Driving from Vancouver to the Rocky Mountains in Golden is one of the most popular road trips in the province, and it’s easy to see why. The drive begins in Vancouver, framed by the Coast Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, before meandering through parks and unique mountain towns that are home to some of BC’s highest peaks.
Note: This road trip was updated specifically for the unique travel circumstances of 2021. Information is accurate at the time of publication; we recommend you contact businesses directly to confirm availability and familiarize yourself with their COVID policies.
If you’re coming from Vancouver or the Lower Mainland, your trip begins by following the Trans Canada Highway 1 east through Burnaby, Surrey, Abbotsford, and Chilliwack, before arriving in Hope. There is also the option to follow the scenic route along Highway 7 east from Coquitlam.
As you leave Vancouver behind, be sure to visit Hope with a stop at Home Restaurant for a legendary slice of pie, then walk it off with one of the amazing hikes in the area. Those who like a challenge won’t want to miss the Eaton Lake trail, the steep ascent rewards with amazing views. Just outside of Hope, Great River Fishing offers charters and the chance to catch anything from trout to giant sturgeon. After a day on the water, rest your head for the night in one of their luxury teepees just steps from the Fraser River.
Lookout for tumbleweeds in the sun-drenched grasslands of the interior. Getting some food “to go” and watching the sunset over Mt. Paul is one the best ways to spend a summer night in Kamloops. Other highlights include Paul Lake, Kamloops Wildlife Park, and riding the endless trails in this mountain bike mecca. Some of the top spots to ride: Kamloops Bike Ranch, Kenna Cartwright Park, Rosehill, and Sun Peaks Resort Bike Park.
Stop in the small community of Salmon Arm and give your legs a stretch. Better yet, head to Canoe Beach for a swim or a paddle in Shuswap Lake. This is a water lover’s paradise, with houseboating one of the best ways to enjoy time on the water. Sample award-winning cheeses at Grass Root Dairies, and pick up fresh fruit from road-side vendors.
Stop to check out the Enchanted Forest and Three Valley Gap Ghost Town before you reach Revelstoke. Fuelled by mountain culture and filled with outdoor enthusiasts, Revy is the perfect place for a pit stop. Drive up the Meadows in the Sky Parkway—one of the only vehicle-accessible alpine meadows in BC—to enjoy scenic hiking trails. If you’re happier on two wheels, jump on a mountain bike and ask a local for recommendations.
Three national parks surround this mountain town, making it the perfect base for outdoor adventure. Head to Yoho National Park to see the impressive Takkakaw Falls, paddleboard on one of the many lakes and rivers, or ride laps in the Kicking Horse Bike Park. Keep an eye out for Boo, the resort’s resident grizzly, at the Grizzly Bear Refuge. And don’t miss the new Golden Skybridge, a family attraction that boasts spectacular views of the Rocky and Purcell mountains. Fuel up at The Wolf’s Den and rest your muscles just outside of town at Rocky Mountain Buffalo Ranch.
Highway #1, east of Golden, will have extended, 24-hour closures starting September 21, 2021. Please see the up-to-date schedule of closures and be prepared to take detours via Highway 93 & Highway 95, which may add up to 1.5 hours to your journey.
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