Lytton to Lillooet: A Loop Along the Mighty Fraser River

In Lytton, the starting point of the trip

The plan was to cycle from Lytton to Lillooet along a gravel road running up the west side of the Fraser from Lytton to Lillooet, and return via highway #12 on the east side, in two days. We had meant to leave early, but were tired and the days are long, so in the end only left Vancouver at 9am. The previous time we had driven to Lytton it took us two and a half hours, but due to traffic and lots of construction it took us three and half hours this time. We parked our car near the information center and got organized. Finally we were on our bikes around 1:30pm, not exactly an early start.

Saskatoon berries were all over!

We saw an Osprey nest right off the road, with the disheveled looking Osprey sitting in its nest. To cross the Fraser we caught the neat reaction ferry, which is operated by the power of the current (no engine). We made many stops to eat Saskatoon berries, a sweet purple berry which grows on bushes that can reach tree size. The gravel road went up and down, with the uphills not too steep and not so long that they tired us out. Apparently this road has a total (accumulated) elevation gain of over 1000m, quite substantial, especially with a loaded bike. A few creeks crossed the road, which was convenient when we needed water. Far above us, we could see snowy peaks, and area which we have not explored yet. We could often see the wide brown Fraser below us, mostly a slow flowing river on this section. The road was narrow at times with a steep drop off on the right side, but was in good condition. Maya had just bought a new hybrid bike and we had been unsure if it was the right tool for the job, but it was perfect.

Indeed all over

In the evening we reached a large ranch, with large picturesque fields with thousands of small bales of hay. The machine that produces these was working not far away, and it looked as if it was pooing square bales of hay. The clouds in the background were very dramatic, and it looked as though a tornado was approaching. A blond German looking woman and her daughter stopped by on their tractor for a chat, conjuring images of the blond and fair skinned Amish. It was getting late, so we continued a bit farther to Texas Creek, where we camped, right beside the raging river. We thought the sound of the water might interfere with our sleep, but that was not a problem. I hung the food and smelly things off the bridge, definitely out of reach of any bears.

It looked like a tornado was coming

The next day we continued riding towards Lillooet. The last part was paved, so we arrived early. From there we still had about 65km on the road, so we immediately got to work. Beautiful wild flowers dotted the side of the road, and of course many Saskatoons. We took some rest stops, sitting with our dangling feet above the mighty Fraser. Would it be possible to travel the length of the Fraser, 1400km from Mt. Robson to Vancouver? Maybe…

Nice views along the way

A strong headwind began blowing and slowed us down, sometimes almost pushing us over. It also brought some drizzle with it, which had a nice cooling effect. It had been warm for the entire weekend, with lots of sun, and we were thankful for the partial cloud cover which protected us from the strong June sun. We arrived back to our car in Lytton, passing by a sign advertising work for cherry pickers. Ha, that must mean cherry season is here! We called up the place and managed to negotiate a private u-pick, and after a short detour, returned with 10lbs of sweet purple cherries. The drive back to Vancouver felt faster, but we only arrived just before 11pm, in time for some excellent (and cheap) lamb at a Greek favorite or ours.

Red rocks and river

More photos

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