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Feature Destination Highway: 

 DH3Mount Currie - Lillooet 
 Duffey Lake Road  (Hwy 99)

DH1 DH30 DH60
DH2 DH31 DH61
DH3 DH32 DH62
DH4 DH33 DH63
DH5 DH34 DH64
DH6 DH35 DH65
DH7 DH36 DH66
DH8 DH37 DH67
DH9 DH38 DH68
DH10 DH39 DH69
DH11 DH40 DH70
DH12 DH41 DH71
DH13 DH42 DH72
DH14 DH43 DH73
DH15 DH44 DH74
DH16 DH45 DH75
DH17 DH46 DH76
DH18 DH47 DH77
DH19 DH48 DH78
DH20 DH49 DH79
DH21 DH50 DH80
DH22 DH51 DH81
DH23 DH52 DH82
DH24 DH54 DH83
DH25 DH55 DH83
DH26 DH56 DH84
DH27 DH57 DH85
DH28 DH58  
DH29 DH59  

DH3   Mount Currie - Lillooet 
Duffey Lake Road  (Hwy 99)
Readers Rating: No. of Ratings: 27
[ At A Glance] [Access ] [ On The Road ] [ DH3 ] Rate/Review ] Video/Map ]
Distance: 89.8 km / 55.7 mi Traffic: Light

At a Glance
Where speed tax collectors fear to tread?  While we can’t guarantee anything, we’ve never seen any on this road.  It’s easy to see why they’re afraid of debasing this DH with their presence.  The power of this challenging road is obvious from the moment you embark upon the long, corkscrew climb out of the Pemberton Valley.  As you venture into the spectacular mountains of the Cayoosh Range, the barrage of curves is intense.  They don’t let up when you pass along the dramatic shoreline of Duffey Lake,  or even in the final section where you’ll be awestruck by the spectacular, winding canyon descent to the town of Lillooet.  True, engineering can be quirky and pavement quality can vary markedly from one season to the next.  However, it’s simply impossible to resist the combination of zero development, sensational scenery and endless, diverse twisties.   Perhaps the STCs are up here, after all.  We just don’t recognize them when they’re off duty, decked out in full leathers, aboard ZX12s.


From Mount Currie  

On Hwy 99  

Turn right at the signed junction to Lillooet just past the small white church.  You are on the road.

From Lillooet  
Coming in on DH21 Hat Creek - Lillooet (Hwy 99)
Coming in on DH40 Lytton - Lillooet (Hwy 12)  

Both DHs end at the bridge to Lillooet.  Take it west over the Fraser River and turn left at the other end.  (A right turn takes you into Lillooet.)  When you leave the remaining bits of town, you're on the road.

On The Road

Mountains on both sides of the Pemberton Valley surround you as you wind through the deciduous trees and open fields of the Lillooet River delta.  The Mount Currie Indian Reservation can lay claim to some great curves in this stretch along the river.  The pavement is excellent as well-- that is if you can find it between the numerous greasy tar strips.  They’re probably the reason for the 60-kmh (40-mph) zone.

 At 8.9 km (5.6 mi), you cross the Lillooet River as it empties into immense, silt- coloured Lillooet Lake.  After briefly tracking the shoreline, you start a winding climb, at 9.9 km (6.2 mi), up into the forest.  You still have to contend with tar strips, but they’re less plentiful as you move north and away from the lake.  Two wide, back-to-back hairpins are but an example of the wild second- and third-gear entertainment on this show-stopping ascent. 

The pavement drops a grade and the tar strips disappear altogether when the pitch eases at 13.4 km (8.4 mi).  The ascent continues, more gradually and less twistily now, as the high, often barren peaks of the Cayoosh Range loom above the trees.  At 23.1 km (14.6 mi), you climb past the turnoff right to the Joffre Lakes day-use recreation area.  The road spans Cayoosh Creek and, after a few tight curves, pops from the trees and flattens out at 26.9 km (16.9 mi).  What a long, great climb it's been.

Now on the west side of the high, mountain valley, the road lies hard against the jumbled slope.  With the curves mellowing, you might take a moment to check out your surroundings.  Boggy alpine meadows of pink wildflowers lie to the east.  Beyond that, on the valley’s far side, large clearcuts scar the lower mountain slopes.  But back to business.  A contingent of multiple esses escorts you down the slope, where a last corner shoots the DH sharply east across the valley floor and onto a one-lane wooden bridge over Cayoosh Creek at 34.5 km (21.7 mi).  

Another sharp turn and you’re winding north again, through the trees on the east side of the valley.  Somewhere along here, you exit the logging havoc and enter Duffey Lake PP.  As you curve along the lake at 37.0 km (23.3 mi), the milky-green water is intermittently screened by a thin curtain of trees.  Play in the esses is limited not only by the bumpy pavement, but by motor homes lurching unpredictably from the pullovers.   Across the lake, green avalanche chutes streak down the brown ridge that rises steeply from the far shore.  The bottom of these chutes seems a perfect place for some designated RV parking.

At 42.8 km (27.0 mi), you reach the northern tip of the lake where exuberant Cayoosh Creek springs back to life.  The valley narrows and the road climbs the rockfaces on its east side.   In so doing, it delivers some good, but sometimes blind, corners.  These curves stick around even when you return to the valley floor at 46.0 km (29.0 mi). 

You’ll note it’s getting warmer as you escape the cold, coastal air and approach the interior.  You will also note the consistent absence of people, civilization and traffic.  What remains?  Just the mountains, creek, forest and ribbon of grey below, blended into one by your right wrist.  Are you in a state of Zen?  Or an ad for the Kawasaki Nomad?

The valley widens and the radius of the still numerous curves lengthens a tad.  You cross Cayoosh via another wooden one-laner at 55.1 km (34.7 mi).  More back and forth across the valley floor until yet one more single-lane woody puts the creek back on your left at 60.1 km (37.3 mi).

The valley narrows dramatically now, twisting back and forth, forcing road and creek to follow.  High above, dry, steep mountain ridges rake the sky.  The right side of the road cycles through steep cliffs, slides, crumbling sedimentary rock and flat areas before you enter a straighter, more open high-speed stretch.  At 73.0 km (45.3 mi), the valley tightens its grip again and the road starts an up down sequence. Tighter curves return with the steeper terrain.  You might want to stop mid-sweeper at the Grubstake Grill at 75.7 km (46.9 mi).  Hidden in the bush, this stand serves the very best hot dogs, coffee and potato chips you’ll find anywhere between Mount Currie and Lillooet.

Past the pit stop, you climb and carve through more of this DH’s seemingly endless curves.  Across the canyon, whole sides of the vertical mountains seem to have sheared right off.  You hope the same thing doesn't happen to the equally intimidating rock on your immediate right. 

The road descends, crosses the last wooden trestle over Cayoosh Creek at 78.8 km (48.9 mi) and immediately starts to climb.   As you edge high above the creek, you’ll note the sheer rockfaces are now on your left.  Incredibly, the gargantuan mountains across the gorge make the earlier ones seem like mere hills.  The magnificent scenery is complemented by the tight, linked, though sometimes blind, corners coming at you in waves.

At 82.2 km (51.0 mi) the 13-per cent grade advisory signals the beginning of the DH’s final descent.  You’ll feel the blast of Lillooet’s dry summer heat as you negotiate two steep hairpins through the drying terrain.  A right corner takes you out of Cayoosh canyon at 85.5 km (53.0 mi).  The road points east, high above the Seton River.  Further east, the peaks of Fountain Ridge soar through a gap in the mountains on either side of the Seton’s short, but deep valley.

A third hairpin turns you back north past the viewpoint over the long, turquoise expanse of Seton Lake, glistening to the west between yet more steep mountains.  Directly north, the massive, bare, taupe rock of Cayoosh Wall looms above the Seton River.  One more corner and the road descends east to the valley floor, touching down at 87.5 km (54.3 mi).  A few more gentle curves along the river and a fish channel, two last wooden bridges and your journey ends in Lillooet's outskirts at 89.8 km (55.7 mi).

NOTE: As good as the scenery is going in this direction, it's even better going the other way.  You'll also get to re-enjoy this excellent ride from a different perspective.  Highly recommended.  

Twisted Edges
TE-A  Mount Currie – D’Arcy
(37.4 km / 23.2 mi)

You’ll find good pavement on this nicely winding, lightly travelled run up a heavily treed, mountain-ringed, coastal valley.  Stop signs at the many B.C. Rail main line crossings slow you down.  So does the occasional blind corner.