X
Big House, Klemtu (Tourism Klemtu photo)

Big House, Klemtu

(Tourism Klemtu photo)

Transportation & Maps

Coast Cariboo Circle Route

Print View
Print View

7 to 10 days, 2110.86 km (1311.63 mi)

Barkerville Historic Town (Chris Harris/All Canada Photos)
Barkerville Historic Town (Chris Harris/All Canada Photos)

This scenic adventure includes coastal villages, hiking amid volcanic mountains, fishing well-stocked lakes and discovering the Gold Rush Trail. Feel sand beneath your toes on sweeping beaches, see a village on stilts, relax on scenic ferry rides, and saddle up for a ride through grasslands.

Select one of the parts to view its details:

All Parts
Chemainus mural
Part 1
Ferry to Vancouver Island

276.28 km - about 5 hours 7 min

In Tsawwassen, south of Vancouver, board BC Ferries to set off on the coastal leg of your journey. In Victoria, take time to admire the city’s gardens, parks, museums and beaches before driving north to see the world’s largest outdoor art gallery – 40 painted murals in the seaside community of Chemainus. Or venture off to the surrounding area and visit one of the many welcoming wineries and vineyards.

In Nanaimo, take a heritage tour and stroll along the waterfront or head to Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park where a shoreline of sandstone cliffs, complete with caves and caverns, awaits your exploration.

Continue north towards Port Alberni.

Cathedral Grove, JF Bergeron photo
Part 2
Side Trip to the West Coast

613.46 km - about 9 hours 4 min

A side trip across the island on Highway 4 to Port Alberni offers a variety of discoveries. Wind your way through the ancient Douglas fir trees of Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park, or head west and stay at a wilderness lodge in the seaside villages of Ucluelet or Tofino. While there, experience remote Hot Springs Cove (only accessible by boat or plane), and leave your footprints on Long Beach, the longest stretch of surf-swept sand on Vancouver Island’s west coast.

Return along Highway 4 to head north on Highway 19A, and relax on the sandy beaches of Parksville – ideal for warm, saltwater swimming – and the stunning shoreline of Qualicum Beach. Continuing north, cast a line in Campbell River, the Salmon Capital of the World; the fishing and scenery are spectacular. Stop in Telegraph Cove, a village raised on stilts, and join a whale watching tour.

Orcas
Part 3
Ferries to Bella Coola

253.86 km - about 11 hours 48 min

From Port Hardy, board BC Ferries Discovery Coast Connector for the two-stage journey to Bella Coola. Catch a connecting ferry in Bella Bella for the final voyage to Bella Coola; stops along the way may include Shearwater, Klemtu and Ocean Falls. As you ferry north, keep your eyes on the ocean to see whales blowing up spray or sea lions sunning themselves on the small islets and along the rocky shoreline.

Bella Coola Docks, Albert Normandin photo
Part 4
Bella Coola through Tweedsmuir Provincial Park

230.93 km - about 3 hours 19 min

Drive the celebrated “Freedom Highway” (Hwy 20), named for the determined locals who built the road from Bella Coola to Anahim Lake on the Chilcotin Plateau. The highway climbs a steep, exhilarating switch-backed route – known locally as “The Hill” – to an elevation of 1,524m/5,000ft. (Note: this road is mostly paved, but there is also a well-maintained gravel section; suitable for all vehicles.) Head from Bella Coola past the rugged Coast Mountains to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. BC’s largest park spans 981,000ha/2,452,500ac, and enchants visitors with volcanic “Rainbow Mountains,” flowering meadows, waterfalls and glacial-capped peaks.

Fly fishing for trout, camping, hiking, canoeing and horseback riding are all popular activities here. Look for mountain goats, caribou, black bears, moose and countless bird species. Charter a floatplane to fly over Turner Lake and view one of North America’s highest waterfalls – Hunlen Falls plunges 253m/850ft over a sheer rock face.

Farwell Canyon Hoodoos, Albert Normandin photo
Part 5
Lakes and Hoodoos

219.62 km - about 3 hours 52 min

Drive from Tatla Lake to Chilko Lake, along a gravel road for 80km/45mi. Go angling for trophy-sized rainbow and bull trout in the turquoise waters of Chilko Lake, the largest, natural, high-elevation freshwater lake in North America.

Stop near Alexis Creek, named after Chief Alexis of the Chilcotin tribe, at Bull Canyon and Battle Rock. Here, the Chilcotin defended their lands in fierce battles with the Shuswap and Bella Coola First Nations. From Riske Creek, detour along Farwell Canyon Road (a well maintained gravel road) to see hoodoos at Farwell Canyon and Junction Sheep Range Provincial Park, which is home to more than 500 free-roaming bighorn sheep.

Horseback riding at Echo Valley Ranch near Clinton, Albert Normandin photo
Part 6
Williams Lake to Clinton

162.57 km - about 1 hours 44 min

Heading east again on Hwy 20, you’ll find Williams Lake amid rolling ranchland. Visit the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin and the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame for a dose of cowboy culture. Williams Lake is also a great spot for mountain biking and a launching point for rafting trips on the Chilcotin, Chilko and Fraser rivers. Drive south on the old Cariboo Wagon Road, Hwy 97, to 100 Mile House and see an original stagecoach.

Continue beyond to Clinton, where you can jump in the saddle for a real cowboy experience at one of the area’s many guest ranches. Along with delicious home-style cooking and western hospitality, you can ride the range and round up cattle. Or explore the countryside while fishing, hiking, canoeing and river rafting. And remember, from May to September rodeo events in this region are as common as cattle.

Joffre Lakes Provincial Park, Marlene Ford photo
Part 7
Pemberton to Vancouver

354.14 km - about 4 hours 39 min

Head south towards Pemberton, and stop at Joffre Lakes Provincial Park, where hanging glaciers crown three turquoise-coloured lakes. Complete the circle tour via the spectacular Sea-to-Sky Highway (Hwy 99).

From the mountain encircled village of Whistler, travel through narrow valleys with mountain glaciers visible in the distance alongside Howe Sound.

The Sea-to-Sky Highway turns a final corner and the mountains give way to a spectacular view of Vancouver – arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

We're sorry!

There are no items of that type within the area you currently see on the map. Please change your "What's Nearby" selection or zoom out to view a wider area on the map.

Close
 City  Visitor Centre  Driving Route

Driving Directions

Part 1 - Ferry to Vancouver Island - 276.28 km - about 5 hours 7 min
1.

Head northeast on Duke Point, BC - Tsawwassen, BC

0.02 km
2.

Continue straight onto Ferry Ramp/BC-17 S

0.07 km
3.

Turn right toward Ferry Ramp/BC-17 N

0.15 km
4.

Turn right onto Ferry Ramp/BC-17 N

0.06 km
5.

Take the Swartz Bay, BC - Tsawwassen, BC ferry

46.43 km
6.

Continue straight onto Ferry Ramp

0.21 km
7.

Continue onto Patricia Bay Hwy

31.12 km
8.

Turn right onto Pandora Ave

0.21 km
9.

Take the 1st right onto Douglas St/BC-1 N

0.03 km
10.

Head north on Douglas St/BC-1 N toward Cormorant StContinue to follow BC-1 N

76.23 km
11.

Turn right onto Henry Rd (signs for Chemainus/Thetis Island/Kuper Island)

1.42 km
12.

At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Chemainus Rd/BC-1A N heading to Town Centre

1.73 km
13.

At the roundabout, continue straight to stay on Chemainus Rd/BC-1A NDestination will be on the right

0.67 km
14.

Head northwest on Chemainus Rd/BC-1A N toward Cook St

8.00 km
15.

Turn left to stay on Chemainus Rd/BC-1A N

0.03 km
16.

Take the 1st right onto Island Hwy/BC-1 N

18.98 km
17.

Merge onto Nanaimo Pkwy/BC-19 N via the ramp to Parksville/Campbell River

11.40 km
18.

Make a U-turn at Northfield Rd (signs for Victoria)Destination will be on the right

1.04 km
19.

Head southeast on Nanaimo Pkwy/BC-19 S

0.57 km
20.

Make a U-turnContinue to follow BC-19 N

39.96 km
21.

Take exit 60 toward Port Alberni

1.45 km
22.

Merge onto Memorial Ave/BC-4 WContinue to follow BC-4 WDestination will be on the left

36.50 km
Part 2 - Side Trip to the West Coast - 613.46 km - about 9 hours 4 min
1.

Head southwest on Alberni Hwy/Johnston Rd/BC-4 W toward Regina Ave

1.48 km
2.

Turn right onto Pacific Rim Hwy/River Rd/Victoria Quay/BC-4 W (signs for Ucluelet/Tofino)Continue to follow Pacific Rim Hwy/BC-4 WDestination will be on the left

8.29 km
3.

Head northwest on Pacific Rim Hwy/BC-4 W toward Bigmore Rd

82.14 km
4.

Head northeast on Pacific Rim Hwy/BC-4 E toward West Rd

90.42 km
5.

Turn left onto Alberni Hwy/Johnston Rd/BC-4 E (signs for Parksville/Nanaimo)Continue to follow BC-4 E

35.21 km
6.

Turn right onto Alberni Hwy (signs for BC-4A/Coombs)Destination will be on the left

11.45 km
7.

Head north on Alberni Hwy toward Memorial Ave

0.16 km
8.

Turn left onto Island Hwy WDestination will be on the left

10.61 km
9.

Head west on Island Hwy W toward Memorial Ave/BC-4 W

0.14 km
10.

Turn left onto Memorial Ave/BC-4 W (signs for Qualicum Beach/Port Alberni/British Columbia 4)

3.45 km
11.

Slight right to merge onto Inland Island Highway/BC-19 N toward Campbell River

109.21 km
12.

Head north on Inland Island Highway/Tamarac St N/BC-19 N toward 17 AveContinue to follow BC-19 N

185.19 km
13.

Turn right onto Beaver Cove Rd

10.48 km
14.

Turn left onto Telegraph Cove RdDestination will be on the left

3.59 km
15.

Head southwest on Telegraph Cove Rd toward Main Rd S

3.59 km
16.

Turn right onto Beaver Cove Rd

10.48 km
17.

Turn right onto BC-19 N (signs for Port Mcneill/Port Hardy)

43.04 km
18.

Turn right onto Bear Cove Hwy/BC-19 (signs for Ferries)Destination will be on the left

4.53 km
Part 3 - Ferries to Bella Coola - 253.86 km - about 11 hours 48 min
1.

Head north on Bear Cove Hwy/BC-19 toward Bear Cove Hwy/BC-19Continue to follow BC-19

0.64 km
2.

Take the Port Hardy, BC - Namu, BC ferry

143.00 km
3.

Take the Namu, BC - Bella Coola, BC ferry

105.64 km
4.

Continue straight onto Chilcotin-Bella Coola Hwy/BC-20 EDestination will be on the right

4.58 km
1.

Head southeast on Chilcotin-Bella Coola Hwy/BC-20 E toward Burke AvenueDestination will be on the right

132.48 km
2.

Head south on Chilcotin-Bella Coola Hwy/BC-20 EDestination will be on the left

98.44 km
Part 5 - Lakes and Hoodoos - 219.62 km - about 3 hours 52 min
1.

Head southeast on Chilcotin-Bella Coola Hwy/BC-20 EDestination will be on the right

107.10 km
2.

Head southeast on Chilcotin-Bella Coola Hwy/BC-20 EDestination will be on the right

66.74 km
3.

Head southeast on Chilcotin-Bella Coola Hwy/BC-20 E

45.67 km
4.

Turn right onto Cariboo Hwy/BC-97 SDestination will be on the right

0.12 km
Part 6 - Williams Lake to Clinton - 162.57 km - about 1 hours 44 min
1.

Head southeast on Cariboo Hwy/BC-97 S toward Lakeview CrescentDestination will be on the right

162.57 km
Part 7 - Pemberton to Vancouver - 354.14 km - about 4 hours 39 min
1.

Head southwest on Cariboo Hwy/BC-97 S toward Dewdney Ave

28.70 km
2.

Turn right onto BC-99 S (signs for Lillooet/Pemberton/Whistler)

74.59 km
3.

Turn right onto Duffey Lake Rd

1.22 km
4.

Turn left to stay on Duffey Lake Rd

80.46 km
5.

Continue onto Lillooet Lake Rd

10.03 km
6.

Turn left onto Main St/Portage Rd

0.23 km
7.

Take the 1st right onto Portage Rd

6.71 km
8.

Continue onto Sea-to-Sky HwyDestination will be on the right

0.42 km
9.

Head southwest on Sea-to-Sky Hwy toward Park StDestination will be on the right

31.26 km
10.

Head south on Sea-to-Sky Hwy/BC-99 S toward Village Gate BlvdContinue to follow BC-99 S

102.24 km
11.

Merge onto BC-99 S/Trans-Canada Hwy

10.38 km
12.

Take exit 13 for BC-99 S/Taylor Way/British Columbia 1 Alternate E toward Vancouver

0.37 km
13.

Keep right at the fork, follow signs for BC-99 S/Taylor Way S/Vancouver and merge onto Taylor Way/BC-1A S/BC-99 S

1.18 km
14.

Turn left onto Marine Dr/BC-1A S

0.33 km
15.

Take the ramp to Bridge Vancouver

0.21 km
16.

Merge onto Lions Gate Bridge Rd/BC-1AContinue to follow BC-1A

4.58 km
17.

Slight left onto W Pender St

0.79 km
18.

Turn left onto Thurlow St

0.21 km
19.

Continue onto Canada PlDestination will be on the right

0.22 km