Cultural Explorer

Living like a local is your motto on vacation. Nothing makes you happier than getting away from it all and completely immersing yourself in the culture, history and lifestyle of wherever you vacation.

Spontaneous, you don’t like to sit on the sidelines; you want to experience it all…from historic sites to modern culture. For you travel is all about leaving your everyday world behind, and skipping the “touristy” spots. Instead, you’re looking for offbeat adventures, to better understand just how locals live.

Soak up some easy-going charm and experience first-hand the laid back lifestyle of Wells Gray and Clearwater. Rub shoulders with the locals at festivals and events throughout the year. Kick up your heels at the ultimate mix and mingle at Serenity Music Festival.

Take part in the Simpcw First Nation’s traditional salute to the first salmon returning to the Raft River. Stargaze with the buffalo's. Discover the link between our pioneer roots and our modern ranches. Explore ancient volcanoes, Simpcw kekulis by simply going for a hike. The possibilities are as vast as Wells Gray itself and all you need to do is step outside.

For the Cultural Explorer We Suggest…

Imagine your life as a homesteader – Well before the park was created, pioneering families cleared the land and built their homesteads in the shadow of Pyramid Mountain. You can still catch a glimpse of the Ray Family Farm and the Majerus Homestead by hiking easy trails just off the Clearwater Lake Road in the Corridor. Bring your cameras and lots of bug repellent – the overgrown vegetation at both farms is a Mecca for mosquitoes!

Trail to an old homestead in Wells Gray Park   Ray Farm homestead  

The ultimate mix and mingle – Roots, blues, reggae, country, folk, jazz, Celtic, rock or gospel – kick up your heels and join in the party by the river at the Serenity Music summer concerts series. Pack a picnic to enjoy at the show, the ultimate mix and mingle. Come for one concert or a weekend of camping and dancing – you really can do both here. Discover new acts from all over Canada and beyond in a setting as inspired as the artists on the stage.

Year round concerts in Birch Island only 15 minutes from Clearwater on Highway 5   One of the many outdoor summer concerts at Serenity   Summer fun with Shirley at Serenity music

Stargaze with buffalo's - Join professional astronomers and their high-powered telescope to watch the Persied meteors light up the night at the annual Stargazing Festival. A lawn chair, binoculars and simple donation are all you’ll need to gain access to the Trophy Mountain Buffalo Ranch and one of the greatest shows in the heavens.

Refracting telescope at the Stargazing Festival   Giving a talk about the Cosmos at the Stargazing Festival

Meet the fourth generation ranch pioneers - Aveley Ranch, just north of Clearwater, is one of Canada’s oldest and largest working sheep ranches and an ideal spot for a secluded retreat in their heritage log cabins. The fourth generation still works the ranch, welcoming guests on their Farm Holiday, teaching sheep herding, cattle milking and lambing ewes.

  Avely Ranch stables   Getting to feed the lambs at Aveley sheep ranch is the highlight of any family trip to Clearwater and Wells Gray

Top 10 Experiences for Cultural Explorers

  • Hike trillium lined trails leading to pioneer homestead remains at the Ray Family Farm and Marerus Homestead
  • Mix, mingle, and meet fellow travellers (and locals too) at Serenity Music Festival – showcasing talent from around Canada and beyond. Riverside in Birch Island, select dates May to September
  • Explore the constellations every August at our annual Star Gazing Festival
  • Experience the annual return of salmon and celebrate in traditional Simpcw First Nation style at the First Fish Ceremony
  • Live like a ranch hand with Aveley Ranch’s farm holiday stay

  • Interpretive hikes led by local experts reveal the history, geology and park’s wildlife secrets
  • Learn the ancient practice of traveling by dog team between December and March
  • Search for remnants of ancient kekulis and pictographs on guided interpretive hikes
  • Ride in the hoof prints of history with a pioneering Shook family at Vavenby Trail Rides
  • Float in the wake of the first Overlanders on a guided rafting trip on the North Thompson River