Author Topic: 6 weeks from Vancouver - which route?  (Read 4232 times)

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Offline cyclingacrossmaerica

6 weeks from Vancouver - which route?
« on: June 08, 2013, 12:18:33 pm »
Hi All,

Rather devastatingly, my future employers have brought my employment forwards by a good few months, thereby ruining my plans to cycle the TransAm with my girlfriend. However, I still have 6 weeks in which to travel, and I have a flight to Vancouver, arriving on the 12th July (from London).

I am feeling a bit despondent about the situation, but am trying to choose a new route.

I am looking mainly at the Pacific Coast or the Sierra Cascades, or a combination of the two?

I would be really interested to heart which routes people would do if they were in my position, and why those?

Thanks in advance

Offline Pat

Re: 6 weeks from Vancouver - which route?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2013, 01:00:10 pm »
Hi - Sorry you cannot do the trip you planned.  I have no idea how much of the Trans Am you could do in six weeks.  If you don't go, I hope you get another chance.

I haven't done the Cascades.  We have done the Pacific Coast.  I would suggest catching an Amtrak train down to Portland, and going over to the coast, maybe at Astoria or Seaside, and riding south.

Happy Trails,


Offline geegee

Re: 6 weeks from Vancouver - which route?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2013, 02:12:05 pm »
Six weeks can easily take you down the Pacific coast. From Vancouver, I would recommend riding a bit north to Horseshoe Bay and catch the ferry to Nanaimo. Personally, I find riding in Vancouver island a bit better than riding directly south from Vancouver. On the island, you can either ride to Victoria where you can catch a ferry to Port Angeles and cycle along the western Olympic Peninsula (skipping Seattle), or to ride Sidney and  island hop towards Anacortes to cycle through Puget Sound (where you can take a jaunt into Seattle via the ferry at Bremerton).

Depending on your pace, six weeks could also get you from Vancouver to Chicago, either on the Northern Tier Route or cycle the Trans Canada (BC highways 7 and 1) towards Banff and then connect with the Great Parks North route to the NT.

Offline jamawani

Re: 6 weeks from Vancouver - which route?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2013, 02:44:33 pm »
Late July and August are ideal times to tour in British Columbia and Alberta.
You could ride north on Vancouver Island, take the ferry to Prince Rupert,
Then do a large loop to Jasper, Banff, and down to Glacier NP in Montana.
This would include both the spectacular Icefields Parkway and Going to the Sun Road.
Then you could take Amtrak back to Seattle & Vancouver.  (If you are flying out of Vancouver, too)

If you work your way backwards in this journal, you can trace the route exactly.
You would start by taking BC Ferries over to Nanaimo - lovely way to begin a big trip.
The southern half of Vancover Island has plenty of services - northern of Campbell River they get slim.
The day ferry thru the Inside Passage is fabulous - nice hostel in Prince Rupert - but make reservations.

The ride along the Skeena River is primieval - such a powerful river ringed by huge mountains.
Make sure to take in First Nations cultures - especially just off the route in Hazleton - Ksan village.
The stretch of Hwy 16 between Houston and Prince George is pretty uneventful - rolling - fast riding.
It does get pretty empty between Purden Lake and McBride - but then you hit the Rockies.

Do not - I repeat do not - skip Mount Robson Provincial Park.
You can cycle in to a backcountry campsite on Kinney Lake - awesome.
Then its off to Jasper - lovely town - and the Icefields Parkway.
Take your time - you will have plenty of time for this loop.
So spend an extra day here and there and do some hiking.
There are a number of fire roads that you can use to access backcountry sites.

From Canmore, ride down to Kananaskis and over Highwood Pass.
Then its down to Pincher Creek and Waterton Lakes.
Finally you can cross into the U.S. and Glciaer Park.
Many Glacier is the best area for hiking - unbelievably beautiful.

For dessert - you have Going to the Sun Road - one of the best rides in the world.
You have plenty of time to get to Whitefish and catch Amtrak back.
Or, if you are ahead of things you can ride the Northern Tier all or part way to Anacortes.

Other than Whitefish, the only other baggage station is Spokane.

Feel free to ask me any questions if you are interested in this.


Offline cyclingacrossmaerica

Re: 6 weeks from Vancouver - which route?
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2013, 06:07:57 am »
Thanks so much, the advice is really helpful, especially as I have never been to North America before.

Jamawani - Thank you for the suggested route. I have had a look at a map, and it looks great. I am going to look into it a bit more, and then I might contact you with some questions. I hope that's ok!