Some high mountain roads leading to the most alluring outdoor recreational havens can be a challenge for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to access and maintain, especially in the spring when demand for an outdoor getaway is as high as the lingering winter snowpack. That was the case this year for those cabin-goers in the Lower Mainland wondering if they would have direct access to the Bridge River Valley region north of Pemberton.
The ministry worked with a local contractor to clear more than two metres of snow on Hurley River Road, which connects the communities of Gold Bridge, Bralorne and Gun Lake with Pemberton Meadows Road. Without Hurley River Road cleared, travellers would be forced to add more than 100 kilometres to their trip by detouring north through Lillooet. That leaves a lot less time for fishing rainbow trout and paddling on what’s known as the clearest lake in North America.
Plowing such a remote, high elevation road is no easy task. The ministry is responsible for the maintenance of 22 of the overall 49 kilometres, including the summit, which experiences the highest snowfall levels. Some years, snow even continues to accumulate into June. So, to ensure the road will be safe for workers and drivers, ministry avalanche technicians must first assess the risks before crews can start clearing a path.
Fortunately, conditions allowed for efficient plowing this year. Snowpack was lower than normal, the avalanche risk was low, and the contractor’s heavy duty dozer was ready for the task. With the “all clear” given, the contractor got busy blazing a trail to connect the Pemberton Valley with the communities in the Upper Bridge River Valley.
Although the road is now open, four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended. The road features some spectacular views, so if you’re planning on heading that way, be sure to snap some photos.
Of course, there are many outdoor gems to explore around the province. Whether you’re planning a road trip along a major B.C. highway or off the beaten track, make sure your vehicle is ready for the trip. After all, summer is just around that freshly cleared corner; here are a few summer driving tips to ensure you safely reach your outdoor sanctuary of choice.
Where’s your favourite B.C. outdoor escape?