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View of Shalalth and Seton Lake from Mission Mtn Road

This page has pics of some of the main vistas of Seton Lake; plus links to subpages concerning the lake's communities and its history.

The picture at left is of Seton Lake from the Mission Mtn Road above Shalalth, which is in the near foreground.  Cayoosh Canyon lies between the saddle-ridge at rear right and the snow-clad buttress of Mt. Brew behind it.



Seton Portage
Shalalth
Bridge River Townsite
Skimka (Seton Beach)
Nkoomptch
Nkiat & Slosh
The Gas Car
Bridge River Power
McNeils & Seton Bluffs
Mission Mtn Road
The Totem Pole


The Little Ships of the Lake Country

Shalalth & Seton Lake
"Tsalalh" - "The Lake"

Andy Cleven Photo: View of Seton Lake from top of penstocks, before diversion of Bridge R.
Photo: E. (Andy) Cleven
E. Cleven Photo: view of Seton Portage & Anderson Lake from Mission Pass
Photo: E. (Andy) Cleven

These two views are the ones most travellers through the Lillooet Country get to see - the vista up the lake from Highway 99 as it descends from Cayoosh Canyon approaching Lillooet. on Hwy 99 from Whistler  The peak in the distance is Whitecap Peak, one of the highest in the Bendor Range - behind it are the goldfield towns of the upper Bridge River basin.  The Lake - Tsalalh (roughly pron. Chelath) in the St'at'imcets language - makes a sinous bend through high mountains, moving from a more temperate climate at Seton Portage and Shalalth at the farther end to the intense desert-like semi-arid climate of the area of the town of Lillooet.
Details visible here are relatively few - the BCR rail line on the right-hand (north) shore, and the tracery of the powerline cut on the right - the slender s-shape on the darker mountainside at mid picture, plus the clearing on the same mountain's shore on the farthest visible part of the lake.  The snow-covered cleaing at left (on the same mountainside) is that of the Machute Creek forest fire, c. 1979.  The grandeur of the immediate setting of this viewpoint is hard to grasp from these pictures; to the immediate right are the alluvial cliff-fan of McNeils and the towering Seton Bluffs, up and to the immediate right the towering flank of Mt. Brew, behind the viewpoint the staggering gorge of Nkoomptch which leads through to the Fraser Canyon and the town of Lillooet.

BC Archives # I-20553: Seton House, Shalalth (from lake)
Photo: E. (Andy) Cleven
This is a lakeside view from just below the Hwy 99 viewpoint above; not much different except that it shows the alluvial fan that is McNeils at right, plus the very base of the Seton Bluffs.  The difference with this photo, also, is that it was taken with a wide-angle lens, whereas the ones above were taken with a 210 mm telephoto, which magnifies distant landscapes considerably, while a wide-angle shrinks it considerably.  Whitecap Peak is in the centre-background of this image as well.




Andy Cleven Photo: View of Seton Lake from top of penstocks, before diversion of Bridge R.
Photo: E. (Andy) Cleven
Seton Lake is only 800 feet above sea level, although the ranges walling it in soar to seven and eight thousand on the north and up to nine on the south. The dim snowy peak in the right background of the picture at left is 9890 ft Mt. Brew, which tower over the Fraser beyond as well as the deep gorge of Cayoosh Canyon, which is the far side of the forested ridge visible below Mt. Brew. The lake twists to the left at the centre of the photo and then slightly to the right as it comes to its outlet near Lillooet, where the gorges of Seton Lake and the Cayoosh Canyon merge between the looming flanks of Mt. Brew and Mission Ridge's Mt. McLean into a greater gorge called Nkoopmtch that forms an open maw in the sidewall of the Fraser Canyon. Over those twenty miles the climate has radically shifted from the Portage's benign temperate orchard country to the severe desert and dry rangeland of Lillooet and the Fraser Canyon. In the old days, a succession of small steam ferries served the original rush of gold-crazed adventurers en route to Lillooet and the Cariboo as well as generations of the residents of Shalalth and the Portage; there are said to be eight of these vessels lost to the waters of the lake, as well as a number of PGE/BCR locomotives. Seton is one of the deepest lakes in the province, the deepest sounding so far being 1500 feet. Scheduled water ferry service on the lake is supposed to resume soon for resident and tourist use; the lake is famed today for its spectacular water-skiing. As with the Bridge Canyon, I'll be working at photodocumenting Seton and its flanking ranges and gorges, and trying to find archival and private photos by which to illustrate the valley's astonishing scenery and climate. Seton also has some of the most interesting history in the region, so in time there will be a good amount of pics and other information here. The name "Shalalth" (properly Ts'alalh in the new St'at'imcets spelling system) means simply "the lake", and is the proper name for Seton Lake; the actual specific locality meant by the name today os the lands surrounding the point on the left in the picture above, and illustrated close-up below:  

BC Archives # I-20553: Seton House, Shalalth (from lake)
Photo: E. (Andy) Cleven



The grandeur of mountainside views from the flank of Mission Mountain was famous in its day, and photographed endlessly by my father and other visitors to the valley.  Other views are in fact hard to come by short of an arduous hike or an aerial flight over the area (see subpages).  
BC Archives # I-20553: Seton House, Shalalth (from lake)  
Photo: E. (Andy) Cleven

BC Archives # I-20553: Seton House, Shalalth (from lake)  
Photo: E. (Andy) Cleven
This lakeside view is from, I think, Slosh, which is the native community the farthest western end of the lake; the bluffs at centre-right are immediately opposite Shalalth and Ohin.  A similar view is at below left, and if I recall correctly I took it near the old PGE tunnel next to today's BCR tunnel, on the rocky point of Mt. Skeil, the low headland that formed the Totem Pole, an old reflective feature of the local landscape.

BC Archives # I-20553: Seton House, Shalalth (from lake)
Photo: Mike Cleven
E. Cleven Photo: view of Seton Portage & Anderson Lake from Mission Pass
Photo: E. (Andy) Cleven


BC Archives # I-20553: Seton House, Shalalth (from lake)  
Photo: E. (Andy) Cleven

BC Archives # I-20553: Seton House, Shalalth (from lake)  
Photo: E. (Andy) Cleven


   BC Archives # I-20553: Seton House, Shalalth (from lake)  
Photo: E. (Andy) Cleven

These are two of the most classic views of the Seton Valley.  The one at left is taken looking east towards Lillooet from about a third of the way up the mountain above the BC Hydro townsite at Shalalth, probably from the head of the penstocks; the other taken looking westward from about the Mission Mtn Road, a bit higher up, with a view of the Portage and Anderson Lake beyond. 


 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 



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