Lillooet - Pavilion Lake - Cache Creek - Lytton



On a motorcycle or in a car, the loop that encompasses these towns is filled with spectacular scenery; the Fraser Gorge,  glistening serene Pavilion Lake, mysterious valleys and soul satisfying vistas reminding us that we are only visitors in an ancient land. Tread softly, this is not the place to make your mark. The hardy passers by who once followed these trails to dreams of gold left weathered reminders of their passing. Treasures for our eyes. You will be filled with an awe of nature along this route and if you are lucky enough to be able to follow it midweek, you'll have only the silence of your reverence to accompany your thoughts of humility.

Ride or drive slowly, and it's all within striking distance of Vancouver. 

Big Sky country, near Lillooet  Indian Church near Cache Creek, BC  Chicory at the roadside
Fraser Gorge at Bridge River  Indian settlement at Pavilion, BC 
Waiting winter, north of Lillooet  Thompson River  Rabbit Brush  fishing camp on Pavilion Lake  
vibrant Pavilion Lake  Suzuki Katana, ready willing and able  Lake Pavilion autumn  Chiminey Rock in Marble Canyon  Pavilion Lake Autumn 
Bighorn Mountain Sheep, Cache Creek  mysterious Pavilion Lake  Hay field on the Fraser Plateau  Hat Creek Ranch - said to be haunted  potential friend  Ranch country   Mysterious caves near Marble Canyon
Autumn near Cache Creek  Young Black bear  abandoned homestead  Thompson River near Cache Creek   


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On this meandering route north of Lillooet, you'll look down on the awesome Fraser River gorge far below.  The rocky channel the Fraser carves through and the Bridge River joins. The Fraser eventually spills  800,000 gallons (3550 cubic litres) of fresh water per minute into the sea at Vancouver.  The air is fresh up here. Indian settlements, farms and ranches are everywhere, with picturesque churches and weathered cabins reminiscent of Gold Rush days.  And long vistas of purple hills with nothing but sky at the end.   

The Marble Canyon has a mysterious feel to it, with strange outcroppings of rock towers jutting oddly from the mountain sides, making you feel as though they were once watch towers guarding whatever lurks beneath the crystal waters of Pavilion Lake.  Unique in the world, Pavilion Lake has been found to have odd coral-like formations in its depths. Called microbialites and thought to have been associated with Earth's earliest life forms. There is also a strange ridge at the bottom of the lake with growths of interconnected mounds that are unexplained and under study by UBC scientists. Even NASA is studying the lake for a Mars expedition. Some believe that the whole valley was once a huge cavern that caved in. Indians here were wary of this area. Perhaps life was being cultivated here a billion years ago and watched over carefully by some other life form in those towers? Yet the lake has a magnetic attraction for its wonderful luminosity of blue green hues in sunlight. Now a protected ecosystem.

Indifferent horses are everywhere. Cowboy horses that aren't friendly because humans only mean work for them. You might see a bear among the pines, luxurious in his black coat.  Eagles and falcons will be glimpsed hunting from the sky.  The Hat Creek Ranch is said to be haunted. Near Cache Creek the big sky country seems of endless velvet hills with shafts of sunlight dancing down their rippling folds. Others melting into tinctures of purple and blue. The Thompson streams its water steadily toward the Fraser at Lytton, often the hottest place in Canada.

The road is well paved and smooth all the way.  Each twist and turn brings a new look to the countryside. High cliffs, pine forests, some devastated by the Mountain Pine Beetle, others still green, and endless expanses of honey wheat grasses beside small farm plots with rambling fences. Aspens and maples splash yellow and orange into the hills in autumn.  And even if you're with a partner,  you may roll along in the silence of nature's awe.  A wonderful respite from the clanging city.  You might even see a road sign with a camel on it, something for you to look up about BC.   So if you are staying around this year, watching your dollars, you needn't suffer boredom or frustration, just take a day and head out into beautiful, bountiful British Columbia and enjoy your province --- truly the greatest place on Earth!




The Ranch


More about the mysterious Marble Canyon here 


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All writing and photography RC Westerholm and Masalla Galleries Graphics 
website design - Masalla Galleries Graphics - Vancouver BC