City Escape: Vancouver, British Columbia

Text: Robert Smith • Photography: Robert Smith

A winding tarmac ribbon soaring from sea to sky through BC’s Coast Range into semi-desert, then back through the spectacular Fraser Canyon. Take in four climate zones! Yes, it’s a long ride, but it’s comfortably doable in a day as long as you start early. This local motorcycling classic is best from late May to late September.

Length

Approximately 350 miles

Meet-up spot

Tim Hortons, Highway 1 (Trans-Canada) at Westview Rd, North Vancouver.

Lunch stop

The Cookhouse Restaurant at Reynolds Hotel, 1237 Main St, Lillooet, BC. Authentic western food and homemade pie with fresh apples! (250) 256-4202, www.reynoldshotel.com.

Scenery (4 out of 5)

Ocean vistas, snow-capped mountains, lakes and forests, and the canyon of the mighty Fraser River. A visual overload.

Traffic (4 out of 5)

Light-to-moderate on Highway 1 and 99 as far as Whistler, then light through Lillooet to Hope. Occasional RV holdups on Duffey Lake Road.

Difficulty (3 out of 5)

A long ride but mostly fast, relaxed four-lane cruising, and it’s almost impossible to get lost! Just check the weather forecast before you go—and stay hydrated.

Road conditions (3 out of 5)

Excellent—except from Mount Currie to Lillooet where you’ll find tight turns, a 5,000-foot elevation, one-lane bridges, and occasional rough sections. Limited cellphone coverage.