Our Weekend Trip to Scenic Lillooet in Melvan the Westy

Published May 25, 2017

Inspired by a friend’s beautiful pics of their trek up to Lillooet, we decided we needed to take Melvan up there–for those of you who don't know, our vanagon came with a name, Melvan Gibson, and it stuck.

Lillooet map

The quaint town is only about 3.5 hours North of Vancouver, which makes it the perfect spot for a quick weekend trip; so that’s what we did. Quite spontaneously on a Friday evening, we quickly packed up the essentials and hit the sea to sky for a little mountain therapy.

On the Sea to Sky

sea to sky highway vanagon westfalia

As is typical of us, we didn't have a roadtrip plan and just went for it.

We had to climb several mountain passes, and Melvan was taking his sweet time with it. There's a section of hill that's particularly steep, near Joffre Lakes that we wondered if we were going to make it.

But, slow and steady, the miles ticked by (our van is original from the US) up the steep and windy hills.

We arrived in Lillooet at about 12am and after scouring the neighbourhood for a spot, we pulled into the local dive’s parking lot. We took out our phones and used Google Maps to see if there were any spots we could possibly camp at.

After coming to the conclusion that we’d have to just find a side road, we put the keys into the ignition and...nothing. Tried again; still nothing. Melv wouldn’t start. So we did what any Vanagon owner would do: posted the problem on the Facebook Vanagon Owners group. Within a minute we were getting responses (seriously, Vanangon owners are the best!). It took about 30 minutes to get the van started and we were off.

The Breakdown

Now at about 1am, we pulled up to a dirt clearing off a side road and decided that this is as good as it’s gonna get; and it was pretty good actually (besides the fact that whenever we turned on our lamp we were swarmed with moths. It was like god had sent the 11th plague.)

There was no light pollution at all, and the inky black sky was lit up with stars; it was beautiful. In the morning we realized we were almost overlooking the Fraser River.

Loved this sign! Thanks, we will.

We spent most of the day just exploring the town–at a snail’s pace thanks to the hills–without much of an agenda. But, we knew we wanted to check out Seton Lake, and it did not disappoint.

The waters were beautiful shades of emerald and turquoise. The backdrop of everest trees and mountains made the lake even more picturesque.

vanagon westfalia lillooet

Seton Lake

seton lake, british columbia

vanagon westfalia at seton lake, BC

Later that day, we once again found ourselves searching for a place to stay overnight. We went exploring the dirt roads around Duffey Lake and ended up coming to a dead end that turned out to be the perfect camp spot: private, and right on the banks of Cayoosh Creek.

We spent the rest of the day reading, napping, and sipping on whiskey. We enjoyed the sounds of the crackling fire and tumbling river before calling it a night.

Duffey Lake

duffey lake, british columbia

Cayoosh Creek

cayoosh creek, BC

vanagon westfalia night campfire

Note: This trip was in 2016, when there was no campfire ban.

The next morning we awoke to a beautiful day, and headed home. Melvan must have slept well, because he brought us home without any incidents!

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Alicia H

Alicia is the co-founder of Boondoggle Goods.