As the weather darkens and the gloom of Fall sets in, most Vancouverites sadly store their hiking boots away and dream of drier times.
It’s the struggle of a true West Coaster.
But despair no more, for fall is the perfect time to grab your camera and discover the delights of cloudy mood lighting that the grey weather brings. Look pensive and adventurous all at once with Loose Lips’ guide to easy road trips and day adventures this season.
Go Chase Waterfalls
We’re all guilty of making use of TLC’s famous lyrics. And with a wide variety of majestic waterfalls sure to get you the Facebook likes you know you deserve, what’s not to love about a bit of falls hunting this fall?
From Brandywine up near Whistler, to Bridal Falls in Chilliwack, there are endless day options from Vancouver sure to wet your whistle.
Make sure to wear a bright coloured rain jacket to ensure your photos really pop. Yellow or red seems to be a crowd favourite. Also make sure you look insignificant next to the waterfall. Get your friend to practice different angles no matter how many other people are waiting to get the exact same shot.
The ideal day is gloomy, since waterfalls look more dramatic when it’s overcast. Don’t be deterred by a bit of rain. You’re going to get soaked anyways.
Abandoned Trestle Bridge
We’ve all seen the death-defying and shiver-inducing photos and videos of people walking across the abandoned structure. Yet all of us secretly want to experience the thrills and chills of walking 50 metres above a canyon on a decommissioned and rusted railway bridge. Do it for the gram, right?
The metal girders are extremely slippery when wet and still hard to navigate dry since they slope downwards as the bridge curves around. But it is walkable, although not entirely advised. This particular author crawled out on her hands and knees.
To get there, take Highway 1 and drive towards Hope. Stay on the Coquihalla and take the Portia exit U-Turn route. Merge back onto the highway westbound and there will be a quick gravel turn off right before the bridge that spans Ladner Creek.
Park there and take the small trail to the right. It’ll ascend steeply for 5 minutes – enough in the beginning that you’ll regret not thinking it was a real hike – and then level out and become a nice stroll that’ll make you happy you wore your cute mountain clothes.
Beware, the bank itself is crumbly and there is no safety equipment except for a couple wires to help navigate down to the bridge. Ignore the trespassing signs; they’re about as outdated as the bridge itself. Best seen on a cloudy day for the rustic red to pop against your Blundstones for the sickest Snapchat story.
Beautiful Bowen Island
Remember the last time you drove the Sea-To-Sky Highway and drooled over the beauty of Howe Sound? One of those rugged Gulf Islands you wished you could stop and snap? That’s Bowen Island, an easy 20-minute ferry-ride from Horseshoe Bay.
It takes less time to get to from Vancouver than it does to cross the city during rush hour, yet Bowen remains an underrated day trip destination. Leave your car and opt to take bikes or rely on the TransLink busses that operate across the straight.
You’ll dock at Snug Cove and all your quaint island dreams will come true. The little town is Pinterest perfect, lined with small cottages and backed with imposing, forested hills. Throw in a little fog and this port is seriously grammable.
Although not as popular as in Summer, there are many hiking trails that offer pristine views of Howe Sound and the surrounding area. Depending on your desire for difficulty, you could opt for the easier Dorman Point or muster the courage for Mount Gardner – one of three mountains on Bowen.
It doesn’t matter what the weather is like, because Bowen Island truly is a wilderness paradise right next door to one of the biggest metropolises in Canada. You’ll feel like you’re deep in the woods of B.C. when in reality, you could be home in time for dinner.
Want to make a statement on your social feed? Wear your Hunter gumboots and throw on your most expensive knits for that truly outdoor-chic look. Better yet, look off into the distance as you sip on one of Bowen Island Brewing Company’s craft beers. Who knows, maybe hellobc will feature you.
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Originally published in Loose Lips