roadtrip day 1: vancouver to kamloops

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After a summer filled with hikes and lakes and waterfalls and views and sunsets, Sam and I decided to end our adventures with a 10-day road trip from Vancouver to Calgary.

The fastest route across from Vancouver towards Alberta is the southern passage, via Hope and Kelowna. Instead, Sam and I took the northern way, via Whistler and Kamloops, and up to the northern tip of Jasper National Park to see what sorts of adventures we could stumble upon.

Day 1 saw us leaving my apartment at 6:30am, fueled by caffeine and sausage egg McMuffin breakfast sandwiches. We drove north out of Vancouver along the Sea to Sky Highway into Whistler, Pemberton and Lillooet, before finding our first campground in Kamloops, a grand total of 560km driven across 12 hours.

Green Lake, Whistler

Just north of Whistler Village, right on the side of the Sea to Sky Highway, sits the aptly named Green Lake, a reflective shade of minty green.

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Nairn Falls, Pemberton

This glacial runoff is nestled just off the road as you leave Pemberton. A ten-minute scramble alongside the pearly water takes one to views over gushing falls that let off a cool spray to anyone standing close by.

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Keyhole Hot Springs, Pemberton

Although the actual hot springs were closed for bear warnings (which we only found out after driving 39km up the gravel road), Pemberton Meadows still offered jaw-dropping views out of the dusty car windows.

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Mount Currie, Pemberton

We stopped in town to fill up on gas, food and roadtrip supplies and caught site of the impressive Mount Currie directly from the Parking Lot. Pemberton is a bit of a sleepy town, wrapped entirely up by mountains of all shapes and sizes – Currie is just one of the loveliest.

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Duffey Lake

Duffey Lake is impossible to miss – it’s sheer length means you spend a substantial amount of time driving along it on the highway until you reach the parking lot at the very end of the lake. A log jam enables those of us with the more daring bones in our bodies to scramble from one side of the lake to the other.

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Seton Lake, Lillooet

One of my favourite places from last summer, the clear water of Seton Lake lies between two valleys that come together in an impressive v-shape.

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Naxwit Picnic Site, Lillooet

Home to the BC Hydro Dam that Lillooet is well known for, this picnic site is home to some of the cleanest, bluest water in this province. Last year I spotted three little white mountain goats bounding across the mountain side – this year, a baby black bear was foraging for food on the opposite river bank. Next year? Who knows!

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Pinegrove Campground, McLure

Although our original itinerary had us staying at the free campground at Seton Lake for our first night, we had cut down on our time at both the Keyhole Hot Springs (closed for bear warnings) as well as Joffre Lakes (far too busy). We made it to Kamloops that night and set up our tent under a drizzly, rainy sky.

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*Including photos by Sam

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