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Arrive at the crown jewel of western Canada, Vancouver. The city is dotted lavishly with greenery, posed against the rugged peaks of the perpetually blue Coast Range and ringed with sparkling Pacific waters. Vancouver’s character is West Coast with a liberal Oriental essence. The city’s Chinatown is second only to San Francisco’ s in size in Northern America. Vancouver is the financial, industrial, shipping and cultural center of Canada’s west coast. The city has much that is reminiscent of other parts of Canada and much of Europe as well as the Orient and the United States. The resulting blend is happy, carefree and relaxed. Overnight.
This morning you pick up your bike at EagleRiders’s Vancouver store and begin your ride through the exciting West Coast of Canada! Take Hwy 1 out of Vancouver and head inland towards Hope, nestled in the Cascade Mountains on the banks of the Fraser River. Continue east on Hwy 3, which will take you to Manning Park, located in the heart of the Cascade Mountains. Named for E.C. Manning, the park has rain forests on its west side and grassland slopes on its east. Between the two extremes lies a land of wild rivers, crystal lakes, towering peaks and alpine meadows that is brimming with recreational opportunities year-round. Stick with the most scenic Hwy 3 and your next stop should be in Princeton, your gateway to Similkameen Wine Country. The town and area are steeped in history, and you will find over 50 lakes within a radius of 30 miles here. Follow Hwy 3 and you arrive in the Okanagan Valley area, with Osoyoos being Canada’s top summer holiday spot! With Canada’s hottest weather, warmest lake and only true desert, balmy winter, spring and fall, this friendly town is an all-season destination. Surrounded by scenic mountains, tranquil lake and lush orchards and vineyards, Osoyoos offers a relaxing and beautiful getaway. From Osyoyoos you go north (Hwy 97) and after just a few miles you arrive in Oliver, the wine capital of Canada. Continue your scenic ride through the Okanagan Valley into Penticton, a charming lakeside community, famous for outstanding golf and adventure outdoor activities – and your stop for tonight. Overnight.
Today you don’t have quite as many miles as yesterday, which leave plenty of time for stops while riding north on Hwy 97, through the “Napa of Canada” – the Okanagan Valley. An area well suited to growing grapes with hot summers and mild weather from fall through spring. A tour of local wineries is a must while here! ! Kelowna is the center of the fruit and vineyard region around Lake Okanagan – a third of all apples harvested in Canada come from here. The lake is also known for its legendary monster, the Ogopogo, a Loch Ness type beast. Out of Kelowna you can enjoy a most beautiful ride through Lake Country. Surrounded by three lakes, prime agricultural lands and world-class ski resorts, Greater Vernon offers a relaxed lifestyle with plenty to see and do. Spring and fall seasons showcase the bounty of blossoms and harvests that the area is known for. Hwy 97 will take you all the way into Kamloops, today’s destination. A city, which is rich in history, a thriving arts and culture mecca, with many art galleries featuring paintings, sculptures and other exceptional works from world-renowned artists. Kamloops is also Canada’s Tournament Capital, and is set up to host premier sporting events in numerous world-class facilities. Chances are a sporting event will be on to watch while you are visiting. Overnight.
Take the TransCanada Hwy 1, head east and you arrive in historic Craigellachie. In 1885, the “Last Spike” was driven into Canada’s first transcontinental railway, joining the west to the east. Your next stop should be the alpine city of Revelstoke, where you can tour the Railway Museum - a tribute to the workers that built the nation’s transcontinental railway through the difficult mountain passes. Continue via Rogers Pass, one of BC’s great mountain crossings between Revelstoke and Golden. Set on the banks of the Columbia River, the tranquil town of Golden offers endless outdoor adventures. You could ride the gondola to the top of Kicking Horse Mountain for panoramic views and enjoy a memorable meal at Canada’s highest restaurant, the Eagle’s Eye. Overnight.
Out of Golden you stick with Hwy 1 and you enter Yoho National Park, with astonishing landscapes of 28 peaks, glacial lakes and one of Canada’s highest waterfalls, Takakkaw Falls. You cross into Alberta and just west of the border you will arrive at the stunning resort community of Lake Louise. Louise itself has two parts – the town side in the Bow River Valley and the famous Lake itself on a plateau up the road. Make sure you enjoy both parts of Lake Louise. Leaving Lake Louise, be prepared for a real treat indeed: You will experience one of Canada’s national treasures and most rewarding destinations - the Icefields Parkway, Hwy 93. This is a world-class journey through the heart of the Canadian Rockies, a vast wilderness of magnificent peaks, ancient glaciers, mountain lakes and broad sweeping valleys. The Icefields Parkway traces a thin line paralleling the Continental Divide, the backbone of the Canadian Rockies, between Lake Louise and Jasper. Jasper is the gateway to some of the most majestic, pristine and accessible wilderness Canada has to offer. Here, you are surrounded by breathtaking rugged beauty as you ride the Icefields Parkway or unwind at the shores of a beautiful mountain lake. Overnight.
You leave Jasper on Hwy 16 west and cross the Yellowhead Pass, which marks the border between Mount Robson Provincial Park and Jasper National Park. Mount Robson Provincial Park, which is named after the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies – a jagged, snowy pinnacle rising 12,972 ft above largely undisturbed wilderness. The park also houses the headwaters of the Fraser River and the massive Berg Glacier. Nothing is as arresting as the sight of snaggle-toothed Mount Robson. Continue for another 48 miles and you arrive at Tete Jaune Cache at Alberta-British Columbia border. Pick up Hwy 16 and you are heading north over to McBride. Mc Bride is the economic centre of the Robson Valley, a vibrant rural community. While here, you could catch a glimpse of some of the 200 bird species recorded in the area at the Horseshoe Lake bird viewing station, or simply enjoy an easy walk around this thriving artist community. Overnight.
Your journey continues on Yellowhead Hwy (Hwy 16) and you can enjoy a stunning scenery with the Rocky Mountains to your right and Cariboo Moutains to your left. You’ll get to the vibrant city of Prince George, an all-season playground. Prince George has over 120 parks, and more than 1,600 nearby lakes, and offers endless opportunities for fishing, boating, hiking and wildlife viewing. From here take Hwy 97 south and you ride along the Fraser River, Canada’s fifth largest river system. From its headwaters near Mount Robson to the sea at Vancouver it collects the runoff from mountains on opposite sides of BC trough its massive tributaries, the Nechako, Quesnel, Chilcotin, Thompson, McGregor, West Road, Cottonwood, Bridge, Coquihalla, Chilliwack, Harrison and Pitt Rivers. Today’s destination is the picturesque community of Quesnel, located in a quite valley, surrounded by lush forests. Like many towns along the Fraser River, Quesnel was a stopping point for Simon Fraser on his river trip of 1808, and it was named for one of his lieutenants on the voyage. Overnight.
You stick with Hwy 97 and head down to Williams Lake, set amid rolling ranchland. Williams Lake offers a comfortable blend of urban living and easy going western charm. Long before fortune-seeking prospectors arrived in this area, the Shuswap Nation occupied the bench lands north of Williams Lake for over 5,000 years. You might want to plan a stop in Soda Creek (before getting to Williams Lake) to visit Heritage Village and see ancient petroglyphs, visit a sweat lodge and get a taste of the traditional Shuswap way of life. Out of Williams Lake you continue on Hwy 97 – the Cariboo Hwy. You’ll ride the original Gold Rush Trail following the path of fortune-seeking prospectors on the Cariboo Wagon Road. This is Cowboy Country, where you can pan for gold along the Gold Rush Trail! At 100 Mile House you can see the only surviving stage coach of the Barnard Express and Stage Line. The area’s riches also include abundant wildlife, ancient mountains, lush valleys, clear lakes and pristine rivers. Your ride continues via Clinton, where you can enjoy a real Cowboy experience at one of town’s many guest ranches. A few more miles and you arrive in Cache Creek, your stop for today. While in the area you can visit Cache Creek and Historic Hat Creek Ranch, located on Hwy 1 (just south). Tour the restored roadhouse, general store, blacksmith’s shop and stroll the ranch grounds to spot the old red stagecoach. If time allows you might want to take a quick detour south to Ashcroft. Surrounded by rolling ranch country, tumbleweed and sagebrush, a visit to historic Ashcroft evokes memories of the old west and pioneering days. You overnight in Cache Creek.
You leave Cache Creek on Hwy 99 and ride over to Lillooet - mile zero of the original road to the Cariboo gold fields. Miners and traders used this route to the British Columbia interior and it was vitally important during the Cariboo Gold Rush. Keep heading south towards Pemberton, and plan a stop at Joffre Lakes Provincial Park, where hanging glaciers crown three turquoise-colored lakes. You are riding the intensely scenic Sea To Sky Highway all the way into Whistler, Canada’s popular resort town. Overnight.
Out of Whistler you are back on the amazing Sea To Sky Highway, which will take you all the way down to the coast. However, before leaving the Whistler area, you have to take time to inhale the magic that happens at the summit of the small valley that contains Whistler. A cluster of little lakes is gathered here, reflecting the outline of the mountains high above. Alta Lake is the great divide in the Sea To Sky corridor. Water flowing from its south end reaches the Pacific via the Cheakamus and Squamish Rivers, while water flowing from its north end in the river of Golden Dreams eventually reaches the ocean through the Harrison watershed and the Frazer River. No other lakes have scenery quite like this to mirror. Hwy 99 winds through five distinct bio-geo-climatic zones in the Vancouver, Coast and Mountain region of BC, from coastal rainforest at Horseshoe Bay, through Squamish, Garibaldi Provincial Park, and the Resort Municipality of Whistler. Your ride continues south, and you travel through narrow valleys with mountain glaciers visible in the distance alongside Howe Sound, North America’s southernmost fjord. The Sea To Sky Highway turns a final corner and the mountains give way to a spectacular view of Vancouver – arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the world! You will board a BC Ferry at Horseshoe Bay over to Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island, your destination for today. Nanaimo boasts one of the prettiest waterfronts in Canada, and is the third oldest city in British Columbia. Overnight.
Today you stay on Vancouver Island, and since you do not have too many miles to Victoria, there is plenty of time for sightseeing. You might want to go on a detour and ride across the island over to Tofino. To get to Tofino you pick up Hwy 4 and ride across the island. Not only 20,000 gray whales and several hundreds shorebirds visit during their migrations twice each year, but Clayoquot Sound (World Biosphere Reserve) experiences between 750,000 and a million human visitors annually. Tofino takes preservation of the environment hyper-seriously and is known as the tree-loving capitol of the world. Nanaimo itself offers many sights, you might want to check out…How about taking a heritage tour and see a number of historic buildings, such as the Miner’s Cottage, the Nanaimo Courthouse, the brick-faced Earl Block, and the Palace Hotel? Or you could take a passenger ferry to Newcastle Marine Provincial Park, where a shoreline of sandstone cliffs, complete with caves and caverns, awaits your exploration. Or you could just continue your ride and cruise down to Victoria – Hwy 1 is your road. You travel via the pretty little town of Ladysmith, Crofton – and should definitely plan a stop in Duncan – the “City of Totems” – located in the Cowichan Valley to visit carvers at work at the Quw’utsun Cultural Centre. A tour of local wineries and BC’s first cidery is a must! Continue with panoramic ocean views to your left into Victoria, the capitol of British Columbia. Overnight.
You have the entire day to explore the beauty of Victoria, which boasts a mild climate with lush, green vegetation. Begin your sightseeing with a tour of the Legislative Buildings. You should take time to admire the city’s gardens, parks, museums and beaches while here. Plan to visit the world famous Butchart Gardens, located in Brentwood Bay. A must see, for art of a natural kind, are the Butterfly Gardens nearby. You might also want to check out the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, which houses BC’s largest public art collection, including works by Emily Carr. Its permanent collection totals 15,000 and features artists from Asia, Europe and North America, but its primary focus is on Canadian and Japanese art. Other galleries include the Winchester Gallery, the Fran Willis Gallery and the Starfish Glassworks. Peruse BC’s natural history dating back 10,000 years at the Royal British Columbia Museum. Or simply relax with afternoon tea or go whale watching. Overnight.
Today you are heading back to the mainland and you board a BC Ferry to Tsawassen, south of Vancouver. Back in Vancouver you have time to enjoy more of BC’s largest city. How about a shopping trip in the downtown area or a visit to the Vancouver Art Gallery? In the late afternoon it will be time to return your bike at EagleRiders’ Vancouver store and transfer back to your hotel. Overnight.
Today your adventure through British Columbia and Alberta will come to an end with your departure flight back home.
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RAMESH MALAICHAMY February 20, 2018 06:18 pm
i am coming rider