Clearwater / Wells Gray

Clearwater (pop. 4,150), the largest community in the North Thompson Valley, is your gateway to rugged wilderness most people imagine all of Canada to be. Some 125 km (78 mi) north of Kamloops, the Yellowhead Highway bisects Clearwater. Turn west on the Clearwater Valley Road and you’ll soon discover Wells Gray Provincial Park, where Canada’s wild places are easily accessed from the top of any trailhead. Clearwater and Wells Gray are roughly halfway between Vancouver, BC and the Canadian Rockies. Don’t just drive right through — take that western turn and discover 5,250 square km (3,262 square miles) of alpine playground, 39 named (and even more yet to be named) waterfalls, serene, glacial lakes, epic white water rafting, and more get-away-from-it-all than you could ever imagine.