advertisement
  • The Sea-to-Sky Highway: Officially Hwy. 99, this drive is a lesson in geology. Starting in West Vancouver, the amazing route begins at sea level at Howe Sound and the Squamish Cliffs -- sheer rock faces rising hundreds of feet -- then up a narrowing fjord, climbing up to Whistler, near the crest of the rugged, glacier-clad Coast Mountains. Continue over the mountains and drop onto Lillooet. Here, on the dry side of the mountains, is an arid plateau trenched by the rushing Fraser River.
  • The Sunshine Coast: Hwy. 101 follows the mainland British Columbia coast from West Vancouver, crossing fjords and inlets twice on ferries on its way to Powell River. On the east side rise the soaring peaks of the Coast Mountains, and to the west lap the waters of the Georgia Strait, with the green bulk of Vancouver Island rising in the middle distance. From Powell River, you can cross over to Vancouver Island on the BC Ferries service to Comox.
  • Williams Lake to Bella Coola: Start at the ranching town of Williams Lake, and turn your car west toward the looming Coast Mountains. Hwy. 20 crosses the arid Fraser River plateau, famed for its traditional cattle ranches, until reaching the high country near Anaheim Lake. After edging through 1,500m (4,921-ft.) Heckman Pass, the route descends what the locals simply call "The Hill": a 32km (20-mile) stretch of road that drops from the pass to sea level with gradients of 18%. The road terminates at Bella Coola on the Pacific, where summer-only ferries depart for Port Hardy on northern Vancouver Island.
  • The Icefields Parkway (Hwy. 93 through Banff and Jasper national parks): This is one of the world's grandest mountain drives. On a road trip back to the ice ages, you'll climb past glacier-notched peaks to the Columbia Icefields, a sprawling cap of snow, ice, and glacier at the very crest of the Rockies.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.