The cooler weather has set in, and in many ways, this is the best time of year to explore Wells Gray and the Clearwater area.
The busy summer season has concluded, leaving empty trails and a sense of awe-inducing privacy in the park. The warm-weather’s mosquitos and flies have all but disappeared, making hiking a lot more peaceful, as well.
At Alpine Meadows, our autumn guests love to take advantage of the quietude, the colourful foliage, and the welcoming sense of coziness that accompany the fall.
Up here in the gorgeous North Thompson, we all agree that few things are more satisfying after a brisk-weather hike than a warm drink and a bite of something sweet and delicious. Clearwater may be a small town, but we’ve got a respectable number of excellent spots to linger with a well-deserved cup.
After your adventure in our beautiful outdoors, let these cafés invite you inside to explore Clearwater’s cozy coffee culture.
Nothing epitomizes the Canadian mountain lifestyle quite like a log cabin in the woods. At once rustic and timeless, they’ve always been a paragon of hospitality. It stands to reason, then, that Clearwater’s charming Strawberry Moose Snackery should be housed in one, with its welcoming North Thompson atmosphere, attentive staff, and lovingly-made baked goods and light meals. And there’s wi-fi, so you can post your selfies right away!
Warm up here with a caramel macchiato, a flavoured steamer, or a unique tea latte chosen from the Moose’ great selection of loose-leaf teas. Replenish your carbs (it’s okay, you’ve already worked them off!) with some of the delicious “snackeries”. We highly recommend the seasonal scones, sweet and healthy trail bars (gluten free!), and homemade muffins. Or treat yourself to one of their exceptional desserts. That is, if you can choose from among the mouth-watering cakes, cookies, pies, and cupcakes…
P.S. You deserve a cupcake.
Partnered with Clearwater Lake Tours, this excellent eatery sits right on the waterfront, and is a perfect place to wind down after a day on the lake (or whenever!). In season, the lakeside cabin serves as the café and tour company office (in the winter, the cabin is rentable for snowy adventures). The staff is friendly, and always ready to share their most story-worthy adventures. Chill out and ward off the chilly weather at the Osprey.
Comfort foods abound here! Strudels and crumbles and cakes made from traditionally Canadian ingredients (maple and cranberry are always satisfying). If you’re up for a heartier meal, you can’t go wrong with the daily soup or one of their delicious dishes featuring their own locally-caught fish.
Beautiful views and bottomless coffee, it truly is a slice of heaven at the end of the road, here.
This excellent and lively little bistro is tucked into a corner in the Interior Whitewater Expeditions building, right in the centre of town. The restaurant has had several popular iterations over the years but opened under new management and a new name for the 2019 season. The new owners are Belgian, and have created a menu that reflects their heritage, as well as that of their adopted home. Service is friendly and attentive, and it’s clear that a lot of love is baked into every bite, here.
You’ll find all sorts of traditional European treats at the Kettle. Expertly-prepared, decadent coffees pair well with any of the homemade muffins and coffee cakes (naturally!). Dutch pannenkoeken and cinnamon buns are a filling way to satisfy a sweet tooth, too. You need to replenish those nutrients, right?
While the menu includes a variety of hearty and warming fare (think soups with fresh-baked breads, pizzas, and gourmet sandwiches) all made with fresh, local ingredients, the star of the show is definitely the Belgian waffle. You know it’s authentic, here, and it’s served all day long. Deep pockets just perfect for loads of maple syrup, whipped cream, or fruit –this is the idea way to end a trip into the wilderness.
New to the Clearwater café scene (having taken over the old O’Bryan’s spot), the Wild Flour focuses on wholesome, artisanal baking and fair trade ingredients. Locals are thrilled that the café’s organic breads and treats, once exclusive to the farmers’ market are now readily at hand.
Rich brews and exceptional chai teas comprise the creative coffee menu. Already renowned for their sweet and savoury loaves, the folks here also serve up casual-but-exquisite breakfast and lunch dishes. Everything is freshly-prepared and made from as many local, organic ingredients as possible.
Rustic-modern, cozy, and very laid back, this place exudes a true mountain-town vibe. Meals are served on an eclectic array of mismatched china, which adds to the feeling of having popped into a neighbour’s house for a visit. You may only be in town for a while, but you’ll be welcomed like a friend, here.
Feeling a little homesick after your woodland adventure? Never fear! If you just need a little bit of Canadian coffee comfort, Clearwater most certainly has a Tim Horton’s franchise. You can always grab your Timmy’s and a doughnut at this unofficial national icon. And yes, there’s a drive-thru…
There’s no reason to let the crisp autumn temperatures deter you from enjoying the bounty of the Clearwater and Wells Gray region. Get out there and enjoy this magnificent playground! With this selection of quaint and delightful cafés, you know there will be a cup of warmth and a taste of accomplishment waiting for you at the end.
You generally don’t need to make reservations at Clearwater’s eateries, but you should definitely plan ahead to book your spot at Alpine Meadows for the tourist season. We may not have an on-site coffee shop, but we will do our best to ensure that your visit with us is made-to-order.
Contact us to make sure your next North Thompson vacation is absolutely ideal.