Jack's travelblog

Olympic salmon migration

Thursday September 1

The 5 to the south. In Blue River we eat at the local Grizzly Food Shack. An elderly lady runs the shop and we have to wait for the previous order to be completed. When the previous people are provided with the food, we can order. The salad and wrap are good and it is nice to eat outside in the shade of the umbrella. Then continue towards Clearwater. Here we visit the Visitors Center and a friendly ranger gives us tips. Enough to see. Especially waterfalls. The supermarket is across the road and we stock up for tomorrow and then we can head into the valley on the Clearwater Valley road. The first stop is at the Spahats Falls. Here the river falls 61 m down through a deep gorge. Great view. When the bus with elderly people arrives, it’s time to go. A little further on is a beautiful viewpoint and then further into the valley. We park a 10 km further along the road and do a slightly longer walk to the Moul Falls. At the top there is little to see and we go via the small path to the bottom of the falls. The ranger told us you can pass under it. From a distance it looks different. I am curious and try the path to get a little closer and it turns out that the path does indeed go underneath the falls. Fantastic and refreshing. Another beautiful sight with a double rainbow on the water curtain. The climb up is steep, but we manage. Back at the car we only have a short drive to the Helmcken Falls Lodge, where we spend the night and admire the Milky Way at night.

Woke up early on Friday morning, an hour earlier, because of crossing the time line yesterday. Morning fog and dew on the field. Breakfast on the balcony and then descend through the valley. Soon we arrive at Dawson Falls and the smaller Mushbowl. A short walk through the forest leads to a wide waterfall, 107 m wide and 18 m high. According to one of the signs. A lot of water in any case and a beautiful rainbow. Enjoyable. A bit of touring and parking again. This time it is a short walk to the gate. A huge chasm opens up before us. Steep rock walls, about 200 m high and that is where the 141 m high Helmcken Falls comes down. Wow. Very impressive. We view the waterfall from several points and continue on. The next stop is at the Bailey’s Chute trail. A walk leads to a nice platform along the waterfall, the Bailey’s Chute. Wide but not high, enough noise and we are lucky the salmon migration has just started and with some regularity a salmon jumps up out of the water. So cool. Sometimes also the smaller trout. When we are standing along the side, a large bird of prey hovers over and suddenly dives into the water, comes up and flies away with a large fish in one of its claws. Super cool. More jumping salmon and then we hike further down the trail to Myanth Falls. The return route goes through the forest along some lakes, including West Lake. At Clearwater Lake campground we picnic and rent a canoe. We get the paddles and other equipment and can pick up a canoe 3 km further on. Paddling in the sun and relaxing at Caribou Beach Campground. Take a dip in the cold water and then back to the jetty.

Saturday, out of the park, heading southwest and a stop at Bridge Lake. A short walk from the parking lot to the ice caves, which by the way no longer have visible ice. Seems to contain ice quite long in the year. A beautiful view over the lake makes it complete. At Lillooet a helicopter above the road. It ascends and loads a water bag into the river. Thick brown clouds in the sky, somewhere further there is a wildfire. We drive on and now the parking spaces on the right are closed. Several vehicles carrying firefighters enter the forest on the other side of the river from here. A helicopter dips its water bag in the fast-flowing stream in one of the few deeper pieces. Impressive. The smoke is a bit thicker and the sun is blocked. Fortunately, the sky is getting a lot better a little further on. A stop at Duffey Lake. A pile of trees closes off the blue lake and the surrounding mountains provide a picture-perfect view. Then a stop at Joffre Lakes Provincial Park. Ridiculously busy. Walking to the entrance of the park and a Dutch ranger explains, apparently his colleague is also Dutch, because she also says hello. Unlikely green-blue, green banks, pines all around and a snowy mountain in the background. Super picture. In Whistler we check in and find out that the room has just one queen bed. Back to the counter. Fortunately they can rebook and we get a suite with 2 bedrooms and a living room. Beautiful apartment. Directly from the hotel into the hiking area. Everyone strolls here and we join in.

The next day it rains all day. The mountains hang in the clouds and there is little to see. Main attraction is up the mountain with the gondola. Not now. Another photo at the Olympic rings and on to the Whistler Museum. Pretty nice. Back at the hotel we look for the swimming pool and the spa. One day rain after all the sunny weather is not so bad.


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