Tuesday, July 10, 2018

July 10 – Bridge River Canyon to Seton Portage

An all driving day today as we took the CRV out along the canyon of the Bridge River. It was another grey day but what can you do?

On looking at the visitors guide I had originally been going to do this loop with a long side trip.

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Then I looked at the time and decided to just go a short way up Carpenter Lake towards Gold Bridge.

Then by the time we actually got to Seton Portage we looked at the map and it said the route to D’Arcy was a 4x4 recommended route. We were also pretty tired by then so we just retraced our route back to Lillooet.

This is our actual route. Even just doing this, we still saw some amazing scenery.

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From Lillooet to Moha we were mostly high above the river on the canyon wall. From there to the Seton Portage turnoff we were down right next to it on the road that was blasted from the banks with the mountains towering over us.

The road was paved about 2/3 of the way to Moha, then dirt for a while. Near Moha they were actually laying down fresh pavement which lasted almost to the turnoff. It felt so smooth after the dirt road.

From the elevation profile we did a long slow climb to the turnoff to Seton Portage. Then up over a pass followed by a very steep downhill to our turnaround point.

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Just outside of Lillooet we crossed the only bridge of the day over the Bridge River.


Looking upstream.


We stopped at just about every promising looking pullout. It made for a long trip but what else did we have to do.

The first was looking down at the river with the local Band Office perched on the cliff.


Jennie investigated the weird rocks beside the road.



I had read that there was a nice horseshoe bend in the river. I saw this one through the trees. It was quite a climb down to get a good view so I knew that they must not have meant this one.


Once again the photosphere captures it much better.

Various views down to the river.


Looking back the way we came. There were a lot of big trucks on the road. Logging, tankers and gravel.



Some of the dirt section got rather narrow. Getting passed by one of the huge tandem dump trucks was no fun. We only heard one stone ping off the windshield and we can’t see any marks (yet).


Just before Moha we saw the horseshoe bend that I had read about. This is a wide somewhat distorted panorama.




And a side view of the canyon walls.


And a photosphere.

These are the switchbacks at Moha that took us down to the canyon floor and in among the mountains.


And a photosphere from the corner on the right.

There were not a lot of places to stop in the canyon. The new pavement had a steep narrow edge and most places you were not allowed to stop due to the danger from, as the called it, debris flow. Falling rocks. For most of these pictures I just stuck the camera out the window and snapped away.


There was a lot of staring up.



I had to stop for one photosphere.

This is one of the no stopping sections for obvious reasons.



Sadly the beautiful pavement ended,


This cliff had a lot of interesting layers and curves.



Looking back as we leave the canyon.


And a photosphere.

At the turnoff to Seton Portage there is a dam that has created Carpenter Lake. I couldn’t get a clear picture of it.


We drove a short way down the north shore of Carpenter Lake. Looking back towards the dam. A lot of blasting went into creating this road.


Looking up the lake it didn’t seem like the scenery changed much as the road just followed the shoreline so we just found a pullout and had lunch.


We turned around and went back to the turnoff. There, we drive across the top of the dam and through a short tunnel.


And out.


Here is a closeup of the rest of the drive.

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We drove along the south shore for a while. Then partway up after the first turn we got a great view back down towards the dam.


And a photosphere, although in this case I don’t think it adds much.

The rest of the road to the top of the pass wasn’t that scenic.

Coming down we got many tantalizing views through the trees of Seton Lake in the front and Anderson Lake to the west, 3000 feet below.


And more of Seton Lake to the east.


So many switchbacks. I just put the car in first gear and occasionally touched the brakes.



Our most open view of Seton Lake.


The west end of Seton Lake with a BC Hydro power plant down there.


At Seton Portage, we crossed under the penstock for the generators via a decorated bridge.



At this point we thought about continuing the loop but the car GPS said that this was the road to take.


It was narrow, full of potholes and only seemed to get worse. Later I looked at Google maps and it was just somebody’s driveway. I am not sure how bad the correct road was but I am glad we turned around because the day would have just been too long.

Back home the CRV showed that it had done some work but was not too dirty. I won’t bother cleaning it because we are going to do another dirt road in a few days.


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