52 Best Day Trips from Vancouver

52 Best Day Trips from Vancouver

by Jack Christie

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Jack Christie has been sharing his enthusiasm for the outdoors since the 1980s. Through his popular guidebooks and media appearances, he has helped countless Vancouverites and visitors alike appreciate the renowned natural beauty and diverse recreational opportunities of the Pacific Northwest. From the first time he combed through his files and pulled together his favourite day trips from Vancouver into a single book, a success story was born. Now revised and updated, 52 Best Day Trips will enrich the west coast experience for many new adventurers. The best views, the best biking, the best beaches, the best outings for kids--they're all here, described in the clear, upbeat, observant prose that is Jack's trademark.

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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781771641081
Publisher: Greystone Books
Publication date: 04/20/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 312
File size: 10 MB

About the Author

Jack Christie (dubbed "Mr. B.C." by the Toronto Sun) is one of the most trusted sources on outdoor recreation and travel. Host of Shaw TV's The Rec Report, outdoors columnist with The Georgia Straight, and creator and host of CBC Radio's Beyond the Backyard series, his articles appear regularly in explore, British Columbia Magazine, and National Geographic Traveler. In 2004, Christie received Tourism British Columbia's Tourism Media Award.

Read an Excerpt

Crippen Regional Park
Bowen Island

* 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

Preface vi

Acknowledgements vii

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

Squamish Whistler

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

Index 309

Activities Index 316

List of Maps

Overview viii

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

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