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 Home > Travel BC > BC Cities and Towns > Cariboo Chilcotin Coast > Lillooet

Lillooet
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 Coast Region.

Travelling Here
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.

Famed Gold Rush
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.

Mile '0'
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.

1859
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.

Climate 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.

Heritage 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.

Lillooet Jade Park
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.

'The Old Bridge'
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.

Limitless Adventure
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.

Fishing 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.

Upper 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.

RV Camping
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 access.

Retasket 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 Lillooet.

Kwotlanemo (Fountain) Lake
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 from Lytton.

Hwy 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 Duffy 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.

Two Separate Routes
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.

Gold 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.

Mission Mountain
The trip to Seton Portage means you go over Mission Mountain then take the summer-only 4x4 High Line 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.

BC 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.

Information on Lillooet

 

 

Map of Lillooet
click map for larger image

 

Hwy 99 into Lillooet from Fountain
Hwy 99 into Lillooet from Fountain

 

Mile 0 Monument
Mile 0 Monument

 

Lillooet next to the Fraser River
Lillooet next to the Fraser River

 

Lillooet Museum
Lillooet Museum

 

1913 Built Suspension Bridge
1913 Built Suspension Bridge

 

Mountain Valley
Mountain Valley

 

Confluence of the Bridge and Fraser Rivers
Bridge and Fraser Rivers

 

The Old Bridge
The Old Bridge

 

Fraser Cove Campground
Fraser Cove Campground

 

Kwotlanemo (Fountain) Lake
Kwotlanemo (Fountain) Lake

 

Looking towards Lillooet on Hwy 99
Looking towards Lillooet on Hwy 99

 
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