Day 1: Vancouver to Mission’s Rainbow Valley Trout Farm

Rainbow Valley Trout Park

Home of the 2010 Winter Olympics, Vancouver is a densely populated metropolis where skyscrapers mingle with towering cedars, snow-capped mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The land is rich with First Nations history.

Vancouver is a cultural melting pot; only 48% of the city’s inhabitants list English as their first language. Visitors to Vancouver have the opportunity to experience many authentic international cultures such as Chinese, Punjabi, Japanese and Filipino.

No visit to Vancouver would be complete without a stroll or bike through Stanley Park, where this trip begins. The natural beauty of this green space rivals any in the world. A nine-kilometre cycle path circles the park and will allow you to expediently visit trees that stretch up to eighty metres in the air while cycling amongst unique gardens and Totem poles.

Vancouver has many fine beaches within city limits, which are accessible by public transit. My favourite is Wreck Beach, next to the University of British Columbia (UBC). From the UBC main bus loop, walk west for five minutes down University Boulevard to UBC Gate 6. Turn right on Northwest Marine Drive and walk for 100 metres to a long set of stairs that leads you to the beach.

On a clear day you will be stunned by Vancouver’s views. To the north is the Sunshine Coast, while to the south the snow capped volcano, Mount Baker, towers in the state of Washington. Vancouver Island appears to the west.

Vancouver is the most cycle-friendly city in Canada, boasting more than 300 kilometres of bike routes. Drivers expect to see cyclists and tend to give them ample room. Bikes are allowed on the Sky Train light rail system and there are mounts on the front of most buses. If mounting a bike onto the front of a bus, ensure it is securely fastened. Don’t be afraid to ask the bus driver for assistance to ensure your bike does not bounce off and get run over.

There are no campgrounds in close proximity to downtown Vancouver, but there are many hostels that welcome bike tourists including the SameSun Hostel and Hostelling International’s Vancouver Downtown, both conveniently located downtown.

Today you will bike out of busy Vancouver, into Port Moody, through Port Coquitlam and then Maple Ridge. Expect dense traffic on HWY 7 as it follows the Fraser River. Enjoy small climbs, fast cycling and the view of the mountains ahead of you. You will be climbing up them in the days to come.

Try to start cycling after 9:00 AM and focus on arriving at your campsite before 4:00 PM to avoid rush-hour traffic.

Your destination for the evening, Sun Valley Trout Park, is a former fish farm turned campground. Located 66 kilometres from Vancouver, the campground is an ideal first day ride; long enough to get in a good work out, but short enough that if you have kinks to work out in your body or bike, you can still arrive before dark. A few kilometres east of the campground, on the west side of Mission, you’ll find a large grocery store where you can pick up supplies for the evening.

Kilometre Log
0.0Cycle southeast out of Stanley Park on Causeway Road.
0.5Causeway Road turns into West Georgia Street. Continue on West Georgia Street.
3.0West Georgia Street turns into Georgia Viaduct.
3.7Take exit ramp on your right towards Main Street.
4.0Turn left onto Main Street.
4.5Turn right onto East Hastings Street / HWY 7A.
9.4East Hastings Street / HWY 7A intersects with Cassiar Street / HWY 1.
10.1East Hastings Street / HWY 7A becomes Hastings Street / HWY 7A.
15.4Road turns slightly to the right and becomes Burnaby Mountain Parkway.
17.3With Simon Fraser University on your left bike through a lush park. Burnaby Mountain Parkway curves slightly right and becomes Gaglardi Way.
20.0Take a left turn onto Broadway.
20.6Broadway turns into Como Lake Avenue.
21.0Take a 45° left turn onto Clarke Drive.
23.2Follow Clarke Drive for 2.2 km, you are now in Port Moody.
26.1Turn right onto St. Johns Street / Barnet HWY / HWY 7A.
28.5Road is now Barnet HWY / HWY 7A and no longer St. Johns Street. Pass through a major intersection. Barnet HWY / HWY 7A turns into Lougheed HWY / HWY 7.
34.1Continue on Lougheed HWY / HWY 7 through an industrial part of Maple Ridge. Cross the Pitt River.
44.1Take a slight right onto the Haney Bypass which skirts the Fraser River.
46.7Regain the Lougheed HWY / HWY 7 and stay on this highway for 18.9 KM.
46.9Cross over Kanaka Creek.
65.6Watch for signs for the Sun Valley Trout Park, which will be on your left side. Turn left onto Nelson Street.
65.9Turn right onto Silverdale Avenue.
66.2Enter Sun Valley Trout Park Campground.

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