got its name from a Polish pioneer that was one of the
first settlers in the area in the 1860s. He set
up a flour mill and sawmill and sent supplies and produce
to booming Barkerville at the time. The tiny community
itself is 30 miles or 47km from Williams Lake, but the
entire rolling grassland country from the top of SheepCreek
Hill to Lees Corner is called the Riske Creek area.
Those same grasslands supported several large ranches
in the area from the late 1800s to present day.
This is an area with some extraordinary geological
formations, sweeping rivers, amazing old cabins
and varied wildlife including a large herd of Bighorn
Junction Sheep Range Provincial Park can
be accessed via a rough 4X4 road off the Chilcotin South
Forest Service Road near where the Chilcotin and Fraser
Rivers meet. Here, from April to the end of September
youll have the opportunity to view the internationally
significant herd of California Bighorn sheep located there.
Designated a Park in 1995, it has the largest herd
of non-migratory California Bighorn
sheep in the world. This is a blue listed species
so the protection of this herd of about 500 animals is
critical. The rugged and steep ridges at the edge of the
grasslands, their main food source, provide refuge from
predators such as the cougar and bear that also inhabit
the park. This herd is an important source of sheep for
transplant to other areas in North America where sheep
numbers have been reduced or herds wiped out.
The Chilcotin South Forest Service Rd. turns off just
east of Riske Creek and will take you to an awe inspiring
sight! Farwell Canyon is an amazing vista of water carved
and sandstone, hoodoos, and rolling sand dunes. A bridge
spans the Chilcotin River and if you take a hike down
to the river you will find native pictographs on the cliff
south of the bridge. This canyon was once the site of
anold native village and natives still fish here with
dipnets during the salmon run.
The Riske Creek area has the Frontier Days and a rodeo
in summer. Its an excellent area for activities
such as wildlife and birdwatching, and is the jumping
off point for wilderness hiking, rugged river rafting
and visiting the famous Gang Ranch.
For accommodations in Riske Creek,
please go to