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This page will give route information for cross-country or cross-province cycle tourists.
Cheat Sheet (for those heading east)
Highway 1 is longer, but has less elevation and more places to stop for water between Hope and the next logical stop east. The shoulder is legit.
Highway 3 has a lot of elevation, but food and water are available. The shoulder is decent in places.
Highway 5 has a substantial pass (Coquihalla Pass) and no place to get water until Merritt. The shoulder is sketchy in places.
Highway Names and Numbers
Highway 1: Trans-Canada Highway
The Trans-Canada runs the entire length of Canada, starting in Victoria, BC and ending in St. John’s, Newfoundland. While it is not necessarily the most popular route through BC (as it is not the most direct), cross-Canada riders will likely spend a large portion of their trip on this highway. The Trans-Canada has the fewest number of high mountain passes.
Highway 3: Crowsnest Highway
The Crowsnest runs from Hope, BC to Medicine Hat, Alberta and is a popular route through British Columbia. It has the most mountain passes of all the highways and is usually ridden by those looking for the most bragging rights.
Highway 5: Coquihalla Highway
The Coquihalla is the colloquial term for the southern portion of the Yellowhead Highway that runs from Hope, BC to Kamloops, BC. There is substantial elevation gain and more passes between Hope and Kamloops along the Coquihalla than the Trans-Canada, but it is a more direct route.
Highway 7: Lougheed Highway / Scenic7
Highway 7 runs along the north side of the Fraser River from Hope, BC to Vancouver, BC. As cyclists are not permitted on sections of the Trans-Canada between Vancouver and Abbotsford (including the Port Mann Bridge), the majority of cyclists will ride the Scenic7 to and from Vancouver.
West - East (Victoria, BC to St. John's, Newfoundland)
Not only are cyclists not permitted on stretches of the Trans-Canada between Vancouver and Abbotsford, the seemingly never-ending merge lanes on the western portion of the highway make for heinous and stressful riding. However, should one choose to cycle the back-roads through Surrey, Langley, and Abbotsford, they would find themselves with a wide, paved shoulder between Chilliwack and Hope.
The first exit for Hope. It is 7km from Exit 165 to downtown along the highway or Flood-Hope Road. Flood-Hope Road is a quieter road than the highway and takes cyclists past 3 campgrounds, 2 restaurants, a Laundromat, gas station, and liquor store.
The second exit for Hope. Exit 165 puts cyclists onto Flood-Hope Road in the heart of Silver Creek – one of Hope’s suburbs. Silver Creek is home to The Flying J Truck Stop, Owl Street Cafe, and the Holiday Motel and RV Park.
The third (and primary) exit for Hope. Turn left at the first lights to get to downtown. At the second set of lights you have 2 choices:
- 1) turn right onto the Old-Hope Princeton Highway (towards Highways 3 and 5 and past dine-in and fast-food restaurants); or
- 2)continue straight down Water Avenue (Highway 1). Cyclists who go down Water Avenue will pass the Hope Visitor Centre and be able to pick up the Hope Visitor Guide (which has maps and accommodation / restaurant directory). Two blocks beyond the Hope Visitor Centre is Wallace Street (the main downtown street). Cyclists would do well to cruise up Wallace and spend a relaxing afternoon in Memorial Park.
Cyclists are permitted along the entirety of Highway 7, which makes it the most popular route for cyclists between Vancouver and Hope. Highway 7 is only 3 kilometres longer than Highway 1 from downtown to downtown, so cyclists do not have to sacrifice their energy for a more pleasant route.
There is only one exit for Hope along Highway 7 (the highway ends at a T-intersection).
- Turn right to get onto Highway 1 East (Kamloops)
- Turn left to get onto Highway 1 West (Hope!). Take the left-hand fork in order to get to Hope, otherwise you will be heading back to Vancouver.
Regardless of the route one takes into Hope, cyclists riding east along the Coquihalla or Crowsnest start climbing for their first pass almost immediately when they leave Hope. It’s definitely nicer to start those climbs first thing in the morning (especially in the hotter months), so plan to spend the night in Hope.
East-West (St. John's, Newfoundland to Victoria, BC)
Cyclists coming into Hope from Highway 1 would do well to stop at Lake of the Woods for a quick swim! From the lake, it’s an easy downhill into Hope. There is a fork at the bottom of the hill: the right fork takes you onto Highway 7 towards Vancouver while the left fork crosses the Fraser River Bridge and becomes Water Avenue.
The Visitor Centre will be on your left 2 blocks after the first set of lights.
The Crowsnest (#3) and Coquihalla (#5) merge 6km east of town, so cross-Canada cyclists coming from that direction will all enter Hope at Exit 171. This exit puts cyclists on the Old Hope-Princeton Way (one of the main thoroughfares in town where you will find restaurants and hotels galore). Turn right onto 6th Avenue or 3rd avenue to hit downtown (Wallace Street) or right at the lights onto Water Avenue to find the visitor centre.