Wednesday, March 26, 2014

September 2013: Last Camping weekend for the year

This is a continuation of Part one      Here1     and Part two    Here2

    Seton Lake, near Lillooet BC

September 12, 2013:

I had a couple of vacation days left and I thought about riding to a close destination for one final camping weekend.   I decided upon Lillooet BC    Upon checking the internet for camping options I came across what I imagined to be a great location, on a sandy beach by the Fraser River.   I mean look at  click this , and for a back up location there was   this2    

I started out early taking the Sea to Sky highway past Whister into Pemberton where the temperatures started to get much hotter and then the fabled Duffey Lake Road until I stopped for a rest break at Seton Lake

It is much hotter on the east side of the mountains and the temperatures average 10-15°F higher than on the Coast.   You can tell from the change in landscape to a more arrid, desert area and this day was HOT.

I headed to the Old Suspension Bridge  (info here)    Access to this bridge is a gravel packed side road down the side of a hill and access to the campsite looked too difficult for me as it was steep but it was along the same road.

I decided to strip off my riding gear and snap a few photos of the bridge.   That trestle in the background goes to Carpenter Lake and Seton Portage

I was here many years ago before they refurbished this Bridge,  which is known as THE BRIDGE to the locals.  It now has new decking and crossmembers but only pedestrian traffic is allowed

I am tring to find the best angle, and of course include a photo of my trusty bike too

This Bridge spans the Fraser River and if you look South, you can see the Fraser Cove Campground  on the left.   I was imagining my tent set up on the sandy beach and hearing the sounds of the rushing water whilst waiting for morning . . .

Notice the access road coming down the hill.   It is steeper than it appears.  The campground is perched on a flat landing just above the river.  Here is a closer view

The last two switchbacks are gravel as you head down.   I eventually rode down that road going very slowly  only using my rear brakes . . .  and I made it down and then back up but I decided it was to daring for me so I stayed at the Cayoosh Creek Campground  instead, which is operated by the District of Lillooet

It seemed like I was the only one there but later on I met two others when they returned to camp.  It was nice to set up early and just enjoy the heat of the sun before it turned to night

The next day I headed to Lytton BC  (info here) 

Here is a teaser photo . . .

That is a reaction ferry.  It probably holds two cars.   There are cables to secure it to both sides of the river and a rudder which the current of the fast flowing water of the Fraser River is used to move the ferry from side to side (using only water power)


  1. wow Seton lake looks very different from when I rode by it last year as I rode towards Alaska.....

    very nice.

    1. Dom:

      It is usually very hot in this area. If you continue north on Hwy99 you will be riding under the rim of the Canyon and I think this is most scenic part of the Fraser Canyon. You will see lots of sagebrush and very few trees. You came too early in the season

      At the end of Seton Lake, there is Anderson Lake which is separated by a thin strip of land. That is where you will find the Indian town of Seton Portage, thus in the old days, you would portage from one lake to the other. You would have liked the ride over "the Pass"

  2. Beautiful BC - good thing they chose that slogan, it sure is fitting. I always enjoy seeing BC pictures.

    1. Trobairitz:

      when we had our Truck or Jeep, we would travel on many of those gravel backroads. You need a dual sport of some kind, not what we have. Lots of trail riding there. We spent many vacation days riding on dirt or gravel roads in the middle of nowhere.

      Of course when you are riding many times there is not space to pull over to snap a photo and I don't feel like walking a mile back. I did pass some bears but didn't notice them in time to stop.

  3. What is this "warm weather" you write about? Don't you need a fur coat where you live? You walk in your snow-capped mountains with bare arms and legs, and bare feet. Was this a local initiation ritual? I'm confused.

    1. David:

      This was probably our last HOT weather weekend of last year. It went downhill from there. One day you will get away from Winter but in the meantime I can make you think of the hot weather you may get someday (in the future, maybe)

  4. Bob, the scenery is beautiful but I keep thinking the only thing worse than steep switch backs are steep switch backs made of gravel ... oh, and my motto ... never stop for bears!

    1. Karen:

      the scenery is different than what you are used to in Flatlandia and our roads go through small towns in the middle of nowhere with few services.

      That road down the hill did have gravel switchbacks but I managed to turn around and go back up

  5. I agree with the comments about scenic BC. I always look forward to the area but I'm usually in a rush to get further south and don't explore much. Nice to have it as your "backyard"!

    1. Richard:

      I have traveled on most of these roads many times, but either in a Pick up, Jeep or 'Vette. So I generally don't stop much. When you see the scene many times they become ordinary but then you forget that others may not have seen them, so on the bike I am stopping more as long as there is a safe place to stop.

      One of the best roads in BC is Hwy 6 East from Vernon to Nakusp and then the ferry at Nelson to Crawford Bay and south to Creston.

  6. Bob, I rode off the ferry at N Vancouver and up to Lilloet in 2012. Past Pemberton, there is a switchback which is tight. 20 kmph if I recall. Well, I was too hot going in and had a crisis of confidence. Can still remember... . But not much harm done. A few scratches on the left pannier.

    The rest of the trip was slower, and the scenery beautiful. A first time in real mountains ride. Scary spots where you don't dare look at the scenery, just the road or over the cliff you might go. Few lookout areas as I remember. I'm hopeful I will do it again.

    1. Ed:

      There are switchbacks just south of Lillooet near the fish hatchery. You have to slow down . . . Glad you were okay. Did you continue north towards Pavillion Canyon which comes out at Cache Creek ? I have explored most of these roads.

      I have also taken Hwy 20 West right to Bella Coola and gone south to Chilco Lake

    2. Yes, on to Cache Creek, then on to Jasper, and more. Details on my blog.

  7. Replies
    1. Kathy:

      Thank you. I got to experience some of your scenery last summer. Quite a bit flatter than what we have out here with little population outside of the urban areas. On the East side of our Coast Range the temperatures are much hotter than near the ocean

  8. Replies
    1. Gary:

      That bridge was the only way to cross the Fraser River until they built the new Bridge of the 23 Camels.

      Because this is in a desert area, in the old days they experimented with using Camels I suppose instead of horses due to lack of water

      read the link. They bought 23 camels with the intention of using them to haul freight

      Lots of history here, also at Hat Creek Ranch (which is Haunted), and Ashcroft, BC