Lillooet Splash
A day-trip to Lillooet for lunch and splashing in the river
July 31, 2020
Our steed, parked on the ramp at Lillooet airport
In search of HEAT
When 25 Deg C just isn't enough
It was forecast to be beautiful in Vancouver - sunny with a high of 25 Deg C (77 F).
But we had heard that Lillooet would get up to 35 Deg C (95 F) - and we LOVE the heat. So we decided to go there for lunch ... one of those crazy things that our little plane makes possible.
If one doesn't want to fly over very high isolated mountains with no place to land in an emergency, then there are two possible routes to Lillooet. We can fly past Harrison and Hope and up the Fraser canyon, or we can take the Pemberton route - which is what we did this day.
We flew up Howe Sound, past Squamish, followed the Cheakamus river valley past Whistler and Black Comb and into the Pemberton valley. Then we took the next valley North, passing over the jaw-dropping-scenic Anderson and Seton lakes before popping out into the Lillooet valley and landing at Lillooet.
Total Flight Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes. Round-trip fuel: $120. The sights and adventure: Priceless!
Photographs don't even come close to capturing the majesty of the towering coast mountains, or the color and magic of the lakes and rivers and forests and mud flats and waterfalls and ravines and creeks and glaciers and so much more that can be seen along this route. But I feel complelled to try ... so here are some photographs that don't do their subjects justice.
(click on any picture below to see a map location where it was taken)
This was taken just North of Squamish - looking down the Squamish River Valley. We're over the community of Brackendale.
Birkenhead Peak (left) and Kafir Peak (right) are split by a glacial river - still covered in snow on this 35-Deg C summer day.
The South end of Anderson Lake. We're flying over the community of Darcy. Yes, the water really is that color.
The little bridge of land that separates Anderson Lake (blue) and Seton Lake (green) is the community of Seton Portage. The colors are real.
We are now in the Lillooet Valley, looking at the East end of Seton lake - the canyon that we just came through.
And HEAT we found
The promissed 35 Deg C turned out to be 38 Deg C (100 F) under a clear blue sky
We landed, parked the plane, and took a $20 taxi ride over the "Bridge of 23 Camels" to the Cayoosh Campground which had access to the waters of the Fraser River and Cayoosh Creek. The river was very high, so the river-trail we were hoping to walk was under water. Zeus, who doesn't like the heat as much as we do, ran straight into the water and sat down.
The Fraser River was very high. The trail is where you see those shrubs in the middle-ground.
After his first cool-down dip in the Fraser, Zeus wouldn't go back in unless enticed by treats.
By the time we walked over to where the Cayoosh Creek joins the Fraser, Janine was hot enough to go in. I tried, but kept sinking into the clay-mud bottom.
Flight Home
The same spectacular sites, in reverse
Janine flew the leg out. It was my turn to fly the leg back home. Janine always flies the first leg, because she usually sleeps on the return flight - and we can't have her doing that while at the controls!
We had to circle over the Lillooet airport to gain altitude before heading into the lake canyon. In the 38-Deg C heat, it took a few turns to get high enough.
We've popped back out into the Pemberton Valley. That's Lillooet lake (which, strangely, isn't anywhere near Lillooet).
That's the Bobsled Luge at Whistler Village.
Daisy Lake is always spectacular from the air. Again, those colors are real.
These sheer rocks, just South of Squamish, are known as "The Chief". They are a favourite spot for serious rock climbers.
The Pitt River, looking towards Pitt Lake. Always good to get back home. Especially when home looks like this!
Another wonderful adventure made possible by an airplane.
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