Highway 40

Highway 40, a treacherous road in the heart of British Columbia

Highway 40 is a delightful yet challenging drive located in the heart of British Columbia, in Canada. The drive is suitable for all vehicles but expect some narrow sections with 11%-13% grade switchbacks.

The road is 105km (65 miles) long, running from Lillooet, a small town encapsulated by breathtaking mountains and situated on the banks of the Fraser River and Gold Bridge, in the Bridge River Valley. Driving at night, or in poor visibility, is not recommended for drivers unfamiliar with the road. The drive travels west through a variety of breathtaking scenery from the arid canyons near Lillooet, through the Bridge River Gorge, along turquoise Carpenter Lake, and finally ends deep in the Coast Mountains at the historic settlements of Gold Bridge. 
The road is not easy, though. Up, down, right, left all the time. Rock slides are common. It is being improved the last years. The sections as you go west are called the Moha Road, Bridge River Road, and Lillooet-Pioneer Roads (Road 40). Always watch for falling rocks & wildlife. It’s a treacherous road with a multitude of tight radius 10-20kmh blind corners and steep drop offs with no barriers.

This narrow winding road is mostly paved. It’s suitable for all vehicles. Expect some narrow sections with 11%-13% grade switchbacks. Don’t stuff your belly too much. Eventually, you might feel vomiting temptations. The road is a crucial link frequented by locals, tourists, commercial truck drivers and those from the forest and energy industries. The road remains unmaintained during the winter season and there’s no snowplowing on the road, regardless of the time of year. This route crosses spectacular mountain terrain featuring waterfalls and wildlife viewing. The drive is spectacular with the colours & water levels of the Carpenter Lake Reservoir changing with the seasons.
Pic: Masha Prokopenko

 

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