little town of Lillooet is steeped in gold rush history. During
the 1850s it became the northern terminus of the important Harrison/Douglas
trail that took miners over land, river, and lakes from the Lower
to the Upper Fraser River. In 1862, Lillooet became mile zero of
the wagon road to Clinton.
Miners came to Lillooet along several different routes. So can you.
If you’ve traveled up the Fraser Canyon, try the number 12
highway from Lytton -- a quiet and charming route that follows the
Fraser River through ponderosa pine forest. Or, if you’re
driving north from Whistler, get on the Duffy Lake Road from Pemberton.
This route rises into the splendor and majesty of the Cadwellder
Range and then softly descends to the warm embrace of Lillooet’s
rolling brown hills.
Local attractions include gold panning, Seton Lake, and the Indian
Friendship Center. The Lillooet Museum and Information Center is
housed in the former St. Mary the Virgin, Anglican Church. Another
Lillooet favorite is the “Hangman’s Tree”, reputed
to have been a place Judge Begbie hung many a criminal. On both
sides of the Fraser River one can find great piles of “Chinese
Rocks”, neatly piled by Chinese placer miners while washing
the sand and gravel in search of gold.
From Lillooet try taking the original wagon road north along the
Pavilion Road to Clinton. Otherwise, take highway 99 to number 97,
and be sure to stop off at Hat Creek Village.