Cut into the Thompson River Valley in the midst of sagebrush-speckled high desert hills, the historic village of Ashcroft is home to scenic adventures, wellness and relaxation. With a growing number of amenities to care for your mind, body and spirit, pamper yourself and reignite your sense of adventure while enjoying awe-inspiring scenery.
Originally part of Nlaka’pamux (Thompson) territory, the Aboriginal people living in the area relied on the bounty of fish in the Thompson River to sustain their communities. Ancestors of the Ashcroft Indian Band spent the winter months in pit houses near the Thompson River and Ashcroft Ranch.
Visitors to Ashcroft in the late nineteenth century would have witnessed the Gold Rush fever that led to the rapid development of the settlement. With the establishment of the railway, Ashcroft became a major supply centre for prospectors and miners travelling north on the trail to the goldfields. Ranching was also vital to the growth of the community, and in the early twentieth century Ashcroft became famous for its delicious crops of potatoes and tomatoes.
Originally a post office, the museum building dates back to 1917. Exhibits include First Nations and pioneer history, as well as the discovery of coal in the region. Open from May to October.
Beginning at the distinctive Fire Hall, visitors are guided by brass plaques that tell the story of each key location. Walking tour pamphlets are available at the museum. Train spotting enthusiasts can enjoy watching the activity on the CPR and CN tracks that run by the town.
Heritage Place Park
Located on Railway Avenue
Built in 2000 as part of the village’s Millennium Project, the park features a “walk through time” with displays outlining Ashcroft’s history. Keep an eye out for the waterwheel and railway caboose.
Jo Petty’s Studio
“Art is an energy that is alive and all around us”. Visit the internationally acclaimed painter at her studio by making a booking 48 hours in advance. Also of interest are several unique murals and award winning gardens. Mural locations include the Legion, Curling Rink, Heritage Place Park, and Railway Ave.
Mosaic Walking Tour
Ashcroft is a very diverse Arts community and throughout our community you will find stunning works of art that were created by two very talented individuals and many volunteers. A Mosaic Walking Tour Map was created to direct visitors to the various locations. Since the production of this map there have been many new mosaics added around town, the collection just keeps growing. A special thanks to Sun Country Community Futures for designing and printing the walking guides. You can view many of the mosaics here, you may also pick up a printed map of the mosaics at many locations in and around Ashcroft.
Cool down in the hot summer months by taking a dip in the Ashcroft Swimming Pool. Open from late-May to early-September.
Bonaparte Ridge Golf Course
The Bonaparte Ridge Golf Course, only a fifteen-minute drive from town, offers a scenic nine-hole course with views stretching across the sage covered hills and valleys below. The area’s warm, dry weather is perfect for taking in this beautiful environment and enjoying the long golf season.
Enjoy a lively game of tennis! There are two newly surfaced tennis courts on the Ashcroft Secondary School grounds located at 435 Ranch Road, free to use and open from 9:00 am to dusk.
Barnes Lake and neighbouring Willard Lake are both artificial, created prior to 1900 by pioneer ranchers. Once providing vital irrigation, Barnes Lake is now a popular spot for canoeing, rustic camping and fishing for rainbow trout.
Admire the spectacular limestone canyon and waterfalls that held special ceremonial and spiritual significance to local First Nations people at Oregon Jack Provincial Park. Look out for culturally modified trees and pictographs, and remember to keep a respectful distance in order to help preserve this heritage for future generations.
Barnes Lake and other surrounding areas offer excellent ice fishing, cross-country skiing, skating and snowmobiling opportunities. Don’t miss the Cars on Ice races.
Public Ice Skating
Public skating is available most weekends during the winter months at the Drylands Arena
MORE THINGS TO DO +
Treat yourself to a delicious steak, bakery favourites or a hot drink in a heritage teahouse. The Ashcroft Manor & Teahouse (Trans Canada Hwy #1 West. Phone: 250-453-9983) marks the original site of Ashcroft and has a 149 year history. Today, the site includes a museum, six original historic buildings, a gift shop and a restaurant. The Ashcroft Manor is open from May to late October.
Locals and visitors alike enjoy friendly service and freshly baked delights at the Ashcroft Bakery (303 3rd St. Phone: 250-453-9212). The UniTea tea room has baked treats, delicious soups and teas at 100 – 210 Railway Ave. The River Inn Pub and Restaurant features many delicious culinary choices! ( 50 1st under the bridge 250-453-2230).
FULL LIST OF DINING OPTIONS
The Barnes Lake Cars on Ice races held annually in January and February are exhilarating. The Cars on Ice team also offer programs for new and experienced ice racers.
The Ashcroft Fine Arts Club Show & Sale, held in April, exhibits the works of Ashcroft’s thriving arts community, which includes both hobbyists and artists of international acclaim. The Ashcroft Fine Arts Club also hosts an Art Walk at local businesses during the summer months. Pick up an Art Walk map at the Tourist Info Booth.
September brings the Ashcroft & District Fall Fair. See, taste and delight in the wonderful variety of ‘locally grown’ fruits, flowers, veggies, crafts, art, lively entertainment and beautiful displays at the Ashcroft & District Fall Fair.
End the year while revelling in the spirit of Christmas when Ashcroft lights up to celebrate the season with the annual Santa Parade, Santa Madness shopping, craft sales, Christmas teas, Skate with Santa and a stop by the CPR Holiday Train.
The Winding Rivers Arts & Performance Society hosts regular music, theatre and art events including a dinner concert series and Music in the Park.
UPCOMING EVENTS IN ASHCROFT
#Onthetrail Tuesday Featuring this open scene hike, Mesa to Barnes Lake campsite, also known as Three Meadows Trail! Join us in the small town of #AshcroftBC and take a hike on of the many beautiful trails here in Gold Country. With endless possibilities for adventure, you’ll never go wrong when you visit our great communities! From the Fire Hall #1, follow 97c south and drive 1.32 km until youreach Mesa Vista Dr. Turn left and drive 1.13 km along Mesa VistaDr. It should turn to gravel and you will cross a cattle guard which ismarked as a waypoint. Keep going up the road for a short distanceuntil you see the trail head on your right, which leads up the hill. The trail starts rather steep and can be tiring so make sure to have lots of water! About midway up the first steep hill, the trail splits, keep left and continue up the ridge to go to Barnes Lake.The first major climb ends at a plateau. This is a pasture area that you will cross. There is no obvious path here, head towards the fence on the south side of the field. Once you have crossed the pasture you will come to a barbed wire fence, follow it to the left and you will be taken up another uphill trail, now this trail will really get the muscles going! At this point you will have travelled 2.15 km, that’s quite the way! In all the trail takes around 2.5 hours to complete and is about 3.85 km long. #WildernessAwarenessWednesday #Trailingtuesday #GoldCountryBC #explorebc#supportlocal#staysafe#FirstResponseTourism #GConthetrailPhoto Credit: Brandy Cooper-Chardon ... See MoreSee Less
Are you between the ages of 15-30, and a returning student? Are you looking for summer employment as an event coordinator, and office support staff in an amazing setting? Your primary role will supporting us execute a major event in August, but you will also be providing admin assistance, photography assistance, geocaching assistance, and bonus points if you have a drone license. For more information please call our office at (250) 457- 6606 or email email@example.com ... See MoreSee Less
Happy Friday, are you looking for something fun and free to do tonight? Have you dreamed about creating video content for your personal, hobby or business, but are unsure of how to overcome some of the challenges of getting in front of a camera? Join us tonight, Friday 13, 2022 at 7:00 pm in the meeting room of the Cache Creek Community Hall for a free workshop on creating digital content. ... See MoreSee Less