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Route of the Okanagan Trail.  Dotted lines are alternate routes to the lower Fraser Canyon
Route of the Okanagan Trail. Dotted lines are alternate routes to the lower Fraser Canyon

The Okanagan Trail was an inland route to the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush from the Lower Columbia region of the Washington and Oregon Territories in 1858–1859. The route was essentially the same as that used by the Hudson's Bay Company fur brigades, following the Columbia River to the confluence of the Okanogan River, and then up that river's watercourse via Osoyoos, Skaha (Dog) and Okanagan lakes, then using a pass via Monte Creek to Fort Kamloops, at the confluence of the North and South Thompson rivers. From there, the route went west down the Thompson River either to the lower gold-bearing bars of the Fraser River between what is now Lytton, British Columbia and Yale, British Columbia, or via Hat Creek and Marble Canyon to the upper Fraser goldfields around present-day Lillooet, British Columbia. A shorter branch-route to the lower Thompson and lower Fraser Canyon diverged from the main route at the confluence of the Similkameen River and the Okanogan (at present-day Oroville, Washington). Cayoosh and The Fountains are today's Lillooet, British Columbia and environs.

See also

Further reading