the Sea-to-Sky Highway
the music and sun at
by Finn Larson
Curious about the activities and accommodations that
are available to travellers in the Whistler-Pemberton
area, my husband and I decided recently to take the Sea-to-Sky highway
(Highway 99 north) back home to Lytton
from Vancouver. Our trips to "the Big City" have always taken us along
the Fraser Canyon route (Highway 1 south), which is shorter and more
direct. This time however, we decided to investigate the stretch of
campsites that run through Garibaldi Provincial Park and along Cayoosh
Creek, just north of Pemberton. Like the Fraser Canyon, this area
provides an endless assortment of activities for the traveller, and
a wide range of camping and hotel accommodations. The Vancouver-Whistler
stretch also offers a number of festivals and other activities during
the months of July and August. Activities in both locations kick off
with parades and parties on Canada Day (July 1) and are followed by
several months of music festivals and sporting events.
|For Vancouver Festival Info contact:
|Vancouver Folk Music Festival
Jericho Beach Park.
|Vancouver International Comedy Festival
|Benson and Hedges Symphony of Fire
If you love folk music, the Vancouver
Folk Music Festival is a must. The festival takes place in mid July
at its usual venue in Jericho Beach Park. The festival is always popular
and crowded, and well worth the trip. Tickets can be purchased from
a variety of locations throughout the city.
Vancouver's International Comedy Festival takes place in late July
to early August at various locations around town. Daytime events are
free, but you will need to purchase tickets for evening performances.
Festival events coincide with another popular Vancouver tradition: watching
the fireworks display from the Benson and Hedges Symphony of Fire at
English Bay. The best viewing location is the reserved seating at English
Bay, but if you can't get in, or prefer not to join the crowds, you
can always find your own romantic spot on a hillside above English Bay.
Many locals lay out a blanket and turn on their car stereos so they
can enjoy the music that accompanies the production. The Symphony of
Fire takes place on selected evenings, in late July and early August.
on Atla Lake.
A less known location for summer festivals, Squamish (approximately
60 km/37 miles from Vancouver) has several events taking place this
summer. Thunder in the Streets (mid July) is a grass roots motor sports
that is based on the Solo 2 car competition. For the uninitiated viewer,
Solo 2 events involve a miniature road course that is designed to test
the agility and skill of amateur drivers. Squamish has taken the idea
one step further by turning it into a spectator sport in the middle
of town. The proceeds that are raised from the drivers' entry fees go
to local charities. Squamish Days Logger Sports Festivals follow during
the BC Day weekend (August 1st) and are also worth attending.
Whistler Resort (120 km/74 miles from Vancouver) is known throughout
the world for its winter activities. Recently however, it has gained
just as much notoriety for its summer
attractions which range from golfing to hiking, swimming and formal
|For Squamish & Whistler Festival
|Thunder in the Streets
Cleveland Avenue (downtown)
|Squamish Days Loggers Sports Festival
Loggers Sports Grounds
|Whistler - "A Little Night Music"
|Whistler Roots Weekend
Cultural music from around the world
Whistler Village - downtown
Canada Day celebrations
at Whistler will be followed by several musical events. They take place
throughout the summer and feature music from all over the world.
There is a variety of accommodations available at the Resort, from
bed and breakfast establishments to condominiums that can be rented
by the day. Whistler is renown for its dining
facilities, which range from pubs to elegant restaurants.
If you are into golfing, be sure to check out Whistler's four golf
courses. Golf pros from all over the world come to play on Whistler's
grounds, which include a private golf school and a child care facility
for our younger golf enthusiasts.
Squamish and Whistler are surrounded by a number of excellent camping
facilities, most of which are part of Garibaldi
Provincial Park. Be sure to reserve your campsite ahead of time.
Also remember that some of the provincial sites in this area are closed
to domesticated animals. We attempted to take our german shepherd into
a wilderness campsite in Garibaldi and were greeted with signs prohibiting
pets. If you are concerned about lodging for you and your four legged
friend, inquire first.
We found great camping facilities at Nairn Falls, 5 km/3 miles south
of Pemberton. The campsites offer the standard amenities of water and
pit toilets and are well maintained. Pets are allowed in the park.
Be sure to read Jan Lee's article - Vacationing
at BC's Famed Whistler Resort
One of the
many enchanting waterfalls just outside of Pemberton.
Pemberton is a sleepy little town at the base of Mt. Currie (32 km/20
miles from Whistler). There are a number of bed and breakfast facilities
in the Pemberton area. You will also find a wide selection of Forestry
Service sites between Pemberton and Lillooet. Most of the sites are
secluded on the banks of Cayoosh Creek.
I am always fascinated by how quickly the terrain in these parts of
the province can change. Like the Logan Lake-Ashcroft area, the stretch
from Pemberton to Lillooet is full of surprising vistas and subtle transformations.
The descent into Lillooet
includes several breathtaking views of canyons and snow capped mountain
ranges. One can almost imagine what it was like for pioneers in this
area (Lillooet was called "Mile 0" by ambitious gold prospectors). Travelling
the windy mountain roads almost seem like a luxury when one considers
the hardship that must have been involved in forging these mountain
canyon vistas are a regular part of the trip from Whistler to
by Jan Lee
The Seton Lake Recreation
Area lies just outside of Lillooet and offers scenic picnic areas. The
Seton salmon hatchery is less
than 3 minutes from the lake on Highway 99 and provides an interesting
look at one of the area's productive spawning channels.
The Lillooet museum includes an impressive display of photographs and
artifacts from the gold rush era as well as the original printing equipment
of Lillooet's famous publishers, George and Ma Murray. The Bridge River-Lillooet
News still runs and is a testament to Lillooet's success as one of the
Cariboo's longest-thriving communities.
Be sure to read our review of the BC
Coastal Tour, featuring Vancouver Island, Sechelt and Powell River.
© Copyright Jan Lee
Jan Lee email@example.com
Be sure to read other
articles by Jan Lee in the BC Adventure Network