Day Seven (Thursday) – Winding Roads, Olympic Village, Desert Mountains and Rainforests

Leaving Kamloops, our road trip took us along relatively narrow mountain roads – with several stops for road construction – and hot temperatures all the way to Squamish. Good thing we had working A/C!

Whistler Village

The reason we chose this route was that we wanted to parallel the railroad from Vancouver to Whistler, which is extremely beautiful. The Sea To Sky Highway (BC 99) does just that. We can’t say it is as scenic as the railroad, but then again the price was right – free!

Whistler Village was the location for the alpine events for the 2010 Winter Olympics. What we didn’t know was that Whistler was created so Vancouver could get the 1968 Winter Olympics. Also, Whistler was offered and declined the 1976 Winter Olympics.
Whistler Village

Whistler is a typical tourist town, but we were impressed with the layout of the town. There are separate “pods” for shopping, hotels, and residential areas. Parking can be a problem; we needed to drive around for a little while in order to find a spot. Whistler has metered parking with a 2-hour limit, so make sure you have change on hand.

We left Whistler for our night’s destination, Squamish. We chose to stay at a hostel just to try it out; the rates were inexpensive and for one night we could put up with just about anything. This particular hostel did not have enough on-site parking, which I guess makes some sense because it caters to hikers and bicyclists who don’t take up a lot of parking spaces. We checked in and decided to head down to Vancouver to see how long it would take us to get to the rain forest.

Along the way, we saw Howe Sound, an arm of the Pacific Ocean. Quite a change in scenery from the high desert of central British Columbia!


Howe Sound, British Columbia

Capilano Suspension Bridge and Park

We found ourselves with plenty of time, so we decided to go to the rain forest instead of heading back to Squamish.

Capilano Suspension Bridge and Park is in North Vancouver, in an area that remains as a rain forest. We were lucky; we paid a reduced rate for arriving after 5:00pm.

The bridge itself is 460 feet long and sways a bit, so hold on!

The park has several walking trails, ranging from easy walking to a challenge. Some of the trails are on ground, some are elevated. In addition, there is an overlook that goes over the Capilano River, providing exceptional views of the river and rainforest.


Our tour took about 90 minutes, which was enough time for us to fully enjoy the experience and head back to Squamish for the night.

Read on to Day 8: Ferries, Flower Gardens, and Oceans