Posted by: cherylyoung | February 21, 2012

Want to see ocean and rainforest, alpine peaks and glaciers, dry rock canyons mountain goats and bighorn sheep- all in the same day?


Tour the Duffey Lake Loop

By Larry Pynn

Want to see ocean and rainforest, alpine peaks and glaciers, dry rock canyons mountain goats and bighorn sheep- all in the same day?

Only the Duffey Lake loop can deliver such diversity in just a day tour from Vancouver.

The trip also know as the Coast Mountain Circle Tour, is a circle route of nearly 600 kilometres, beginning with the scenic Sea to Sky Highway portions of Highway 99 north along Howe sound, through Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton.

Just past the Lil’wat First nation at Mount Currie, the duffey Lake Road section of Highway 99 begins, angling northeast.

Drivers wind steeply uphill through the Coast Mountains. Past Joffre Lakes Provincial Park, Matier Glacier and 2,721-metre Joffre Peak.

They follow the south shore of 6.5 Kilometre Duffey lake at 1,097 metres elevation and continue on through an increasingly dry landscape to Lillooet on the Fraser River, the historic Mile 0 of the old Cariboo Pavilion road to the gold fields.

Motorists then have the option of following the Fraser Canyon southeast to Lytton via a dirt road on the west side or paved Highway 12 on the east, both thrilling, snaking the routs with sheer drops.

Or, for a longer loop, they can continue northeast from Lillooet on Highway 99, past Pavilion Lake to Highway 1, south through Cache Creek and along the Thompson River to Lytton.

They it’s a straight shot south through the Fraser Canyon to Hope and Vancouver.

Motorcyclists routinely do the loop in one day, but I advise at least two, better yet three or four.

Explore Whistler Village, camp at recreation sites on Cayoosh Creek northeast of Duffey Lake, watch aboriginals at their traditional fishing and drying racks in Lillooet in summer,  It’s all fabulous, but the Mount Currie to Lillooet stretch is my favourite, despite the wicked switchbacks, potholes and clearcuts, because it traverses almost 100 kilometres of high country that so far remain free of commercial development.

Drivers who follow the route counterclockwise will enjoy better views of Matier Glacier and avoid having the setting sun directly in their eyes during the homeward stretch

Special thanks to “Beautiful British Columbia”






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