6 Short Road Trips from Vancouver

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Vancouver is perched on the edge of a vast wilderness, so close to your next weekend adventure. Here are six short road trips from Vancouver that can be done on a single tank of gas.

Big Sky golf Club | Grant Harder

Pemberton

Just two-and-a-half hours from Vancouver up the Sea-to-Sky highway, tiny Pemberton makes a perfect base for a weekend (or more) of hiking, biking, fishing, hot springs, golf and—thanks to the surrounding valley’s local bounty—plenty of sipping and sampling as well.  Read more from Sue Kernaghan on Pemberton.

Squamish

Tucked between towering mountains and the ocean, in a terrain dotted with glacial lakes and rivers, Squamish attracts hard-core outdoor enthusiasts. But you don’t have to be a rock climber, kite surfer or white-water rafter to enjoy this community of 17,000 nature lovers. There are plenty of mild adventures and spectator experiences to get your heart racing. Read more about road tripping to Squamish.

Green Point on Harrison Lake | @brynnstonephoto via Twitter

The Scenic Highway 7 Route

Highway 7 (the Lougheed Highway) from Vancouver to Hope is a slower alternative to Highway 1, but a scenic one. An attractive choice for motorcycles, RVs, and cyclists, it passes through rolling foothills and along winding rivers. Pack your favourite adventure gear, for this route along the north side of the Fraser River, offers many hiking, biking, fishing, and golfing opportunities. Read more about Highway 7 road trip stops.

Vista D’oro Vineyard in Langley | Albert Normandin

The Fraser Valley

Just a short drive from Vancouver’s busiest urban centre is a place of country pleasures just waiting to be explored. The Fraser Valley, that fertile delta between the Coast and Cascade mountains, is British Columbia’s largest agricultural region. It’s also home to boutique winemakers and craft brewers, beekeepers, bakers, and baristas.  Read more about the flavours of the Fraser Valley from Joanne Sasvari.

Hell's Gate Airtram in the Fraser Canyon, BC | Vagabond Quest

The Fraser Canyon

A highway clinging to sheer granite walls, mountain peaks looming overhead, a raging river below: the Fraser Canyon may not be the fastest way to the interior, but it wins hands down for drama.

The canyon, a 108-kilometre stretch of Highway 1 between Hope and Lytton, is where the Fraser River cuts a steep gorge between the Cascades and the Coast Mountains. Replaced by the Coquihalla Highway as the quickest route inland, the area is gaining traction as an outdoor destination with enough rafting, biking, hiking, living history and geological thrills to keep visitors occupied for weeks.  Read more about the Fraser Canyon from Sue Kernaghan.

One of the few places left where you can still be genuinely spooked by an owl. Killarney Lake and Crippen Park walk, Bowen Island.

Bowen Island

Bowen Island is unique: It’s only an hour from Vancouver, but the back-to-basics atmosphere makes you feel as though you’ve traveled deep into BC’s wilderness. Catch a BC Ferry from Horseshoe Bay for a 20 minute sailing to Snug Cove, or take a water taxi from Coal Harbour or Granville Island. As you cross Howe Sound, the towering Coastal Mountains command you to slow down, pay attention and be present. Before you know it, you’re stepping into another world.  Read more about how to re-wild on Bowen Island.

Featured image: Sea to Sky Highway. Photo: Blake Jorgenson

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