Fraser Valley Visitor Tips
Here are some quick suggestions for visitors with limited time in the Fraser Valley: The schedule is only a suggestion -- you may have more fun, or wish to take more time than mentioned below.
One Day Stay
To capture the essence of this city, here are suggestions for your first day (especially if its your only day) in the Fraser Valley:
- Starting at Langley, head north to Historic Fort Langley, one of the oldest European settlements on Canada's west coast
- Take the ferry across the Fraser to Maple Ridge, and head east to Mission, to view the Westminster Abbey
- Check out Carving at Hatzlc Rock, just east of town
- Cross the Fraser south to Abbotsford, and check out the Matsqui Trail, atop the dikes
- Take the Trans-Canada Highway east to Chilliwack. You will pass many irrigated agricultural fields, some with flowers, some with food crops
- If you have children with you, head south of town, over the rugged Chilliwack River, to Cultus Lake with its rather famous waterslides.
- Continue East to Hope, which is the junction of four great highways through BC, as well as both trans-continental rail lines. There is an Indian reserve and wildlife island, just offshore.
- Check out the chainsaw carvings around downtown, the salmon spawning grounds on the Coquihalla River
- Head east on Highway 5 (the Coquihala) to the Othello Quintette Tunnels, which are not only the start of the scenic Kettle Valley Railroad bike trails, but were the backdrop for a number of movies (including a Rambo one)
Two Day Stay
If you are here for second day in the Fraser Valley, here is a recommended itinerary:
- Follow the same basic itinerary for Day (above) but substitute white water rafting on the Chilliwack River for the detour to Mission
- Save the north bank of the Fraser for Day Two, beginning at Hope, wind your leisurely way along the Lougheed Highway also known as "Scenic 7."
- You'll cross Seabird Island in the middle of the Fraser
- At Aggazis head north to Harrison Hot Springs, and enjoy both the springs, but the lake (even try some sailing or windsurfing in the afternoon)
- Head west to Hatzic Lake, and visit Hatzic Rock
- Continue into Mission and visit the Westminster Abbey and the town's historic areas.
- head west to Stave Lake, which is dammed not far from the Highway and is a beautiful picnic spot
- Continue west through Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows with its broad agricultural fields. Along the Pitt River are some agricultural bogs worth exploring.
- Corss the Pitt River into Coquitlam and Port Moody, the original terminus to the C.P.R. and visit the railway museum
- Eenjoy the panoramic vistas across the very end of Burrard Inlet.
If you are visiting for a longer period, there are a number of destinations worth visiting (each at least a half day, including driving):
- Golden Ears Provincial Park, north of Maple Ridge
- Manning Provincial Park, south of Hope
- White Rock, southwest of Langley on Mud Bay at the US border.