Road to the Big Bars

CK Wright Photo Trips

Clinton is a great jumping off point to see the unique landscape and forested regions west towards the Fraser River. On this day outing I visited the three Big Bars, the Big Bar Reaction Ferry at the Fraser River, Little Big Bar Lake, and Big Bar Lake.

Driving southwest from Clinton along the paved Clinton-Pavilion Road leads through ranch land before arriving at Kelly Lake in Downing Provincial Park. The early morning light combined with the calm water was just pure magic.

The gravel Jesmond Road heads north from Kelly Lake and climbs upwards through a narrow valley alongside the Edge Hills Provincial Park. Some areas along here were burned in the 2009 Kelly Creek Wildfire and I thought the regeneration and wildflowers would make an interesting composition.

Near the northern end of the park, the Big Bar Ferry road heads southwest through the park to the Fraser River. As you near the river, the landscape opens up showing the dry interior scrubland and exposed rock.

The final descent to the Fraser River offers impressive views of the river and the landscape.

The ferry itself is a reaction type that uses the river flow to pull the vessel across the river.

Looking down the loading ramp and seeing those boards makes you wonder how slippery it is on a wet day…sure hope the ferry is still there when you get to the bottom!

I decided to retrace my drive back to the Jesmond Road and save the crossing and further exploring for another day. Just above the river is this well irrigated ranch with the bright grass contrasting with the barren hills.

Back at the junction with the Jesmond Road, I headed northwards towards the Little Big Bar Lake and Big Bar Lake, passing this abandoned homestead.

Turning eastward onto the Big Bar Road, the road passes Beaverdam Lake offering nice views of the Marble Range and Jesmond lookout.

I stopped in at Little Big Bar Lake and though it wasn’t particularly photogenic, for the sake of completeness I’ll include the photo here.

My last stop on this outing was at Big Bar Lake, a really impressive Provincial Park with lots of trails to explore the eskers, marshes, and interior Douglas-fir forest.

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