PHOTO ESSAY: Vancouver Daytrip to the “Gates of Hell”

HellsGateEssay (1 of 13)In 1808, explorer Simon Fraser – while canoeing the river that now bears his name in interior British Columbia – came upon a terrifying sight.  At one point, the massive river narrows to just 34 metres and churns through a ferocious set of rapids.  He wrote, “This was a place where no human being should venture, for surely we have encountered the gates of hell.”

Despite Fraser’s warning, I decided to venture to Hell’s Gate over the weekend.  Located about 2.5 hours northeast of Vancouver along Highway 1, the site is now home to the ever popular Hell’s Gate Airtram, which whisks passengers safely across the rapids without even having to get their feet wet.

Here are a few photos from my descent into the infernal depths of Hell’s Gate:  Continue reading:
PHOTO ESSAY: Vancouver Daytrip to the “Gates of Hell”

Top 5 Victoria Day Long Weekend Daytrips from Vancouver

Photo credit: jvde | Flickr

Planning a staycation for this Victoria Day Long Weekend?  Don’t worry – You can still get out of the city, soak up B.C.’s natural splendours and be home in time for dinner.

Here are five long weekend daytrip ideas.  All of these options are within a 90-minute drive of downtown Vancouver and emphasize the great outdoors.  Got more ideas?  Please comment below.

  • Whytecliff Park: This 15-hectare waterfront park in Horseshoe Bay is only 30-45 minutes from the concrete jungles of downtown Vancouver.  It features a small, sandy beach, cliffs plunging dramatically to the brisk waters of Howe Sound and even a little island you can swim to that sits just offshore.  For families, there’s a large grassy picnic area with changing rooms.

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Top 5 Victoria Day Long Weekend Daytrips from Vancouver

Urban Hiking in Vancouver: Black Mountain

Bowen Lookout Cypress Mountain

Everyone knows that Vancouver is surrounded by stunning, snow-capped mountains.  What many people don’t realize is how close the city truly is to those rugged peaks.

Within a 30-minute drive from downtown, you can access fantastic trails running through pristine alpine terrain.  I call it urban hiking – since you can be back in the city in time for dinner.  During the summer, one of my hands-down favourite hikes – offering big rewards with a minimum of time and effort – is the quick ascent of Black Mountain, one of the peaks of Cypress Mountain.

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Urban Hiking in Vancouver: Black Mountain

Best Vancouver Daytrip? You make the call!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/remyscalza/3629965829/

Vancouver’s short, sweet summer is in full swing.  The beaches are lined with tanned bodies, Stanley Park is full of walkers and bikers, patios everywhere are jammed with diners sipping and snacking in the sun.  But, as beautiful as the city is in summer, some times you just have to get out of town, if only for an afternoon.

So, I’d like to pose the question:  What’s the best Vancouver summer daytrip? Share your ideas by leaving a comment below.

Where do you like to go to get away from it all?  Is there a particular park, a refreshing lake, a quaint town or a secret little beach you like to escape to?  Just one ground rule:  These should be legitimate daytrips – i.e. no more than 90 minutes or so of travel time each way.

To get things started, I’ll share one of my favourite summer daytrips:  a visit to Golden Ears Provincial Park, just north of the suburb of Maple Ridge.

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Best Vancouver Daytrip? You make the call!