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Chilcotin River Camp



I recently spent some time camping on the Chilcotin River, near Chezacut. For those unfamiliar with Chezacut, or the Chilcotin, it’s located in central British Columbia. The Chilcotin runs from high in the Itcha Mountains all the way to the Fraser. Among others it gathers in the Chilanko and the Chilko Rivers. Where we camped it’s big enough to canoe, but being upstream from it’s two big tributaries it’s still small.

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You can see from the Google map a road crossing the river upstream from the lake. If you zoom in you’ll see the meadow where we camped just downstream from that bridge. You’ll also get a good idea of how much logging goes on in that area. Most of the logging there is done to what is termed “beetle kill”; it’s Lodgepole Pine that has been killed by the Mountain Pine Beetle. Rest assured – the logged areas get re-planted. An additional advantage of beetle kill is that there is never a shortage of firewood in that country, which is handy when the sun goes down and the mercury drops.


Chilcotin River campsite Chilcotin River campsite
The campsite was very cool – an old meadow with fences from ranching days, right by the river. It looks like it gets lots of use from time to time, but we saw no evidence that anyone had been there for a bit.




The weather was compliant – while as cold as -10 Celsius at night there was little wind or precipitation aside from a few snow showers. It made for great walking through the day as we didn’t get too wet.


Campfire on Chilcotin River

Big fire for a cold night! Note snow on tarp.

Cutting firewood near Chezacut

Cody cutting firewood from beetlekill

The idea was that we’d be hunting moose, as well as any muleys or whitetails that we came across. While some people don’t approve of hunting I embrace it as a good source of free range organic meat. I don’t hunt for trophies, and I don’t shoot predators like wolves or bears. We were not fortunate in our hunt, but we did have a good time.

This is the traditional area of the Tsilhqot’in, who brought horses to the area sometime in the 1700s. It’s also got a long tradition as cattle country which means there are wild horses around. The range cattle can be as spooky as wild deer, and there is lot’s of evidence of old ranches from the 1930s.


Abandoned Chilcotin ranch house

Broken Dreams





I wasn’t able to fly up there yet, but while out walking I did find a place where I could land a plane, and looking at Google maps I found another airstrip servicing the old Maxwell Ranch a bit north of where we were. If you want to go off grid then this is the place to be.


Maxwell Ranch

Maxwell Ranch - airstrip highlighted




























The trip wouldn’t be complete without some canoeing. As you can see the river is not too difficult in these parts. The challenge is finding a take out spot. If you have time to explore you should be able to find one far enough below the lake to give you a good run.

canoeing the upper Chilcotin River



















My name is Rob Chipman and I’m a realtor and pilot based in Vancouver, BC. I AM NOT A FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR AND I AM NOT OFFERING FLIGHT INSTRUCTION! I am sharing my study notes and other things I’ve learned while getting my education as a pilot. You’re welcome to make use of this information, but do not treat it as expert advice.

I really enjoy flying, real estate and the Chilcotin. My company is Coronet Realty Ltd., located at 3582 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, V5K 2A7. I have a C-150L that I own with two other pilots, based out of Pitt Meadows. Do not hesitate to contact me by email if I can help you do anything, especially if its likely to be interesting or concerns selling remote property in British Columbia.

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