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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 this epic road trip 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 with the route. Always give yourself more time than expected, and be patient.
7 BEST Stops on the Drive from Vancouver to Hope
Be sure to take some time and explore Vancouver City before you leave and head to Hope. To help you, be sure to check out all our Vancouver blogs. These include the best easy hikes in Vancouver, things to do in Vancouver for free, where to stay in Vancouver, the best things to do in Stanley Park and so much more!
1. Alouette Lake
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 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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 Old 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.
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 BC’s only Tulip Festival. This event is held at Chilliwack Tulips and 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 tulips bloom.
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.
4. Harrison Hot Springs
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 has plenty of fun activities to offer. You’ll find lots of cafes and restaurants, as well as a beach area, a kids’ waterpark, and plenty of unique shops selling work from local artisans.
A great place to spend 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.
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!
5. 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!
You can find the fall’s location on Google maps. Note, the falls are only open during the summer months
6. Wahleach Lake/Jones Lake
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.
Finally, you’ve made it to Hope! Hope, BC is a small town with plenty of fun 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!
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.
Another way 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.
Where to Stay in Hope, BC
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 $100 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
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.
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 using crown land and campsites, you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable!
Don’t get Caught without Travel Insurance!
We never travel without travel insurance! We’ve had a few instances during our travels when one of us has ended up in the hospital, and travel insurance has saved us thousands of dollars over the years!
SafetyWing is our go-to insurance, we both have policies with them whenever we travel.
They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!)The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.
We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!) While most travel insurance companies left people stranded, SafetyWing fully reimbursed us for our last-minute, pricey flights!
Also, because it is so affordable, there really is no excuse not to take out a policy. Check prices and get a quote online here with SafetyWing (you can even take out a policy if you’re already traveling!)
Thanks for reading!
I hope this blog has helped you to plan and enjoy your road trip from Vancouver to Hope. Honestly, although just a short drive, this road trip is definitely fun if you stop at the right places!
If you’re looking for some more info about the area, be sure to check out some of our other blogs including: