Circle Tour Lower Mainland, British Columbia, Kanada: Vancouver - Squamish - Whistler - Pemberton - Lillooet - Lytton - Hope - Harrison Hot Springs - Fort Langley - Vancouver
Circle Tour Lower Mainland, British Columbia, Kanada: Vancouver - Squamish - Whistler - Pemberton - Lillooet - Lytton - Hope - Harrison Hot Springs - Fort Langley - Vancouver

Circle Tour Lower Mainland
British Columbia, Canada

Truly Canadian
Vancouver - Squamish - Whistler - Pemberton - Lillooet - Lytton - Hope - Harrison Hot Springs -
Fort Langley - Vancouver

Distance: Approx. 750 km (470 mi) plus excursions on the way. - Duration: 7-14 days

Our Tour begins in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Nestled between sea and mountains Vancouver lies in the South-West of British Columbia, 40 kilometres north of the US-border.

Due to its geographical location Vancouver is one of the most beautiful and most attractive cities of Canada, if not of the world. 1.8 million people call Vancouver their home and it is one of the most visited cities in the world. Vancouver is the largest city of British Columbia.
Vancouver Blick vom Canada Place - Photo Credit: Kanada News
The hilly terrain and the many bridges offer spectacular views of the sea, the sheltered bays and the city itself. There are many large parks, one of which is Stanley Park that is as big as the business centre of downtown and the largest city park of Canada. Sandy beaches are all over the place and the mountains in direct proximity offer an abundance of sport and leisure activities.

Vancouver has so many attractions to offer as not many other North American cities can. You could easily spend your entire vacation within its borders without getting tired. Besides being an attraction for itself, Vancouver is the gateway to the Lower Mainland, an area full of attractions and natural beauty.

The most common way of coming to Vancouver is by air. In the summer months there are daily non-stop flights from Europe. Flights are offered by Air Canada and Lufthansa as well as by British Airways. British Airways flights generally have a stop over in London. You should compare prices, as there are many specials you can benefit from. Swiss Air offers service from Switzerland.

Vancouver International Airport   At least partly wheelchair accessible. Please ask for details!
Vancouver International Airport is located between Vancouver and the municipality of Richmond, about 10 km south of the city. When you leave Vancouver you have to pay an airport improvement fee unless you flew in the same day from another destination.

For more information call: (604) 207-7077

Vancouver can keep you busy for a lifetime. There are too many attractions to name them all. However, here are some attractions you shouldn’t miss:

Capilano Suspension Bridge
Location: North Vancouver. Take Highway #1 and exit #14 on Capilano Road.
This spectacular suspended footbridge spans a canyon 150 meters across and 75 meters high. The bridge is found in a 25-acre nature park that features historical exhibits, forestry presentations, Aboriginal art, totem poles, restaurants and a gift shop. Come enjoy Vancouver's oldest and most visited tourist attraction!

For more information call: (604) 985-7474

Queen Elizabeth Park
Location: Between Cambie and Ontario Sts and near 33rd Ave.
Queen Elizabeth Park is Canada's first civic arboretum and the highest point of Vancouver. The park is a popular location for brides and grooms. Vancouver's 52-hectare park is the city's second largest park. Three climate zones are displayed in the Bloedel Conservatory, including desert and topical. The conservatory is located on the top peak of Queen Elizabeth Park.

For more information call: (604) 257-8400

Stanley Park   At least partly wheelchair accessible. Please ask for details!
Location: Five minutes from downtown Vancouver, west of Lions Gate Bridge.
Vancouver's largest park has a size of about 400 hectares. This park is one of the best of the country, offering parkland, trails, sports fields, swimming pools and beaches.

For more information call: (604) 257-8400

Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre
Location: In Stanley Park
The Vancouver Aquarium is Canada’s leading aquatic conservation organisation. Come and explore 60,000 amazing animals including killer whales, dolphins, beluga whales, otter and sharks. The Aquarium is internationally recognized for display and interpretation excellence. The BC Hydro Salmon Stream Project in Stanley Park educates the four million annual visitors to the park about the importance of salmon and their habitat.

For more information call: (604) 659-3474

Vancouver - Squamish
Distance: 67 km (42 mi) on Highway #1 West (Trans-Canada-Highway) and Highway 99 North.

On your way you drive through West Vancouver. West Vancouver, often referred to as the Waterfront Community, is nestled between the lush south-facing slopes of the Coast Mountains on the North Shore and the Pacific Ocean. West Vancouver spans 89 sq km and is bordered by Howe Sound to the west, the Capilano River to the east, the mountains to the north and Burrard Inlet to the south. The picturesque municipality of West Vancouver is known for its beautiful seaside walks, hiking, skiing and rugged beauty. Visitors and residents alike enjoy over 34 km of foreshore, complete with sandy beaches, parks, marinas, spectacular residential neighborhoods, and quaint commercial districts.

Some of the most beautiful parks in the Lower Mainland can be found in West Vancouver, including Ambleside Park, Dundarave Park, Lighthouse Park, Whytecliff Park, Horseshoe Bay Park, John Lawson Park, and Cypress Falls Park. Cypress Provincial Park frames West Vancouver to the north, while Capilano River Regional Park surrounds the city to the East.

Lighthouse Park
Location: Follow Highway 1 West or 99 North. Take exit #4 (Woodgreen Drive / Caulfeild Drive). Turn left on Westport Road and drive straight until you come to T. Turn left on Marine Drive.
Lighthouse Park is a 75 ha rugged coastal park featuring old-growth rain forest of Douglas fir, western hemlock and western red cedar trees, which marks the largest uncut, coastal-elevation trees in the Lower Mainland. The park is home to Point Atkinson, one of Canada’s first manned lightstations. Built in 1912, the lighthouse is a landmark that can be viewed from several viewpoints in the park. The original lighthouse at Point Atkinson was built in 1874 however.

For more information call: (604) 925-7205

When leaving West Vancouver you are about to enter Sea-to-Sky Country, which takes you from the sea to the mountains. The natural beauty of this spectacular area, with its towering mountains, cascading rivers, brilliant white glaciers, and the glittering blue Howe Sound is difficult to put in words. The highway is also called Sea-to-Sky Highway, as it takes you on winding roads from the picturesque Horseshoe Bay to the mountain communities of Britannia Beach, Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton, and Lillooet.

On your way you will pass Porteau Cove Provincial Park, which is a popular picnic spot as well as a mecca for scuba divers, who explore old sunken ship wrecks in shallow water.

Porteau Cove Provincial Park   At least partly wheelchair accessible. Please ask for details!
Location: 8.5 km south of Britannia Beach
The 50 ha Porteau Cove Provincial Park is located on the most southerly fjord in North America, on the eastern shore of Howe Sound. The park is a popular destination with scuba divers who explore old sunken shipwrecks that in return attract an abundant marine life. Divers will find special facilities. There are waterfront campsites available.

For more information call: (604) 898-3678

In Britannia Beach you will find one of the world's great mines that produced more than 56 million tons of copper, before it shut down in 1974. Today, you can explore the Britannia mine by visiting the B.C. Museum of Mining, that offers very interesting guided tours in the mine's tunnels.

B.C. Museum of Mining
Location: On Highway 99 N in Britannia Beach.
Open May to October. Interesting museum about the history of mining, complete with guided underground tour.

For more information call: (604) 896-2233

The journey warrants a few of stops on the way; first, at Shannon Falls, which can be seen from the road. This is a great little park to pull into and stretch the legs and feel the spray of the magnificent falls, while Squamish is a convenient place to stop to refuel and take beverage at one of the many little coffee shops in town.

Shannon Falls Provincial Park
Location: South of Squamish, off Hwy. 99.
The Shannon Falls are located south of Squamish and are one of Canada's most spectacular waterfalls. The Shannon Falls tumble over a 335-metre cliff. The pure, crystal clear water of Shanon Creek was once used by O'Keefe Breweries for one of their beers. Later they donated the land for the park that now offers hiking, rock climbing and camping in summer as well as skiing in winter on the developed trails.

For more information call: (604) 898-3678

Finally you arrive in Squamish, a town named after a Coast Salish word meaning 'Mother of the Wind' referring to bountiful breezes, that make Squamish to Canada's windsurfing capital. Squamish is one of the top 10 recreational destinations in Canada and is popular with rock climbers, windsurfers, sailors, hikers, and Hollywood location scouts alike. Squamish is located on the head of Howe Sound, 45 kilometres north of Horseshoe Bay. The West Coast Railway Heritage Park in Squamish is the place to go for all railroad lovers. You can tour authentic railway equipment, historical cars and a miniature railway.

Squamish hosts the PRO-AM Sailboard Races, the Squamish Logger Days, where competitors from around the world showcase their skills, and the Squamish Open Annual Regatta Sailboat Races. There are also great historical and geological attractions around Squamish to discover. The colossal monolith Stawamus Chief offers more than 200 climbing routes and is the world's second largest monolith. The Chief is just north of Shannon Falls and has been in several action adventure films, with stars including Sylvester Stallone.

Squamish - Whistler
Distance: 58 km (36 mi) on Highway 99 North.

Just north of Squamish, you will find Alice Lake Provincial Park with beautiful lakeshores, ideal for swimming, canoeing, fishing and hiking. Between Squamish and Pemberton, Garibaldi Provincial Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. There are five access points, with trailheads starting between 4 km to 16 km off Highway 99.

Alice Lake Provincial Park   At least partly wheelchair accessible. Please ask for details!
Location: Approx. 13 km north of Squamish
The 396 ha Alice Lake Provincial Park is mountainous with dense forests and lies just north of Squamish. The beautiful lakeshores of the four lakes are ideal for swimming, canoeing and fishing and make an excellent destination for families. The trail on Alice Lake is a popular spot for a shorter stroll. The more ambitious hiker will prefer the Four Lakes Trail.

For more information call: (604) 898-3678

Garibaldi Provincial Park
Location: There are five access points for Garibaldi Provincial Park off Hwy 99 between Squamish and Pemberton. We recommend using a vehicle, as the trailheads are located 4 km to 16 km from Hwy 99.
The 194,650 ha Garibaldi Park is a favourite destination of outdoor enthusiasts, as most of the park is undeveloped. There are many well-developed trails, ranging from a few hours to a few days hike starting at the parking lots off Highway 99. Garibaldi Provincial Park has five hiking areas - Diamond Head, Garibaldi Lake, Cheakamus Lake, Singing Pass and Wedgewood Lake.

For more information call: (604) 898-3678

After leaving Garibaldi Provincial Park you are just about to enter the Whistler Blackcomb Mountain area. Whistler is located approx. 120 km (75 mi.) north west of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Whistler is more or less a generic term for the Whistler Ski District that consists out of three centres: Whistler Village, Blackcomb and Whistler’s South Side. Combined these three areas mark Canada’s largest ski resort: Whistler Blackcomb Mountain.
Whistler Village - Photo Credit: Kanada News

There are two mountains: Blackcomb Mountain and Whistler Mountain. Blackcomb Mountain, with its 1609 vertical metres (5280 ft) of skiing and snowboarding counts for the largest downhill ski area in North America, followed by Whistler Mountain with 1530 vertical metres (5020 ft).

Whistler is a year-round destination. In winter you are in winter sports haven, with an abundance of winter activities including cross-country skiing, heli-skiing & snowboarding, snowcat skiing & snowboarding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, dog sledding and horse-drawn sleigh rides. In summer Whistler presents you a wide variety of recreational activities, including hiking, glacier tours, mountain biking, ATV tours, Hummer tours, and horseback riding. There is something for every taste and age, for beginners and pros. Take a gondola ride to the top of Whistler Mountain and be swept away from the spectacular views of both mountains and the surrounding peaks and valleys.

Whistler - Pemberton

Distance: 31 km (20 mi) on Highway 99 North.

Shortly before arriving at Pemberton, there is another falls at Nairn Provincial Park, which is worthy of seeing. However, it is located a 1/2-hour trail away from Highway 99. The trail starts at One Mile Lake and is located at the entrance to Pemberton, just a mile from the centre (hence its name) and winding between the forest trees up to Nairn Falls.

Nairn Falls Provincial Park   At least partly wheelchair accessible. Please ask for details!
Location: 1/2-hour trail away from Highway 99, one mile south of the Pemberton city centre.
The 170 hectares Nairn Falls Provincial Park provides a good base camp for exploring Whistler, the Pemberton Valley or nearby Garibaldi Provincial Park. It is an excellent overnight stop before continuing onto the Duffey Lake Road or points north or south. The falls are 60 m high and a 1.5 km hiking trail will take you to the viewpoint.

For more information call: (604) 898-3678

Welcome to Pemberton! Surrounded by majestic snow-capped mountains, this is primarily a farming river valley, and is noted as Canada's seed potato capital, with logging now taking second place. Tourism has increased throughout BC and Pemberton receives a good share of these guests who frequently stop for a few days in summer at one of the Bed and Breakfast accommodations in the area.

In Summer, there is good reason to stay a few days in the Pemberton Valley as there are many outdoor activities to choose from i.e.: Hiking, Mountain Biking, Golfing at the 2 golf courses (one of which is world class), Horseback riding, Fishing, River Rafting, Jet Boating, Canoeing or Hang-glide from the mountain tops to the valley below. Pemberton Airport also gives an opportunity to glide or fly over extinct volcanoes, glaciers and waterfalls.

The stay in winter is often a week or longer for Snowmobilers, Skiers and Snowboarders. The roads are very well maintained in winter, as this has become a 'bedroom' community for Whistler, with a daily stream of people heading to and from the Mountain to work or play. Skiers and snowboarders alike join the traffic in winter as they have discovered that prices are more reasonable in Pemberton than Whistler and that it is just an easy 25-minute drive to the slopes. People are always amazed that there are so many first-class restaurants in the area, with no need to drive to Whistler for dinner. It is worth noting that Snowmobiling has also increased over the past couple of winters, now that the trail to the Pemberton Ice Caps is kept open by the Pemberton Snowmobile Club who raise money for the necessary frequent grooming.

Pemberton - Lillooet

Distance: 104 km (65 mi) on Duffey Lake Road.

From Pemberton take Duffey Lake Road to Lillooet and enjoy some spectacular views of lakes and glaciers on your way through the Cayoosh Range. Lillooet (pronounced “Lil-wet”) is a great place for rockhounds in search of Jade and other semi-precious stones and history buffs. Lillooet is one of the earliest aboriginal settlements in the interior of British Columbia and marks “Mile 0” of the historic Cariboo Pavillion Road, the first wagon route north to the gold fields in the 1800s. The Lillooet Museum brings alive the region’s gold rush history with an impressive display of photographs and artefacts.

Wondering what is underneath the black tarps covering the fields? Ginseng, the root prized for it’s healing power and aphrodisiac qualities. The area’s soil and 180 frost-free days of mostly solid sunshine are perfect for growing ginseng.

Hikers, bikers and paddlers enjoy the unspoiled mountains, valleys and lakes. Anglers find great opportunities to cast a line. Don’t miss to visit the local Farmer’s Market for a wide array of fresh fruits and vegetables that are offered from July to September. Winter activities include cross-country skiing, ice climbing, and snow shoeing.

Lillooet - Lytton

Distance: 76 km (47 mi) on Cariboo Highway #12

Take Cariboo Highway #12 from Lillooet to Lytton, the Rafting Capital of Canada. Lytton is situated on the confluence of the Thompson and Fraser Rivers, where the green waters of the Thompson River meets the brown flow of the mighty Fraser River. Stop and watch the natural spectacle when the clear blue waters of the Thompson River mix into the muddy flow of the Fraser. This phenomenon is visible for approx. one kilometre before both streams have completely blended into each other.

Lytton Fähre - Photo Credit: Kanada News
Rafting enthusiasts enjoy an abundance of adventurous river routes that are serviced by an array of commercial rafting companies. There are eighteen major rapids in the stretch of river between Spences Bridge and Lytton, which is graded from 1 to 5 making it to a white water rafting heaven. Lytton is one of the oldest continuously settled communities in North America and both gold rush history and native culture are evident in preserved buildings and archives and annual activities such as the Remembrance Day Pow Wow. For a unique collection of traditional and contemporary Native Art visit the Siska Art Gallery and Band Museum in Nlaka'pamux Tribal territory near the top of the Fraser Canyon.

Skihist Provincial Park   At least partly wheelchair accessible. Please ask for details!
Location: Above the Thompson River on Highway # 1, 6 km east of Lytton.
Skihist Provincial Park is a 33-hectare park that offers awe-inspiring views of the Thompson Canyon and historical flavour. Within the park boundaries is a section of the old Cariboo Wagon Road that was used by early settlers and travellers. The park is also used as overnight camping spot for travelers on Highway #1. Vehicle accessible campsites are first come, first served. Reservations are not accepted. The park is a popular base camp for outdoor enthusiasts enjoying river rafting, fishing or exploring the Thompson River area.

For more information call: (250) 315-2771

Stein Valley Nlaka'pamux Heritage Park
Location: West of Lytton.
Stein Valley is a 107,191-hectare park that preserves spectacular scenery and unique cultural and spiritual values of the aboriginal people in this region, which is visible through an array of unique pictographs and petroglyphs on the rock faces of the valley. It protects the entire Stein River watershed. This wilderness park offers 150 km of hiking trails, cable crossings, a suspension bridge and several wilderness campsites. The Stein River is a challenging white water rafting and kayaking river for the truly adventurous.

Lytton - Hope

Distance: 104 km (65 mi) on Highway #1

This part of your tour is marked by the magnificent Fraser Canyon that cuts through the Cascade Mountains. While traveling along the banks of the Fraser River you pass through extensive river valleys of abundant forests, deep gorges and farmlands.

Alexandra Bridge Provincial Park and Emory Creek Provincial Park are along the canyon. Don’t miss the Hell’s Gate Airtram that gives you some spectacular views above the impressive canyon.
Fraser Canyon bei Boston Bar - Photo Credit: Kanada News

On your way you will come through Yale, one of southwestern British Columbia's oldest and most historic communities. It is home to the oldest church in British Columbia. The Church of St. John the Divine was built during the Gold Rush in 1863. Exhibits and archives showcasing the times of the gold rush, the Cariboo Wagon Road and the railway construction, can be found at Yale Museum, which is housed in an historic 1868 building. The Cariboo Wagon Road was built in 1862 and connected Yale with the gold mining town of Barkerville. Hope is a small town situated on a wide sweeping curve of the impressive Fraser River. The Hudson Bay Company once had a fur trading post here. The Hudson Bay Company era and the gold rush past of Hope is portrayed at the Hope Museum. Stop at Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park to see the impressive Othello Tunnels.

Alexandra Bridge Provincial Park   At least partly wheelchair accessible. Please ask for details!
Location: Adjacent to the Fraser River approximately two kilometres north of Spuzzum.
Alexandra Bridge Provincial Park is a 55-ha park located high above the Fraser River. The park’s centrepiece is the original steel grate Alexandra Bridge that dates back to 1926. When they built the bridge, they used the 1863 abutments of the first Cariboo Wagon Road that was washed away by a flood in 1894. The park offers limited recreational opportunities. However, there is a picnic area just off the highway.

For more information call: (604) 795-6169

Hell's Gate Airtram   At least partly wheelchair accessible. Please ask for details!
Location: 11 km south (west) of Boston Bar.
Famous Hell's Gate, in the scenic Fraser Canyon, is nature at its most magnificent. Descending smoothly from highway level in one of our two comfortable 25-passenger cabins, you'll experience a breathtaking flight directly above the unique Hell's Gate fishways, where two million sockeye salmon challenge the river each year on their epic journey to their inland spawning grounds.

For more information call: (604) 867-9277

Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park   At least partly wheelchair accessible. Please ask for details!
Location: Off Highway #5, north of Hope.
Built as part of the Kettle Valley Railway in 1914, the Othello Tunnels span the 300-foot deep (90 m) Coquihalla Canyon. This impressive chain of 5 tunnels, cut into solid granite, is the masterpiece of the engineer Andrew McCullough. Today it is a popular tourist attraction providing viewing, walking, fishing and picnicking opportunities. A leisurely walk (2.5 miles/4 km return) on the abandoned railway grade will take you though the tunnels and the spectacular Coquihalla Canyon gorge.

For more information call: (604) 795-6169

Hope - Harrison Hot Springs

Distance: 157 km (98 mi) on the scenic Sasquatch Drive (Highway 7 West).

After days of sightseeing stop at the Harrison Hot Springs, referred to as ‘Spa of Canada’ to relax and rejuvenate. When you come in early September you can witness the Champion Sand Sculpture Classic, when artists from all over the world come to create amazing sand sculptures turning the beach of Harrison Lake into a natural outdoor gallery. To catch a glimpse of Harrison’s history take the Heritage Walk starting at the Harrison Hotel. It will take you along the lakeshore and the town’s oldest and most interesting buildings.
Harrison Lake Champion Sand Sculpture Classic - Photo Credit: Kanada News

Harrison Lake, the largest lake in south-western BC, offers some spectacular views of lush green mountain slopes, snow-covered peaks and deep blue waters.

Harrison Hot Springs
Location: At the Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa on the shore of Harrison Lake, 8 km north of Agassiz.
Harrison Hot Springs have been a ‘healing place’ for the natives of the Coast Salish people. Today visitors can soak in the two 58 to 62 degree mountain springs all year round. The water rights to the hot mineral water supply are still held by the Harrison Hot Springs Resort. Guests staying in the hotel may use the indoor mineral pools. Visitors who just drive up for the day can use the public pool that is located at the junction of Hot Springs Road and the Esplanade.

For more information call: (604) 796-2244 or toll-free at 1-800-663-2266

Harrison Hot Springs - Fort Langley

Distance: 80 km (50 mi) on Highway 7 West. Take the Albion Ferry exit. Take the Albion Ferry to McMillian Island. Follow Glover Road to the village of Fort Langley.

Fort Langley National Historic Site   At least partly wheelchair accessible. Please ask for details!
Location: In the village of Fort Langley. From Highway 7 take the Albion Ferry exit. Take the Albion Ferry to McMillian Island. Follow Glover Road to the village of Fort Langley. At Mavis Avenue, just after the railway tracks, turn left. Fort Langley is located at the end of the street. (Do not turn onto River Road).
Fort Langley (1827) was part of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s network of fur trading posts across Western Canada. Today costumed interpreters showcase what live was like in pioneer days. One original building and several reconstructed buildings bring alive history at a place where British Columbia was proclaimed Crown Colony in 1858.

For more information call: (604) 513-4777

Fort Langley - Vancouver

Distance: 55 km (34 mi) on Trans-Canada-Highway #1 West.

On your way back to Vancouver there are several stops worthwhile. Stop at New Westminster, the province’s first capital, referred to as the Royal City. Visit the waterfront esplanade with the world’s largest tin soldier and the Westminster Quay Public Market. Step aboard the MV Native Paddlewheeler for a journey on the mighty Fraser River and relive the excitement of the 19th century. The Burnaby Village Museum and Carousel is an open-air museum with more than 30 charming houses and shops, and daily entertainment. Don’t miss the 1912 Carousel.

Accommodations for your circle tour

A A A Catherine Bed and Breakfast
A Place at Penny's
Beautiful Bed and Breakfast Inn
Bed & Breakfast @ Tall Cedars
Bed & Breakfast at Eve's Garden
Best Western Chateau Granville   At least partly wheelchair accessible. Please ask for details!
Capilano Bed & Breakfast
Days Inn Vancouver Downtown
Fraserview Bed and Breakfast
Johnson Heritage House B&B
Magnolia House Bed & Breakfast
Norgate Park House Bed & Breakfast
Pacific Spirit Guest House
Poole's Bed & Breakfast
Richmond RV Park & Campground   At least partly wheelchair accessible. Please ask for details!
The Manor Guest House
The Palms Guest House
The Shamrock's Nook Bed & Breakfast

Coneybeare Lodge B&B
Dryden Creek Resorts
Home Sweet Home Bed and Breakfast
Sea to Sky Hotel   At least partly wheelchair accessible. Please ask for details!
True North Bed and Breakfast

Alpine Chalet Whistler B&B
Golden Dreams Bed & Breakfast

Pemberton Valley Vineyard

Cedar Village B&B

Harrisson Hot Springs:
Harrison Heritage House & Kottages    At least partly wheelchair accessible. Please ask for details!
South Garden Bed and Breakfast

Best Value Westward Inn   At least partly wheelchair accessible. Please ask for details!

Tour Operators:
Bavaria Fishing Charters
Canadian Adventure Rentals - Camping Vacations

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