NICOLA REGION HIGHWAYS

Make the Coquihalla Part of Your Vacation

The Coquihalla Highway passes through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the province. This dramatic change of environment is always exhilarating, as you go from misty coastal cedars and tall firs to bright sunlight on the high rock faces in the space of half an hour.

This highway offers more than magnificent scenery. It joins the Hope-Princeton and Fraser Canyon to make the interior more easily accessible. This helps encourage commercial development and tourism throughout the Province.

First explored by the Hudson’s Bay Company, the Coquihalla Pass saw a progression of trappers, hunters, fur traders and, in the late 1850’s, prospectors entered the area in search of gold. The Pass later saw the Kettle Valley railway line put through and, after that closed in 1960, two major pipelines and logging operations.

Now, with touring and commercial drivers discovering this fast route through the interior, the area’s future has never looked brighter.

The Cariboo-Chilcotin Circle Route

Use the Coquihalla Highway to go deep into the interior of the Province.

Follow the Coquihalla to Kamloops, by Highway 5 to Little Fort, across to 100 Mile House by Highway 24, and on to Williams Lake by Highway 97. Then travel west to the magnificent Bella Coola Valley or continue north to Barkerville, which boasted the biggest strike of the gold rush.

Return from Williams Lake by Highway 97 to Cache Creek, then by the Trans Canada Highway No. 1 through the Thompson and Fraser Canyon to Hope and Vancouver.

The Okanagan Circle Route

Use the Coquihalla Highway to get to the heart of the Okanagan, with its summer-long explosion of cherries, apples, apricots, pears, peaches, grapes and plums.

Follow the Hope-Princeton Highway to Princeton, onward by Highway 3 to Keremeos, and over the Richter Pass to Osoyoos. Follow Highway 97 to Penticton, Kelowna and Vernon to Kamloops. Then return by the Coquihalla to Hope and back to Vancouver.

Follow the Coquihalla Highway to Merritt from the Lower Mainland, Turn off at Highway 97C (Okanagan Connector) to the interior. Return to Vancouver via Highway 97 south and west on Highway 3, or north on Highway 97 to Kamloops or Cache Creek, then south on Highway 5 or 1.

These are only a few of the circle routes you can choose as part of your exploration of British Columbia – create the route that’s best for you.

Okanagan Connector

This route, which connects Merritt to the interior, reduces driving time between Vancouver and the Okanagan. Travellers can drive from the Lower Mainland to the interior in just 4 hours.

The highway is four or five lanes wide for its 84 kilometre length.