With the nicer weather, dreams of long weekends and summer, people are thinking more and more about things they can do around the Fraser Valley for day trips. Whether you have people visiting from out of town, or you just want to get away for a day with your family, there is lots to do around our area!
Located just two and a half hours outside of Vancouver in the Fraser Canyon, this gorge is worth seeing. Enjoy the amazing views of the canyon as you travel towards Boston Bar to get there. Hell’s Gate was originally discovered by Simon Fraser in 1808 who wrote in his journal that this place “a place where no human should venture, for surely these are the gates of Hell.” (Wikipedia)I can just imagine him coming down the river and discovering this gorge that is only 110 feet wide with water churning off of both canyon walls. He must have been terrified.
Go back in time and discover this amazing sight for yourself by riding on the Hell’s Gate air tram. Here is an excerpt from their website “While visiting, walk across the suspension bridge, take a few snap shots, then go back and view the river from many observation decks. Water levels are known to rise up to 100 feet in the spring reaching record heights of 209 feet deep. That is over 200,000,000 gallons of water ever minute raging through a narrow rock canyon just over 100 feet wide. In our village we have an educational center with videos, the history of the railways and informaition (sic) about the lives of the spawning salmon. Hells Gate is home to massive fishways constructed to assist the millions of salmon that pass through annually en (sic) route to their spawning grounds. While visiting Hells Gate Airtram (sic) enjoy the Simons Cafe, Homemade Fudge from our Fudge Factory, Ice Cream Parlor / Candy Store and shop for great souvenirs and Canadiana (sic) in our Gift Shop.”
About an hour north of Vancouver is the beautiful city of Squamish. A little bit closer than Whistler makes this city ideal for a day trip. Known as the “Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada” there is a never-ending network of biking, hiking and walking trails and amazing rock climbing. Squamish has something for everyone with award winning “craft brewery and distillery, farm to table dining experiences, sidewalk cafés, driftwood beaches, and a rich First Nations culture” according to their website.
The Sea to Sky Gondola is a must do when visiting Squamish. It’s a 10-minute ride that takes you 885 meters up above sea level. There’s more hiking and walking trails once you get up there as well as a number of viewing platforms with breathtaking views. In the winter, try out some snowshoeing, tubing or cross-country skiing!
Want to travel to Germany on a day trip? Head on south into Washington State where you’ll find the quaint town of Leavenworth between Spokane and Squamish. It’s about a four-hour trip from the Fraser Valley, but well worth it. On the website they say there is something for everyone and anyone to do. “Whether you’re into spas, geocaching, outdoor theatre, wine tours, or interesting museums, Leavenworth has what you’re looking for. If your definition of rugged footwear involves heels longer than three inches, peruse our sumptuous spas, world-class wineries, and fragrant farmers’ markets.” There are also many local shops and boutiques to browse while you’re there, think fudge shops, Christmas shops, galleries and authentic German toy shops.
If you’re looking to be a little more active while you are visiting, Leavenworth offers many outdoor recreational activities too. There’s fishing, biking, hiking, golf, paddle boarding, ziplines, rafting, kayaking and river tubing. Sounds like an amazing day trip to do with the family!
Capilano Suspension Bridge
While this trip is not far, located on the North Shore of Vancouver, about 15 minutes from downtown, it is worth checking out. Their website boasts “Capilano Suspension Bridge crosses to towering evergreens, cedar-scented rainforest air and Treetops Adventure, 7 suspended footbridges offering views 110 feet above the forest floor. The new Cliffwalk (sic) follows a granite precipice along Capilano River with a labyrinth-like series of narrow cantilevered bridges, stairs and platforms and only 16 anchor points in the cliff supporting the structure!” This is a great way to explore the beauty of BC right in our own backyard!
Capilano Suspension Bridge offers a lot of special events and programs as well, so be sure to check out the website for what is going on there. There are raptor shows, guided tours, special activities for kids and at Christmas they light the whole thing up during Canyon Lights.
So, whatever you do in the coming months, make sure you get out and explore!