Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Tulameen~Coalmont, BC

We had planned on spending a few days in Tulameen last summer but the forest fires were close so we decided we would wait for another year.  This year the plan was made and anyone we spoke to about going had only good words to say about Tulameen.  We were excited to meet up with our friends there and enjoy our stay.

Tulameen River
We passed through some very pretty scenery, still lots of green in the surrounding hills and no fires in the area.  It had been many years since we had travelled on this stretch of highway so all sights were new.  We leave the main road at Princeton and head up to Tulameen.

Tulameen Valley
The drive to Tulameen was pretty, at least from a passengers viewpoint.  We were making our way on some narrow roads high above the Tulameen River but with not a lot of traffic and paved all the way, an easy drive, as long as the driver keeps his eyes on the road! lol 

Coalmont Welcome Signs
Coalmont was the first sign of a settlement and whoever paints their signs has a good sense of humor.  There were a few of them that caught my eye. 

Downtown Coalmont
 I am not sure what this small group is about but the Post Office, moved here from another sight, no longer has the ‘Post’ but is an office.

Historic Coalmont Hotel
The old Coalmont Hotel would have some very interesting stories to tell if she could talk.  Coalmont was established in 1911 at the end of the Granite Creek gold rush and with the mountain of coal bringing many.  The population in Canada at that time was 7 million and 103 of them lived here.  There were still 100 residents in 2011 for their Centennial year when there were now 34 million in Canada.  The little town of Coalmont just wouldn’t die.

The Last Resort
There is a provincial park at Tulameen, very well used but we chose the Last Resort RV Park.  It is small but a nice spot not far from the Otter Lake, basically in the town area and with very hospitable hosts.  We had some chilly windy hours but most of our stay was warm and we had a great time.

Otter Lake
Otter Lake is quite a good size about 6 km long and is lined with many holiday cabins as well as permanent large homes.  The weekend was very busy with power boats and seadoos but for our walk along the shores, it was a calm quiet lake.  The fishing is also good but one must bring their own boats, we found no rentals there.

The Great Trail on the KVR passes by Otter Lake
The old railway bridge at the end of the lake is part of the old Kettle Valley Railway and the Trans Canada Trail used as a bike trail for the adventurous.  The 18 km of the Trans Canada Trail from Princeton to Coalmont is considered by some to be the most spectacular portion of the whole KVR bed, running through the Tulameen River Valley and open year round.

Tulameen Museum
The little school, built about 1920 was moved to this location and restored in 2000.  It is the museum and full of antiques, which we viewed through the dusty windows.  The museum was not open and showed no signs it would be.

Downtown Tulameen

Tulameen, known as Otter Flats during the early days has an interesting history.  The first European to cross the Cascade Mountains was a Hudson’s Bay employee looking for a route to take the horses over so furs could be moved from Fort Kamloops to the coast.  Thanks to the native guides who showed the way, he was able to do that.  Once he got to Otter Lake from Fort Hope, Similkimeen Chief Blackeye told him the easiest way over the mountains and the ‘Blackeye Trail’ became known as the ‘Brigade Trail’ from 1849-1860.  This allowed the fur trading to survive in BC.

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