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Wilderness Adventures - West Chilcotin Blog

This is about a remote area in west central British Columbia, Canada called the West Chilcotin. Surrounded by numerous glacial mountain ranges, alpine lakes teeming with wild Rainbow Trout, and full of wildlife. Living here goes from no running water or electricity to spacious log homes with all the conveniences and without the smog!
If you would like to see pictures of wildlife, mountains, lakes, exciting snowmobiling, events and more, and read some great contributed stories and ongoing blogs, just go into Archives on the lower left side of this page.

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Check out the Picture of the Day.


17/06/2014 12:30 PM

The Coast Trip

(July 2nd: Note: For some reason I managed to forget to upload the blog below before we left on a two week trip in June. I will try to write another here soon, but I'm playing catchup on chores first and waiting for a rainy day.)
On the last blog I mentioned that we had taken an interesting route home from our vintage trailer meet down on the Lower Mainland and it’s one that I would highly recommend if you are coming up from the Vancouver area, States, or Vancouver Island to the Cariboo or the Chilcotin. Or going to Alaska for that matter.
I have heard about the Dusty Lake road by way of Pemberton for many years and I had always wanted to go on it, but it definitely did NOT come highly recommended years ago. It was a long, dusty back road or basically a logging road for the longest time but has been paved for some while now, and I understood from asking people over time that it was drastically improved. Probably the only downside is that there is a long, long, fairly steep climb coming out of Pemberton and it doesn’t surprise me that the road had gained a bad reputation years ago for loss of brakes going down the one way and overheating radiators going up the other. With most vehicles nowadays including trailers and RV’s, it shouldn’t be a problem but if you think overheating might be, you might want to go up it in the evening if you are travelling on a very hot day, although at that elevation, I don’t expect it gets all that hot all that often. The same goes for going back downhill toward Lillooet if you are coming up the hill from that direction, and of course brakes are a consideration in both directions. I recommend using lower gears to go down the hills or you’ll have the same problems a lot of folks have on the Bella Coola Hill if they go down too fast. Your brakes are going to smoke. Now that I’ve done my duty and warned you of the downside to this route, I’ll let you in on the upside.
We left our vintage trailer meet at Mission on a Sunday which I highly recommend simply because pulling a trailer through the city of Vancouver, even on a highway, is no good any day of the week except on Sunday when it was actually a reasonably pleasant drive.
We arrived at Porteau Cove heading up the Sea to Sky highway early in the day so that we could drop the trailer and drive up to Britannia Mine Museum ten minutes up the road. Porteau Cove is a Provincial campground on the edge of Howe Sound and is really gorgeous with lots of huge trees, private camping spots and the ocean right at your feet. Other than in Alaska, we’ve never camped along the ocean before and this was a protected inlet, so it was really, really pretty.
I have to suggest stopping at Brittania Mine museum and giving it a couple of hours of your time. Particularly fascinating to me was getting to ride a rail car several hundred feet into the mine and listening to the guide run the drills used in the mine while it worked for a 100 years right up until 1974.
We drove around Squamish a bit but mostly just admired the incredible geology there that included monstrous smooth rocks including the Stawamus Chief that overshadows the town. It has become famous for rock climbing and is an amazing testament to what glacial action can do. Right near Squamish is a spectacular waterfall that steps down the side of the mountain called Shannon Falls. While our Hunlen Falls claims to be the third highest freefalling waterfall in Canada, supposedly these falls are the third highest stepped falls in Canada and much easier to reach! In fact, you can see them from the highway and stopping to take a closer look is worthwhile.
North of Squamish and south of Whistler is another breathtaking waterfall called Brandywine Falls that requires a nice but short walk into a viewing platform. If you're afraid of heights as I am, don't even bother to go out on it. You have to lean over the railing to see the huge hole that the rainbow lit waterfall pours into and that was impossible for me. Fortunately, Andy took photos on both our cameras so I could enjoy the spectacular sight through my photo browser at home.
Whistler is next on the Sea to Sky highway but I actually had no interest in touring it mainly because of its reputation as an expensive tourist stop and numerous people. I was more interested in getting on with the drive and seeing what was over the next hill. Which is exactly how we miss a lot of stuff because we're both bad for that.
We saw lots of nice country as the road climbed steadily and stopped at a really pretty lake to give the dogs a little walk..
After you climb up, you drop back down on a long winding highway with pretty views. There’s lots to see right to Lillooet where you hit totally different desert like country. It regularly holds temperature records for being the hottest place in the province and was easily 15 degrees warmer at 30C or 86F compared to earlier when we were much higher. We stopped long enough to grab a burger and get out of there because we had the dogs in the truck and it was way too hot for them.
I guess I had always been under the impression that it was quite a long highway and would take a couple of days to traverse rather than mere hours. I would definitely suggest taking a little more time than we did to enjoy the area and check out a few side trips including to Hat Creek Ranch but if not, it was a long day but we made it to Williams Lake in the early evening so you can certainly do the trip over from where the Sea to Sky highway starts to the Cariboo highway in a day if you like.

Last month's blog is at June Week One.

Anahim Lake Highway cam looking West.




The purpose of this web site is to draw attention to a remote area of west central British Columbia. It is a beautiful area that relies heavily on tourism. The search engines don't know much about the West Chilcotin, Anahim Lake, Nimpo Lake or any of the other small communities in the region and I hope to change that! Even as large as this site will eventually be, there just isn't enough room or time in the day to fully describe this incredible country but I am going to try scraping away at the tip of the iceberg, so join me!


Follow the links, and see what the West Chilcotin is really like!
Two people and child on paddle boards on ocean water with mountains behind.
 
Bleached white tree roots on beach.
 
Huge waterfall steps down the mountainside with mist.
 
Bright rainbow forms in the mist above falls that plunge straight down into a hole.
 
Glacier and mountains.
 
Green water of a glacier fed stream in deep woods.
 
Button leading to The Chilcotin Facebook Page.
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