Chasing the Golden Butterfly: A Passport to Our Living History
Welcome to Chasing the Golden Butterfly, a guide for geocachers and all visitors to the historic heart of British Columbia. This is your passport to all the excitement and adventure that 10,000 years of stories can offer. This inclusive web of First Nations, Gold Rush, railroad, ranching and other heritage is not meant to be simply an echo of the past. Rather, it’s a link with the regions’ living history, one you can experience today by visiting these sites.
The title, “Chasing the Golden Butterfly” comes from D.W. Higgins’ The Mystic Spring, which tells the stories of gold seekers from the 1858 rush. But there are many kinds of gold along the rivers and valleys of British Columbia, as the First Nations have known for millennia. From this website, geocachers can download coordinates and follow three characters along these routes as they look for their own personal golden butterflies. We hope you find yours.
Follow in the footsteps of three travellers as they journey on these historic routes. Each in their own way is “Chasing the Golden Butterfly” as they move through a landscape of mining claims, boomtowns, First Nations settlements, and awe-inspiring wilderness. They are among the tens of thousands of people—newcomers and First Nations—caught up in the excitement of the Gold Rush era. But unlike many of their fellow travellers, our trio is not looking for literal gold; each of them has a different kind of Golden Butterfly to catch.
Route 1: The Pathway to Gold
Rich in history, scenic beauty and hospitality, the route from Hope to Barkerville has been the Pathway to Gold for thousands of years.
Route 2: The Spirit Trail
For millennia, the First Nations knew the route from the top of Lake Harrison to the Pemberton Valley and beyond was a special place.
Route 3: Blue Sky Country
Across the rolling, semi-arid landscape, you get a taste of both desert and ranchland and hints of thousands of years of First Nations presence.
Route 4: The Heritage Trails
From Stanley Park to the Cascade Mountains and on to the storied Cariboo, this route runs through the heart of British Columbia.
The Chasing the Golden Butterfly program is a partnership between the New Pathways to Gold Society, BC150, Gold Country Communities Society, Vancouver Coast and Mountain Tourism Region, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association, B.C. Transmission Corporation, Aboriginal Tourism B.C., corridor communities and B.C. Husky and Mohawk retailers.
Meet the Travellers
Discover the Routes
- Route 1: The Pathway to Gold
- Route 2: The Spirit Trail
- Route 3: Blue Sky Country
- Route 4: The Heritage Trails
- Learn all you need to know about this great way to explore historic sites, a fun activity for the entire family ›