Get a Ride to Hikes with Parkbus in Summer 2023

Lower Joffre Lake

Lower Joffre Lake. Photo: Marco Bicca/Unsplash

No car? No problem! It’s easy to get to some of Vancouver’s most beautiful hiking trails with Parkbus.


Parkbus started as a grass-roots not-for-profit in Toronto, connecting city dwellers with accessible transportation to parks. They expanded to Vancouver in 2017. The bus is staffed by volunteers who help provide important safety information and help the trip run smoothly.

The service departs downtown Vancouver near Burrard Skytrain Station and takes hikers directly to popular trailheads. Prices vary by destination and there are discounts for students, seniors, and children.

This summer, Parkbus offers trips to Garibaldi, Golden Ears, and Joffre Lakes Provincial Parks. If you arrive by car, you need to obtain a day pass for these parks, but if you ride with Parkbus, you don’t need one.


Safety First: AdventureSmart recommends bringing a backpack with essential safety and first aid gear on every hike. Check the forecast and pack extra clothing for the weather. Leave a trip plan so someone knows where you are going and when you will be back. Check out our tips for safe summer hiking in Vancouver for more advice.


Joffre Lakes Provincial Park

The picturesque glacier-fed lakes at Joffre Lakes Provincial Park are on many hikers’ bucket lists. Parkbus offers rides on a coach-style bus to the park from both Vancouver and Whistler.

The bus schedule gives you five hours in the park. Lower Joffre Lake is an easy 5-minute walk from the parking lot. The trip to Upper Joffre Lake passes Middle Joffre Lake and Holloway Falls along the way. Allow 4 hours for the 10 km round-trip hike that gains 400 m along the way.

In 2023, Parkbus offers trips to Joffre Lakes on 40 different dates between June and October. Most trips are on Saturdays and Sundays, but there are a few mid-week trips as well.

A hiker balances on a floating log at Joffre Lakes Provincial Park

Middle Joffre Lake. Photo: Matt Hanns Schroeter/Unsplash


Golden Ears Provincial Park

Golden Ears Provincial Park is a great destination for hiking or just hanging out on the beach at Alouette Lake. You can get a ride to the Gold Creek Parking area in one of Parkbus’ school buses.

You will have nearly seven hours in the park on your trip. You can take the short and easy 5.5 km round trip trail to Lower Falls on Gold Creek. If you’re feeling a bit more ambitious, tackle the Gold Creek Canyon Loop. It uses the West Canyon and East Canyon trails to make a 12 km loop that takes about 4 hours. If you just want to chill out, follow the easy North Beach Trail to the beach. It takes about 20 minutes each way from the parking lot.

In 2023, Parkbus offers nine trips to Golden Ears Provincial Park on Saturdays and Sundays between June and October.

Alouette Lake in Golden Ears Provincial Park

Alouette Lake in Golden Ears Provincial Park. Photo: Chloe Evans/Unsplash


Garibaldi Provincial Park

The trail to Garibaldi Lake in Garibaldi Provincial Park is one of Vancouver’s signature hikes. Parkbus takes passengers directly to the trailhead at the Rubble Creek parking lot.

You will have 9.5 hours in the park before the return bus, which is enough time for experienced hikers to complete the challenging 18 km round-trip hike to the lake. The trail is very steep, gaining 820 m of elevation along the way, so you need good physical fitness to complete it. However, the gorgeous lake and glacier views at the top are worth it.

In 2023, Parkbus offers 16 trips to Garibaldi Provincial Park on weekends between June and October.

Garibaldi Lake

Garibaldi Lake. Photo: Bryce Evans/Unsplash


More Car-Free Hikes

Vancouver’s public transit system can take you to lots of other trails. Check out our list of Vancouver hikes you can get to on transit.

Bus at the base of Grouse Mountain

Photo: Grouse Mountain

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