Sea to Sky to Lillooet? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 04-17-2014, 06:47 PM   #1
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Location: Belchertown, Massachusetts
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Sea to Sky to Lillooet?

We are looking forward to picking up our new 19’ in late June!

But now I am mulling over travel plans after Chilliwack. We would like to go to Whidbey Island, the North Cascades, Vancouver, Sea to Sky highway, Vancouver Island $$, the Olympic Peninsula, Mt Rainier, Mt St Helens, and maybe Oregon depending on timing. We especially like hiking, oceans, mountains, waterfalls, and views.

My first question is – How crazy is it to do the Sea to Sky highway? We will be relatively new to towing. There is part of me that would like to make the whole loop around – to Duffy Lake and Lillooet and then down route 1, but I am not sure if this is overambitious. It is my understanding that there are extreme grades and hairpin turns. There is another part that says we should just go up to some point and turn around. Have any of you towed there? Any thoughts on making this trek?

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Old 04-17-2014, 07:40 PM   #2
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The "sea to sky" portion of Highway 99 - Vancouver and the first bit inland - is not at all difficult to drive, although it can suffer traffic problems. The further inland part was quite rough when I towed over it (but that was a few years ago), but I still enjoyed the drive; that's definitely a personal preference and individual towing rig issue. There is one very steep part with switchbacks, but it is very short - I would not hesitate to drive it again.

Now, for reference, I have driven the Crowsnest Highway (#3) in cars, a van, a van towing a trailer, and a large motorhome, and I like it. Others consider it far too twisty and hilly. Only you know where you fit in this spectrum of drivers.

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Old 04-17-2014, 07:59 PM   #3
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I agree with Brian. I was over it a few weeks ago, sans trailer, and it was snowing a bit near the summit. I didn't find the tight switch backs I've experienced elsewhere in the province in fact I found the California coast highway much worse. You wound probably be concentrating to much on the road and miss the scenery. I think a more enjoyable trip would be the road up through the Okanogan, head for Cache Creek and the down the Frazer Valley.
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Old 04-17-2014, 08:14 PM   #4
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I find crappy, switch back roads are only great for a passenger in the tug. As a driver.. I miss all the scenery because I'm spending my time concentrating!

If you get to a great campground, that's where the view starts. Think about that...
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Old 04-17-2014, 10:15 PM   #5
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Certainly, the more challenging the road, the less the driver gets to see the scenery; however, it is often also true that the less challenging the road, the less interesting the scenery. All I can suggest is taking turns driving (if that is an option), and stopping often to get out and look.

As for the difference in drivers: some people enjoy the twists and turns, others just find them annoying or stressful. Different roads for different folks...
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:21 PM   #6
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I much prefer the Crowsnest from Hope to the interior ( with all the curves and hills and often slow to 30 kph signs ) over the Coquihalla, a boring three lane highway with a speed limit of 110 kph.
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:18 AM   #7
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If you are interested in doing the Sea to Sky, Highway 99, from Vancouver To Lillooet I would say do it. It is a great circle route.

Have not towed a trailer on the Whistler to Lillooet section, Duffy Lake Road, but driven it a few times. The section from Vancouver to Whistler is an easy drive now with few sections that are only 2 lanes, one each way, thanks to the 2010 Olympics when major reconstruction took place.

As long as you are not in a hurry then you can relax and enjoy the views. It is not a busy highway from Pemberton to Lillooet especially in June so you wont be holding up traffic by slowing down and looking around.

I have driven both routes from Lillooet to Highway 1 with our 15A trailer and have no issues with either route. The two routes options are - continuing on 99 northwards to Cache Creek or southwards on Highway 12 to Lytton, on Highway 1. Both worth the drive. I would have hard time recommending one over the other.
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:22 PM   #8
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The road from Lillooet to Pemberton, Whistler, Squamish and on to Vancouver is beautiful but quite steep, with hair pin turns. Make sure you tow vehicle is tuned, your breaks are good and your refrigerater is strapped closed.
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:33 PM   #9
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The section from Pemberton to Lillooet is an amazing drive. Just remember that there are around 10 to 15 one lane bridges on that section of road and there are some tight switchbacks. It is worth the drive even if you turn around near Pemberton. Ride the gondola at Whistler or stay at the campground in Whistler it is a really fun place for all and is very family friendly.

Don't forget to spend some time in Idaho on your way back to Mass there are lots of amazing sites with not many people.
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:51 PM   #10
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Does everyone still know what a hairpin is? I have not seen one in years.


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