The Sea-to-Sky Highway (also known as Route 99) is a scenic, sometimes terrifying highway in British Columbia that runs 254 miles north from Vancouver (the sea) to Lillooet (the sky). The northern section of the highway travels high above the semi-desert Fraser River Canyon, shown above. There are also extremely steep grades up to 15% from Lillooet to Pemberton. In spite of using low gear, our RV brakes got hot and stinky coming down those hills.
The town of Lillooet is perched on a natural bench high above the confluence of two major river canyons: the Fraser River and Cayoosh Creek. Situated in the rain shield of the Coast Mountains, Lillooet receives less than 13” of rain each year and has a long growing season. Summer temperatures can exceed 100 degrees, giving it the title of “Canada’s Hot Spot.”
There were many pretty lakes along the highway including Duffy Lake.
This photo shows one of many alpine glaciers along the highway.
After an insanely-steep grade down the mountains, we stopped at the pretty Lillooet Lake just as the sun was setting.
One unsightly aspect of the Sea-to-Sky Highway was the high-power grid that runs from Vancouver up to Whistler. As you may remember, Whistler hosted part of the 2010 Winter Olympics, and so a second set of power lines had to be installed to ensure the Olympic Village and all the venues had adequate power. The downside, of course, is that many beautiful natural views along the way were spoiled by the overhead lines.
There were many glaciers also in the mountains west of the Sea-to-Sky Highway.
Stawamus Chief is known as the “second largest granite monolith in the world.” (El Capitan in Yosmite National Park, California, is the largest.) Stawamus Chief stands nearly 2,300 feet above the town of Squamish and the Howe Sound. It was named after the local indigenous people, who consider it a place of spiritual significance.