Princeton - TulameenI was planning some snowshoeing in Manning Park, but we got some minor technical problems and I decided to do Plan "B", a scenic drive to Princeton and Tulameen.
I haven't visited Princeton since 2001 and I have never been here in Winter. The town of Princeton is located in a relatively dry valley on Highway 3.
There are several historic mining towns nearby: Tulameen, Coalmont, Granite City, Blakeburn and Allenby. In these places you can do some recreational gold panning and see many native pictographs.
Close to this town it is a family ski hill called China Ridge. This place is run by volunteers and by your generous donation. I will try to have fun in this place before the season ends.
We had views of Tulameen River, before reaching Tulameen we passed Coalmont. Coalmont got this name because it was believed that there was a mountain of coal.
Then we stopped at Shoe Tree. Early travelers in this valley traveled the HBC Trail which crossed the Tulameen River at this point. This tree was a handy place to dry and warm one's footwear as well as a comfortable rest stop. Today the Shoe Tree tradition carries on thanks to local Tulameenies.
Then we arrived to Tulameen. This town sits between the eastern bank of the Tulameen River and the southern end of beautiful Otter Lake.
The lake warms up in the summer, providing great boating and nice beaches. Tulameen is home to about 250 residents but this number can swell to 5,000 in the summer months.
The road after leaving Tulameen is not very friendly in Winter but it is only 48 km (30 miles) before reaching Highway 5A.
After reaching Highway 5A, we did a quick stop on Kentucky Alleyne Provincial Park. Once know only by local fishers and their friends, the Coquihalla and the Hwy 97C Connector have made the access easier to these beautiful fishing lakes.
But we only have a few minutes to enjoy the view because a snowstorm was on its way.
Alleyne Lake is only suited to small and light boats. Of course, in Winter there is not need of boats. I had fun running over the lake.
Then the snow came and everything was white with almost not visibility.
Finally, back to Vancouver. Driving on the Coquihalla Highway I didn't feel the 670 km (418 miles) roundtrip.