After a month-long delay due to abnormally cold and wet spring conditions, the Hurley River Forest Service Road is reopening to the public, the province announced on June 17.
The Hurley FSR is a 53-kilometre seasonal connection between the Bridge River region and the Pemberton Valley.
The challenging gravel road follows the 1,371-metre-high railroad pass and takes about two and a half hours from Pemberton to Gold Bridge in ideal conditions.
The road usually opens around the May long weekend.
In recent years, and especially during the pandemic when provincial parks were closed, the Hurley saw a surge in use by Sea to Sky and Metro Vancouver recreational users.
“We have seen a huge increase in traffic, like a threefold increase during the pandemic. Part of the reason was because they closed Joffre [Lakes], they closed all provincial parks down [near Whistler], all the recreation sites, and they came up here,” said Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Area A director Sal DeMare.
“At the top of the Hurley there's Semaphore Lakes. You usually had about three or four vehicles parked there. There were over 100 vehicles parked [there during the pandemic]."
The Ministry of Forests and Natural Resource Operations will be installing a traffic counter to get an idea of the current usage of the road, DeMare said.
“We'll get accurate data when they're interspersed throughout the Hurley so that we know exactly where everybody is going,” he said.
The road should only be attempted by higher-clearance vehicles capable of 4x4. In some sections, the road turns into single lane with pullouts, so drivers are advised to drive slowly and with extreme caution. Trailers are not allowed at this time.
To get regular updates on the road, visit https://isurvivedthehurley.com