Pemberton and Whistler Mountains and Bikes

Marble Canyon to Whistler

June 21-23

Driving South from Prince George, through Williams Lake and south nearly to Cache Creek we made the decision to turn off of Highway 97 and head southwest on highway 99. We set up a peaceful camp at Marble Canyon Provincial Park. The campground itself is just off the highway and is not very aesthetic but a short walk down the hill toward the lake brings you to a beautiful tent camping and swimming area. The road through Marble Canyon is covered with fine marble dust that will cling to underside of the vans until the next major rainstorm.

This highway opens up some of the most beautiful scenery in southern B.C. The drive through Fountain Valley, past Lillooet and over a pass to Pemberton at 30mph is stunning. The trees change from the east side pine tree cover to the coastal Douglas Fir and Hemlock.  There are BC Natural Resources campgrounds the entire way. They are near streams, have great views and are largely unoccupied. We could have spent a week there. The highway has sharp corners, grades of 15% and there are views of glaciers on nearly every corner. We had to stop half way down the pass to let the brakes on the vans cool.  I would hate to see what a Westy with standard factory brakes would do on that pass.

The city of Pemberton is a real mountain bike hub for the interior. There are many options including helicopter or floatplane drops into the interior for a multi day ride out staying in hosted cabins along the way. one of the most exciting bike destinations is a trip into the Chilcotins . A friend made the trip and she thought it was one of the most difficult but amazing bike trips of her life. Check out this video:

We headed down the road from Pemberton for a day in Whistler. A favorite of our van renters is to head up and spend a week hiking and riding in Whistler. It is so close to our base in Bellingham and renting a Westy to use as a base is a really cost effective way to enjoy all of the mountain biking in Whistler. Plan to head home from Whistler by noon or you will find yourself in traffic on one of the most congested highways in B.C. The increased housing density in B.C. without increasing the highway capacity has resulted in a real rush hour mess twice a day.

We had an amazing trip from Bellingham WA to Skagway Alaska despite the weather. Our friends from the Netherlands are used to adverse weather but they did not anticipate hats and gloves for three weeks.  There was not a complaint the entire trip….that is until a mouse was running around in their van at 2:00AM eating all of Kees last rationed Mento candies.  Would we do the trip in June again? Probably not! The promise of nice weather didn’t pan out. By the way, I am writing this in mid July and it is still raining in Skagway….maybe September? June is just so darn cold! Would we travel in two vans with our friends from the Netherlands again?  You bet!  They had never been camping before and were the perfect travel companions.  We all lost a little weight (maybe staying warm) despite the nightly G.&T. attitude adjustment sessions.  We celebrated our trip with a great breakfast at home skillet

Great to be home and thinking about our next adventure.

Bob and Maureen

Chuckanut Westfalias