Wells, British Columbia

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District of Wells [1]
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Location of Wells in British Columbia
Coordinates: 53°06′06″N121°34′32″W / 53.10167°N 121.57556°W / 53.10167; -121.57556 Coordinates: 53°06′06″N121°34′32″W / 53.10167°N 121.57556°W / 53.10167; -121.57556
Province British Columbia
Region Cariboo
Regional district Cariboo Regional District
  Governing bodyWells Council
  Total158.28 km2 (61.11 sq mi)
1,200 m (3,900 ft)
  Density1.5/km2 (4/sq mi)
Time zone UTC-8 (PST)
Highways 26
Website www.wells.ca OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

Wells is a small mining and tourist town in the Cariboo District of central British Columbia, located on BC Highway 26, 74 km (46 mi) from Quesnel and 8 km (5 mi) before the highway's terminus at Barkerville. It gains much of its revenue and jobs from tourists who pass through on their way to the Bowron Lake Provincial Park and to the historic museum town of Barkerville.



Originally a company town, [2] it was managed by Cariboo Gold Quartz Mine. Fred M. Wells, for whom the town was named, prospected in the area for 10 years before finding the minerals that built the company. [3] :292 At its heyday of the 1930s, Wells sported 4500 people. [4] In 1942 it had a greater population than Quesnel or Prince George. [5] The closure of the gold and other mineral mines in 1967 took its toll on the town and most of the population moved away. Today it has a listed population of just 250 which doubles during the summer months.

Between May and September, Wells sees over 100,000 tourists pass through on their way to Barkerville. Most visitors stay or camp overnight in Wells, which has an active arts and outdoor entertainment sector. During the winter months, visitors come for the cross-country ski trails, snowmobiling, and artistic and study retreats. During the summer visitors enjoy galleries and live performances.

Commercial buildings on Main Street, Sunset Theatre at right 07-04-07 1931 wellstheatre.jpg
Commercial buildings on Main Street, Sunset Theatre at right


Wells doesn't have a weather station, but Barkerville does (located 7 km (4.3 mi) away). Wells has a subarctic climate (Köppen climate classification Dfc), resulting in long, cold and snowy winters, accompanied by short and cool summers due to its high altitude and latitude. Its growing season averages only 66 days. [6]

Climate data for Barkerville
Record high °C (°F)10.0
Average high °C (°F)−2.9
Daily mean °C (°F)−7.5
Average low °C (°F)−12.1
Record low °C (°F)−46.7
Average precipitation mm (inches)96.0
Average rainfall mm (inches)8.2
Average snowfall cm (inches)87.8
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)16.612.513.814.318.720.619.216.016.318.018.717.1201.7
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)15.911.812.
Source: [6]


In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Wells had a population of 218 living in 113 of its 156 total private dwellings, a change of

See also

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  1. "British Columbia Regional Districts, Municipalities, Corporate Name, Date of Incorporation and Postal Address" (XLS). British Columbia Ministry of Communities, Sport and Cultural Development. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
  2. Wells
  3. Akrigg, G.P.V.; Akrigg, Helen B. (1986), British Columbia Place Names (3rd, 1997 ed.), Vancouver: UBC Press, ISBN   0-7748-0636-2
  4. WellsBC.com
  5. District of Wells
  6. 1 2 "Canadian Climate Normals 1981-2010 Station Data". Environment Canada. 2013-09-25. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  7. "Population and dwelling counts: Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), British Columbia". Statistics Canada. February 9, 2022. Retrieved February 20, 2022.