Whether you're up for a trek with the dog, in search of a quiet picnic spot with a great view or looking for a place that will impress out-of-town visitors, Jack's 52 Best Day Trips will point you in the right direction. From Delta to Whistler, the North Shore to the Fraser Valley, detailed directions and custom maps help you find your way and enjoy the sights en route. Driving distance, time to allow and activities available once you reach your destination are highlighted for each area.
Related collections and offers
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||10 MB|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Crippen Regional Park
* Distance: 20 km (12.4 mi.) to Horseshoe Bay, northwest of Vancouver via Highway 1/99
* Activities: Birding, hiking, historic site, nature observation, paddling, picnicking, swimming, viewpoints, walking
* Access: Drive the Upper Levels Highway (Highway 1/99) to Horseshoe Bay. Take BC Ferries’ Queen of Capilano, which can carry 85 vehicles; the round-trip fee is $24 (peak) and $21 (off-peak). The round-trip fare for drivers and passengers is $8 per person (slightly less off-peak). There is a reduced fare of $4 for children aged 5 to 11; children younger than 5 travel free. There is an extra charge of $1.50 for bicycles. Call 1-888-223-3779 for sailing information or visit bcferries.com.
Alternatively, you can travel to Horseshoe Bay by bus. Call West Vancouver Transit at 604-985-7777 or visit westvancouver.ca for schedule information.
Islands define British Columbia’s coast. It’s probably easier to guess the number of molecules of salt in a bucket of seawater than to try to add up how many islands there are along our coastline. Each island adds its own distinct note to the composition that plays out between the Gulfs of Georgia and Alaska. And what an intricate tune it is.
Come the sunny season, almost everyone in Vancouver contemplates an island adventure. If you want to sail over the bounding main on a quick day trip, try Bowen Island. The Queen of Capilano has a sheltered outdoor area for foot passengers where you can enjoy the scenery even on a stormy day. The view of the Howe Sound Crest mountains from the ferry’s deck is one of the best reasons for making this journey. The Lions (Sisters) stand out in bold relief.
Unlike most other islands served by BC Ferries, when you disembark on Bowen, you’re on the doorstep of a park. Crippen Regional Park includes not only green spaces but also kayak rentals (visit bowenislandkayaking.com), bakeries, curiosity shops, cafés, pubs, and the restored Union Steamship Company store, all clustered around the dock. Head for a large map of the island situated on the store’s lawn to orient yourself. The decision you’ll face upon your arrival in Crippen Park will be how much of it to explore. For many people, the 1-hour round-trip ferry ride is an adventure in itself. Note: Bowen is a hilly island; count on a challenging bike ride if you want to explore more than Crippen Park.
Killarney Lake Trail
As you head uphill from the ferry on Government Road past the Union Steamship store, a trail marked with a green signpost leads off to the right to Killarney Lake. Allow 45 minutes to walk one way, half that by bike. Secondary growth closes in overhead, but the path is wide and welcoming. Within several minutes the trail passes Terminal Creek, which falls down a sharp embankment and into a lagoon beside Deep Bay. Two fish ladders climb the rocky canyon beside the creek. There is a small hatchery on the west side of Miller Road from which the returning salmon were originally released. Coho and possibly cutthroat trout may be seen running the fish ladders in October and November.
The fish ladders themselves have a pleasingly uniform design, and it’s not hard to imagine the salmon jostling for position to leap from step to step. In winter, with snow outlining the ladders and daylight filtering through leafless trees, this is a photographer’s playground. A narrow lagoon opens into the ocean at the bottom of the canyon. Walk down over the rocks to look out at groups of ducks and geese feeding in this backwater.
The trail continues for a short distance beyond the fish ladders, leading up to Miller Road. A yellow gate marks the entrance to the Killarney Lake Trail, just before the road passes Saint Gerard’s Church. Killarney Lake is a 30-minute walk from here, half that by bike. The first third of the trail is on level ground, then it begins to rise gently through second-growth forest. Huge stumps are everywhere.
At the halfway point to Killarney Lake, Meadow Trail leads off to the left and across a small bridge over Terminal Creek. If you take this path, you’ll discover that a short way along, meadows open up one after another. In one is an exercise paddock for horses. Just beyond the paddock, the trail links up with Mount Gardner Road, which leads back left to the ferry or right to the lake. Island residents often gather around the paddock. A picnic table stands under spreading trees nearby.
The main trail continues from the halfway point towards the lake, linking with Magee Road just before it reaches the shoreline. Bear left at this junction. Follow Magee as it drops down to the lake, and watch for the sign indicating the start of the lake trail. Almost immediately you will see the concrete dam that controls the water level of the lake. There is a small swimming area here and, a short distance beyond, picnic tables in the cool shelter of a fir tree grove.
The going is easy around the north side of the lake, where the ground is level. A short walk or ride leads to a developed gravel beach where a small creek flows into the lake. In summer the waters of Killarney Lake are warm enough for swimming. If you’ve come to Bowen by car with a canoe or kayak, this is a good place to launch. There is parking beside the picnic area. From here, trail access is restricted to those on foot.
Past the beach the trail begins to climb slightly, then joins a boardwalk that crosses the marsh at the far end of the lake. The steepest and roughest parts of the trail are here where the hillside rises, providing several good viewpoints of the lake and Mount Gardner, Bowen Island’s highest point (760 m/2,500 ft.). Rustic benches, hewn from some of the old stumps at trailside, line the way until the trail links up once more with Magee Road. Allow an hour to circle the lake.
Bowen’s population swells in summer, but in the off-season months, the 240-ha (593-acre) Crippen Park is a quiet haven. Although the park is irregularly shaped, all of the trails around Snug Cove, including those leading to and around Killarney Lake, are part of the park. Walk the trails while leaves float gently down and crunch underfoot in autumn. Enjoy the winter wonderland feeling after a snowfall. Catch the first hint of spring as skunk cabbage blooms in a forest where views are not yet obstructed by the foliage of a new season.
Table of Contents
Bowen Island: West Vancouver North Vancouver
1 Crippen Regional Park 2
2 Lighthouse and Whytecliff Parks 8
3 Cypress Provincial Park 14
4 Brothers Creek Trail 22
5 Capilano River Trails 26
6 Lynn Headwaters Regional Park 31
7 Lynn Canyon Park 39
8 Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve 44
9 Maplewood Flats Conservation Area 53
10 Mount Seymour Provincial Park 57
11 Deep Cove 63
Burnaby Port Moody
12 Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area and Deer Lake Park 70
13 Burrard Inlet and Port Moody Arm Parks 76
14 Belcarra Regional Park and Buntzen Lake Recreation Area 84
Coquitlam Port Coquitlam Pitt Meadows Maple Ridge
15 Colony Farm Regional Park 96
16 Minnekhada Regional Park 99
17 PoCo and Coquitlam Dike Trails 103
18 Pitt Meadows: Rivers and Polder 108
19 Golden Ears Provincial Park 118
20 Kanaka Creek Regional Park 126
Fraser Valley North
21 Ruskin and Environs 132
22 Mission and Environs 137
23 Harrison Hot Springs and Environs 142
Fraser Valley South
24 Skagit Valley 154
25 Chilliwack Lake 164
26 Cultus Lake and Environs 169
27 Aldergrove Regional Park 175
28 Campbell Valley 180
29 Bradner, and Matsqui Trail Regional Park 186
30 Fort Langley Parks 191
Surrey Richmond Delta
31 Tynehead Regional Park 200
32 Redwood and Peace Arch Parks 204
33 1,001 Steps Park 209
34 Sea Island and Iona Beach Regional Park 212
35 Richmond Dike Trails and Historic Steveston 218
36 Burns Bog 224
37 Deas Island Regional Park 228
38 Ladner 233
39 Westham and Reifel Islands 237
40 Ladner Dike Trail 241
41 Boundary Bay Regional Park 244
42 Mud Bay 248
43 Point Roberts 253
44 Porteau Cove Provincial Park 258
45 Squamish 262
46 Diamond Head 274
47 Garibaldi Lake and Black Tusk 278
48 Callaghan Valley 284
49 Cheakamus Lake 288
50 Brohm Lake, Whistler and Shadow Lake Interpretive Forests 292
51 Whistler Resort Parks 296
52 Sea to Sky Trail 304
Activities Index 316
List of Maps
Bowen Island 3
West Vancouver 9
Capilano River Regional Park 27
Lynn Headwaters Regional Park 33
Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve 46
North Vancouver 58
Belcarra and Buntzen Lake 85
Minnekhada Regional Park 100
PoCo, Coquitlam and Pitt Meadows Dike Trails 104
Pitt Polder and Pitt River 112
Golden Ears Provincial Park 120
Kanaka Creek Regional Park 127
Fraser Valley 133
Sasquatch Provincial Park 144
Skagit Valley 155
Chilliwack Lake 166
Cultus Lake 170
Campbell Valley Regional Park 181
Fort Langley and area 193
Surrey and Delta 205
Fraser River Estuary 213
Deas Island Regional Park 229
Squamish and area 263
Diamond Head 275
Black Tusk and Garibaldi Lake 279
Cheakamus Lake 289
Whistler area 298