roadtrip: british columbia highway 99

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My parents woke me up this morning with a big cup of coffee at 6:30am and told me to throw some things together for a spontaneous road trip – basically the best wake up call ever?!

We hit the highway and made our first stop at the stunning Brandywine Falls that fall into Daisy Lake in between Garibaldi and Whistler. We didn’t manage to find the little hidden trail that leads down to the base of the falls, so that’s something to come back and do for sure, but the views from the top were equally majestic.

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Leaving the beautiful Brandywine Falls behind us, we made our way out of Squamish and further north along the beautiful Sea to Sky Highway. The next major stop was Whistler, known for it’s world famous extreme sports – winter skiing and boarding and summer mountain biking, as well as beautiful hikes, lakes, and just about everything a nature enthusiast could want.

I have visited Whistler many times and stopped at a number of viewpoints and lookout places, but this was my first time at the stunning Green Lake, that – true to its name – is a vibrant shade of green. The shores of the lake are right on the highway, so access is simply a question of finding a gap in the traffic to pull over to the side of the road.

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We made our way out of Whistler continuing on the Sea to Sky Highway towards Pemberton. Using Instagram as a guide for neat spots to stop along the way, we came across Nairn Falls Provincial Park.

Established in 1966, the hike is a short 1.5km from the parking lot on a well-marked trail along glacier runoff towards the 60m high falls.

On the way back, we spotted a side trail leading down to a white beach, where we splashed about in the icy cold water with a stunning backdrop.

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Just past Pemberton lies the well-known and absolutely incredible Joffre Lakes hiking trail. Now easily one of my favourite places in BC, this hiking trail starts at First Lake, complete with a glacier and an abundance of birds, should you have some bread crumbs on hand.

The sign says it takes upwards of 3 hours to reach the top, but my parents and I made it to Second Lake in just over an hour. Although we didn’t make it to Third Lake for fear of the sun going down and having to descend the mountain in darkness, the views were stunning.

I fully intend to come back and camp just past Third Lake next summer and maybe I’ll even have the guts to jump in the freezing water!

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We spent the night in Lillooet at a small motel overlooking the town. Just outside the town limits lay the stunning Seton Lake, where the mountains come together in a beautiful valley shape.

We drove past the lake on the way into Lillooet so some of the photos are of the evening before, and the rest are from the next morning because I insisted we go back to catch the early sun – and it was absolutely beautiful.

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Just beside the beautiful Seton Lake is Naxwit Picnic Site, overlooking the Seton River. Salmon swim through here during spawning season, but we were treated to an amazing sight as we caught a glimpse of four little white mountain goats bounding across the mountain side.

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I had found the beautiful Alexandra Bridge Provincial Park on Instagram and insisted we stop at it for some beautiful photos and a step back in time. The parking lot is right on the Trans-Canada Highway, just north of Spuzzum, about 40km from Hope.

The walk from the parking lot takes about 15 minutes and winds back and forth from the highway down to the water. The bridge will suddenly appear in your vision, and it’s breathtaking.

The bridge is in the location of the Original Cariboo Wagon Road over the Fraser River. The area around the bridge has been used by First Nations for over 9,500 years and the first Europeans came with Simon Fraser’s 1808 expedition. The first trail was established in 1848 and the original bridge was built in 1861.

It was dismantled in 1912, and a second bridge – the one that is there today – was built in 1926.  Now, it is just part of the provincial park, established in 1984, as a much larger and stronger bridge provides crossing for car traffic, as visible from the Alexandra Bridge.

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*Including photos by Mum & Dad

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