Take a ride on the wild side with the Vancouver Parkbus

garibaldi lake transit

Image courtesy of Parkbus | Facebook.com

The close proximity of nature to Vancouver’s city centre is one of the top reasons it’s one of the most spectacular destinations in the world. With parks, mountains, and oceans all easily accessible by transit, biking, or walking, it’s easy to escape into the forest when you’ve had enough of the buzz of city life.

However, if you want to explore a little further from the nearby nature, you’re likely going to need a car. For those without access to four wheels, the Vancouver Parkbus is offering you a ride to the great outdoors with an easy connection to nearby BC Parks.

First launched in Ontario in 2010, the Parkbus helps thousands of Canadians reach the great outdoors with the help of a big ol’ bus. After a successful pilot last year, the Vancouver Parkbus has officially been adopted by the Vancouver-based Better Environmentally Sound Transportation program.

This has allowed the service to expand to new locations and increase the amount of trips offered. In Vancouver, you can book a ride to some of the most spectacular locations that are an easy day trip from the city centre.

The 7 awesome locations accessible by the Vancouver Parkbus include:

Garibaldi Park

Garibaldi Lake BC

Image courtesy of David Veksler | Flickr.com

Garibaldi Provincial Park boasts over 90 kms of established hiking trails. It’s a favourite year round destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The main hike up to Garibaldi Lake is a long one but is relatively easy if you take your time and are prepared with good walking shoes, snacks, water, etc. August 19 you can book a return trip on August 20 so you can camp overnight! Tickets are $50 roundtrip. (more info)

  • Running on: July 03, July 15, July 29, August 07, August 19, August 20, September 02, September 30

Joffre Lakes

Joffre-Lakes vancouver

Joffre Lakes | Photo: jelgerandtanja.com

Named in the 2016 Family Summer Bucket List, Joffre Lakes is a fun hike close to Pemberton, BC. There is quite a bit of uphill at the start of the hike, but the reward at the top is well worth the sweat! You’re treated to not one, not two, but three spectacular lakes over the course of one hike. Remember that there may still be snow on this hike late into the summer, so be prepared. Tickets are $60 roundtrip. (more info)

  • Running on: July 03, July 15, July 29, August 07, August 19, August 20, September 02, September 30

Stawamus Chief

View of Howe Sound from the Chief Photo: Rob Weiss

Located in Squamish, the Stawamus Chief hike can be grueling. But, if you can handle the Grouse Grind, you can tackle this one with ease. After walking up for a ways, you’ll be treated to a stunning landscape with a view down the valley. If you have time, try to tackle all three peaks! Tickets are $40 roundtrip. (more info)

  • Running on: July 02, July 30, September 03, September 17

Alice Lake

alice lake day trip

Image from Sea to Sky Parks.

On hot days in the city, nothing feels better than jumping into a cool, refreshing body of water. If you’re not a fan of the ocean, you’re going to have to travel a bit to get to a fresh water lake that isn’t on top of a mountain. Alice Lake is located in Squamish and is the perfect place to spend a leisurely summer afternoon. Pack a delicious picnic and your favourite floaties and enjoy a day away! The Alice Lake parking lot can get pretty crazy on a sunny day, so taking the Parkbus means you don’t have to worry about finding a spot! Tickets are $40 roundtrip. (more info)

  • Running on: July 02, July 30, September 03, September 17

Cypress Mountain

sunset cypress mountain

Image courtesy of Kyle Pearce | Flickr.com

If you don’t want to stray too far from the city, the Parkbus also offers rides up to Cypress Mountain, giving you the chance to explore the peaks above Vancouver. There are plenty of hiking opportunities around the mountaintop, and if it’s later in the summer – pack a swimsuit and take a very refreshing dip in Cabin Lake (if you can find it). Tickets are $22 roundtrip. (more info)

  • Running on: June 16, August 06

Golden Ears

golden ears park

Entrance to Golden Ears Provincial Park Photo: Rob Weiss

As one of the largest parks in the province, Golden Ears Provincial Park is prized for its recreational opportunities. The extensive system of trails within the park provides an excellent opportunity for hiking and exploring the area. The bus will only be running on September 23 – rountrip tickets cost $32. (more info)

  • Running on: September 23

Shannon Falls

shannon falls vancouver squamish

Image courtesy of Benson Kalahar | Flickr.com

Shannon Falls is a popular day-use park is the perfect place for a picnic. The waterfall provides a light mist that will help cool you down on a hot day. You’ll arrive at 9am and leave at 5pm, so it’s a good idea to either head up the Sea to Sky Gondola or check out the Stawamus Chief hike because you’ll have lots of extra time! Tickets are $40 roundtrip. (more info)

  • Running on: May 21, July 02, July 30, September 03, September 17

If you’re interested in catching the Vancouver Parkbus for a trip into the wilderness, you can reserve a seat on their website. For most trips, the bus picks up passengers at the Burrard Skytrain Station at 7:30am to give you lots of time to experience nature.

Remember: this isn’t a tour bus, so you won’t have to stick with the group or listen to tour guide. Instead, you’ll get a comfortable ride into the wilderness with (hopefully) a new pack of friends!

More information about the Vancouver Parkbus is located on their official website.

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