It’s a 4 hour-drive between Kamloops and Vancouver (357km), via the jaw-dropping scenery of the Coquihalla Highway (Hwy-5), but there’s another route…
The cross-country journey via Whistler (using Hwy-1 & Hwy-99) is equally spectacular and adds the chance to explore one of North America’s premier mountain resorts. This option adds around 1.5 hours to the drive and is recommended only in summer. The steep and winding hill down to Whistler will test your brakes in good conditions, and in winter, when roads are icy and visibility poor, that road can be treacherous.
Driving times between destinations below are all approximate and don’t include breaks to enjoy the fantastic scenery!
Travel via the Historic Hat Creek Ranch at Cache Creek, then drive to Clinton (30 mins) and stay Echo Valley Ranch & Spa (a luxury western ranch with Thai influences), or Big Bar Guest Ranch. Getting to these ranches is about a 45-minute drive up a (well maintained) dirt road. You’ll travel through some pretty diverse landscape to a plateau where cowboys rustle the herds and bears roam the pastures. Y’all in the heart of cowboy country.
Or you can drive on through to Lillooet, usually the temperature hot-spot of the province and a stone’s throw from the sacred forests of the St’at’imc Nations – a mythical place to hike.
Then, not long before you get to Whistler , stop by the Pemberton Museum, a best kept secret of the region.
In Whistler choose between:
• A quick bite in one of the many eateries – either in the village of half way up the mountain – before hitting the Sea to Sky Highway back to Vancouver (2 hrs).
• Stay for the afternoon and take the Peak to Peak Gondola – a ride in the air of gob-smacking views and “wow” engineering.
• Stay overnight to follow our Whistler in One Day itinerary to properlly explore this Olympic destination, its shops, spas, galleries and nightlife. Or drop into the Whistler Activity Centre to discover a mind-boggling array of summer and winter activities to enjoy on and off the mountains.