Getting your group to the trailhead…

Getting yourself and your fellow hikers to the trailhead can often constitute 50% or more of the logistics and planning of your trip. Usually this will mean carpooling and having access to a number of vehicles, but could also include ferry and bus rides.

Included below is a compilation of transportation resources. Click on a heading to see more details.

Driving Cost Calculator

Road Navigation

Standard roadmaps are great, and most guidebooks will give written directions how to get to the trailhead but some resources stand-out above the rest for getting to trailheads off the beaten path:

  • Backroad Mapbook – A must-have for any backcountry adventurer! Not only does it document the logging roads well but it has the trails and descriptions in the same book.
  • Google Maps – Print out maps and directions by following your guidebooks instructions while sitting at your computer. In Vancouver, Google Maps also shows bus stops, bus numbers and the time of the next scheduled bus!

Road Conditions

Just like checking for the condition of a trail, it is always worth knowing what to expect on the highways or logging roads that you will need to be driving to get to the trailhead:

  • Drive BC – Up-to-date BC road events and conditions. Includes construction and natural obstacles such as washouts. It even has webcams for things such as border crossings.
  • Forest Service Road Updates – Up-to-date information and rules regarding use of forest service roads.

For the Car-less

Wanderung is perfect for those without cars since we encourage using the least amount of vehicles to get your group to the trailhead. Here are some links for the vehicularly challenged:

  • BC Car-free – One of the best books written for trips in the lower mainland regardless of whether or not you have a car. All of the trips in here can be reached without use of a vehicle and “how to” is spelled out in detail. In addition to hiking, this resource included kayak trips and cycle tours amongst other activities. Best of all, this book is freely available online! Simply download your maps and trip guides.
  • Live Trails – Map of transit accessible trails in The Lower Mainland.
  • TransLink – Everything you wanted to know about public transit in the Metro Vancouver area: bus, SkyTrain and Seabus. As mentioned above, the bus schedules can now be obtained through Google Maps.
  • BC Ferries – BC’s water based transportation to Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, Sunshine Coast, etc.

Driver fuel compensation

See our FAQ for more details but just a reminder to compensate drivers for their generous contribution: their vehicle.

  • Please ensure that not only fuel but pay parking or ferry fees are recovered, don’t wait for the driver to ask you.
  • Try to use the fewest number of vehicles given your group size, and pick the most fuel efficient vehicles if possible.
  • Remember that who goes in which car is irrelevant, the total number of cars needed is based on the group size regardless of how that group is split for the drive.

Winter driving

Are you aware that you may be forced to use chains getting to some destinations? Here are some items worth having in your vehicle for your winter adventures:

  • Snow chains (yes, worth buying and start at around $35);
  • Oil absorbent or kitty litter (for traction);
  • Blankets and/or extra warm clothing (in case you have to wait for help);
  • Ice scraper/brush (you may need to dig out the car after your adventure!);
  • Signal flares or flashlight (should be in your 10 essentials anyway!);
  • Shovel;
  • Spare food.

Useful hints and tips

  • Do not leave anything in the vehicles at the trailheads. Take everything with you to ensure thieves aren’t tempted to break a window.
  • Remember that at the end of the day, only one person is responsible for a speeding ticket: the driver.
  • Organizers, please pick meeting spots near public transit hubs.
  • Passengers should help navigate by reading the maps and instructions.
  • Always get a cell number of the other vehicles in case you get separated.
  • Sleeping is nice after a long hike but remember that the driver doesn’t have that luxury. Stay awake and keep the driver alert and help them watch for danger.

Disclaimer: The information provided in these pages should not be taken as accurate, complete or up-to-date. You should check this information yourself. The reader is warned that it is unreasonable to rely solely upon the information contained in these pages. By providing this information, Wanderung does not assume any liability for the use of this information by our readers. Terms & Conditions