Alaska - Western Canada Journey

Day 4


Beautiful sceneries along the Sea To Sky Highway - This day was to be mostly about driving as far north as we could. However, we were drawn in by the beautiful sceneries along highway 99 which is part of the Sea To Sky Highway. We made several stops at provincial parks or recreation areas to admire lakes and glaciers (below). Each of these places can be a destination of its own for several days of hiking and boating/fishing. The mountain drive was exceptionally scenic but winding and steep at places. The steepest grade here was the most we experienced on this journey at 15%. Beyond the mountains, we drove highway 97 all the way past Quesnel and camped at Ten Mile Lake after some 11 hours on the road, albeit with many stops.


Our car began to make squeaking sounds on deceleration after we climbed and descended a few mountain roads, but otherwise performed normally. The long drive on highway 97 was nice, but not comparable to the Sea To Sky highway.

We encountered the first big highway maintenance project on the freeway, but was not affected significantly.


Joffre Lakes Provincial Park

We stopped and hiked half a kilometer to Joffre Lower Lake. The view of the lake was beautiful with the backdrop of Mount Matier and its glaciers. The lighting condition was not perfect for photography, but I managed a few shots. Through research, we learn that the hike through all 3 lakes to Mount Matier is about 11 kilometer roundtrip and would take over 5 hours to do. Some people backpack in and stay overnight before climbing to the glacier and back. It's reported to be one of the great hikes of British Columbia.

Duffey Lake Provincial Park

Highway 99 hugs the beautiful Duffey Lake, which is the main feature of the park. Mt. Rohr with is pristine glaciers forms the backdrop for the lake. The scenery was so breathtaking that we made several stops to take in the view. People come to this lake for canoeing or kayaking, not to mention photography. Fishing is limited, and there is no marked trails although backcountry hiking is permitted.

Seton Lake Reservoir

Seton Lake is a fresh water fjord that was once a natural lake, but the water level was raised for hydro power generation. It has the alpine lake feel since mountains surrounds the lake with limited trees on the mountainside. The Canadian National Railway borders the north shore of the lake. One could only imagine being on a train at this beautiful location. We only stopped long enough to snap a few pictures before heading on, and missed taking the trail that would bring us to interesting places such as early native people underground winter homes called kekulis, and a Chinese baking oven from the days of the gold rush. Fish ladders were built to let salmon get to its spawning grounds.

Ten Mile Lake Provincial Park

We found this place on the map and decided to camp there for the night instead of driving another hour to Prince George. This park turned out to be quite nice, with tree lined campsites, shower, flush toilets. Ten Mile Lake is quite nice and suitable for family water fun. The nature trail was peaceful except for the army of mosquitos that attacked us during our walk. I got a few good sunset pictures over the lake.

Official information about Ten Mile Lake Park


There was no real issue on these state and national highways. The stretch on Highway BC 99 required attention as it was winding and steep at places. There was a 15% grade at one point near Lillooet. Potentially due to the steep grades, I noticed squeaking noises when decelerating. Mechanics could not find any issue with it, and I only got it fixed after returning home.

Highway 97 was quite nice, but mostly flat. There were nice places where tourists could stop, but with our agenda, it was just driving through.


We probably had the best weather of the trip on this day. There was no rain. Cloud was forming as we drove along, but only made for a beautiful sunset.