A major center in Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, Williams Lake is 238 km/148 mi south of Prince George. Named for local Shuswap Chief William, the town is famous for hosting the Williams Lake Rodeo. The Cariboo Wagon Road road skirted Williams Lake, passing instead through 100 Mile House. The Pacific Great Eastern Railway arrived in 1919, and by the 1940s had made Williams Lake the largest cattle shipping centre in the province.
The City of Williams Lake Airport provides scheduled service daily to Vancouver. BC Rail has three departures north and south weekly.