Ashcroft, British Columbia Canada

Discover Ashcroft, British Columbia: A Historical and Touristic Overview

Ashcroft, British Columbia, is a charming village nestled in the Thompson Country of the Interior of British Columbia, Canada. With a population of 1,558 as of 2016, it is located 30 kilometres downstream from the west end of Kamloops Lake. The village is situated at the confluence of the Bonaparte and Thompson Rivers, within the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.

The Rich History of Ashcroft, British Columbia

Ashcroft was named after the nearby Ashcroft Manor on Ashcroft Ranch, founded in the 1860s during the Cariboo Gold Rush. English brothers Clement Francis Cornwall and Henry Pennant Cornwall, who emigrated from Ashcroft, at Newington Bagpath in Gloucestershire, established the town. Originally gold seekers, they decided to found the town to provide future gold searchers a place to saddle their horses. They sold flour to packers and miners, contributing to the community's growth.

Ashcroft was a significant stop for trains, where mining supplies were dropped off. The Canadian Pacific Railway reached Ashcroft in 1884, transforming the town into a division point and service centre for the rail line. The province built a bridge across the river in 1890, allowing travellers to ride the train to Ashcroft then board a stagecoach for a journey north.

The Unique Geography of Ashcroft, British Columbia

The geography in and around Ashcroft resembles that of desert terrain, due to the near desert conditions in lower elevation areas. This unique landscape has been marketed as sets for the film industry, with numerous old west films and movies depicting the Middle East using this area as a stand-in.

The Climate of Ashcroft, British Columbia

Ashcroft has a dry semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk). It is frequently one of the hottest places in BC in the summer and has the second highest temperature ever recorded in Canada. It also has short, moderate winters with light snowfall. Parts of Ashcroft along the Thompson River gorge are sufficiently arid to be classified as a pocket desert; this microclimate forms the only true desert in Canada.

Demographics of Ashcroft, British Columbia

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Ashcroft had a population of 1,670 living in 793 of its 876 total private dwellings, a change of 7.2% from its 2016 population of 1,558. With a land area of 50.86 km2 (19.64 sq mi), it had a population density of 32.8/km2 (85.0/sq mi) in 2021.

Transportation and Communication in Ashcroft, British Columbia

Ashcroft town is not on the Fraser Canyon Highway, rather it sits on the east bank of the river below the bench. The highway runs from Spences Bridge to Cache Creek, and there is a turnoff at the Ashcroft Ranch for a separate road that goes into town. As a flag stop Via Rail's The Canadian calls at the Ashcroft railway station three times per week in each direction. Ashcroft is served by a community television station (run by the Ash-Creek Television Society), CH4472 on VHF channel 4.

Attractions in Ashcroft, British Columbia

Ashcroft was home to the Nl'akapxm Eagle Motorplex, a ¼-mile IHRA-sanctioned dragstrip, which opened in 1987 and closed in April 2016. Ashcroft had its first annual Wellness Festival in July 2013.

Sister City of Ashcroft, British Columbia

The Japanese town of Bifuka, in Hokkaido, was twinned with Ashcroft in 1994. Tourism between Ashcroft and Bifuka residents is common.

Television and Film in Ashcroft, British Columbia

Ashcroft has been the filming location for numerous projects, including Sky High (1989 Disney film), Cadence (1990), Bird on a Wire (1990), The X-Files (1993 TV series), Double Cross (1994), Zacharia Farted (1998), Eyes of a Cowboy (1998 TV mini-series), The Pick-up (1999 short film), Lola (2001), Flower & Garnet (2002), Traffic (2004 mini-series), The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005), An Unfinished Life, Miss Texas (2005 TV movie), Partition (2007), Centigrade (2007 short film), Shooter (2007), Joyride 2: Dead Ahead (2008), The Andromeda Strain (2008 mini-series), 2012 (2009), Alien Trespass (2009), Rain Down (2010), Thirst (2010), The A-Team (2010), Flicka 2 (2010), Afghan Luke (2011), The Walk (2013 short film), The X-Files (2016 TV Series), Episode: "My Struggle", Tomato Red (2016), Fosters Beer commercial, Ford Car commercial, Gold Trails and Ghost Towns, Season 3, Episode 9, The Twilight Zone (2020).