Whistler to Tyax Wilderness Lodge near Gold Bridge Canada

Wednesday 13th June 2018

A light was rain was falling this morning as we pulled out of Whistler. Mist was hanging low in the pine and fir trees as we headed north-east towards tonight’s destination, the Tyax Wilderness Lodge – located some kilometres before the remote town of Gold Bridge (population 45).

View from our hotel in Whistler as we were leaving – clouds much lower than previous day’s photo

Shortly after the small township of Pemberton the road began a steep and winding climb through the territories of the Squamish and L’il’wat peoples. At a brief stop at Duffey Lake we saw the effect of avalanches on the forest line – cleared trails on the mountainside and the lake full of dead logs. In the photo the red trees along the shoreline have been attacked by a beetle and are dying off. Here we also practiced what to do if we surprised a bear!

The road by now was climbing ever steeper and its multiple switchbacks afforded us views of where we had been and where we were yet to drive. There were many close up views of high mountains and deep ravines with fast flowing rivers – as well as close-up views of heavily laden logging trucks – until we reached the small town of Lillooet around lunchtime.

The industry of this area includes mining, logging and fishing. In the short hour we spent in Lillooet the weather managed to go through several cycles, finishing on refreshingly fresh. I saw a pretty young girl walking around in bare legs and a summer skirt and admired her bravery until I realised there was a film crew in town and she was in costume. Whenever she got the chance she shrugged into a thick coat.

It’s a feature film being done by an English crew and it will be called Snorkelling. Keep an eye out for it.

Back on the brand-new coach we turned onto the only road to Gold Bridge. The first part was graded dirt yet even when we reached the bitumen it was no less challenging for our driver, pot-holed from the logging trucks, narrow, winding, a steep cliff on one side and a fast-flowing stream on the other.

We reached the valley floor. The road returned to dirt. At one stage it became so narrow we had to back up for a logging truck to pass. Every so often we passed signs denoting the end to an avalanche area without being aware we had been in one. When Bill and I planned this trip we wanted to choose a tour that was a little off the regular brochure – we got it!

We were also on the lookout for wildlife. Black and grizzly bears should becoming active now. We spotted a group at the water’s edge, but as the bus slowed we realised it was beef cattle that had strayed. The next sighting was a certainty and the driver was able to pull up. We walked back to check it out. Yes, folks, it was another one of those cow-bears. But it did give us a chance to admire the Alberta wild roses growing on the road verges. This is the official floral emblem of Alberta Canada.

At the beginning of Carpenter Lake Reservoir on the Bridge River we reached a hydro-electric dam which also had a fish ladder, this one for spawning salmon. We didn’t have time to stop but it would be similar to what we had seen near Portland. The lake is extensive although not at full height, and as we travelled along more of the lake-bed was exposed. It sits at the bottom of a huge  canyon. Since it was raining off and on, our photos of a couple of days later will show it better.

We continued in this manner until we reached an even steeper and rougher dirt road with a sign, “Tyax Wilderness Lodge – Closed”. Hah! Not for us it wasn’t. Our small party of sixteen in total was  practice for their official opening on the following Friday. The staff well and truly outnumbered us and treated us royally.

What a magical spot! Resting on the shores of Tyaughton Lake, this is a remote solid timber resort surrounded by mountains and forest. A wonderful spoil for the next two nights. If you try to imagine the following photos as a panorama of what we could see from our bedroom window you will understand just how thrilled I was to be a guest here. Wouldn’t it make a fabulous writer’s retreat!

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6 thoughts on “Whistler to Tyax Wilderness Lodge near Gold Bridge Canada

  1. Pingback: Tyax to the Quaaout Lodge near Chase | The Reluctant Retiree

  2. Oh yes, the fabulous shot of the logging truck. It immediately struck fear into my heart as it reminded me of that classic thriller ‘Duel’. Don’t suppose it chased your gleaming coach down the dirt tracks!

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