12 amazing day trips to take from Vancouver this fall

Sep 8 2018, 1:53 am

Fall is slowly rolling into town, and with it comes the rain, crisp autumn sunshine, and plenty of things to see and do around Vancouver.

Now that the weeks are starting to cool off and you can spend the entire day outdoors without sweating buckets out in the sun, it is the perfect time to hit the road and explore the many hot spots within driving distance of Downtown Vancouver.

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We’ve compiled a list of our favourite road-trips from Vancouver that can (mostly) be tackled within a single day – so take your pick.

St Mark’s Summit


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What:¬†Offering one of the most spectacular views of the Howe Sound on a clear day, St Mark’s Summit is a popular hike that can be done within a single day-trip. Only a short distance from Vancouver, the hike begins at Cypress Mountain and can be completed in around four to five hours depending on fitness levels. The hike doesn’t have much elevation and is not too strenuous, earning its place as one of the most popular hikes on the North Shore.

Where: Cypress

Get there: A 45-minute drive from Vancouver

Christina Lake


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What:¬†With over 350 metres of sandy beach to relax on, you’re going to want to take a weekend trip out to Christina Lake, located in the east-side of British Columbia. Dedicate an entire weekend to visit the lake, which has a reputation for having some of the warmest water in all of Canada – who could say no to that?

Where: Kootenay

Get there: Approximately a six-hour drive from Vancouver

Logger’s Lake


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What: There is an abundance of things to do in Whistler, as well as a number of hikes in the area Рand only within a short drive of Vancouver. Loggers Lake is a great hidden lake in the forest above the better known Cheakamus River. With an extensive network of hiking trails around the lake, it is an excellent destination if you are looking for a quieter retreat into nature without the crowds.

Where: Whistler

Get there: A two-hour drive from Vancouver

Mystic Beach


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What:¬†Mystic Beach is known as one of the area’s most scenic beaches along the Juan de Fuca trail – featuring sandstone cliffs, a waterfall and a rope swing. It is perfect for walking along the shore and appreciating the stunning view of the Pacific Northwest coastline. There are also small caves on the western side of the beach that you can explore during low tide.

Where: Vancouver Island

Get there: A four-hour trip from Vancouver

Oyster River


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What: Located a four-hour drive from Vancouver on Vancouver Island, Oyster River is a relatively hidden gem Рthe perfect destination for relaxing in crystal clear waters and swimming holes before the weather gets too cool. There are also several hiking trails in the area, for those who are interested in exploring around the Oyster River.

Where: Vancouver Island

Get there: A four-hour trip from Vancouver

Cathedral Grove


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What: If you want to see some of the oldest Douglas Fir trees, some up to 800 years old, the Cathedral Grove in Port Alberni is where to go. There is something humbling about walking under these majestic, towering trees, and it is definitely worth a visit at least once.

Where: Port Alberni, Vancouver Island

Get there: Approximately a three-and-a-half-hour trip from Vancouver

Bowen Island


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What: Reachable only by ferry (first you must take a short drive to the port where the ferry will depart), Bowen Island has been listed numerous times as one of the top day-trip destinations from Vancouver. As the island is so small, ditch the car and explore via foot or bicycle. There are plenty of things to do on the island if you spend the entire day there, including hiking, relaxing at the several beaches, or even partaking in yoga classes on the island.

Where: Bowen Island

Get there: A two-hour trip from Vancouver

Seton Lake Lookout


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What: Along Highway 99 just outside of Lillooet is Seton Lake, a turquoise coloured picturesque lake surrounded by mountains and cliffs. What many may not be aware of is that there is a beautiful look-out point that you can access Рproviding one of the best views of Seton Lake that you can find. To find the starting point of the hike to the look-out, plug in the coordinates 50.662457, -121.990923 Рwhich will take you to the beginning of the trail.

Where: Lillooet

Get there: Approximately a four-and-a-half-hour drive from Vancouver

Othello Tunnels


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What:¬†Located just outside of Hope, the Othello Tunnels are a great local piece of history. Part of one of the Canadian Pacific Railway’s most ambitious projects in the early 1900s, the tunnels remain one of the most popular tourist destinations to this day. There are a number of hiking trails to explore in the park, and it is a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Where: Hope

Get there: A two-hour drive from Vancouver

Lighthouse Park


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What:¬†Lighthouse Park is an easily accessible road-trip destination from Vancouver, as it is only a short 45-minute drive. The park is one of Greater Vancouver’s most popular parks along the shores of West Vancouver. There are a variety of trails to explore, and the park also boasts a spectacular view of the sunset on a clear day‚Äďan added bonus to end a hiking trip. Pack a picnic and spend the day enjoying the crisp fall air.

Where: North Vancouver

Get there: A 45-minute drive from Vancouver

Parkhurst Ghost Town


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What: Parkhurst Ghost Town, a small logging town that was abandoned in 1966, is certainly one of the more unusual and unique road-trips on the list. What makes it such an interesting hiking destination is its close proximity to Whistler, only a short drive from Vancouver. Along the trail you will see countless half-collapsed houses, as well as abandoned cars, trucks and tractors. You can reach the trail through various ways, including via the Sea to Sky Trail.

Where: Whistler

Get there: Approximately a two-hour drive from Vancouver

Goldstream Trestle


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What: Goldstream Trestle is the train trestle bridge that crosses high over the Niagara Creek. The rail service has been suspended indefinitely as of 2015 due to the parts of the track needing repair, and now many tourists commonly cross the bridge and walk out to the middle to see the view. Be warned that doing so is at your own risk Рso do take care when crossing.

Where: Goldstream Provincial Park, Vancouver Island

Get there: A three-and-a-half-hour trip from Vancouver

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