Lillooet – Seton Lake, Naxwik park & beyond

Lillooet – Seton Lake, Naxwik park & beyond

Lillooet road trip - Gorgeous views at Duffey LakeLillooet is pretty amazing. It’s a small town on the Fraser River, four hours North of Vancouver. It is surrounded by ridiculously beautiful scenery with mountains, lakes and loads of possible hiking trails; The town’s slogan is β€œguaranteed rugged.” It may have achieved the slogan as being the start of the road for the historical Cayoosh Gold Rush, but it’s equally appropriate now with Lillooet being a great base for adventures.

We visited as part of our mini road trip to show Marc’s brother, Tom, pretty places in BC. We were not sure what to expect, but now I’ve taken a peek, I’d love to go back and explore more trails in the area.

Lillooet – the basics

Location: 250km North of Vancouver on the Sea to Sky highway
This is one of BCs hot spots. The mountains create a rain shadow, so the area is dry, sunny and warm.
Hiking Map
: Map of hikes near Lillooet.

On this roadtrip, we arrived in Lillooet after a 3 hour drive from Manning Park. We had stopped off for a hike at Othello Tunnels, and then stopped again to explore Hell’s Gate. We arrived after 3pm, so we didn’t have a huge amount of time to explore. Still, I’d like to show you some of the ridiculously pretty views you can see, even in just a few hours in Lillooet.

Naxwik park

We stopped off at Naxwik picnic area, as there are some fantastic views of the surrounding massive, granite cliffs, and we were hoping to see some mountain goats. Apparently the park is named after all the garter snakes that live on those cliffs. Naxwit means snake in the language of the local Stl’atl’imx First Nation people. Don’t worry mum! We didn’t see any snakes, and garter snakes are not dangerous anyway!

There is a bit of a walkway through Naxwit park that allows you to wander along the salmon spawning channels. Then you can walk out to the start of the Seton Dam. Look up to the electricity pylons, as we saw osprey and eagles nesting up on them!

If you decide to dip your feet into the Seton river, get ready to freeze. The water must come down from the surrounding mountains and it is incredibly chilly!

Meeting marmots

We spent a while watching a marmot mum and her baby who were relaxing by the the path. The cub only popped his head out for a moment; Isn’t it a cutie with the white splodge on its nose!?

Seton Lake Viewpoint

A couple of minutes further out of Lilloeet you’ll reach a viewpoint by Seton Lake. There is a spectacular view of the emerald-green waters of Seton Lake reservoir and the surrounding Chilcotin mountains. I love this kind of layered mountain view.

We didn’t realize at the time, but from near here, there is a trailΒ  that leads to kekulis, underground winter homes built by Salish-speaking St’at’imc people. When we go back, I’ll explore that too.

Seton Lake beach

Once we’d seen the view, we were all keen to get closer, so we went right down to the beach on Seton Lake. It was springtime, so not very busy at all. There was just one family having a barbecue by the water.

We loved the view so much that we made plans to come back in the evening to see the sun set. Seton lake is SUCH a pretty place to watch the sun go down. While we there, hundreds of swallows danced in the air above us.

Heading South from Lillooet

We continued our road trip South the following morning towards Whistler. I’ll include the first section of the road, as it was ridiculously beautiful! Marc and I regularly drive the Sea to Sky (highway 99) to Whistler, but this was the first time we’d seen the mountain views further North.

We had to stop soooo many times to take photos and see the scenery. If you are visiting Lillooet from Vancouver, this road will blow you away!

Duffey Lake Provincial Park

This has to be one of the prettiest views on the Sea to Sky highway. Duffey Lake is a provincial park, right by the road. This area is reserved for conservation, to protect important wildlife habitats. This means there are no formal hiking trails in the park (although you are allowed to hike here if you leave no trace…)

However, it is worth stopping here just to take in the gorgeous views by the lake.

The lake did a pretty good impression of being a mirror!

We actually made multiple stops around the lake. How could you not with views like this!?

Joffre Peak Rock Slide

You may have noticed from the photos above, but we arrived a week after the two massive rock slides that carved off the North Face of Joffre Peak.

As we drove closer I took a close up photo of the Joffre Peak rock slide. It is pretty epic isn’t it!?

My original plan for the day was to to hike up to the Anniversary Glacier. However that rock slide was so new, that we thought we better wait until the area has been studied more. None of us were keen to be under a possible third slide!

I hope you like the look of the road to Lillooet, as well as the prettiness once you arrive there! Please click on the images below to pin them.

Lillooet road trip - Gorgeous views at Duffey Lake Lillooet views - watch the sun set at Seton Lake Lillooet - great for spotting wildlife

36 thoughts on “Lillooet – Seton Lake, Naxwik park & beyond

    1. Yaaaaay! I am so glad to hear that! BC keeps blowing me away whenever we visit a new area! Canada really is awesome.

    1. Oh no! Did you get to stop and take photos!?

      It was a pretty amazing area just to drive through, so I bet you still loved it! Did you see any wildlife as you zoomed through?

  1. Great photos of the Joffre Peak landslide! I really like that road-trip – we’ve done it a few times now, and it’s always such a feast for the eyes.

    1. Yeees! I think we got lucky with the fantastic weather, but I am keen to go back, camp and explore some of those ridiculously pretty looking peaks!

    1. I guess that would turn into a bit of an epic road trip, once you’ve driven up from Southern California! Still, it is totally worth driving North for a little bit after Whistler to see these less famous, but very cool areas!

  2. Amazing landscape and views. Never heard about Lillooet before. Hearing about lots of new places in Canada these days.

  3. Wow, Lillooet looks amazing! Great pictures πŸ™‚ We visited Vancouver and Whistler a few years ago and were blown away that the 5-hour drive from Seattle to Whistler flew by because we were so distracted with the breath-taking scenery (neither of us was driving!) We would love to go back to BC and this post is making us think Lillooet will be high on the list of places to visit.

    1. Oooh I know what you mean!

      We did a road trip to Banff (and one to Jasper) both times we were surprised how easy it is to drive super-long distances when the views are so epic! I guess it is because you get excited for the views, so you forget to get bored or tired!?

  4. This looks like such an amazing place! I really like the picture of the marmots πŸ™‚ It’s so cool meeting (small) wildlife while being on a hike!

    1. Me too! I am always sooo happy to meet marmots and pikas! I love seeing bears too, but we prefer a bit more distance from them!

  5. Amazing shots clicked especially those snow laden mountains and its reflection. Seton lake looks beautiful with series of mountains view at the back.

  6. All the pictures taken in Canada have never ceased to amaze me. If there’s any place that I’d like to go around the Americas, Canada would definitely be one of them. The nature around Vancouver looks like one thing that I should put on the bucket list to visit before I die! πŸ™‚

    1. Yea! I saw there was a Jade museum, but we arrived a little late to see all the jade. I have another excuse to go back! πŸ˜‰

  7. Was your photo taken directly above “Lillooet – the basics” taken at Seton Lake? That’s an amazing vantage point! I love the look of the mountains with the lake — this area is truly gorgeous. I have been wanting to visit Canada soon so I’ll have to add it to my list. Pinned for later! The marmots are very cute it’s awesome you got to see some!

    1. Yes! There is a car park above the trees at Seton lake. It is sooo blooming pretty!

      I hope you get to Canada at some point. There are soo many amazing places like this off the main tourist routes. πŸ˜€

  8. Gorgeous. I’ve always wanted to explore Northern BC and hopefully do some kayaking there. The lakes and mountains look so beautiful. It’s just so far to get up there! Lol.

    1. Yeah, I’d love to go further North too! This wasn’t *too* bad, it was 4 hours North of Vancouver. It’s just BC is so massive, when you look on a map, it looks like not very far North at all!

      I bet kayaking on some of these lakes would be amaaaazing.

  9. Omg ! Love those reflection photos over the lake ! So beautiful ! I hope to visit this some day and take shots as beautiful as yours ! =)

  10. Vancouver has been on my bucket list forever! I love seeing more things to do in and around it. Seton Lake beach is definitely where I would be. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It’s funny, I’d never heard of the lake (or the beach) before we arrived. But we spent more time there than anywhere! It just goes to show, you can’t always plan trips…sometimes you have to just follow your eyes…

    1. Don’t worry. We hardly hiked at all for these ones – your bad knee could definitely cope. Although I hope it gets well soon!

  11. I love Marmots, they are so cute. They play around here in Ladakh and are very friendly. Duffey Lake Provincial Park is like a photographers dream come true.

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