Lower Nicola

Length: 65 km (1.25 to 2 hours)
Overall Rating:
08 - Highly Recommended
08 - Beautiful
09 - Totally Engrossing
08 - Quiet, occasional traffic in peak season

BC’s highway 8 is a windy backroad following the Nicola River from Merritt to Spences Bridge. Out of Merritt it’s a slow road through small settlements and ranches, but quickly gains some serious corners and hills as the river enters its canyon. The curves and the canyon walls tighten considerably as you approach Spences Bridge, and for this reason it’s the most fun to travel northwards on this road — you’ll be warming up to a grand finale of twists and cliff-hugging drops at the northern end.

Dusk on a hot summer night is a particularly great time to enjoy the road. The canyon takes on life of its own: not only do you smell sagebrush wafting through the air, but there is a chance you’ll see a bear or coyote near the road. Even better you’ll be setting yourself up for an evening drive through the Thompson and Fraser canyons — something not to miss.

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