Trip – Pavillion north on secondary roads

Courtney on the Vanagon list asked about the back roads north of Pavillion. I’ve travelled around that area a few times and here is a brief description of route and some pics. This is all form memory and google maps to jog my old mind, I apologise in advance for  any mistakes.

You leave paved roads near Pavillion, up and west through the village.

The road climbs moderately until you get onto the bench lands. The road when I travelled on it was dusty and in places muddy. I can see how it could be quite messy and difficult in wet weather. Follow the meandering road as it heads roughly northward toward Jesmond. The Fraser will be to your left, down out of view, but the other side is visible. Then the road turns north east, away from the Fraser towards Kelly lake. There is a small campsite at the lake, Downing Prov. Park. Continue on the Jesmond road, through forest and you might come across a road branching off to the west. I think its the first road on the left. If you want take this road for a more scenic route.

That road goes through forest then down towards the Fraser, steep (25%) and narrow. Once out in the open the road turns north, following the Fraser. The Big Bar Creek cable ferry is down there. Spectacular view across the river, colourful eroded hills on the other side. Follow that road north along the Fraser, sage brush, cactus, dusty roads, rolling up and down until you get to Big Bar Creek.

We then turn north east up Big Bar Creek until we get back to Jesmond road. Turn left and drive north. You’ll get to an intersection, to the right (east) will take you to Little Big Bar lake (forestry campsite there, was nice until the trees cut down due to pine beetle kill) and further east is Big Bar Lake Prov. campsite. But we are heading northwest, on and on until we get to the Dog Creek/Canoe Creek road. Turn west and down that valley to the village of Canoe Creek.

Now we are back at the Fraser and I have some pics of just north of  Canoe Creek.

And then you come to the suspension bridge across the Fraser.

If you cross the bridge you head northwest through the Gang Ranch and finally end up at the Williams lake to Bella Coola at around Lees Corner. We have taken this route to get to Nemiah Valley, a very worthwhile trip. But Courtney wanted to stay on the east side of the Fraser and head north to Dog Creek and further on to Alkali Lake. So don’t cross the bridge, drive north on the dusty road – and in places the dust is like talc – and you will get to both destinations.

Some more info on this area here, “Vanishing Jesmond” and here “Bicycling High Bar road…

  1. #1 by Courtney on June 4, 2011 - 12:25 pm

    Many thanks for the awesome description Alison! Are these roads signposted at all? Or do we do our best imitation of pretending to look at the compass, and say “That’s North that-a-way” 🙂

    • #2 by albell on June 4, 2011 - 1:04 pm


      sheesh 🙂

      there are signs here and there. the backcountry road map series is essential (for me anyway) though.


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