Saturday, November 15, 2008

Duffey Lake and the Cayoosh Creek Canyon

Our drive was on a day that clouds had moved in after the sun had been shining earlier but as we left Seton Lake to drive to Duffey Lake, we saw this magnificent view of the first snowfall of the season up on the mountain tops ahead.

                                                The first snowcaps of the season

One needs to drive with care due to some rough spots on this stretch of road, especially if youre driving the RV but with the proposed road improvements coming, this route will be even better for the RV travellers as well as everyone else. It won’t change the camping facilities but will make the drive much easier. The views are so beautiful that you’ll want it to be a slow drive to get the full benefits.

First glimpse of Duffey Lake

Duffey Lake in the Cayoosh Creek Valley sits beside Hwy. 99 and is about 50 km (30 mi) from Lillooet, BC. This route was used historically for First Nations to travel into other parts of the province. Our visit this day followed the first overnite snowfall of the season on the mountain tops. Although we had no snow at our level, we had very low cloud coverage at times so that prevented us from seeing most of the mountain views, but what views we did have were great.

                                      Snowcaps a vision at the end of Duffey Lake

The sun was shining on the snow-capped mountains at the far end of the lake and made it look like a special effect on this already beautiful scene.
Duffey Lake Provincial Park is centered around Duffey Lake. It covers 2007 Hectares, (4,960 A.) and offers many opportunities to hike, climb, rockhound and just enjoy the pristine views. Duffey Lake Campground, alongside Hwy 99 has facilities limited to picnic tables, but offers the opportunity to canoe, kayak or fish for the rainbow trout stocked in the lake.

                                           Coyoosh Creek leading us back to Lillooet

As we made our way back to Lillooet at the end of the day, the view of Cayoosh Creek in the valley below us shows the beautiful fall colors. With the high mountains surrounding every turn, it was too late in the day to get the benefit of the sunshine down there but the view was reminding us of the shorter fall days and the season changes coming.

Cayoosh Creek from Seton Lake to Lillooet, B.C.

We’ve been RV’ing in the Lillooet, B.C. area for several days now and have seen some incredible scenery. Lillooet, pop. approx 2500, has all the necessary shopping facilities, restaurants and more, so it makes a great place to park the RV in one of the local RV parks, especially if you have a larger one. Lillooet, BC is the hub of Hwy’s 99,#40 and #12 so a perfect location to start your day from.

Beautiful fall colors on Cayoosh Creek

Following Hwy 99 southwest from Lillooet, the road follows alongside Cayoosh Creek and offers some beautiful fall colors to enjoy along the banks of the creek in October.

Lillooet has been our home base and we’ve taken day trips to see the rest. There is so much to enjoy in this part of the Circle Tour – Lower Mainland and one has to be here to appreciate how beautiful it really is. Summer might offer the best weather but shoulder seasons could be wonderful, too. Our timing was chosen due to work but the fall is such an exciting time to get nature’s changing colors and so I was excited about the possibilities.

Gyro Park on Cayoosh Creek

Gyro Park is beside the road with lots of room to park your RV while you enjoy listening to the babble of the creek and admire the scenery. This one does not have camping facilities but we’ve seen several campgrounds on our daytrips, many of them look more appropriate for camping with smaller vehicles or tents. Most of them are government campgrounds and so you can check with their online information for availability if you’re planning on using them. A very nice one is only 6 km (3.5 mi) out of Lillooet at the Seton Lake Reservoir Recreational area. There are 45 campsites, many under the trees to offer shade and cool in the summer months.

Seton Lake

The first time I saw Seton Lake with it’s turquoise water and majestic surroundings, it reminded me of Lake Louise, Alta., which I’d first seen many years ago and have never forgotten. No matter what season it is, it is a beautiful sight, although the color varies with the season and the light.

Seton Lake is 243.8 M.(800 ft) above sea level and is 27 km (17 mi) long. The area has 3 private campgrounds and a free 60 site campground. During the summer months, the sandy beaches offer great access to swimming, canoeing, kayaking or water-skiing. Sailboats might especially enjoy the lake with the wind that often comes up. Fishing offers rainbow trout and mountain whitefish.

The train's scenic drive along Seton Lake

Seton Lake was once a major transportation route by boat for all local people from one end to the other. This changed once the railroad was chiselled out of the banks along the lakeside. I couldn’t help but notice the serene lake as the train took the scenic trip on its way to deliver the goods it carried. It is amazing to think of the changes that took place in a relatively short span of time in our history.


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