Best Vancouver Daytrip? You make the call!

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.

The drive out there takes about 90 minutes, pushing the limits of a daytrip, but it’s worth it.  At 62,540 hectares, Golden Ears is one of the largest – and among the most rugged – parks in the province.  The park is named after the twin peaks – or “golden ears” – of Mt. Blanshard, which rise to more than 1,716 meters.  It offers a real glimpse of B.C.’s wild interior, not too far from Vancouver.

There’s plenty to do, depending on your interests.   If you’re in relaxation mode, you can just bring a tube and float on Alouette Lake, an enormous freshwater lake with stunningly clear water that’s popular among swimmers, boaters and even windsurfers.

Alternately, there are a number of short and quite spectacular hikes that follow along the park’s Gold Creek.  The Lower Falls Trail, for instance, which takes just two or three hours to complete, passes innumerable swimming holes before leading to a thundering waterfall.

If you have a bit more time, you can also camp at Golden Ears or attempt the ambitious, 24-kilometer round-trip hike to the summit of of Mt. Blanshard.  But even if you spend just an hour or two in the park, you’ll be rewarded with a glimpse of real wilderness and a taste of the awesome scale of the Coast Mountains.

What’s your ideal Vancouver summer daytrip?  Please let us know by leaving a comment.

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