Written By: Clarissa Wall
WHERE: Lytton, B.C.
If you’re still looking for a way out of the city this coming Labour Day weekend, and are hoping to avoid the inevitable crowds in Whistler and the Okanagan, consider visiting Lytton, BC. It’s just under 3 hours outside of Vancouver, and Labour Day weekend they host the annual Lytton River Festival.
I first visited Lytton last summer, and had no idea what to expect. We headed out of the city and planned to camp just outside of Lytton. I was totally shocked by how beautiful and peaceful the area is. Lytton is where two of BC’s great rivers, the Thompson and Fraser, meet. The climate is slightly arid, and for succulent lovers, tiny cactus plants grow wild on the ground in some areas.
Across the Fraser River, accessed by crossing on a two-car ferry (which is operated free of charge), is the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park — where day use and camping are also both free. The park has back-country hiking and camping options for those up to the challenge.
I returned again this August, and this year we got to visit the farmer’s market which pops up in town on Fridays. There are stands selling fresh produce, handmade crafts, or even locally produced honey. There are several neat art shops in town, selling local photography, paintings, etc. Lytton is also renowned for its whitewater rafting, and there’s a rafting resort nearby that offers tours, accommodations, and even a free concert series.
All in all, Lytton is an absolutely beautiful part of BC that’s well within reach of the city for a weekend away. There are some inns in town, or many places nearby to camp, that make it an affordable option. Visiting during their festival weekend you’ll see the town come alive — celebrating its rich and unique heritage, along with the natural beauty it boasts year round.