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Pemberton has so much to see and enjoy. The natural scenery is a stunning and quick access to hiking, climbing, mountain biking, and backcountry ski-touring routes is one of the main reasons for Pemberton’s surge in popularity.Many of Whistler’s tour based companies are actually run out of Pemberton.
Here are some interesting things to see and do in Pemberton:
Pemberton Heritage Museum
on aptly named Prospect Street showcases a collection of buildings and artifacts that date back to the 1860’s. Displays include gold rush exhibits, blacksmith tools, relocated settlers’ homes, two homes originally belonging to aboriginal people, and a dugout canoe from Lillooet Lake. Open from June to Septmeber.
The original Pemberton Hotel, established in 1914 and located appropriately on Frontier Street, still operates today, The 34-room hotel adds to the heritage and rustic charm of the Pemberton area.
The unique isolation offered by the mountain ranges surrounding Pemberton Valley allows for the control of fungi, bacteria and viruses that cause potatoe diseases, and the insects that spread them. In 1967 Pemberton was the first commercial seed potatoe area in the world to grow virus-free seed potatoes. With careful monitoring, inspection and testing, Pemberton seed potatoe industry continues to enjoy renowned success.
Pemberton is a golfer’s dream town. Home to a world class golf course snuggled up against the base of majestic Mount Currie; Big Sky Golf Course.
Located a short drive north of Whistler at the foot of the massive Mount Currie, Big Sky is an outstanding 18-hole golf course with stunning tri-valley mountain views. The Robert Cupp-designed course features an exquisitely manicured set of links that makes use of ponds and natural vegetation to provide a unforgettable round of golf.
There are two provincial parks in the Pemberton region with well organized campgrounds. Nairn Falls Provincial Park offers a large number of campsites along the Green River, a cold fast-running river with steep and unstable banks. Birkenhead Provincial Park is somewhat more remote, an hour’s drive north of Mount Currie near D’Arcy.
North of Pemberton the Sea to Sky Trail has received some of the most concentrated attention, as trail builders fine-tune the route between Mount Currie and D’Arcy. At present, a 31-mile (50-km) loop runs between D’Arcy (the trail’s northern terminus) and the whistle stop of Gramsons on the BC Rail line south of Birkenhead Lake. Quite a variety of mountain biking terrain is up for grabs along the way. Decide which section best suits your skill level. A challenging section lies between Birkenhead Lake and D’Arcy, particularly the steep descent on Smell the Fear, a short but technically demanding piece of singletrack. For those who wish a gentler approach, a power-line road is an alternative. side from the Sea to Sky Trail, the heart of mountain biking in the Pemberton region is centred around Mosquito and Ivey Lakes. The two lakes are tucked in behind a knoll on the north side of the valley between Pemberton and Mount Currie.
Pemberton has four great options for the road cyclist. Pemberton Meadows Road is a straight, flat 27-km ride through the potatoe farming community. On the return trip, the beautiful view of Mt. Currie will lead you home. Heading north on Highway 99 toward Lillooet, the road winds along the valley bottom for 10 km, followed by a daunting 15-km switchback climb!
A glorious ride along the Birkenhead River towards Birken and D’Arcy passes scenic Gates Lake, with picturesque views of rocky bluffs and snowcapped peaks. The last option is to ride south to Whistler, a 35-km test of endurance and climbing skills – a great out-and-back ride.
One of the oldest hiking routes in the Pemberton Valley leads 7.5 miles (12 km) from the trailhead off the Hurley River Road to Tenquille Lake. During the first half of the 20th century, miners used pack-horse routes to reach the subalpine region surrounding Tenquille and Owl Lakes. More recently, some of these overgrown trails have been reopened for hiking and mountain biking. An alpine trail system that links Tenquille and Owl Creek, as well as the original horse trail from Tenquille to Barber’s Valley and Ogre Lake, has been constructed. The revitalizing of the trails around Tenquille, coupled with those around nearby Birkenhead and Blackwater Lakes, makes this region one of the best destinations for experienced hikers and mountain bikers. Farther north, a rough trail follows the Lillooet River into theUpper Lillooet Headwaters, a sublime wilderness region that is now a provincial park. Plan on a 2.5-mile (4-km) hike from the trailhead at Salal Creek to reach broad sandbars that stand revealed in late summer on more open sections of the Lillooet River. To reach the trailhead, follow the Pemberton Valley and Lillooet River Roads 30 miles (50 km) northwest of Pemberton. Turn left immediately after the road crosses Salal Creek and drive about 0.6 mile (1 km) to the trailhead at the end of a rough but passable range road.
The Shadow Lake Interpretive Forest offers over 6 kilometres of connecting trails in 125 hectares in the Soo Valley alongside Highway 99 between Pemberton and Whistler. The highlight of the forest is Shadow Lake, which is fed by a number of small creeks from the south and west, and a northerly outflow channel takes the lake water into the Soo River. Trails are easy and moderate, and range in length from 400 metres to 2.1 km.
The many stables in the beautiful Pemberton Valley offer a variety of horseback riding on trails through beautiful mountain and valley scenery for riders of all levels. For the novice rider, Pemberton’s many stables offer 2-hour introductory rides along the valley floor. Pemberton’s experienced wranglers share regional stories on every trail ride. No trip to the valley is complete without a guided horse ride through forests, along sandy river beaches, and through grassy meadows at the foot of 8,000 foot Mt. Currie. Stables are located up Pemberton Valley Meadows Road, Highway 99, and close to the village.