Travel After Chilliwack - No. 1 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 01-01-2014, 11:54 AM   #1
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Travel After Chilliwack - No. 1

We are starting to plan our late May pickup in Chilliwack. While we are doing the pickup we will maximize our travel by spending three weeks in the Pacific Northwest. Our first question is regarding the days immediately after delivery. We are considering two options:

- Travel to Coquihalla Recreation Area, or there about, for the first night followed by the drive back to Highway 1 and then north to Lillooet, turning southwest on 99 to Whistler and Squamish for two days.

- Or head directly to Squamish for two days with a visit to Whistler.

We spent a week last fall in Jasper and Banff, our concern is the scenery in the interior will be some of the same we just saw in the Rockies. The coast line is something new to us and maybe deserves more of our time. Also, looking on the map to plan is different than actual conditions.

We plan a morning pickup, will need to pack the trailer with whatever gear we were able to cram into our 4Runner, shop for everything we could not bring along food, and get to our evening destination. Remember we have four years in our Escape 19 so we are pretty experienced hands at this process.
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:20 PM   #2
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I've driven the road from Whister to Lillooet and then back to Whistler. If you've not been on it, its 110km winding mountain road. We were staying in Whistler a few summers ago and the guy at Avis in Vancouver recommended it as great drive.

It was a great drive, but I'm very glad I did it in a rental car. I remember two things about that trip. It was 100 degrees F that day we ended up jumping in a nice little glacial swimming area in Lillooet.

I also remember several cars pulled off on the turnouts on the way back from Lillooet with their brakes smoking. I wish I had a picture, but somebody had a Pontiac Grand Am with smoke actually coming out of the front wheels. We actually had a vibration in the brakes on the rental car after that drive.

I'd go to Squamish and hang out in Whistler. There are some great views on the drive up from Vancouver.

We're pickup our 21 in April and probably going down the Oregon coast.
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:38 PM   #3
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Porteau Cover Provincial Park near Squamish is a really nice place to stay. It can be very busy at times so you may need to book early. Porteau Cove Provincial Park - BC Parks
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:53 PM   #4
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Although you will miss a lot of very beautiful country, I have to go along with Bill on this one, particularly if you are not used to mountain driving. The road from Lillooet to Squamish is one of the most scenic roads one can drive. However, it is a mountain road (it's not called the Sea-To-Sky Highway for nothing) and has its own set of issues. This is especially true when pulling a trailer.

We took the road a couple of years ago with our 19 and didn't have any problems. This was mainly due to some very good tips provided by another 19 owner who lives in Squamish and has traveled that road many times. Use a low gear, put on the 4-way flashers and pay attention. We drove the road both ways from Lillooet to Squamish and back. On the way down the hill to Lillooet, we found a motorhome pulled off the road with smoke coming out of the wheels! The scariest part for us was when we were just about to start downhill toward Squamish and we saw a highway sign that said "Steep Road Ahead - 26%" !!! I've driven lots of logging roads that were pretty scary and weren't even close to that.

Anyway, if you think you can handle it, go for it. The scenery, and the experience, is certainly worth it. However, being from Wisconsin, I doubt you have driven a lot of roads like that one <g>. The scenery from Vancouver to Whistler is spectacular as well so going that route, you will get a good taste of what the west coast of Canada is like. If you do go to Whistler, be sure to take the Peak-To-Peak Gondola ride. Words can't begin to describe that experience.

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Old 01-01-2014, 01:42 PM   #5
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Fudge-Brownie, the coastal and interior mountain terrain in BC is quite different than the Rockies in both geology and appearance, so you are unlikely to find the views monotonous.

As a native British Columbian and Vancouver Island dweller, and with due respect to the Coquihalla, Squamish, Lillooet, and Whister areas, might I suggest you head to Vancouver Island instead via the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo, and camp at a few of the many oceanside campgrounds there. You can then return to USA via the Coho ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles and camp down the highly scenic Olympic Peninsula to Oregon.

Vancouver Island's roads are not challenging, except for parts of Highway 4 over to Tofino and Ucuelet, which has some tight turns which demand that drivers stick to the speed limit. On the east coast of the Island avoids Highway 4.

Heading north from Nanaimo to Campbell River you have your choice of the 4-lane Inland Island Highway or the 2-lane Oceanside Route. Many people do a circle route by driving north on one and south on the other.

One caution: the BC and Coho ferries will each charge about $200 for their respective and highly scenic 90-minute and 2-hour crossings.

You'll have a great time anywhere in BC, but I just wanted to toss the idea of an Island visit into the mix.
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:54 PM   #6
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As a lifelong flat lander, we spent a bit of time in Squamish and Whistler last summer before heading over to Vancouver Island and the Pacific Rim National Park Areas. We were towing our 19' the entire way and had no problems with the steep grades or sharp turns, as long as we drove at speeds appropriate for the roads and conditions. We loved the scenery in the Squamish/Whistler area, but were quite disappointed in how commercial and developed Whistler has become, kind of like Banff on steroids. The Pacific Rim National Park was definitely my favourite place on our trip although as was mentioned, the ferry is a bit of a hit to your wallet.
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:05 PM   #7
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One caution: the BC and Coho ferries will each charge about $200 for their respective and highly scenic 90-minute and 2-hour crossings.
$200. Isn't that about the cost of a couple rounds of golf? And, you don't really get anywhere. You end up back at the clubhouse
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Old 01-01-2014, 03:31 PM   #8
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$200. Isn't that about the cost of a couple rounds of golf? And, you don't really get anywhere. You end up back at the clubhouse
Hi: gbaglo... You're right about golf... It's a fore letter word, and your in the hole sometimes!!! Alf
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Old 01-01-2014, 03:32 PM   #9
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The drive between Whistler/Pemberton and Lillooet, as noted, has some very steep sections between Pemberton and Lillooet called the Duffy Lake Road. From my experience the steepest section is going south down into Pemberton area. Going north down into Lillooet, although steep, is not as bad. The terrain through the summit of the Duffy Lake area is not bad at all. The scenery is spectacular especially in late May when there is still a lot of snow in the pass. 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?

Years ago we had the brakes smoking in our old 1989 Ford Aerostar coming south down into Pemberton loaded to the hilt with camping gear pulling a small utility trailer with bikes.

Doing a circle loop from Chilliwack to Whistler to Lillooet and back south via the Fraser River Canyon to Chilliwack would be a great drive during which you would experience several climatic and vegetation zones and of course the mountains. Rainforest like at Squamish to near desert conditions at Lillooet. Sea to Sky it truly is. You could have a great trip doing this circle route in 5 days or so. Total distance about 685 km (425 miles) via Cache Creek. Alternate route from Lillooet is 575 km (357miles) via Hwy 12 to Lytton.

Several Provincial and private camp grounds along the way:

Porteau Cove along Howe Sound already mentioned. About a 1.5 hour drive from Chilliwack area. About 140 km from Chilliwack or 20 km south of Squamish. Beautiful site along Howe Sound between Vancouver and Squamish. Ice-breaker’s photo tells it all. (Except for the occasional train that nearly comes through the park!! Don’t let that stop you from camping there though.) Reservation highly recommended, especially on a weekend.

Alice Lake Provincial Park 13 km north of Squamish.

Whistler RV Park and Campground about 40 km north of Squamish or 20 km south of Whistler.

Riverside Resort campground in Whistler.

Nairn Falls Provincial campground about 2 km south of Pemberton or 31 km north of Whistler.

There are some BC Forestry campground sites along the Duffy Lake section. Minimal facilities offered at these sites. Test out your boon-docking capability at these sites!

Not sure what Lillooet has to offer in regard to campgrounds.

There are two options heading out of Lillooet to complete the loop south. Highway 99 heading northeast joining highway 97 and Trans Canada Hwy 1 (TC1) at Cache Creek. Alternate route is Hwy 12 headed south from Lillooet to Lytton and TC 1. This is a shorter route. It is a coin toss as to which route has the best scenery!!

Marble Canyon Provincial campground. On Highway 99 about 48 km northeast of Lillooet and 40 km northwest of Cache Creek.

Juniper Beach Provincial campground – a side trip about 19 km east of Cache Creek on the Thompson River and TC1. Get up close with the two major train routes, CN & CP. They will definitely wake you up during the night here! Lost count of them during the night after about 7 or so.

Skihist Provincial campground about 6 km northeast of Lytton. A gem of a camp site in the Thompson/Fraser River Canyon area. Once again you can listen to both the CN and CP trains as they travel the Fraser and Thompson River routes but they are much lower down in the river canyon and therefore quieter.

Link to BC Provincial Campgrounds - BC Parks - Province of British Columbia

The experience will be quite different from your Banff/Jasper Canadian Rockies trip.

Just do it.
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Old 01-01-2014, 04:00 PM   #10
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Some photos of Lillooet area.
- market gardens in Lillooet
- Devils Canyon along Fraser River on Hwy 12
- ranch lands along Fraser River nearing Lytton, Hwy 12
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