Begin in Vancouver, BC’s largest city, and drive west towards Pitt Meadows. The landscape shifts from cityscape to agricultural lands filled with horses, cows and berry bushes. Near Pitt Meadows, Pitt Lake is a popular place for kayaking and canoeing.
Continue west to Maple Ridge, which blends urban amenities with rural activities. If time permits, visit Golden Ears Provincial Park for swimming, horseback riding, biking, hiking or bird watching.
From Maple Ridge, drive to Mission. Many anglers are drawn to Mission to search for huge sturgeon lurking in the Fraser River, while others visit the Powerhouse at Stave Falls.
Natural mineral water at Harrison Hot Springs makes this a logical place to get out the car, stretch your legs, and then plunge into steamy pools. The beach is also a prime spot for relaxing. On the way to Harrison Hot Springs, look up – nearby Harrison Mills is known for its large population of bald eagles.
The drives moves from west to north. Make a stop in the historic site of Yale. Dress in period clothing to join the interactive experience and discover the lives of pioneers.
The Fraser Canyon is an impressive section of this route. River waters rush past steep walls and gorges, while farmlands flank the mountains. To gain appreciation for the power of the Fraser River, stop at Hell’s Gate to ride the air tram over the white water.
Continue north to Lytton – it’s a literal hotspot. The town is nicknamed “Canada’s Hot Spot” and is also a huge river rafting destination.
Make Lytton the turnaround point and drive back through the Fraser Canyon to Hope. Hope is a major junction for road trip travellers, some of whom drive through and miss the unique attractions in the area. View the chainsaw carvings that are scattered throughout town, and walk through the nearby Othello Tunnels, which were blasted out of solid cliffs.
Head east of Hope to Manning Provincial Park. The park’s pristine forests are lined with hiking trails. In summer, many of the alpine meadows are carpeted with colourful wildflowers.
After exploring Manning, backtrack west to the south side of the Fraser River. Chilliwack’s Minter Gardens have year-round displays, and Cultus Lake is a great place to cool off in summer. Chilliwack bills itself as the “City of Festivals”, meaning there’s often a celebration happening in town.
Once again firmly rooted in the Fraser Valley, continue west to Abbotsford and Fort Langley. Stop by a local berry farm – Abbotsford is known for them – to buy a pint of fresh raspberries or blueberries. Fort Langley takes berries one step further with a berry winery. The main draw to Fort Langley, though, is Fort Langley National Historic Site and the quaint streets lined with boutique shops. Return to Vancouver to complete the circle route.