Cariboo Joy R.V. Park & Gold Panning
Start your Cariboo adventure in the heart of gold country at Cariboo Joy R.V. Park & Gold Panning. This R.V. Park in Wells is the closest hosted full-service campground to Barkerville Historic Park. Travel back in time and immerse yourself in the 19th century Barkerville gold rush. Gold miners, business folks, hurdy gurdy girls and claim jumpers were all there. Five minutes away in nearby Wells, a gold rush took place in the 1930’s. Wells was the only place in B.C., where one could find employment during the depression years. Fred Wells poured his first gold brick in the early 1930’s at his successful hard rock mining company at Cow mountain adjacent to the town that now bears his name. Striking it rich, though, might be more about the future than the past. Experts believe that most of the world’s gold is still in the ground and that our resource-rich province is virtually unexplored.
Today, you can join in on the new gold rush and learn how and where to find the precious yellow metal. Joy offers this experience to guests at her R.V. Park. Following your adventures, enjoy evening entertainment in enchanting Wells. Walk from the campground to Sunset Theatre, pubs and restaurants. Also nearby are shops and the gas station. Cariboo Joy R.V. Park offers hosted full-service camping with a variety of attractive camping sites, including serviced pull-through full hook-ups for big rigs as well as small tenting spots. Hot showers, flush toilets, picnic tables, fire pits and a central sani station are available for guest use. Watch your favorite show on satellite T.V. Lawn sports and sheltered gazebo spots are also available for your enjoyment. A senior’s discount is available. Pets are welcome.
Meet Joy Stepan
Meet Joy Stepan
Joy Stepan values her summer lifestyle in the "mystical gold-rich mountains of the local outback." During her nearby gold exploration in the early 1990’s, she noticed a vacant property for sale in Wells at which she would soon begin to create her R.V. park.
Her love of the mountains began during her family childhood holidays in the beautiful Blue Mountains near her home town of Sydney, Australia. Joy says that she is grateful to be a part of the unique nature of the pristine mountainous Wells area. “This is a relatively remote area and yet now attracts a diverse world wide community," Joy notes. The small town of Wells offers entertainment, education and adventure that appeals to all age groups. Wells is at an important economic crossroads, she believes. Joy says that she is seeing increasing numbers of tourists that value Wells and area as a destination tourism location. Also, “Wells is in the heart of western Canada’s gold frontier.”
Joy’s tourism business as well as her gold exploration, she says, seems to have evolved naturally. In Australia, her great grandfather was successful in the goldfields during the 19th century gold rush in her home country. Joy became familiar with the tourism business when she began teaching visitors how and where to explore for gold. “Growing a successful business takes much perseverance, patience and the ability to believe in one’s ideas even in the face of skepticism," Joy says. One of her greatest rewards is hearing comments from guests who are discovering and appreciating Wells and area for the first time. “ This is better than the wild wild west,” was a comment from a European tourist. Youngsters are especially exuberant if they can discover the precious metal while holidaying in the heart of gold country. “Can I pay for my camping with the gold that I find?” asked one seven year old.
During the winter months, Joy sometimes takes time to help others discover their Ballroom and Latin dancing talent. She is a former national Australian Ballroom and Latin American Dance champion. Winter takes on a contrasting lifestyle as Joy returns to her beloved social dancing activities with friends.