Canadian NW Ride help!
Hello Canucks' and Flames' Fans and Riders!
My wife and I will be spending a week prior to the MOA Rally riding in NW Canada.
Thinking of starting out with the Canadian Rockies (Icefield) then over to Vancouver Island. Would appreciate any info on good roads (No Gravel) and routes and also places to stay. I know VI is hard to get around, but willing to spend a few nights there.
Do you need reservations for the ferries?..do you need to bring tie-downs? E-mail me at [email]firstname.lastname@example.org[/email]
BMW RA Trustee
As far as reservations on the BC ferries, for a motorcycle you wont need them! You will not need tie downs either; they supply you with a step block. Just leave your bike in gear on the side stand and push the block under the bike. Bikes are first on, first off.
Some nice rides from the ice fields, avoiding the Trans Canada are Cranbrook, Creston Kaslo, Nakusp, Vernon. Kamloops, Fraser Canyon. Hope.
Or. Cranbrook, Nelson, Castlegar, Grand Forks, Princeton, Hope.
Expect to be cold at the Ice fields and Very hot if you go via the Okanagan Valley.:ca
Last summer I really enjoyed riding 97C west from Kelowna to Hwy. 8, then 12, then 99 into Whistler. Lots of places to stay in both Kelowna and Whistler. Roads around Whistler had a lot of repaving done for the Olympics so they are in very nice shape. Other than a few forest fires from time to time it's a great place to explore. When heading back south to the rally, border crossings at Sumas or Osoyoos can save you a long wait in line.
There are several choices to get to the coast from the Icefields. Highway 3 is a great ride all the way and even better if you take the detour to Balfour and ferry to Kaslo across the Lake. From there you can go south to return to highway 3 at Nelson or norht toward Nakusp.
If you take Highway one toward the coast you can get off at Revelstoke and head for Nakusp down the Arrow Lakes. At Nakusp you can continue south to Nelson or else west to Vernon.
Another great ride is highway 99. You could come all the way from Jasper to Kamloops on the Yellowhead and then carry on west on 97 to Cache creek, turn north for about 20 miles then turn left and take 99 all the way to Vancouver. 99 is an amazing ride.
If you want to go to Kamloops then south, take 97A along Niclola lake to Merrit and then try highway 8 to Speneces Bridge. You will come out at Highway 1 and ride the scenic Fraser canyon. Another great ride, if you still have stamina, is to leave Hwy 1 at Lyton for Lillooet and hook up with 99, as described above.
Vancouver Island is not hard to get to. The ferries are frequent. You are first on and first off and do not need a reservation even if it says the ferry is full, they will put you on! I do this trip weekly.
On the Island, Victoria is worth a visit. See the Butchart gardens, the Parliament buildings and the Royal BC Museum. I would recommend a ride to Port Renfrew. This is about 2 hours from Victoria along the west coast. From there take the road to Lake Cowichan. This is an old logging road, now paved. From there go to Duncan on Highway 1. From Duncan south is back to Victoria or north goes to Nanaimo and beyond. The ride to Tofino on Highway 4 is another great trip and Tofino and area are must sees, with amazing beaches and rugged landscape. Between Parksville and Port Alberni take the time to stop at Catherdal grove (McMillan Park) The huge trees are amazing and the walk around the forest is rejuvenating.
If you want to blast from Victoria toward Nanaimo, one of my favourite rides is to take the Shawnigan lake turn off about 2/3 of the way up the Malahat and follow it north. It is a quieter, twisty road along the lake. More scenic and relaxing than the four lane highway. All the way up the Island you can ask locals for the alternate routes along the coast. You can meander along and enjoy. I would definitely do this from Parksville to Courtenay. Take the coast route not the inland highway. I think it is 19a.
There are hotels, B&Bs, campgrounds and motels everywhere. This is a tourist destination. If you want to camp in the provincial parks you will need reservations and the campgrounds are busy in summer. Most are beautiful and there are trees and space between spots.