Stories & Features

150 B.C. places: Squamish to Lillooet

View of Joffre Lake and mountains
Joffre Lakes hike, near Pemberton, is No. 126 on our list.

Numbers 118 to 132 on our list of 150 great places in B.C.

What's this list about? We're celebrating B.C. with 150 places to visit

118. Sea to Sky Gondola and Sky Pilot Valley Trail, Squamish

As of July 1, 2020 the popular Stawamus Chief  trail remained closed as a COVID-19 precaution. Maybe it's time to venture above and beyond the Sea to Sky Gondola. Take the gondola up (the trail option up remains closed), then embark on a 2-to-4-hour hike along Sky Pilot Valley trail, where you'll get great views of the climbers' favourite, Mount Habrich. Only very experienced hikers with gear should continue to the scramble that is the Sky Pilot trail.

119. Brandywine Falls near Whistler

At just a 15-minute walk away from the highway, you have to visit at least once. You get a 70-metre waterfall and – with a hike up to the viewpoint – a nice view of Daisy Lake and the surrounding mountains.

graffitied boxcars, train wreck trail, Whistler
A short hike on a Whistler trail takes you to graffitied boxcars strewn throughout the forest.

120. Train Wreck Trail, Whistler

A train full of logs gets jammed in a tight space between rocks, the boxcars are dragged off the trails and into the old-growth forest nearby, and graffiti artists follow up decades later with an urban touch. Just south of Function Junction at Whistler, Train Wreck Trail is one weird and wonderful hike, unlike anything else in B.C.

121. Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre, Whistler

Many visitors to Whistler pass by the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre and marvel at the architecture without stopping. Big mistake. The centre offers a fascinating exploration of First Nations culture, mixed in with a great meal – cedar-plank salmon chowder, bannock taco – for good measure.

122. Audain Art Museum, Whistler

It's raining in Whistler, so golfing or that bike ride will have to wait. What do you do? Wander over to the Audain Art Museum, which is quickly earning an international reputation for its collection of B.C.-centric art, and for its architecture.

123-124. Pemberton Valley food, drink, mountain biking and golf

If you've ever had a Pemberton Valley potato, you probably remember it. With a backdrop of craggy peaks, the fertile valley is an epicurean's delight where you can visit farms and distilleries. COVID-19 precautions mean some popular activities, including the annual Slow Food Cycle in August, won't happen in 2020, but there's still plenty to do. Explore the area's all-world biking trails or the Big Sky golf course, one of Canada's finest.

125-126. Garibaldi Lakes & Joffre Lakes hikes

These hikes can get so busy in summer that, to date, they're all closed due to COVID-19 precautions in B.C. The trails to Garibaldi Lake, Panorama Ridge and Black Tusk are deservedly off-the-charts popular, but if you're looking for something much shorter and a little less crowded, Joffre Lakes past Pemberton is a fantastic choice. You can do it in four hours, unless you get lost in the scenery and just want to hang out for a while.

127. Duffey Lake Provincial Park

One of the gems along the amazing Duffey Lake Road is Duffey Lake itself. Take a quick break from your drive to take in the lake and surrounding mountains, or find a calm day to explore the waters by canoe or kayak.

Gun Creek recreation site i
Gun Creek recreation site in BC Hydro's Bridge River system.

128-129. Bridge River Country

Definitely off the beaten path. But if you can brave the Hurley Road, you will be rewarded. Camp for free at BC Hydro's Gun Creek campground (temporarily closed due to COVID-19 restrictions), rent a cabin at Gun Lake or splurge at Tyax Wilderness Resort & Spa. Cabins at Tyax are open, but the lodge is closed for COVID-19, so you can still explore the area's epic mountain bike trails. Did you know that the Bridge 1 powerhouse was once the largest in our system?

130. Seton Lake Recreation area, Lillooet

The already popular Seton Lake Recreation Area just got an upgrade with a new swim boom around the swimming area. It's located just 6 km from Lillooet and just above the Seton Dam, which is the final dam on BC Hydro's Bridge River hydroelectric system. There are 45 campsites in the campground here, and like all our sites, you can camp here for free.

131. Fort Berens Estate Winery, Lillooet

So you never thought you'd see a winery in Lillooet? Not only does Fort Berens Estate Winery feature award winning reds and whites, its kitchen and patio add up to a dynamic duo for dinner. Don't miss out on the pinot noir.

132. Kaoham shuttle, Lillooet

A 30-passenger train trip from Lillooet to Seton Portage and back is a breathtaking journey that takes you along the shores of Seton Lake and around the sharpest curve in CN Rail's entire system. Pick a nice day to do this one.