Bear River Mercantile is for Sale -- Please e-mail for Details
Paul Paprskar Photo
Phillips Photo 2005
Phillips Photo 2001
Bear River Mercantile,
situated at the entrance to Bowron Lake Provincial Park, is a dynamic family
run business dedicated to making your visit as enjoyable and informative as
possible. Whether you are heading out on the canoe circuit, hosting a major group
outing, relaxing a few days or just passing through; Bear River Mercantile
offers friendly, flexible service that is known worldwide. At Bear River
you will find a small general store, cafe, rental equipment, camper cabins, campsite,
picnic area, and unique Museum & Interpretive Center which contains the
largest private collection of Bowron Area history and artifacts assembled for
and Tribulations of a Back-Country Business in the 21st Century,
in other words…"How
Today’s technologies are causing the world to advance
in giga-leaps and tera-bounds. Instantaneous communications, wireless phones
(that do just about anything but the dishes -- darn!), money-regurgitating
machines and plastic cards that can deplete your bank account in a single swipe!
Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you feel about it)
Bear River has been technologically overlooked. We are devoid of
even the basic 19th and 20th century amenities; so don’t
even think about 21st century luxuries!
No telephone lines, cell phone service, telegraph or even Morse code; no electrical lines; no card
swipe machines, ATM’s or WiFi zones! When visiting
Bear River you get to let go of all those technological
get back to basics… and why not? In
today’s hustle and bustle don't you deserve to rewind back to a slower
pace? Enjoy the unencumbered, raw, natural wonders of a technologically
Isn’t that what a long, slow paddle into the peaceful, isolated
backcountry of Bowron Lake Provincial Park is all about?
So throw out those cell phones (they don’t work here anyway), stow away the
computers and come contemplate the soothing sounds of water rippling around your
paddle; be mesmerized by a slow moving shoreline; enjoy the simpler things in
life – with Bear River Mercantile, a technologically challenged but
ecologically friendly, solar powered business.
All Phillips Photos
Sandy Phillips (Chief cook
& canoe washer) has lived in the Bowron area since childhood. In the
and 80s she was a Bowron Lake Park Naturalist and is a
wealth of information on both the natural and cultural history of the
Dick Phillips (Short-order cook & Jack-of-all-trades) moved to the area in
1978 and is truly
the kingpin that keeps everything running smoothly, as a whole lot of "mechanically
visitors will attest to!
Charley Gumboot (Bear patrol & expert tail wagger)
arrived on the scene in 2003, and as any pet owner will understand, he's the real
boss of the outfit!
Our Service is Exclusive -- Pre-Bookings
Bear River Mercantile is truly a Ma & Pa operation,
run by… you guessed it…Ma (that me) and Pa (that’s Dick).
The store, cafe, cabins, campground, rentals (not to mention
stocking, shopping, bookwork, maintenance and a multitude of other chores) are
all choreographed by ‘just the two of us’.
Over the years we have systematically streamlined our operation so that
we can continue to offer our exclusive, flexible, one-on-one service that so
many of our many clients have come to love.
In order to keep up the high quality of our business, pre-booked
reservations are definitely recommended!
Unreserved persons, please be warned that you take your chances as to the availability of
our services. This includes service in the cafe, as we will catered to our
pre-booked guests before the general
public. So whether you require a full package, group
booking, meal or accommodations… please e-mail in advance to obtain
availability and ensure your booking.
Phillips Photo 2003
Paul Paprskar Photo 2004
To share the beauty and wonder of Bowron Lake and provide an enjoyable holiday adventure
to all who visit, by being affordable, flexible, informative and honest. One visitor
says it all; "You treated me just like
family!" Fergus McNabb 2002 & 2003 & 2004 & 2006
&.... you get the picture!
Good Ole Fashioned Cash is the Boss!
At Bear River Mercantile, debit cards are completely
useless, we don’t have the ability to process them, and credit cards are right
behind. Yes, we know we could find
expensive, complicated systems that would enable us to accept plastic, but
we like to keep things simple and affordable.
So over the counter payment methods at Bear River Mercantile include Cash
(that’s the paper stuff -- Canadian or U.S.) and travelers cheque. (The only
credit card we can accept, if we have to, is MasterCard -- NOTHING ELSE!!)
North American pre-booked reservations can be paid with personal cheques
(from Canadian or U.S. banks) and money orders.
International pre-booked reservations can still be held with MasterCard
as a deposit, but we will not charge the card… we will hold the number as a
security deposit until you arrive at our counter to pay the full price of your
booking with cash or travelers cheques.
Click here to learn more about our Reservations,
Deposits & Payments.
Other Important Stuff
The nearest pay
phone or cash machine are in Wells & Barkerville (28 kms).
The nearest public sani-dump is between Barkerville and Wells, it is best to dump
septic tanks and fill fresh water tanks before turning onto the Bowron Lake
The nearest liquor store is in Quesnel (110 kms) so
buy your liquor before you arrive.
The nearest gas station which supplies both gasoline and
diesel is in Wells, the nearest propane outlet is in Quesnel.
Fishing Licenses must be purchased at home by internet,
in a Provincial government office or select suppliers in Quesnel before arriving at