Touring the Chilcotins
Touring the Chilcotins – a Guided Motorcycle Tour in British Columbia
In August of 2019 we received a tour inquiry from two gentlemen from the USA looking for a unique motorcycle experience, a ride that they could not experience in their home state. They had four days in their schedule with no plans and wanted us at Moto Experience to take them on an unforgettable tour of our backyard. We gladly accepted the challenge and began planning four days of riding with lodging and meals. We came up with a really great route that would take us to a spectacular riding area in the Chilcotin Mountain range. The Chilcotin Mountain range is a sub-division of the Coastal Mountains, located just North of Pemberton British Columbia. We sent an itinerary via email to our potential guests and got a call back very shortly after wanting to book.
it’s always a real treat to be able to spend multiple days exploring and showing our new friends all the amazing scenery, wildlife and great trails in the South Chilcotins so we always jump at the chance to take people here.
August really started to fly by, lots of tour inquiries were coming in for half or full day rides but in the back of my mind all I could think about was our four day Adventure coming up. A few days before our departure I remember looking at the 7 day forecast and it was looking perfect, Sun and a comfortable 20 degrees Celsius for the foreseeable future. Touring the Chilcotins.
The night before I spent the day getting all the bikes prepped, luggage ready and fuel tanks filled for the journey tomorrow. We set up our guests with our favorite accommodation spot, the Pemberton Valley Lodge. It’s a very well appointed Lodge located just off highway 99, with a pool, hot tub that is just a few steps away from town. We met up at Mile One eating house for one of their amazing burgers and made a game plan for tomorrow. Touring the Chilcotins.
Day # 1- The guys arrived just after 9 am with lots of energy, they must of had a big breakfast. We got them both setup with their riding gear and luggage and hit the road as soon as we could. The first part of the journey was heading to the Hurley Pass from Pemberton via the Pemberton Meadows. The Hurley Pass is the main access road connecting the Bridge River Valley with Pemberton and the Sea to Sky corridor. It can be a fairly rough road depending on the time of year but luckily it was fairly smooth. We travelled up out of the Pemberton Meadows over the pass and down into the Bridge River. The views on this road are pretty spectacular, you see the occasional truck or car or lost tourist in a hatch back with a flat tire so you aren’t totally alone. We made a few stops along the way to stretch it out and take in the gorgeous scenery even though we kept them updated regularly with our Bluetooth headsets. They are truly a must have for any Adventure riding in our opinion. We got to Tyax Wilderness Lodge about 3 hours after leaving Pemberton, we had many stops to take photos, have a snack or just hang out for a minute. The whole journey from Pemberton can be done on a motorcycle in a shorter amount of time but we weren’t in a hurry. It is about 85 kms from Pemberton to Gold Bridge which isn’t a long ways but its all relevant to how fast you travel. Once we got to Tyax both Mike and Ron were completely blown away. We had lunch on the sunny patio overlooking Tyaughton Lake and decided why not call it a day and hit the hot tub. We finished the evening with an amazing dinner at the Lodge and made a plan for tomorrow. Great day Touring the Chilcotins.
Day # 2 – Mike was really egar to get on the bike this morning before breakfast, early double track ride? Why not, we hit some of the local double track, I must say it’s one of the highlights of riding around here. If you ever get tired of the views just duck off the road and explore the hundreds of kms of sandy double track trails. Getting our early morning fix of adrenalin before breakfast was a smart more, no need for a coffee today. After a great breakfast spread put on by the wonderful Tyax staff we headed towards Lillooet in a very indirect route. There are a ton of smooth roads, paved or not paved to choose your own adventure. Mike and Ron were really enjoying themselves. Ron who has a background in racing cars on a semi professional level was having a time on our KLR 650, he was learning the ways of off-road motorcycling. After a great morning of riding we made our way to Lillooet for lunch at Abundance Bakery. I took them around Seton Lake for a quick walk around the lake, there was talk about a potential dip but we backed out. We made our way back to Tyax a slightly different route and headed strait to the hot tub for a moto debrief.
Day # 3 – This morning we are heading to explore Bralorne and Gold Bridge, two small towns located 20 kms south of Tyax. Gold Bridge and Tyax were old mining towns back in the 1930’s, they have about 100 residents between both towns. They both have a ton of history so there is los to chat about on the headsets. We made our way through town and up to the Ghost town at the Bralorne Pioneer mine. From there we hit some local double track trails up to Kingdom Lake where we took a load off and soaked in the views. From Kingdom Lake we descended back down into the valley and back up to Tyax to finish up the day.
Day # 4 – Heading home – Another beautiful day was in front of us and we saved some of the best roads for last. We headed East of Highway 40 towards Lillooet skirting Carpenter Lake for 50 kms. If you haven’t ridden this road I highly recommend it, its virtually traffic free with the odd local travelling back from Lillooet, long sweeping corners and smooth pavement. It’s covers all aspects of an epic motorcycle road. We crossed over carpenter lake dam and up Mission Mountain pass down into Seton Portage. We stopped at the Barrel on in Pub for a lunch break, a necessary pit stop when travelling through. If you make a stop here try their pizza, its made fresh and is top notch. The road back to D’Arcy sits high above Anderson Lake and made for a really epic finish to an amazing four days. The road is definitely not an easy one but with some decent off-road experience you will make it through. On one of the harder hill climbs we met an English chap sitting on his BMW 1200 Gs in its side. He didn’t make it up the hill and ended up in the ditch, we helped right the bike and got it to the top. He looked ok so we pointed him in the right direction and he went on his way. We took his phone number and called him later to make sure he made it to his hotel in Seton.
All the epic scenery has now painted a permanent grin on mike’s face, we stopped over the last look out to take in the last of the views and reflect on the trip. We descended back into the Pemberton Valley where it all began and made our way back home. We arrived back in Pemberton just after 5 pm and dusted off the gear and said goodbye to Mike and Ron.
It was an amazing way to spend a few days, riding with great places with even better people. Definitely a trip to remember, until the next ride.