Comprised of mountain ranges, there is no straight route in British Columbia when going from one destination to another. Which is a good thing, gives you a reason to explore more of this beautiful country. Our road trip from Anacortes to Revelstoke, B.C. took us on a changing landscape trail of canyons, high mountains soaring toward the sky, valleys sunken in between towering peaks, wine country, desert mountains, each landscape unique and impressive. On this particular trip we did three of the Top 5 Scenic Drives in B.C, but I would add that all the drives in B.C are scenic.
We crossed the border at Lynden/Aldergrove, entering the charming area of Langley. A quick jaunt up Hwy 13 and we caught the Trans-Canada Hwy 1 east. We opted for the scenic route listed on the Top 5 Scenic Drives, the Trans-Canada Highway 1: Hope to Cache Creek, through Fraser Canyon. It added to our drive time, but it was worth the view. We stopped for lunch in Boston Bar, the Old Towne Inne Bar and Grill, a step back in time and the food was good and hearty.
Scenic Drive 1
Trans-Canada Highway 1: Hope to Cache Creek, listed as one of the Top 5 Scenic Drives in B.C.
As you wind through the canyon you experience a sense of wonder in Mother Nature's creation of steep walls, a flowing river squeezing its way through the canyon floor, and a rugged terrain with a long history of unique stories to tell. Twists, Turns, and Tunnels take you on a wondrous journey.
When you leave the canyon the drive takes you into a contrasting landscape of arid and desert-like countryside. A beautiful and unique scenic drive. We stopped in Kamloops for gas and a quick bite and a quick call to our hotel letting them know we were still on our way.
The trouble with traveling when you are a photographer is it means a lot of stops. Google map said this was a 7.5 hr drive – add meals, bathroom breaks, and more importantly photo opportunities, and the drive easily expands into an additional 3 hours plus. But, what the heck, we were on travel time and when surrounded by so much beauty who can resist. We finally hit our destination, Revelstoke, around 9:30 pm, just as the sun was setting. We had been on the road for around 11 hours at this point and a hotel room sounded divine.
Our first day after arriving, we enjoyed breakfast and walked around town a bit before hitting the road again for the next scenic drive - Revelstoke to Golden via Trans-Canada Hwy 1 (east.) We only made it as far as Canyon Hot Springs. It was a beautiful climb along Mt Revelstoke National Park into the lovely canyon, but after a long day in the car the day before and ears popping from crossing too many mountains, the climb into Glacier National Park seemed daunting, so we turned around and headed back to town, saving this drive for another day.
After a few days in Revelstoke it was time to head for the border and home. We took another scenic drive, Route 97, Revelstoke to Kelowna. The scenery was spectacular. Farmlands, mountain hills, lakes, and small towns captured our attention. I could have spent days exploring this area, we'll save that for another trip.
Getting back to Washington State took many twists and turns and various highways to get home. There was no straight route, so why not explore some of the areas. The ever-changing landscape as we changed highways added to the journey, each unique and with different characters. What was supposed to be the shortest hwy route in the journey, Highway 97 C from Kelowna to Merritt, proved to be the most challenging. Our poor little car sputtered up the long hill. The drastic change in elevation as we climbed in the pouring rain was an adventure into itself. Over 2,000 ft in elevation change with the highest peak at 5,669 ft, it was hard on the ears, the water bottle, and the little engine that could. High in the mountains, covered in clouds, it struck me that the Canadian Highway system seemed to build most of the highways high up on the mountain ranges.
From 97C we took Hwy 5A north to catch Hwy 5 South, where we would then again catch Trans-Canada Hwy 1 (west) towards home. Hwy 5 is another highway up towards the top of the mountain range. We saw signs often that said, "High Mountain Road. Expect Sudden Weather Changes." This drive was not listed on the Top 5 Scenic Drives, but it should be. Stunning views of valleys and mountains stretched for miles. By far, this was one of the most beautiful road trips. It almost needs to done in small sections, each with time dedicated to the area. There was too much to see and explore and not enough time to really experience the true beauty of this part of British Columbia.
Until next time.
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