After visiting Vancouver, we headed towards Vancouver Island and spent 10 days there. I am currently working on a longer article giving you the 10-day itinerary in details so in the meantime, I’ll keep posting about the aftermath. I’ll post the link here once it’s up on the blog!
So when we got back from Vancouver Island, we had in mind to go up North as much as possible. Ideally we wanted to go to Yukon and go see if we could spot Northern Lights (the season starts mid-august there). However we realised the territory of Yukon was still requesting a 14-day quarantine in an hotel or airbnb for anyone coming from Alberta. And in terms of budget, paying for 2 weeks in a hotel or airbnb in Whitehorse was just not possible for us (that’s mostly why we have a van too).
So when we realised we wouldn’t be able to stick to that plan, we opted for another road – the road up and West towards Prince Rupert. This is as close as we would ever be to Alaska in 2020 (which was our ultimate goal before COVID hit). We knew the road was beautiful and there was tons of things to see so it sounded like the perfect plan, and I hope that I make you want to explore this area through this article!
1. Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton
Whistler and Pemberton are heaven on earth for outdoor lovers. In the winter, these are beloved ski stations and in the summer, they are a mountain biking promised land. We spent only a couple days in the area, taking in the views, doing laundry and trying out local breweries. It’s a beautiful and fun area that probably brings as much in summer as it does in winter. The only thing we noticed is they are quite expensive towns.
To go from Vancouver North to Pemberton, you’ll have to drive on the Sea-to-Sky highway – a very well chosen name for this fantastic road.
In Whistler we visited a Provincial Park called Brandywine Falls that took us towards a spectacular 70-m high waterfall and on a small hike around a few lakes (Lava Lake Trail 2,7kms).
Talking about something I wish we had seen in the area, I have regrets we weren’t prepared enough to check out Garibaldi Provincial Park. This place requires a day-pass (free of charge, but has to be taken the morning of) and also doesn’t accept dogs. Not a worry, really because we usually can leave Nola in the van, if we need to, for a couple hours or more depending on what we’ve planned. But this park has tons of insanely beautiful but extensive (day-long ++) hikes… So not for this time! But absolutely on our bucket list because it seemed awe-inspiring.
Before reaching Pemberton, we stopped for a few pictures in Whistler’s green lake. Not much to tell about the place, except we will probably never get bored of these gatorade-colored and glacier-fed lakes.
A few good addresses around :
Finally, while in the area, like I mentionned before, we checked out a few breweries including : in Whistler COAST MOUNTAIN BREWING + WHISTLER BREWING COMPANY. I recommend both but especially the second one, where we tasted a delicious honey beer. In Pemberton, we tried Pemberton Brewing company. Not totally my style but Bobby enjoyed !
In Pemberton, we caught dinner at a fantastic restaurant I would really recommend if you’re in the area : Barn Nok thai cuisine. A remarkable thai restaurant that uses local produces such as Pemberton potatoes in their curries !
2. The road to Lilloet and Williams Lake
After leaving Pemberton in the afternoon, we took a mountain road up North. We left late enough that we only drove a couple hours before stopping in the middle of the mountains. We slept on the side of the highway, in an informal camping area with tremendous views over the river. And quite the sunset too…
On the following morning, and on our way to Lilloet, the road was so amazing that we took a few stops to take out the drone and catch pictures from the various mountains and lake surrounding the area.
The road then changed a lot and as we lose elevation, the landscapes became drier.
Finally, we reached Williams Lake, where we spent a night at the Visitor Center and bought fresh BC fruits for the following days! Williams Lake is a quaint town surrounding a very pretty lake and is only a couple hours South of Prince George.
I’ll cut this article in two so I don’t overload it with information. Next time, we’re heading towards Prince George and then West to Prince Rupert, crossing the beautiful region of Smithers and the Seven Sisters Mountain Range!
Talk to you very soon,
Coco, Bobby, Nola & Vanito!
COPYRIGHT: All pictures belong to Fanny Cohen Sanchez, @fannychn on Instagram, Three Times Nine 2020.