This B.C. Resort Town is a True Winter Wonderland

Truth be told, a visit to Wells is a joy in every season.

Wells BC - Snowy CabinPhoto: Pat Suter
Evidence of a snowy winter in Wells, B.C.

Welcome to Wells, B.C.

I enjoy visiting Wells, B.C., about an hour and a half from my home here in Hixon. Wells is a small mining and tourist town in the Cariboo District of central British Columbia. If you are travelling to Bowron Lake Provincial Park or to B.C.’s historic town of Barkerville, you will have to pass through Wells on your way, and it’s worth a stop.

Barkerville Tube RidePhoto: Pat Suter
The lineup for the Shamrock Tube Run in Barkerville.

Known for its long winters with lots of snow, Wells is an ideal place to enjoy outdoor activities. In fact, many visitors drive for miles just to take advantage of all the snow. Snowmobiling is very popular among people in the north so heading to Wells for a day trip or for the weekend is common. As part of a fun getaway, nearby Barkerville also offers the Shamrock Tube Run, a facility that offers 400 feet of sliding potential in two different runs accessed by a magic carpet lift. Wells and Barkerville both have accommodations available for an overnight stay. Locals and visitors can also enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Wells BC GnomesPhoto: Pat Suter
Gnomes made by locals decorate the streets in Wells.

As I arrive in Wells on this wintry day, I spot colourful gnomes made by the locals placed on top of the high snowbanks. These gnomes are unique to Wells and make the town feel warm and inviting to folks travelling through.

Fox in winterPhoto: Pat Suter
A watchful red fox.

I decided to drive around town for a bit, trying to spot and photograph a fox that I heard might be roaming from street to street. I was amazed at how much snow had fallen since my last visit.

Stellers Jays in WinterPhoto: Pat Suter
Steller’s jays waiting for peanuts.

Steller’s jays are also present throughout the town. I like to bring a bag of peanuts to offer to them and the birds seem to appreciate this little treat. Eventually, I stopped for a coffee and a sandwich before spending some time admiring the bright coloured houses and murals painted on various buildings.

How many of these Canadian birds have you spotted in your travels?

Cow Moose in WinterPhoto: Pat Suter
A cow moose rests after walking through deep snow.

A drive to Wells in the bitter cold of winter with the sun shining bright makes for a magical trip that everyone should experience. Don’t be surprised if you spot moose standing alongside the road looking to take a rest from the deep snow they have to trudge through in the forest.

Bull MoosePhoto: Pat Suter
A bull moose strolling through a swamp.

Summer in Wells, B.C.

Although Wells is a wonderful place to visit in winter, it’s great in summer as well. It is home to the ArtsWells festival, which is known as a “festival of all things art.” Every summer, this huge, well-organized event brings artists from all over the world to participate, and allows tourists to enjoy music and art at its finest. This is one of my favourite places to take guests, as Wells never disappoints. The summer drive alone often showcases bears eating grass along the road or moose hanging out around a swamp where the feed is plentiful.

Bears Eating DandelionsPhoto: Pat Suter

Another reason I enjoy the drive between Hixon and Wells is that my passion is outdoor photography, and this area offers not only plenty of beautiful scenery, but also the opportunity to see wildlife up close.

When I take this drive by myself and the cell service disappears, there are no distractions so I can enjoy the stillness of nature, no matter the season.

If you enjoyed this glimpse of life in Wells, B.C., be sure to check out these hidden gems of British Columbia.

Originally Published in Our Canada