Spring Fraser River Ride

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Dcoops, Mar 3, 2019.

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  1. Dcoops

    Dcoops n00b

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    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post on the forum. I’m an off road adventure cyclist (no motor), but I’ve been coming here for a few years to leech off the awesome wealth of information you all have about dirt routes. I was looking for some info on early spring routes in BC (early to mid May) that might be snow free enough for a bike to make it through in early to mid May and was hoping some of you here might be able to help me out.

    My general impression so far is that the Fraser river is probably my best to find some nice miles of snow free dirt riding that time of year. I have a rough plan to start in Lilloett and take the Clinton-Pavillion road up to Kelly Lake and Jesmond Rd. From there my plan is to either follow Jesmond or go down High Bar rd to big bar and take the big bar road back up to Jesmond. Then I hope to continue up Jesmond and take Meadow lake road down to the river. From the river, I’m planning to either cross and head through gang ranch to the gaspard-churn creek or to follow dog creek rd all the way to Williams Lake.

    My main concerns are snow, camping, and water. Does this sound like the type of route that would be passable in early May? Would I be able to find spots away from private property to camp along the way? And lastly, since I’m non-motorized, I cover a lot less distance than all of you in a day and was wondering if y’all know if there are generally creeks where I could fill up water in the area? Lastly, do any of you have any route advice about whether I should stay up on the plateau on Jesmond road or drop down to the river at high bar? Same goes for the gang ranch/gaspard route vs dog creek?

    Thanks for reading my long-winded route idea and for any advice you can offer a fellow two wheeed traveler!
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  2. filterwrench

    filterwrench Been here awhile

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    Looks to be shaping up to be a cold spring snow is going to stick around longer than the norm up this way. I would focus on low elevation roads a good route for on your way up would be to cross over the Fraser river at Boston Bar and ride the west side of the river all the way to Lillooet. If you find that stretch to be snow free then continue to your destinations. If you have not ridden that route you will like it the roads follow the Fraser at low elevations and your on a south south east facing slope so its warmer than most of the surrounding areas.
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  3. Dcoops

    Dcoops n00b

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    Thanks! If I can find a place to park around Boston Bar I’ll probably give that a try as a warmup. I’m really hoping everything north of lillooet melts out because the section from Boston bar is probably only a day and a half or two of riding but it does look like great riding and you make a good point about the SW exposure. Patchy snow is no issue but I definetly don’t want to be pushing through snow for 10s of km.
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  4. NW Coaster

    NW Coaster Adventurer

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    We had a fairly late melt last year as well, hence all the flooding troubles in the interior. I rode through the Gang Ranch area on May 22 and it was 31 C (88 F) there. Part of my route took me up to 4,100 ft and there was no sign of snow so I don't think you should have much snow issues unless you go up quite high. I posted a couple of photos here:
    https://advrider.com/f/threads/the-i-liked-this-road-thread.724473/page-23#post-35322123

    You might consider picking up the Cariboo/Chilcotin one of these $30 books at any supermarket or drug store in BC:
    https://www.backroadmapbooks.com/backroad-mapbooks/bc-backroad-maps
    They'll show you campgrounds, viewpoints, trails etc along your route. They also have digital versions for your GPS or phone for more $$.
    Example of the paper version:
    [​IMG]

    If it's not too far out of your way, Farwell Canyon is very scenic and there's an old homestead there with 3 or 4 rough campsites right on the river. As far as water, there is a lot of cattle farming in those areas so I would suggest taking some sort of purifier if you were planning to take from small creeks, or boil your water. Larger rivers should be OK. There is a small store at Gang Ranch that sells refreshments and souvenirs.
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  5. Dcoops

    Dcoops n00b

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    Thank you thank you thank you both for your solid advice. I think I’m going to start around the Hope/Boston Bar area in early May and ride up to Lillooet. If that’s all clear, I’ll continue on up to gang ranch, farwell canyon and Williams lake. I can always keep going up the Fraser from there if I still have time and energy. Thanks for your help. NW Coaster, I’m hoping your experience last year bodes well for the melt. Happy riding!
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