From Vancouver to The Rockies and back this road trip will take you to mountain summits, past waterfalls, around lakes and via some of the best coffee we could get our paws on. And as a bonus we'll throw in a whole heap of wildlife. Bears. I'm talking about seeing bears.
- Sea to Sky Highway (Squamish, Whistler & Surrounds)
- Duffey Lake Road (Highway 99 BC)
- Wells Grey Provincial Park
- Mount Robson Provincial Park (Berg Lake Trail)
- Jasper National Park
- Icefield Highway
- Banff National Park (lake Louise, Canmore & Surrounds)
- Yoho National Park & Lake O'Hara
- Glacier National Park
- Revelstoke National Park & Town
To Do, See, Eat & Sleep - A Highlight Reel
Run, walk, stroll, bike, roller-skate.. Whatever your choice of transport Stanley Park is worth checking out. A large green island covered in trails and encircled by a 9km flat-as-a-tack path following the seawall. There is also a very pretty rose garden on the island that makes for a perfect picnic or chill-and-read-your-book location. We also managed to spot sea otters and sea lions here.
Granville Island feels a little bit like a carnival, with lots of colour and interesting things to look at. The Public Market is full of fruits and veg along side meat, seafood, treats, coffee & more. It's worth a look at if you're into buying a whole heap of delicious berries really cheap. The island also has loads of art galleries and craft stores. Worth an afternoon stroll.
The Grouse Grind and BCMC are two trail challenges for those who like to get high over a short period of time. Both gaining around 800m in elevation over less than 3km these trails are steep, but totally worth it for the views at the top. And if you’re feeling lazy once you get up you can always head back down on the gondola.
An insta-famous suspension bridge & a myriad of trails surrounded by lush green. An easy getaway from city life. Though technically on the Sea to Sky Highway this is so close to town it's worth chucking it in here.
A cute place for a picnic, hike or canoe. A few groovy stores and world famous honey donuts. A nice arvo activity!
Hike: Quarry Rock, 4km return trip, 100m elevation gain.
We only had a couple of days in Vancouver, however we managed to find some epic food and drink in that time. Here's our favourites!
Restaurants & Treats:
- Naam - Vegetarian & Vegan food in Kitsilano. Yum! All of it!
- Budgie Burritos - Vegetarian & vegan Mexican food in Mount Pleasant
- Cartems Donuts - Vegan, gluten free & 'normal' donuts and treats. Try the cinnamon scroll it's out of this world.
- Granville Island Food Market - Fresh produce
- Brassneck Brewery - Try the Joe's Barn Saison and the Passive Aggressive Pale Ale You will not be disappointed.
SEA TO SKY HIGHWAY - Vancouver to Whistler via Squamish & Surrounds
Unfortunately the 2 days we spent along this road it rained. Lots. Hence, we didn't get to check off all the things we'd planned, but here are some of the things we did get to do and a couple of things we missed out on but strongly recommend based on what others have told us.
Depending on the weather and how many hikes you want to do you could easily spend a few days along this stretch. Do whatever suits you, that's what holidays are all about.
Things To Do Heading North:
- This is home to BC's third highest waterfall and is easily accessible form the car park
- Stawamus Chief Hike (we missed out on this due to rain but it's meant to be awesome!)
- 11km, 600m elevation gain - Route includes use of chains & stairs
Camp, hike, swim, canoe, kayak, you name it Alice Lake Provincial Park has got it.
As one of the closest (and most beautiful) parks in the surrounds of Vancouver this campground books out early in the season. Head on over to the Discover Camping Website to make your reservation asap.
Hike: Four Lakes Trail, 6km round trip, 200m elevation gain. Easy & beautiful.
Sleep: $35 for a drive in campsite (no hook-ups) and $23 for a walk in campsite (tent only)
- Home to the towering 2678 metre peak, Mount Garibaldi
- Another worthy-of-your-time waterfall. Beautiful and only a short stroll from the car
- Purebread Cafe
- Delicious bakery treats & pies, plenty of vegan options too!
- Camp Lifestyle & Coffee Co
- Real coffee! And groovy bits & pieces
- Whistler Brewing Company
- Whistler RV Park & Campground. Nice enough, nothing to write home about but good if none of the provincial park sites available.
- The Whistler Valley Trail is a long series of connected trails around the town and surrounds. Although paved and boring comparatively to your surrounds it is a nice way to check out the area either on foot or bike.
- Loads and loads of trails. Pick yourself up a map at the visitor centre or almost any outdoor store in town. Plenty of these are on the ski hills. Some chairs still run in summer for downhill biking and there are plenty of gear hire places around town.
- An easy 2.5km return hike from the car park makes Nairn Falls a nice place to stretch your legs.
Duffey Lake Road
- The Blackbird Bakery
- Upper & Lower Lake Hikes. 10km round trip, 370m elevation gain. Walk in tent sites available on a first come first served basis.
- The Junction Coffee House. Sweet little roadside spot for a leg stretch and a tasty cuppa to break up the drive.
WELLS GREY PROVINICAL PARK & CLEARWATER
There are 2 campsites in the National Park and both looked beautiful. These are again booked through the Discover Camping Website. Beware of mosquitos.. they're hungry and they're everywhere!
Alternatively you can stay at the Clearwater KOA Campground, it's nice and does all the things a good campground should.
Wells Grey Highlights
- Stunning waterfall and a short 1km trail to a beautiful valley lookout, waterfall pictured above.
- A 5km return hike in. Steep in parts but really beautiful, you can walk underneath these falls, but be careful!
- These were awesome! You get up really close to this wide raging river fall. We haven't been to Niagra, but from photos we've seen this had the vibe of a mini version of this without all of the crowds. Really powerful and incredible to be so close. Did we mention how loud they were?
- Helmcken Falls
- The most popular, and one of the most spectacular. Absolutely beautiful spot with lookouts from several different angles. Look up RedBull Tv's vid of people climbing this once it freezes in winter!
MOUNT ROBSON PROVINICAL PARK (BERG LAKE TRAIL)
I'll go into more detail about the trail and hike itself, along with the variety of campground available along the way in a separate post that can be found here. But for now I'll just give you a brief overview of the trail you absolutely have to do.
Berg Lake Trail:
23km one way, 1000m elevation, 7 campgrounds. You can either do this over multiple days and camp along the way, or do it as one big trail run. Both are amazing and the views are incredible. read more about how to do the Berg Lake Trail here.
Note: The campsites for the hike book out early! Make sure you book these as far in advance as possible at the Discover Camping website.