John Harvey Photo

A Weekend in LillooetGo to Slide Show

The kids and I explore part of the interior



Playground At Sea To Sky Gondola
Helen works roughly one weekend in seven.  In the summer the kids no longer have lessons on the weekends.  This year, the Helen worked a weekend before our summer vacation so I was able to make a long weekend get away adventure.  I drove through Lillooet once before, driving from Kamloops back to Vancouver and I remember it as a small town in the dry interior.  I wanted to spend more time in the town and the area around to see what was there, a few hours from Vancouver.

The kids and I left early Saturday morning and started driving up toward Whistler.  The kids can only tolerate so much time without physical activity so my first stop was Shannon falls.  We got to the parking lot and there were no parking spots.  We continued along the highways a few hundred meters and stopped at the Sea to Sky Gondola.  We parked in the hiking lot (still had space) and the first things the kids spotted was the playground.  The quite enjoyed the whimsical little village.  We then walked to Shannon falls and the kids took in the view.

Claira In Little HouseStump As StageStump For Hiding InLight Coming Through Mist

We drove up to Whistler and got a "to go" lunch for the car and then continued North to Pemberton, Mount Currie and then the drive over the pass to Lillooet.  We passed the parking lot at Joffre lakes - both the main and the overflow lots were full and people parked on the side of the highway for up to a km away.  We hoped to park on the way back.

My hope was to get to Lillooet before a small bakery there closed.  We arrived by 3pm and were disappointed to find it hadn't opened that day - operations issues.  Hot from a long car ride, we went to Seton lake for a swim.

Swim In Seton LakeLooking At Stones
Seton lake is cold.  It's a deep lake and the swimming area is close to the inflow from an alpine river.  It was a warm day (coming up on 30) so the cool lake was nice, but it's cold enough that the kids couldn't stay in for a long period of time.

We had dinner at the best reviewed restaurant in town (Greek restaurant, that serves pizza and chicken strips with fries).  The don't have a kids menu, but the kids have figured out to look around at what the other kids are eating and ask for the same.  They got their favorite.

After dinner we went for a walk to the old suspension bridge, just North of town.  There is an Osprey family on one of the towers and they seem quite patient with people walking underneath.  I was hoping to see some bats flying out at dusk but no such luck today. 

 
Looking At Fraser From Old Suspension BridgeRail Bridge Over FraserOsprey On Nest

 
  We went home and went to bed.  The two kids fit in a single Queen sized bed, but it was a bit of struggle to get them to go to sleep.  It did eventually work out.
 
The next morning started with a walk at the fish spawning grounds at Sekw'el'was First Nation.  The Seton river has a large section carved out as a bypass to the dam and as fish habitat to replace the habitat damaged by feedways.  The place was empty (wrong season) but it was still good to get the kids out of the car for a walk around before we went for our day of exploring.
 
On Dock Watching WaterDamselfly On GroundGrasshopper Blending In

Yellow Salsify Seed Head


I hit gold with a butterfly.  Western Tiger Swallowtails are pretty common in Vancouver, but they never stop moving.  When they do (rarely) stop moving, it's to perch in a tree way off the ground.  We were wandering by the car and a butterfly stops on a thistle and just stops.  It was cool in the morning and I suspect the butterfly was having a drink.  I couldn't believe my luck - I shot photos and brought the kids over to see.  Soon enough, the swallowtail was on it's way.

Western Tiger Swallowtail DrinkingWestern Tiger Swallowtail On Thistle

Museum In Lytton
One of the goals of the day is to visit the outdoor swimming pool in Lytton.  We stopped by here last year on our Spences Bridge roadtrip and we all really liked it.  The pool is large with a large shallow end.  Mountains surround the pool and the air is hot so the cool water is extra refreshing.  The amenities are basic, but everything you need.


Swimming ContestTourist Info Centre

River Ferry Crossing
After our pool time, we got dressed and went for a car ride.  I wanted to take the ferry across the fraser.  The people in the visitor info centre told us they don't mind giving people a ride over and then back again, but they suggested we might want to drive to Stein Valley to see the rock art between our trips.  Plan made!  We drove over to the ferry and were the second (and final) car on the ferry.  The crossing took about 5 minutes.


Car Ferry On Fraser

We drove to the head of the Stein Valley and started walking.  The Stein Valley was really dry, but is right next to a powerful, cold river.  We walked over a bridge and the cool water from the river dropped the surrounding air temperature to comfortable.  A few meters later we were at talking rock looking at the art.

Kids In Front Of Talking RockPictograph At Talking Rock


By the time we got back to the car, the kids were cooked.  We drove back, over the fraser on the ferry and then back into Lytton for an ice cream.  After eating the ice cream on the grass (my kids are too messy to eat a cone in the car), we packed back into the car and drove by to Lillooet.  Both kids fell asleep in the car.

Lillooet Valley Before Moonrise
If you look BC on a light pollution map, Vancouver and Victoria are basically a write off - too much light pollution.  Lillooet is nearly light pollution free.  I was thinking of taking some photos after the sun went down, but the moon came up shortly after and my camera can't really handle the contrast.  I did get a photo of the view from our Air B&B just before the moon came up.



  Smokey View
The next morning we woke up to smoke.  The forest fires burning near Cache Creek had blown over the mountain and the valley was now obscured.  You could taste the smoke when you breathed.  It was time to go home.  The kids were playing in the field across from the house and stumbled upon (but not into) a prickly pear cactus.  They really wanted to show me the spikes.

Brittle Prickly-pear Cactus

The goal of the drive home was to be in Vancouver in time for dinner so we weren't really in a rush.  Highway 99 between Lillooet and Pemberton is beautiful so we stopped a few times to take in the views.  Our first stop was at the foot of Duffey Lake. 

Unseasonal Snow
It looks like an avalanche came down the previous winter and there was a large pile of snow covered in debris at the side of the road - the kids wanted a climb.  On the way back to the car, we saw a patch of flowers.



Roadside LupinsColumbian Lily
I started taking photos of the flower when another call pulled over.  A passenger got out and started peeing on the flower about 4 meters to the left of me.  I decided I wasn't going to spend a lot of time poking around.


As we drove higher, the flowers started to crowd the side of the road.  The ditch at the side of the road was filled with Bog Orchids and orange patches of Columbian Lily highlighted the slopes.  I pulled over again and took a few quick pictures.

PaintbrushLotuscorniculatusWhite Bog Orchid



Kids At Lower Joffre Lake
Our next destination was Joffre Lakes.  Helen and I camped at Joffre Lakes years ago.  The parking lot was mostly full, but not nearly as crazy as the previous Saturday.  There is a constant traffic of day trippers parking, walking and leaving so spots do come free.  We walked the few minutes down the trail to see Lower Joffre lake.

Reedy Shallows

It was an overcast day so the glacier wasn't a gleaming white sheet against a blue sky, but you still appreciate the beauty of the area.

Lower Joffre Lake

Canadian Dogwood
On the walk back from the lake, we did a scavanger hunt looking for flowers.  I was surprised how many different species the kids found in about 300 meters, but they are pretty good with their spotting eyes.


Queens CupSitka ValerianTrailside Salmonberry

Joffre Lakes was our last stop before we drove home.  We stopped for pizza in Pemberton and were home well before dinner.  Great road trip!




Stump For Hiding In
Person: Claira, Nara
Tags: stump
Stump As Stage
Person: Claira, Nara
Altitude: 45m (147 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: stump
Rail Bridge Over Fraser
Altitude: 220m (721 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bridge, rail
On Dock Watching Water
Altitude: 211m (692 feet)
Location: Go To...
Car Ferry On Fraser
Altitude: 141m (462 feet)
Location: Go To...
Paintbrush
Species: Castilleja miniata (Giant Red Indian Paintbrush)
Unseasonal Snow
Altitude: 1101m (3612 feet)
Location: Go To...
Western Tiger Swallowtail Drinking
Species: Papilio rutulus (Western Tiger Swallowtail)
Altitude: 185m (606 feet)
Location: Go To...
Light Coming Through Mist
Altitude: 45m (147 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: waterfall
Lower Joffre Lake
Altitude: 1232m (4041 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: lake
Pictograph At Talking Rock
Altitude: 206m (675 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: art, native art, rock
Claira In Little House
Person: Claira
Altitude: 43m (141 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: door, house, playground
Playground At Sea To Sky Gondola
Tags: playground
Looking At Fraser From Old Suspension Bridge
Altitude: 222m (728 feet)
Location: Go To...
Damselfly On Ground
Species: Argia vivida (Vivid Dancer)
Altitude: 215m (705 feet)
Location: Go To...
Kids At Lower Joffre Lake
Altitude: 1232m (4041 feet)
Location: Go To...
Smokey View
Sitka Valerian
Species: Valeriana sitchensis (Sitka valerian)
Altitude: 1232m (4041 feet)
Location: Go To...
Reedy Shallows
Altitude: 1232m (4041 feet)
Location: Go To...
Swimming Contest
Tags: pool, swimming
Lotuscorniculatus
Species: Lotus corniculatus (bird's-foot trefoil)
Kids In Front Of Talking Rock
Altitude: 206m (675 feet)
Location: Go To...
Lillooet Valley Before Moonrise
Tags: long exposure, night, stars
Canadian Dogwood
Species: Cornus canadensis (Canadian Dogwood, Canadian bunchberry)
Altitude: 1232m (4041 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tourist Info Centre
Person: Claira, Nara
Tags: pool, swimming
Roadside Lupins
Altitude: 1146m (3759 feet)
Location: Go To...
Grasshopper Blending In
Altitude: 210m (688 feet)
Location: Go To...
Swim In Seton Lake
Altitude: 226m (741 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: lake
Yellow Salsify Seed Head
Species: Tragopogon dubius (yellow salsify)
Altitude: 213m (698 feet)
Location: Go To...
Looking At Stones
Altitude: 236m (774 feet)
Location: Go To...
Brittle Prickly-pear Cactus
Species: Opuntia fragilis (brittle prickly pear)
River Ferry Crossing
Western Tiger Swallowtail On Thistle
Species: Papilio rutulus (Western Tiger Swallowtail)
Altitude: 185m (606 feet)
Location: Go To...
Queens Cup
Species: Clintonia uniflora (bride's bonnet, Queens Cup)
Altitude: 1232m (4041 feet)
Location: Go To...
White Bog Orchid
Species: Platanthera dilatata (white bogorchid)
Osprey On Nest
Species: Pandion haliaetus (Osprey)
Altitude: 214m (702 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: nest
Columbian Lily
Species: Lilium columbianum (Columbian lily)
Altitude: 1145m (3756 feet)
Location: Go To...
Trailside Salmonberry
Species: Rubus spectabilis (salmonberry)
Museum In Lytton
Altitude: 198m (649 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Museum
Tags: playground(2), stump(2), lake(2), swimming(2), pool(2), house(1)
People: Claira(4), Nara(3)
From: John Harvey Photo > John's Overnight Page > Lillooet

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