Sometimes you don’t actually need to climb a mountain to make it up a mountain! Mount Begbie Fire Lookout is a knob right next to the Cariboo Highway south of 100 Mile House. This lookout is 1276m up, but it is only about 50m higher than the car park. It only takes a 5 minute walk to make it up to fabulous Cariboo Views! It’s a great stop off when driving North in BC, Canada.
Mount Begbie Fire Lookout map
Mount Begbie Lookout – the basics
Distance: 0.8 km
Elevation gain: About 50m
Time: 5-10 mins to the top
What to bring:
You don’t really need anything. It is so short!
Facilities: There are toilets and picnic benches.
Dogs: Great for doggos.
How hard is it? Super easy
There are two ways up to the fire lookout. You can follow the steep rocky trail that wiggles right up the knob if you feel like being slightly epic. Or, there is an easier service road right to the base of the Fire Lookout building.
The Fire Lookout
I loved seeing the Mount Begbie Fire Lookout building from below. It makes it look like you’re on an epic, cliff-hanging type trail!
History of Mount Begbie Fire Lookout
There has been a fire lookout here since 1923. The current tower was built in the 1970s. When the tower was in use, it was staffed with an observer during the fire season. It was named after the famous Judge, Sir Matthew Begbie. He was the first judge in BC (arrived in 1858) and was famous for hanging lots of lawbreakers during the Cariboo Gold Rush here in BC.
I really loved that the building has been decorated with the local flora and fauna. We could see bald eagles swooshing above us, and one is painted on the side of the building.
There is a veranda all around the lookout. You can see why this was such a great spot for spotting fires. You can see the entire Cariboo region.
Or, if it is windy, you can relax inside to see all the views.
This is one of 11 other towers in the area. In the early days people built steps up trees or wooden towers. They then started to set up canvas tents and slowly created more impressive shelters.
Are Fire Lookouts still in use?
Nowadays BC uses aerial patrols and cameras so these fabulous locations are no longer manned. However lots of them have been restored. This lookout officially became a recreation site in 2011.
Anyway, Mount Begbie Fire Lookout is a fantastic place to stop as you drive along the Cariboo Highway (BC 97.) It won’t take you long to hike up and the incredible views are way better than you’d expect for such an easy stop-off.
Other BC Fire Lookouts
You may not find another Fire Lookout that is quite this easy to reach, but there are plenty of others you can hike to in BC. Here are 4 that I’ve written about:
- Camelshoof Fire Lookout near Lillooet
- Mount Revelstoke Fire Lookout near Revelstoke
- Windy Joe Fire Lookout in E.C.Manning Park
- Tantalus View Lookout near Squamish
Have you ever hiked up to a Fire Lookout? Or do you know any other good ones I should hike to in BC? They do tend to have the very best views in each region…