Top 10 Summer Adventures in Vancouver
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada is blessed with an amazing landscape—The Pacific Ocean to the West, the United States to the South, the Coastal Mountains to the north and the Rockies in the East. Vancouver is truly one of the most beautiful cities in the world and it is surrounded by Mother Nature’s playground.
The Grouse Grind is a 2.5 km hike from Valley Station to the Peak’s Plateau on Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver. It has an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean, Downtown Vancouver and the surrounding area. The steep hike takes between 1 and 2 hours depending on your skills.
The hike will take you up 2,800 feet from the start point to the plateau. At the top it’s time to relax, enjoy the view and have a meal at the Bistro with a beer or two. By this point you may want to do a little shopping before heading down the mountain on the tram for $5.
9. Sailing in English Bay
Experience the rush of learning to sail with the Vancouver Sailing Club. The courses are available for anyone at any level. The Basic Keelboat Sailing course includes a two-day water session where participants learn navigation, handling and safety.
This course is certified by the American Sailing Association (ASA) and is designed to train novice sailors to sail a 24 ft boat in familiar waters in day light during mild to moderate sea and wind conditions—without supervision. The course costs $575 which includes the internationally recognized ASA certification.
Vancouver Island has thousands of caves, many of which are still unexplored. Horne Lake Provincial Park is open to the public for cave exploration. Self guided tours are free and can be done at 2 of the 3 caves—Main Cave and the Lower Main Cave. Helmet and light rentals are $8.
For those looking for a bit more adventure, there is Riverbend Cave; depending on your ambition there are several tours available. A 5 hour lesson including a 70 foot rappel in the second section of Riverbend for will cost $149. Camping is also available from $20 - $24 per night.
To get here, take BC Ferries from West Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) to Nanaimo (Departure Bay). From there, it’s an 1.5 hr drive heading northbound on Island Freeway (Hwy 19) until you reach Lake Horne Exit #75.
7. Mountain Biking
Apart from being a world class ski resort, Whistler-Blackcomb has some amazing summer trails and courses for mountain biking, trails ranges from beginner to expert. People come from around the world to enjoy the technical mountain biking available on Whistler. The cost of a lift ticket for mountain biking at Whistler is $51 regular season (after June 20th). Pre-season price are around $40. To rent a bike for a full day at the Bike Park costs $99.99.
Tofino, on the West coast of Vancouver Island, has a relaxed Island atmosphere with some wicked swells for surfing. Great camping in the area of one of British Columbia’s most beautiful nature reserves—The Pacific Rim National Park. The beaches and coves have a variety size waves for beginners and more experienced surfers.
For lessons, camps or rentals check out the Pacific Surf School. Renting a surfboard for a full day costs $20. For $79, you get a 3 hour lesson that will introduce you to the sport in a safe, fun group environment. All necessary equipment is included in this price.
5. White Water Rafting
The Vancouver region offers great white water rafting with beautiful mountain scenery. With a wide range of rapids any skill level is welcome. REO Rafting Resort can arrange transportation for those who do not have vehicles or are unable to carpool with a group. The “Ride n’ Raft” package includes the Greyhound bus to the REO resort from Vancouver. Private transportation can also be arranged for groups.
A 2 day/1 night package without transportation costs $205. This includes 1 night camping (own camping gear required), 3 meals, snacks and beverages, 1 whitewater rafting trip, full use of the resort facilities and amenities, live weekend entertainment (prime season).
4. Hang Gliding and Paragliding
The Coastal Mountains in the Vancouver Region boast some of the best gliding sites in the continent! With over 10 sites in the area it is an ideal place to learn or go for a tandem flight with an instructor. Enjoy the stunning view of Vancouver while airborne with a professional guide.
Deimos Paragliding has launch sites around the Vancouver. A thrilling tandem flight with an off-road truck climb to the launch site costs $160. Tandem flights usually last about 30 minutes. Tandem flights require no previous experience—the instructor controls the take off, flight and landing.
If you feel up for it, you can do a solo pilot lesson for $200. After successfully demonstrating proper understanding and technique the instructors will prepare you for your first training flight.
3. Glacier Skiing / Snowboarding
British Columbia is lucky to have some of the best terrain and snow in the world for skiing and snowboarding. Whistler glacier offers skiing and snowboarding during the summer months (June 20 – July 26). The Horstman Glacier is a great place to work on your goggle tan and enjoy the summer skiing / snowboarding conditions. (Day Pass $54).
2. Bungee Jumping
3-2-1… BUNGEE! Nanaimo, BC on Vancouver Island is a short trip on BC Ferries from the mainland (West Vancouver – Horseshoe Bay). Nanaimo is home to Wildplay Element Parks which offers bungee jumping from a bridge suspended across a canyon over the Nanaimo River. It is a heart stopping drop of 150ft to the river below.
The park offers milder activities as well: the tree course, the canyon zip and the king swing… But, the real rush comes from diving off the bridge trusting your life to a glorified rubber band. The first jump is $99.99 and if you decide to do a second jump on the same day you can do so for $49.99. Call ahead and they will send a shuttle to the ferry to pick you up!
1. Sky Diving
Sky diving in Vancouver is not only a life altering experience but it is a breathtaking one. Skydive Vancouver is located in Abbotsford, eastbound on Hwy 1. Tandem skydives ($259) are the safest, easiest and most common way to be introduced to skydiving. This requires minimal training and skill because an experienced instructor is attached to you with a harness.
Riding in the small tin can “plane” for 30 minutes to get to 10,000 ft. is worth the beauty alone but, it’s hard to forget why you’re in the plane in the first place. There is a lot of anticipation leading up to the point where you climb out onto the wing and jump with a freefall of about 30 to 45 seconds.… Unforgettable.