Rock Mining Road for more interpretive options, or follow Stouts gulch down from the summit pass and end your trip right on to the main street of Barkerville. This recreates the exact sense of the life of the miners of the late 1800";s. 7 km (190 metres in elevation) 3 to 4 hours.

Group size per trip should be limited to l5 - 20 depending on activity and goals. Day Trip with 2 guides, pans, interpretive photos and includes lunch.
$350 for the first 10 students, $10 for each additional student. Assisting Adults - only $7 (lunch rate).

Interpreting the Canusa Mine ruins at the summit
of Stouts and Lowhee Gulch.

Hiking up the Lowhee Gulch, hydrauliked to 200'
by hungry miners.

Antler Creek to Racetrack Flats - 9 km

Take your students to "the source!" In 1860 Doc Keithley climbed the mountains above Cariboo Lake and found rich gold deposits in Antler Creek. The Fraser rush spilled north and hundreds of miners created a provincial crisis when they camped on their new claims on Antler Creek, ill-prepared for a Cariboo winter with no food. That winter, a rescue mission was run by the government in Victoria to relieve the freezing miners. Until the creation of the Cariboo Wagon Road five years later, this became the route to the final destination of Barkerville. Our destination is Racetrack Flats, an unlikely piece of BC history. Here the faint outlines of a 150 year-old ¼-mile racetrack are visible stretching out from what was once the front porch of Maloney's roadhouse/hotel, now marked by the old pile of stones that was once its chimney. Horses imported from as far away as England were sponsored by rich miners to race on this ¼-mile track, the graves of early horse-packing pioneers remain nearby, and other remnants of a bygone era are scattered in the middle of this sub-alpine wilderness.

A short 20km shuttle trip from Wells/Barkerville takes you to an old access road that joins the 1861 pack trail. From here, we engage in an easy to moderate hike past the remains of historic Antler City, and the local landmark, the "Rhubarb Cabin", at a later hydraulic mining site. We then join an old hydraulic ditch line, sometimes inside it, sometimes on the rim, for a nearly flat traverse, brimming with wildflowers, before arriving at Racetrack Flats, a unique series of sub-alpine benches at the junction of Racetrack and Antler Creek. Racetrack Flats offers easy exploration and interesting cultural history. 168 m (550') elevation gain, 9 km return easy day trip including shuttle.

Group size per trip should be limited to l5 - 25 depending on activity and goals. Shuttle from main road to trailhead by 12 passenger vans. Day Trip with 2 guides and lunches provided. - $400.00 for the first 10 students. $12 for each additional student. Assisting Adults - $7 (lunch rate).

The "Rhubarb Cabin"


Experience The Bowron Lakes

On a Voyageur canoe

Enjoy paddling, scenic views and get a taste of this world-class destination. After crossing Bowron Lake, we will paddle up the winding Bowron River through a vast slough rich in animal and bird life. In addition to the myriad of waterfowl, bald eagle, osprey and moose are frequently sighted. We travel by Voyageur Canoes, allowing children to experience this important piece of Canadian history. Lunch, equipment instruction and interpretation provided.

Minimum 5, Maximum 15 participants
$750 for up to 8 people, $1100 for up to 15 people. Including lunch, and equipment.
Transportation to Bowron Lake, (28 km) not included.
Length: 6 to 8 hours.

Practising canoe entry on a hot dayCanoe Eight Mile Lake

Spend a relaxing afternoon introducing the canoe. Eight Mile Lake is a small jewel in a scenic valley bounded by Cornish, Two Sisters and Slide Mountains. Canoe, fish, photograph, swim, enjoy the mountain views. We provide the canoes, instruction and transportation if needed. In addition to canoe history and instruction, your certified guide will also provide information on the flora, fauna of our region and local gold rush history.

Length: 3 - 4 hours                            Photo: Practising canoe entry on a hot day!
Level: Easy, no experience necessary
Price: $45/person


Dave Jorgenson is a professional guide and outdoor educator with a deep interest in local history and nature interpretation. He has combined his education in Outdoor Recreation with 30 years of experience delivering outdoor and interpretive programming to youth.

When you book with Whitegold Adventures you book with our reputation as a courteous, professional and safety-oriented company. We demonstrate an abiding respect for individuals. Our entertaining delivery style captures people's attention and enhances their overall experience.

Contact us if you have any questions or special program requests.


"Yes! Dave was great!"

"Excellent. The students loved the info and talked about it all night!"


"This program was recommended to us very highly and we'll be sure to pass along the recommendation even more highly!"

Whitegold Adventures is centrally located at the Bear's Paw Cafe, right on the highway in Wells (phone 250-994-2345). We also offer bag lunches for any group, and can seat up to 50 people for lunches, dinners or treats. See our special school package menu for details.

History comes alive at Barkerville
History comes alive at Barkerville

For more information contact us at:

Whitegold Adventures
Box 206
Wells   BC
V0K 2R0


Phone: 1 250 994-2345
Toll-free (N America): 1 866 994-2345
Fax: 1 250 994-2347


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