Between Lytton and Lillooet

Down and to the Right

The landscape through the mountains begins to change dramatically around Lytton, and through to Lillooet. The trees get shorter, the landscape becomes more rocky, and everything gets a lot drier.

This leg of the trip almost feels dangerous with the narrow un-lit winding mountain roads. Many avalanche prone cliffs on one side, and drop offs into ‘abysses’ on the other. Thankfully we had (wisely) chosen to travel this route during daylight.

End Avalanche Area

I would have loved to pull over to take some photos, but the roadways here are generally without shoulders. Though there are a few turn outs, with the winding nature of the road, you really need to know they are coming before you get to them – so you have time to slow down.

Driving the Cliffs Edge

We didn’t stop until Lillooet. I have only driven this isolated road a handful of times, and we drove it with white knuckles at certain points.


Surprisingly, we saw a number of people walking between towns. Some with hiking gear, some with smokes and a slurpee.

The Lytton Lillooet Highway that runs along the Fraser river and connects the 64 km between the two towns, is a long, lonely, primarily non serviced road – and I don’t think it would make for a very good walk – though the area is incredibly scenic.

Hiking FAR

We knew where we were going to stay in Lillooet, after our last visit.

It was our anniversary, and we decided to go on a weekend road trip (surprise!). We ended up in Lillooet after dark and decided to have a celebratory drink at the ‘Reynolds Hotel’, one of the only bars in town.

We had our single drink and left the bar (awkwardly, not many tourists!?). We weren’t sure if we would make it all the way home to sleep, or if we would be pulling over somewhere – we usually leave that up to fate.

Reynolds Lillooet

As we drove out of town, we were stopped by the police who were conducting a drunk driving check. When asked if we had been drinking, we told the truth and mentioned it was our anniversary.

They took a very close look at the truck and its contents while chatting to us about our destination, why we were there, our jobs, our dogs, etc.

At first their tone was suspicious and cranky, as is usually the case in these situations, but after a few moments the energy entirely changed.

The ‘ginger Cop’, I will call him (strawberry blond hair, so handsome!), congratulated us on our anniversary, and suggested somewhere for us to sleep. He said;

“It will be a beautiful view for you all, when you wake in the morning.”

Aerial Lillooet

Aerial view of our overnight lake – to the left, and ‘our river’, the Fraser, to the right.

And indeed it was. When we got up, we saw that we were at the foot of converging mountains, in front of a gorgeous teal coloured glacial lake. Incredible. We also saw the sign we had parked beside, that read;

‘Absolutely NO OVERNIGHT CAMPING. Area regularly police patrolled. Violators will be prosecuted.’

The handsome ginger Cop had sent us somewhere special – and technically prohibited. My husband figured we would camp there again this year – though I was nervous about it. I figured it was a special one time offer, and didn’t want to push my luck.

Fortunately when we arrived, the gate was closed, but there was a turn out close by.

Pull Out Sleep

We pulled in for a sleep, and within minutes there was a knock at the window. It was (handsome, chiselled feature, charismatic, tall) ginger Cop! He said he had a report of drinking in a vehicle and had to check it out (gee, the community sure is ‘on it’, we were only parked for minutes!).

Our Bed

Clearly we did not have alcohol in the vehicle, so that wasn’t a problem. And stopping at our chosen location didn’t seem to be a problem either. He chatted us up again a bit, and wished us well.

Though I am unsure if he recognized us, he did give us what looked to be a ‘knowing smile’ as he walked away.

Good thing I am married, or I would be in Lillooet every weekend night, hoping to run into my new crush. He wouldn’t be hard to find. I doubt there are many young, red head police officers working the weekend night shift in town.

Don’t tell my husband!

Power Canal

We woke refreshed in the morning, ready to take some photos of the incredible landscape, ready to get some coffee and food in town.

Follow this trip by heading to the ‘Summer to Winter Tour‘ section. Many more photos at the Habitual Runaway on Facebook.


5 responses to “Between Lytton and Lillooet

    • It was actually SO EMBARASSING!! I still feel like a teenager when I am dealing with police – even when I am certainly not violating any laws…heart pounds, palms sweat – and I even stutter – ridiculous!! Teenagers indeed! LOL


  1. Great read 🙂 I absolutely love that drive. Another favourite is the Duffy Lake road – stunning, exhilarating, and gorgeous. Last year my mother and her sister drove the Hurley Pass from Pemberton to Bralorne and Gold Bridge. They intended to search for the log cabin my mother was born in near McGillviray Mine. My grandfather and his dad had a gold stake at that site, but it didn`t pan out (no pun intended) as they lost the vein and could never locate where it started again. At some point along this white knuckle logging road they stumbled upon the foundations of what once was Minto. I say once because it lies in a flood plain or spillway created by a dam.They were fortunate enough to find the remnants of Minto when it wasn`t under water. The found sad, tired remnants of this former settlement. – pottery, decorative iron bits, and remarkably; buttons – They never found McGillivary, but she treasures the relics from Minto.:)


    • Oh my goodness, what a fantastic story – thank you so much for sharing. Of course now I have a new destination (journey!) on my list…

      I have heard of Minto – after researching a few of the flooded BC towns. They really were fortunate to have found any remnants – heirlooms now :). What incredible history!


  2. oh a very fun article which brought smiles to my face and your pictures really show the landscape well. Its good to know that, as a tourist, one should not drive these roads at night.


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