Originally Posted by gbaglo
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.
Were you perhaps not on the Duffy Lake Road but on the High Line Road which is the one that takes you to Bridge River, Shalath and Seton Portage area from Vancouver? It goes north from D'Arcy along the west side of Anderson Lake. Follows the BCHydro transmission lines for some parts. It was probably a worse road than the Duffy Lake Road back then. It certainly is now. Even if there were a GPS (not invented yet for public road access) it would not have been much help as you were either on the road, going over the bank into Anderson Lake or climbing up the mountian side off the road!
I don't think you can get from the Duffy Lake Road to Bridge River by vehicle without going all the way to Lillooet and then going further north and west along the Carpenter Lake Road to get back south to Bridge River? Too many mountains in the way. Much shorter from Vancouver along the High Line Road, if you could have called it a road!!
Back sometime in the late 1970's I was coming back from Prince George with a co-worker and we decided to break the routine trip up and see some different country. Ditto on the GPS! We were barely beyond using slide rules! We turned off Hwy 97 at Clinton and headed for Vancouver via Pavilion, Carpenter Lake and Bridge River as an alternate route. The distance looked shorter on the road map than coming the Fraser Canyon which we had driven many times before. Well, we were in for a surprise. Fortunately we had a 4x4 truck as some of the road was only BCHydro right-of-way access roads. We never had to use 4 wheel but certainly appreciated having the higher clearance.
It was different and scenic but we were no longer sure about shorter in distance like we had hoped for. It took forever and when we finally got to Whistler very late at night we were almost out of gas. Pulled up to the gas station just after the owner's son had locked up and was diving away. This was before there was a Whistler Village with the amenities it has today. We pleaded for him to give us some gas. He agreed, if we paid cash. What option did we have. We finally got home to Vancouver about 8 hours later than had we stayed on Hwy 97 down the Fraser Canyon on paved roads. A loss time wise, experience wise - priceless.
30 plus years ago the Duffy Lake Road was probably a gravel logging road but was being upgraded and slowly becoming a paved road. It would not have been much fun to drive back then either. Today it is a very nice road to drive if you are not in a hurry although the pavement can a bit rough n sections. I believe it is also popular with motor cycle riders as a circle tour.