Highway 40 is a treacherous road in the heart of BC

Highway 40 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.

Highway 40

How long is Highway 40 in BC?

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) to Gold Bridge (in the Bridge River Valley). The sections as you go west are called the Moha Road, Bridge River Road, and Lillooet-Pioneer Roads (Road 40). It’s a treacherous road, frequently narrow, with a multitude of tight radius 10-20kmh blind corners and steep drop offs with no barriers. No cell phone signal for most of the road. Numerous large and small rocks on the road.

Is Highway 40 in BC paved?

This narrow winding road is mostly paved with dust from passing vehicles on gravel surface. It is being improved the last years. It’s suitable for all vehicles but high clearance is very recommended. Expect some narrow sections with 11%-13% grade switchbacks. The road is a crucial link frequented by locals, tourists, commercial truck drivers and those from the forest and energy industries.

Is Highway 40 in BC open?

It remains unmaintained during the winter season and there’s no snowplowing on the road, regardless of the time of year. Rock slides are common. Always watch for falling rocks and wildlife. Avalanche hazard in the winter season.

How long does it take to drive the Highway 40 in BC?

To drive the road without stopping will take most people between 2.5 and 3 hours. 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 drive is spectacular with the colors and water levels of the Carpenter Lake Reservoir changing with the seasons. This route crosses spectacular mountain terrain featuring waterfalls and wildlife viewing. It does get used by logging trucks and other industrial traffic, so watch out for that too, especially on particularly narrow stretches of the road.

Pic: Masha Prokopenko