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Old 01-01-2014, 04:18 PM   #11
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I realize that Highway 99 from Lillooet to Whistler has been well-covered in previous posts, but I'll add my experience...
  • The road is winding, in a scenic and interesting way that I really like.
  • There are some short but very steep sections. These were no problem for our Toyota Sienna van towing a 17-foot Boler (comparable in design to an Escape 17', but wider and with a leaf-spring axle); however, I didn't gear down enough for one descent (I think it was that one into Pemberton) and - even with electric trailer brakes - the brakes got pretty hot.
  • The surface was rough enough at the time (this was several years ago, and I think the road was been upgraded since) that a wheel cover (hub cap) popped of the trailer. It was like driving on a quiltwork entirely of pothole patches.

I would take this route again, if I were not in a hurry.

There are several mountain ranges in British Columbia. If you're into mountain scenery, there is variety in scale, shape, and type of vegetation.
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Old 01-01-2014, 04:19 PM   #12
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Duffy Lake road trip late March 2012 photos:
- near summit
- road down into Lillooet area
- nearing Lillooet
- Seton Lake near Lillooet
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Old 01-01-2014, 04:19 PM   #13
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How does Sunshine Coast hwy compare , please ?
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Old 01-01-2014, 04:43 PM   #14
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Whistler Peak to Peak Gondola, mid April 2013. Total distance 4.4 km (2.73 mi), unsupported span length 3.02 km (1.88 mi), height above Fitzsimmons Creek 436 m (1,427 ft).
Whistler Village in valley bottom, centre of photo.
Photo taken from over the skiing area of Whistler mountain looking northwards.
Fitzsimmons Creek is in the valley below the gondola car with the creek running towards the edge of the village area. The creek valley separates Whistler Mtn from Blackcomb Mtn ski areas.
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Old 01-01-2014, 05:10 PM   #15
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Suggestion. Stay close to the factory the first night. I know you've owned an Escape for several years. You say you have a morning pickup, but you'll still want to go through the new orientation for a new model. You may learn something. Adrenalin will be pumping and I'm betting you're going to be tired that first night. By staying close, IF something comes up, you'll be close enough to get it fixed at the factory before moving on towards home. I don't know when you'll be back on the west coast again, but I'm the type to want to see something brand new, if possible. Make more memories. Don't stay where you've stayed before just because it's "known." Make this a lifetime memory and add to the brain memory bank. You never know when you'll pass this way again. Good luck!
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Old 01-01-2014, 05:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gabeck View Post
How does Sunshine Coast hwy compare , please ?
Sunshine Coast is another great drive.
Starting off with a 45 minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay to Gibsons and Sechelt area. Most of the road is inland from the coast but good road. Lots of twists and turns but easy to navigate with trailer (have not actually towed our trailer up there).
Further up the coast you catch another ferry (this one is free) at Earls Cove to Saltery Bay connecting to Powell River. It traverses Jervis Inlet, a very scenic ride throught the Coast Mountains.

There is a Provincial campground 4 km north of Sechelt on Hwy 101 called Porpoise Bay. Another campground between the Saltery Bay ferry terminal and Powell River called Saltery Bay. Further up Hwy 101 north of Powell River, near the end of the road, is another cammpground called Okeover Arm Provincial Park. That is near the town of Lund.

There are no doubt some private camp grounds available but I have no experience or knowledge of them.

Skoomchuck Narrows is an attraction to visit. It is accessed from the area near Earls Cove. A narrowing in Sechelt Inlet which has some incredible tidal currents popular with the kayaking enthusists. Not so much with the sailing community unless you time it just right!

From Powell River you could do a circle route onto Vancouver Island landing near Comox and Courtney.

Taking a ferry to the Sunshine Coast involves only one fare which is a return fare. There is no other place to go from the Sunshine Coast so you have to come back!! The ferry from Powell River to Comox would therefore already be paid when you boarded at Horseshoe Bay. (Likewise if you returned back the way you came to Horseshoe Bay.) Of course you would then have to pay for ferry to get off Vancouver Island back to the mainland.

This is a great trip to make in September when the holiday traffic has died down and families have returned back to school. Takes the pressure off getting a camp site and catching ferries.
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Old 01-01-2014, 05:53 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
Sunshine Coast is another great drive.
Starting off with a 45 minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay to Gibsons and Sechelt area. Most of the road is inland from the coast but good road. Lots of twists and turns but easy to navigate with trailer (have not actually towed our trailer up there).
Further up the coast you catch another ferry (this one is free) at Earls Cove to Saltery Bay connecting to Powell River. It traverses Jervis Inlet, a very scenic ride throught the Coast Mountains.

There is a Provincial campground 4 km north of Sechelt on Hwy 101 called Porpoise Bay. Another campground between the Saltery Bay ferry terminal and Powell River called Saltery Bay. Further up Hwy 101 north of Powell River, near the end of the road, is another cammpground called Okeover Arm Provincial Park. That is near the town of Lund.

There are no doubt some private camp grounds available but I have no experience or knowledge of them.

Skoomchuck Narrows is an attraction to visit. It is accessed from the area near Earls Cove. A narrowing in Sechelt Inlet which has some incredible tidal currents popular with the kayaking enthusists. Not so much with the sailing community unless you time it just right!

From Powell River you could do a circle route onto Vancouver Island landing near Comox and Courtney.

Taking a ferry to the Sunshine Coast involves only one fare which is a return fare. There is no other place to go from the Sunshine Coast so you have to come back!! The ferry from Powell River to Comox would therefore already be paid when you boarded at Horseshoe Bay. (Likewise if you returned back the way you came to Horseshoe Bay.) Of course you would then have to pay for ferry to get off Vancouver Island back to the mainland.

This is a great trip to make in September when the holiday traffic has died down and families have returned back to school. Takes the pressure off getting a camp site and catching ferries.

Thanks , that sounds pretty good to us ….. did not think the ferry over included return ( or alternately to Courtney/Comox ) . Thought we might do that last year but just didn't have enough time ……. we might like to do that in June ……great info ! Really nice photos !
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Old 01-01-2014, 06:32 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by gabeck View Post
Thanks , that sounds pretty good to us ….. did not think the ferry over included return ( or alternately to Courtney/Comox ) . Thought we might do that last year but just didn't have enough time ……. we might like to do that in June ……great info ! Really nice photos !
June could be another good time to do the trip to avoid the crowds.
Weather is just not as good as Sept usually is!! But there must be a reason they call it the Sunshine Coast?

Yes, it is a return fare you pay.
Note in top right hand corner of BC Ferry Fare sheet link, page 5, it says "RETURN" and other fares note "ONE WAY".
All of a sudden it does not seem so bad paying to get to the Sunshine Coast.

OOPS - I just looked a bit further at the fares. Appears it is only the Horseshoe Bay to Langdale that is a return fare and not transferable to the Powell River to Comox ferry. See page 16 for the Powell River to Comox 'One Way" fares in the link below.
My memory has failed me from the time I did that circle trip 26 years ago. Since then I have only done the return from Horseshoe Bay. Thanks for questioning it, now I have learned my first new thing for 2014!

http://www.bcferries.com/files/fares.../BCF_Fares.pdf

One thing that will be changing for 2014 is the "FREE" fare for senior passengers Mon to Thurs. This was the latest announcement by the BC Gov as they deal with the aging demographic bubble!! I think it is changing to a 50% discount on the passenger fare real soon. Just when I was getting close, they change the rules!

I think I should go have a good cup of tea now.
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:08 PM   #19
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JohnB wrote: The Duffy Lake route is a winding highway but who is in a hurry when camping and you are busy craning your neck to see the mountains?

If you plan on driving the Duffy Lake Road, best to leave the neck craning to the passengers <g>.

Doug
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:16 PM   #20
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I last drove the Duffy Lake Road probably 30 years ago in a 2wd Datsun pickup. It was all gravel and switchbacks at that time. You had to go like stink into the corner in order to have enough momentum to get up the next hill.
We were heading for Bridge River and at one point the road became two tracks through the bush, but we made it, even without road signs and GPS.
I gather it's been paved and improved since then.
Tourism BC probably has info on this as a circle route.
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