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8 BEST Stops on the Drive from Vancouver to Hope

8 BEST Stops on the Drive from Vancouver to Hope

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Hope is a cute mountain town located about 150 km (93 miles) outside of Vancouver. It is the perfect place to go to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, and as such, makes for a popular weekend getaway from Vancouver.

I recommend that you take your time driving from Vancouver to Hope, there are actually some really cool places to stop along the way!

In this blog, I’ll tell you all about driving from Vancouver to Hope (or Hope to Vancouver) so that you can plan one of the best BC road trips easily. I’ve included information about my absolute favorite stops along the way too – this way, you’re sure not to miss a thing!

About the Drive from Vancouver to Hope

The most direct route from Vancouver City to Hope is 153 km (95 miles). However, if you want to enjoy the best places along the way you will have to take a few short detours to visit places like Chilliwack and Harrison Hot Springs.

Without stopping and traffic, this drive can easily be completed in under two hours. With that said, there are some pretty epic attractions along the way that I’m sure you won’t want to miss. Give yourself the better part of a day to enjoy the road trip from Vancouver to Hope and stop at a couple of the places I mention below.

It’s important to remember that delays due to traffic and snow are common along the route. Always give yourself more time than expected, and be patient.

8 BEST Stops on the Drive from Vancouver to Hope

1. Vancouver

Bailey poses for a photo at Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver
Welcome to Kits!
View of False Creek from a sea plane in Vancouver
View of False Creek from a seaplane in Vancouver!

Vancouver is a great start point for your road trip to Hope. There are so many awesome things to do in Vancouver that you’ll want to spend a few days here! You can see our complete round-up of things to do in Vancouver, but these are some highlights: 

Some of the other most popular things to do in Vancouver include:

  • Visit Capilano Suspension Bridge – just a 20-minute drive from Vancouver city center, this area is not only home to the huge bridge which is 137 meters long (450 feet) and hangs 70 meters (230 feet) above the Capilano River but there are also various hiking trails here too. As well as that, there’s a treetop walk and a glass floor lookout! Tickets cost $66 CAD per adult.
  • Go Whale Watching – By far one of Vancouver’s top activities! From out on the open water, you’ll have the opportunity to spot various types of whales, including Humpback whales and, my favorite, Orcas. But besides whales, you’ll also have the opportunity to spot other wildlife, including seabirds, seals, and otters. You can expect to pay about $236 CAD for this half-day whale-watching tour that includes tea and coffee as well as expert naturalists to teach you all about the whales and area.
  • Visit Grouse Mountain – for the best views of Vancouver catch a cable car the 1,200 meters (3,900 feet) up Grouse Mountain or if you’re keen for a workout complete the ‘Grouse Grind’ to reach the top, this involves climbing up over 2,800 steps! It’s an especially popular activity with local Vancouverites, some even do this as their daily workout! The views from the top of Vancouver CBD and the Howe Sound are well worth the climb. In fact, this is one of the best hikes in Vancouver. If you want to catch the cable car to the top instead you can buy your tickets here.
  • Check out Granville Island – Though it’s not really an island, it’s an awesome little place to shop, eat, explore art galleries, and more! There’s a lot more to do on Granville Island than originally meets the eye so be sure to allow for some time here. To me, the VIP Granville Island Food Tour was such a fun way to eat my way through the market!
  • Relax at Kitsilano Beach – as I mentioned Vancouver is filled with urban beaches and one of my favorites is Kitsilano Beach. It’s a nice, clean beach that’s a great spot to head for sunset. Surrounding the beach is the trendy neighborhood of Kitsilano which is home to lots of cool restaurants, bars, and stores. The Maritime Museum is also located here as well as a great waterfront public swimming pool.
  • Ride in a Sea Plane – This has been the most exciting thing I have done in Vancouver! Taking off and landing on the water was new and a little scary but don’t worry, the pilots are trained professionals. While this scenic flight is only a 20-minute Vancouver city seaplane tour, it was such a fantastic experience and we got to see so much of the city and surrounding mountains. The best part is that it only cost $168 CAD! Can you believe that?

Where to stay in Vancouver

The Cambie Hostel Gastown is perfect if you’re looking for a budget option! There are not as many hostel options in Vancouver but this one in Gastown is a good option. It has a great location and won’t completely break the bank!

For something a bit more moderately priced in the West End in the middle of the action try The Listel Hotel Vancouver. There is an on-site restaurant and is a short walk to major attractions like Stanley Park or the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Or ball out at the Fairmont Pacific Rim if you are searching for luxury. It has a full-service spa and rooftop swimming pool, on-site restaurants that have live music, and an outdoor terrace. The views from this hotel are phenomenal, as it’s right at the waterfront. 

There are literally hundreds of places to stay in Vancouver. Read our blog about where to stay in Vancouver for info about the best areas to base yourself and the top-rated hotels.

2. Alouette Lake

Gold Creek Falls at Alouette Lake 
Even on a rainy day, the Gold Creek hike is great!

As you leave Vancouver and make your way towards Hope, your first stop is a stunning lake in Golden Ears Provincial Park. Located just over an hour from downtown Vancouver, Alouette Lake is the perfect place on a summer day to go for a swim and sit in the sunshine.

At the lake, there is a large beach area complete with picnic tables. You can also rent canoes or kayaks here on the weekends. There is also a concession stand.

If relaxing at the beach isn’t your thing, you can explore the hiking trails here. Try the Lower Gold Creek Falls Trail for a nice walk through the forest with mountain views and two different spots to see the stunning waterfall here.

This is a very popular spot in the summer, especially on weekends and holidays, so make sure to arrive early as the parking lots will temporarily close when they reach capacity, typically from 11 am to 4 pm.  

3. Abbotsford

Mill Lake at sunset in Abbotsford, BC
Mill Lake in Abbotsford is a nice place to go for a walk.

Continuing on further, you’ll reach the small city of Abbotsford. Here, you’ll find all of the typical amenities you would expect in a city like gas stations, grocery stores, hotels, and restaurants. So, this is the perfect place to stop on your road trip if you need anything like food or gas.

What many people don’t know is that there are a few attractions in and around Abbotsford too. The downtown area, called The Rail District, is a historic area that’s just beautiful. You can simply walk around here and pop into unique bookstores, cafes, and shops.

Another cool attraction is the International Friendship Garden, a Japanese-style garden. This garden was created to commemorate Abbotsford’s sister city in Fukagawa, Japan. Otherwise, head to Mill Lake (pictured above) for another nice place to go for walk. Here, there is a 2 km (1.24 mi) long trail you can do.

If you’re traveling with kids, be sure to hit up Castle Fun Park. This castle-themed amusement park has ride, games, mini-golf, and more.

With all of the different things to do in Abbotsford and its airport, Abbotsford is often a destination all on its own. There are plenty of hotels to choose from in Abbotsford should you decide to spend a night or two.

Related Read: Looking for more fun areas to explore? Head to Kelowna and join a wine tour!

4. Chilliwack

a field of tulips in Chilliwack BC
This is well worth a stop!

As you leave Vancouver, about 100 km (62 mi) to the east you’ll come to the small city of Chilliwack. Nestled in the Fraser Valley, Chilliwack is the perfect place to explore the great outdoors on your road trip from Vancouver to Hope.

Near Chilliwack, you’ll find lots of farms that you can visit. Head to Klasassen Farms for everything blueberries! You can buy pre-picked berries to snack on for the rest of your road trip, or if you’re up for more of an activity, pick your own blueberries. You’ll also find other products for sale here including delicious ice cream!

If you’re lucky enough to be passing through Chilliwack in spring, be sure to stop and enjoy the insane tulip fields here! BC’s only tulip festival used to be held in Chiliwack, but has recently moved to Agassiz, which is about halfway between Chiliwack and Harrison (your next stop).

This Tulip Festival features over 6 million different flowers – just imagine the flower photos you’ll get! The event is held annually around April, but exact dates vary from year to year based on when the tullips bloom, so check the dates on their website before you go!

The city of Chilliwack itself also has plenty of amenities if you need anything for your road trip. Here you can fuel up, grab lunch, stop for groceries, or even spend a night or two at one of the many hotels around. There are also plenty of boutique shops and locally-owned restaurants and bars in Chilliwack well worth checking out.

5. Harrison Hot Springs

Daniel at the beach in Harrison Hot Springs in Canada
We had the beach all to ourselves!
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Harrison Hot Springs
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

Harrison Hot Springs is a town, named after some of the best hot springs in British Columbia. You’ll have to take a short 20-minute detour off the highway to visit. But if you ask me, the detour is worth it because Harrison Hot Springs actually has a lot to do. You’ll find cafes and restaurants, as well as a beach area, a kids’ waterpark, and plenty of unique shops selling work from local artisans.

I highly rcommend spending a night is at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort. This way, you can try out the famous hot springs for free as a hotel guest and join other well-known past guests like Clark Gable, John Wayne, Michael Bublé, and Liam Neeson. They take relaxation seriously here!

There are five different hot mineral springs pools including indoor and outdoor pools. The water here has among the highest concentrations of dissolved mineral solids of any mineral spring!  

If you don’t want to stay at the resort, there is a public hot springs pool you can visit for a couple of hours that is right in town. Or head down to Harrison Lake to enjoy the beach which has areas for swimming, playgrounds, and lots of other water activities.

Finish the stay here with a meal of authentic German food at The Black Forest Restaurant. Book a table on the large balcony overlooking the lake and try one of their famous Schnitzel dishes!  

6. Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls in Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park
The beautiful Bridal Veil Falls!

This is the perfect place to pull off the highway and go for a hike to a spectacular waterfall. From the parking lot, it’s a short hike of only 15 minutes on a relatively easy path to reach the Bridal Veil Falls waterfall – which is truly incredible.  

Along the path, you’ll pass broadleaf maple and cedar trees and then see the waterfall through the trees at the end of the path. There’s a viewpoint here overlooking the falls, and you’ll see why they get their name! The water cascades down 60 meters (197 feet) over the wide, smooth rock ledge, creating a veil effect with the white water. It’s the sixth-largest waterfall in Canada and a must-see on your Vancouver to Kelowna road trip.  

While you’re here, plan to stay a bit to enjoy the park. There’s a great area here for a picnic, so bring lunch! Please note, the falls are only open during the summer months

7. Wahleach Lake/Jones Lake

Reflection shot of Jones Lake with mountains in the background
This is one of the most beautiful lakes around!

Want to explore one more stunning lake before you reach Hope? From Highway 1, you’ll need to turn right onto Jones Creek Service Road and follow it for 9 km (5.6 mi). It should take about 20 minutes because the road is partially gravel and you’ll need to go slow).

Once you reach the lake I’m sure you’ll be impressed with the views. You can also fish here and there are some hiking trails. There are also plenty of places to camp, making it a popular spot for families to enjoy in the summer months.

BC is full of goregous lakes, but I love how serene and secluded this one is!

Related Read: You can also make these stops if you’re traveling from Calgary to Vancouver! There are even more incredible stops along this route too.

8. Hope

A lady poses for a photo at Kawkawa Lake in Hope, BC
How beautiful is this place!? At Kawkawa Lake.

Finally, you’ve made it to Hope! For such a small town, Hope, BC has tons of things to do and see.

As you drive around town, you’ll notice all the wooden sculptures throughout thanks to an International Chainsaw Carving Competition that takes place here every year. It’s why Hope is called the Chainsaw Capital of the World! 

Kawkawa Lake is a nice spot with a beach, picnic area, dock, and a large parking lot. It’s a popular spot for waterskiing and stand-up paddleboarding and is easy to get off the highway. It’s also warm enough to comfortably swim in during the summer (unlike some other glacier lakes), so take advantage of a stop here on a warm day!  

I always love to cool off is with a drink at Mountainview Brewing Co. It’s the first craft beer brewery in town! Grab a pint along with the yummy snacks and sandwiches they serve and enjoy the view. All the beer is brewed right in Hope with fresh mountain water! Try “The Dark Side of Town” with a classic dark German lager or “Main Squeeze” a sour ale brewed with organic peaches and plums. 

Another must-visit attraction that is just a 15-minute drive outside of Hope is the Othello Tunnels. You can walk through these historic man-made tunnels which were once a part of the Canadian rail network.

Back in the 1870s workers used a series of explosions to blast through the cliffs here thus forming the Othello Tunnels. The trains no longer run through here and you walk the 3.5 km (2 miles) tunnel trail in just under an hour. The trail is relatively easy and suitable for the whole family.

2024 Update: The Othello Tunnels trail is currently closed due to flood damage. Be sure to check the website for the most up to date information before you visit!

Where to Stay in Hope, BC

the outside of Windsor Motel in Hope, BC
There are a few places to choose from in Hope. Photo credit: olegmayorov on Deposit Photos

There are a few great places to stay in Hope for a few nights.

My personal favorite is Evergreen Bed & Breakfast which is just an adorable property. You can choose between a queen room or a quadruple room, and of course, both include breakfast. The location is central and the price is reasonable considering the facilities and level of service. Expect to pay around $164 CAD for a queen room that also includes a spa bath!

For something a little more budget-friendly, Park Motel comes highly rated and is super affordable. Rooms are basic, but the location is good and within walking distance of the main street. Rooms are around $110 CAD per night.

If you’re traveling with your family or in a group, rent out an entire chalet! Owl Street Lodge is a beautiful log chalet with a full kitchen that sleeps up to eight people. The price ranges between $400-$550 CAD depending on how many people are in your group. Enjoying the mountain views from the balcony with a drink in hand is the perfect way to enjoy your stay in Hope, BC.

Renting a Car in British Columbia

A rural road with Mt Currie in the background
Road trips are the best way to explore Canada!

If you’re arriving in British Columbia via plane, then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. British Columbia is a large province, and traveling between the best places to visit in BC requires transport. Although you can use public transport on some occasions, this means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.

Car rental in Canada isn’t relatively cheap, but it’s not that expensive either, especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with a pick-up and drop-off in different locations is around $100 CAD per day. The price does vary though, depending on the time of year. For car rentals, I use the website Discover Cars. It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used Discover Cars all over the world, including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia. Read my honest review of Discover Cars here for more details!

Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter). Using Motorhome Republic, you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada and you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable! Read my tips on using Motorhome Republic here before you book!

Thanks for reading!

woman takes a selfie at Bridal Veil Falls
Me, taking a selfie at Bridal Viel Falls on the road to Hope, BC

I love a good road trip whenever I find one, and although just a short drive, this road trip is definitely fun if you stop at the right places! I hope this blog has helped you to plan and enjoy your road trip from Vancouver to Hope. There is so much to explore in BC, that you can keep roadtripping through the province and never be bored!

If you’re looking to take an even longer road trip past Hope, or continue your travels, check out our post about the best road trips from Vancouver or our other Canada blogs! We are experts in this area and love sharing our travel tips. Here are some helpful blogs below!

Vancouver to Calgary Road Trip Itinerary +26 BEST Stops

Where to Stay in Vancouver: 7 BEST Areas & Hotels (for all budgets!)

ULTIMATE Guide to Visiting White Rock, BC