Thursday, July 1, 2021

Salmon Lake Resort ~ Douglas Lake Ranch

We are slowly making our way out of the CoVid pandemic at this time in 2021 and looking forward to spreading our RV wings once again.  We are taking our RV to Salmon Lake Resort to enjoy some country living with friends who are able to join us from the coast.  Our travels take us from Kamloops onto Hwy 5A towards Merritt.

Nicola Lake
When we reach Nicola Lake, a beautiful lake which is an important part of the history of the area, we will make a turn onto Douglas Lake Rd.  For more information on the Nicola Valley area, click here.

                                                            The Lady of Lourdes Church

The Church is an old log building that sits on the corner of the highway and Douglas Lake Road so if you are looking for Salmon Lake Resort, which is not shown on GPS, just turn at this point and follow the road for 47 km.

Horse cooling off

We are on our way to spend a few days and enjoy the relaxation and fishing.  Salmon Lake is within the Douglas Lake Ranch land, which consists of half a million acres, some of which we are driving through and enjoying the scenic views.

Gateway to Douglas Lake Ranch

Douglas Lake Ranch is the largest ranch in North America.  It is known for their beef but also as breeders of quarter horses.  The horse breeding began with Chunky Woodward for cutting horses and won the 1967 world championship with Peppy San.  The bloodline continued and produced several world champions, all bred on this ranch.  The breeding of quarter horses has continued since for their abilities with cattle.

Douglas Lake Ranch community

The Ranch was originally owned by John Douglas Sr. then sold in 1884 to a group who founded the Douglas Lake Cattle Company in 1886 with the intention of gaining the Canadian Pacific Railway beef contract.  As time went on the size of the ranch continued to grow and the group who owned gradually changed. The ranch was then owned by the Ward family and continued to be until 1940 when they sold. 

Douglas Lake Ranch Church

In 1959 the ranch was again sold.  Charles (Chunky) Woodward and John West purchased then when West passed away two years later, Woodward, who passed in 1990 became the sole owner until 1998 when the family sold the Douglas Lake Cattle Ranch.

Airstrip entrance

A big ranch would not be complete without its own airstrip, would it?  This is the gate that opens for the strip, which caught my attention.  I’m not sure this was the style of plane that was originally using this strip but none would be very big, I am sure.

Great scenery

There are several lakes on the ranch land, which offers some beautiful views as well as some good fishing.  Not all are available for public fishing though, if the only access is on private land.  The rolling grasslands offer some great sights while the lakes sweeten the view.

Salmon Lake Resort

Known for good fishing and a store with fishing supplies , Salmon Lake Resort is a great place to visit.  It is a fly fishing lake, as are many others in our region.  Kamloops is known as the ‘stillwater fly fishing capital of North America’ and Salmon Lake would be one of those considered to be included.

RV Park

Salmon Lake resort offers cabins, a campground as well as the RV Park which we stayed at.  Their lots are nice and big.  Lots of visitors, some who’ve been several times before and first timers like us were coming and going throughout our visit.  Fishing was part of the reason we stayed at Salmon Lake Resort, which has the RV Park and where boats can be rented for fishing.  Our timing was the beginning of the hot spell we are now dealing with and that may have had an effect of the lack of catching many fish.  At least that is the fishermen’s story and they’re sticking to it!

Mini cattle drive

What better way to leave the ranch land than to see these two riders and their shy dog move their cattle down the road.  Cattle seemed to handle our passing by much better than the poor dog did.  We are known to be cattle country in this region but this surely is a rare sight, and one we were fortunate to see.  Just another reason to say there is no place like home.