Lillooet is the main town in the Fraser Canyon and Bridge River Country region of British Columbia. It was the first native town in the British Columbia Interior, and was briefly the largest town of the Fraser River Gold Rush in 1858-1860. Described by colonial Governor James Douglas as "the prettiest spot for a town on the Fraser I have seen", local scenery was compared by early travellers to that of the Himalayas due to the extreme heights and sheer precipices around Lillooet and in surrounding canyon country. In a pronounced desert-like rainshadow, the town's setting is framed by spectacular cliff walls and towering mountains.
Lillooet is very hot in summer, often sunny when areas toward the Coast are rainy or areas farther east into the Interior are overcast.
Lillooet is on Highway 99 and is 225 km (140 miles) from Vancouver, 130 km (80 miles) from Whistler, and 270 km (168 miles) from Williams Lake. If driving from Vancouver, the route via Whistler is more scenic though slightly slower, though for any of the many routes approaching Lillooet from other directions, you will not be disappointed. Lillooet is the perfect weekend getaway or day trip from major centres. With several hotels and motels, B&Bs, restaurants and a well-informed staff at the Visitors Center, Lillooet is well equipped to accommodate a romantic weekend getaway, a quick day trip out of the city and summer family adventures.
- Kaoham Shuttle, Lillooet railway station, ☏ . This short-haul rail-bus service is operated by the local Indian band connecting Lillooet to Shalalth and Seton Portage at the far end of Seton Lake. It sometimes serves the community of D'Arcy at the far end of Anderson Lake if there is demand, but there is no scheduled service between D'Arcy and Lillooet, though the shuttle does run daily from Seton Portage to Lillooet and back. On Fridays only, one could do an excursion from Lillooet (departure 10:30AM) to Seton Park and return (noon and 2:30PM) within the same day. (However, the tourist office says only the noon departure is available for visitors.) The trip takes 1 hour each way. On other days of the week, travellers doing this trip will need overnight accommodations in Seton Portage or Shalalth, or a ride back over the mountain pass which accesses this area from Lillooet. Reservations, made by telephone, are strongly recommended; however, according to the tourist office, local residents may still get priority for seats over visitors, even those with a reservation.
- 1 Lillooet Museum, 8th Ave & Main St, ☏ . 9AM-5PM daily in summer. This museum takes a look at Lillooet's history with pioneer and Gold Rush era equipment and tools, native artifacts, historic photos and Ma Murray's news office (a prominent local historical figure), including her old printing presses.
- Mile 0 Cairn, 8th Ave & Main St. Stone cairn commemorating Lillooet's place as mile zero on the Old Cariboo Wagon Road from Lillooet to Alexandria (the old Gold Rush trail).
- 2 The Miyazaki Heritage House, 643 Russell Lane, ☏ . Jun-Sep: M Th-Sa 10AM-4PM, Su 11AM-4PM. A heritage house preserving keeping the memory and history of the Phair and Miyazaki families who lived in it. It is used for community events and local artwork display.
- Bridge River Fishing Grounds, known as Sat' in the local Indigenous language ("Shatl"), also known as the Six Mile Rapids or Six Mile. Rock ledges flanking a narrow but fierce falls on the Fraser, at the confluence with the Bridge River. Created in legend by the trickster-spirit Coyote jumping back and forth from bank to bank to create the ledges for people to use for fishing. Thousands of years old as a gathering site for native peoples from around the Interior, active fishing site with fish drying racks (wind-dried salmon is a local delicacy).
- Bridge River Canyon and Terzahgi Dam, 32 km (20 miles) up the scenic Moha Road along the lower Bridge River, a 16-km double-horseshoe gorge over 5,000 ft (1,500 m) deep, rivalling Yosemite, its upper end is Terzaghi Dam, which diverts the Bridge River through Mission Mountain to penstocks to powerhouses on Seton Lake. The drive over Mission Mountain involves a 3,500 ft (1,100 m) switchbacked descent to Shalalth and Seton Portage; accommodations and food available, also another rougher route out via the 'High Line', a former powerline road now a provincial highway, to D'Arcy, Mt Currie-Pemberton and Whistler. Continuing along the reservoir (Carpenter Lake) from Terzaghi Dam brings you to the goldfields towns of Gold Bridge and Bralorne, and resorts around Tyaughton Lake and Gun Lake. Continuing on, the main road leads to Pemberton Meadows and Whistler via Railway Pass.
- Seton Lake, spectacular fjord-like lake at the western end of town, popular beach and amazing towering cliffs, refreshments available. At the nearby campground, operated by BC Hydro and free to the public, there are old stone ovens built by Chinese gold miners in the 1870s. Boat tours of the lake (which is even more scenic from out on the water), water skiing opportunities. Seton Lake was part of the Douglas Trail, which led from steamers at Harrison Lake to Lillooet, which was a muster-ground for packers and wagon trains north to the Cariboo goldfields. 30,000 men traversed this route in the summer of 1859.
- Cayoosh Park, on the heights above the main part of downtown, formerly the site of Lillooet's famous hanging tree. Not much to see now other than a great view. BMX track and largely-unused outdoor checkerboard.
- Old Suspension Bridge. Built in 1911, now decommissioned but open to foot/bike traffic, 1911-vintage suspension bridge that for decades was the town's only road access to the outside world. At the mouth of Lillooet Canyon, a rough-water gorge between the Fishing Grounds at Six Mile and this spot, where the Fraser opens wider onto gold-bearing bars in front of town.
- The West Side Road. South to Lytton along shady benches and old ranches and farms, slow going but very scenic, connects to a traction cable ferry to Lytton. North to Big Bar Ferry, from the Bridge River Bridge, a spectacular drive but carry water and food and respect private property; a main road leads back from Big Bar Ferry to Jesmond and Kelly Lake, near Clinton; rough four-by-four roads lead back west over China Head Mountain to the head of the Yalakom River and return to Lillooet via Moha/lower Bridge River, or across the alpine to descend into the Bridge River Country via Tyaughton Lake. Pack gas and water and spare tires/repair kits.
- Marble Canyon and Pavilion Lake - on Highway 99 towards Cache Creek, a 3,500 ft (1,100 m) deep karst formation with glistening limestone wall towering over the short but impressive valley between Pavilion and the rangeland at Upper Hat Creek. The Pavilion Valley includes a series of lakes, the largest of which, Pavilion Lake, is a NASA xenobiology research site due to its unusual "fresh water coral" formations. Provincial campground requires reservations (online).
- Blackcomb Aviation, ☏ . Helicopter tours.
- [dead link] CC Helicopters Ltd., 717 Hwy 99 North, ☏ . Helicopter tours.
- Fort Berens Winery, 1881 Highway 99 North, ☏ . Wine tasting during business hours. Wine tours by appointment
- St'at'imc Cultural Experiences, 650 Industrial Pl., ☏ . Spawing channel tours & salmon educational tours.
- [dead link] Xwísten Experience Tours, ☏ . Experience the past and present of the St'at'imc People.
- Sturgeon fishing and river rafting are available through various companies.
- Mountain biking and hiking. Bike rentals available.
- Lillooet Farmers Market, Main Street. May - Oct: F 8AM-1PM.
- Apricot Tsaqwem Festival, Main Street, ☏ . July
- Annual Sturgeon Derby. July/August
- Salmon in the Canyon Festival. August
- Some local stores feature jade products and local gold. Also handicrafts and specialty crops. Lillooet is famous for its cherries, apricots, local honey, and ginseng.
- Dina's Place Restaurant, 690 Main Street, ☏ . Greek cuisine.
- Garden Patch Cafe, 824 Main Street, ☏ . Cafe & deli.
- Goldpanner Restaurant, 633 Main Street, ☏ . Chinese cuisine.
- Lillooet Inn Restaurant, 3 - 687 Main Street, ☏ . Western & Japanese cuisine.
- Lillooet Cookhouse Restaurant, 1237 Main Street, ☏ . In Reynolds Hotel.
- Old Mill Restaurant, 155 Main Street, ☏ . In the Old Mill Plaza.
- Subway, 123 Moha Rd., ☏ .
- A&W Restaurant, 165 Main St., ☏ .
- Mile 0 Pizza Place, 1194 Main St., ☏ .
- Totem Chinese Restaurant, 1289 Main St., ☏ . Chinese smorgasbord on Sundays.
The Reynolds Hotel and the Hotel Victoria have pubs and liquor stores.
Hotels and motels
- 4Pines Motel, 108-8th Ave, ☏ .
- Hotel Victoria, 667 Main Street, ☏ .
- Mile-0 Motel, 616 Main Street, ☏ .
- Retasket Lodge, 1264 Bouette Rd., ☏ .
- Reynolds Hotel, 1237 Main Street, ☏ .
B&Bs and camping
- Cayoosh Creek Campground, 100 Cayoosh Park Road, ☏ .
- 1 Fraser Cove Campground, 1234 Davis Rd, ☏ .
- Retasket RV Park, 1264 Bouvette Rd., ☏ .
|Routes through Lillooet|
|END ← Cache Creek ←||N S||→ Pemberton → Whistler|
|END ←||N S||→ Lytton → END|