Lillooet is located 87 km (54 miles) south of Cache
Creek and 100 km (63 miles) north of Pemberton
on Hwy 99 in the southern part of British Columbia's Cariboo Chilcotin
To get here from the Trans-Canada Hwy 1, either travel to Lytton
and then take Hwy 12 or take Hwy 99 from just north of Cache Creek
at the junction of Hwy 97. The Hwy 12 route goes along beautiful
vistas of the Fraser River bench lands, whereas Hwy 99 takes you
past the historic Hat Creek Ranch, Marble
Canyon Provincial Park and Pavilion.
Lillooet played a large part in helping to settle the population
throughout the heartland and northern BC during the famed gold rush
of the late 1800's. People would take riverboats up the Fraser River
and Harrison Lake, then use the Douglas Road to Pemberton. From
here, boat on Anderson Lake to Seton
Portage, then continue on Seton Lake through Lillooet eventually
to Big Bar and the Cariboo, many on foot.
Lillooet was officially known as Mile '0' when travelling up the
Cariboo Trail along the Cariboo Pavilion Road. Other community names
in the Cariboo region reflected this fact when distances were calculated.
Names such as 70 Mile House, 100 Mile
House, 108 Mile Ranch and 150 Mile House were named from the
mileage back to Lillooet at the starting point.
At it's height in 1859 Lillooet had the largest population west
of Chicago with the exception of only San Francisco. This was the
gold rush along this section of the Fraser River and Lillooet was
buzzing with activity of dreamers, miners, fortune hunters and their
hopes of future discovery of gold.
Similar to Lytton and Osoyoos
You will find Lillooet is blessed with a climate very similar to
Lytton or Osoyoos
and can lay claim to some of the highest summer temperatures in
Canada. Not only are the summers very enjoyable but also the winters
tend to be quite tolerable - dry with beautiful blue skies and very
little snow on the ground.
Tour and Lillooet Museum
Once in Lillooet, take note of all the heritage buildings and icons
placed throughout Main Street. If you have the time, please take
in the heritage tour called, 'Lillooet's Golden Mile of History'
or visit the Lillooet Museum which shows artifacts of the proud
history found throughout the region.
When you visit Lillooet, one thing you'll notice are the beautiful
carvings and monuments of jade that are displayed at the spectacular
Lillooet Jade Park found on Main Street. The park was developed
by George Vanderwolf and other volunteers to help publicize the
fact that the official gemstone of British Columbia was found not
only in Dease Lake
but also in Lillooet.
Walking around Lillooet is very relaxing and quite pretty especially
along the Fraser River benches. Take your time and walk or cycle
over the 1913-built suspension bridge, known locally as 'The Old
Bridge' into town and follow the path of past explorers.
For people who love the outdoors, Lillooet is limitless with adventure
and discovery. The list is endless from viewing the Seton river
spawning channel, fishing for sturgeon on the Fraser, golfing, mountain-biking,
heli-biking, hiking, rock hounding, trout fishing at Fountain Lake
to hunting big game in the alpine meadows surrounding the town.
at Bridge River
One thing you might want to see is the local First Nation fish preservation,
wind-dried salmon called ts'wan. Go to the point where the Bridge
River enters into the Fraser River on the road to Shalalth and Gold
Bridge about 6 km (4 miles) north of Lillooet. Also a good time
to plan this is during the months of August and September when the
salmon are returning to spawn in the local creeks and rivers.
St'at'imc First Nation - The Xwisten Community
You can park near where the bridge crosses over the Bridge River
for a good viewpoint. If time permits, you can take a guided tour
put on by a member of the Upper St'at'imc First Nation the Xwisten
Community and witness to the traditional methods which includes
a fresh cooked barbecued salmon.
Lillooet has two very nice RV sites from which to choose. The Lions
Cayoosh Creek Campground is located just across the Bridge of the
23 Camels and is convenient to town. Fraser Cove Campground is right
next to the Fraser River and has a sandy beach with beautiful views
of the old 1913-built Fraser River Suspension Bridge. If you have
a computer, Fraser Cove offers free, high-speed wireless Internet
Lodge & R.V. Park
You can also find a lodge plus five full service RV sites at Retasket
Lodge & R.V. Park. The lodge is proudly owned by the T'it'q'et
of the St'a't'imc Nation and is conveniently located close to downtown
A real local favourite is to try the trout fishing at Kwotlanemo
(Fountain) Lake. You have to travel from Lillooet north on Hwy 99
to the small settlement of Fountain. From here, you turn off on
a gravel road and travel up the Fountain Valley to Kwotlanemo (Fountain)
Lake. Or, you can also get to Fountain Lake off of Hwy 12 coming
99 - the 'Sea to Sky'
Lillooet lies along Hwy 99 which offers you another route to Vancouver
through Mount Currie,
Pemberton, Whistler and Squamish
sometimes called the 'Sea-to-Sky Highway.' This all-season road
climbs up past BC Hydro's Seton Dam, Seton Lake along Cayoosh Creek
through beautiful snowcapped mountains and glacial-fed lakes in
Lake and Joffre Lakes Provincial Parks where you can do some
great hiking or canoeing. Along the way you can find a number of
no-fee rustic campsites on the banks of Cayoosh Creek including
a favourite close to town which is maintained and operated by BC
Hydro called the Seton Dam Campground.
For the more adventurous two other separate routes to Pemberton
are also available Forest Service Roads from Lillooet. The two roads
are both much longer in time and involve going to either Gold Bridge
or Seton Portage and can only be attempted during the summer.
Bridge - Bralorne
This route involves travelling along the Bridge River, eventually
to Carpenter Lake and following the lakeside into Gold Bridge and
eventually Bralorne. Along this route,
you'll pass the turnoff for Mission Mountain Road to Shalalth and
Seton Portage. Once you're at Gold Bridge, the road to Pemberton
follows the Hurley River Forest Service Road over the alpine into
the Pemberton Valley from the Lillooet River Forest Service Road.
The trip to Seton Portage means you go over Mission Mountain then
take the summer-only 4x4 Highline Road along Anderson Lake to D'Arcy,
then to Pemberton. This trip involves a very rough steep ascent,
then a descent over Mission Mountain but the tremendous views of
Carpenter and Anderson Lakes along the way are worth it.
Dawson Road Maintenance has planned to
close the Highline Road at Telford Bridge area to perform road repairs.
The construction closure will begin July 27th, 2020 and continue
until at least September 21, 2020 and possibly beyond this date.
There will be no public assess through the road or worksite during
this time. For more information please check with Dawson
Hydro's Trezaghi Dam
If you would like to go to Seton Portage look for the Mission Mountain
Road, which goes over BC Hydro's Trezaghi Dam, 47 km (29 miles)
from Lillooet. Shalalth is 18 km (11 miles) and Seton Portage 25
km (16 miles) from here but expect to take at least an hour because
of the rough road conditions.