Trip 015 - March 17, 2010 (Wednesday)

Horseshoe Bay BC


Distance From Vancouver:
Approximately 35 minutes via Highway 1 West. Or about an hour via West Vancouver's Marine Drive.

Liked: Picture-perfect bay.

Of note: Finding parking might not be easy during the busy season.

Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Backroad Mapbook (2010 edition) Coordinates: Page 11 (North Vancouver) A7. The latest edition of Backroad Mapbook for this and other regions, as well as GPS maps, are available at BackroadMapbooks.com.

Related Websites: Village of Horseshoe Bay, BC Ferries.

Other Trips in West Vancouver area: Lighthouse Park, Cypress Falls Park, Howe Sound Crest South Trail, Ambleside Park.


See the World for Less!


The village of Horseshoe Bay is located at the Western end of Highway 1, where it splits with Highway 99. The village is quite nice, but today we walked near the bay itself, where a ferry terminal is located with ferries sailing to Nanaimo and Bowen Island, among other destinations.

The last 10 minutes or so of the drive on Highway 1 is a treat for your eyes. But the bay looks simply spectacular in good weather. The parking is free for 2 hours, though it is fairly limited, and will be hard to find during the busy season. There is pay parking too, but considering the price ($14 flat rate for 24 hours), it might be too steep for day trippers, and would be more suitable for foot passengers unwilling to pay BC Ferries' car rates.

Hint: free three hour parking is allowed along the road leading from the bay to Whytecliff Park (the same road which allows to reach Marine Drive in West Vancouver). You can reach this road by simply turning left from Bay Street, which runs along the bay.

1. We are Westbound on Highway 1, about to take Exit 3 to get to Horseshoe Bay.


Highway 1 British Columbia Canada

2. Once you take Exit 3, the signs then direct drivers to the leftmost lane, if they wish to go to Horseshoe Bay village. The lane is separated from the ferry-bound lanes by a concrete barrier.


Approaching Horseshoe Bay

3. At some point, the ferry-bound lanes get behind a fence.


Photo of Horseshoe Bay British Columbia Canada

4. In about five minutes after splitting with ferry-bound traffic, we arrived to the end of the highway, ready to turn left and enter Horseshoe bay village.


Entering Horseshoe Bay village British Columbia Canada

5. We are in the village now. BC Ferries building is seen on the right side. Ferry foot passengers should be dropped off by this building.


Horseshoe Bay Village BC Canada

6. At the end of the road, the choices are to turn right towards Highway 1 East and Highway 99 (Sea-to-Sky), or turn left. The bay is straight ahead.


Horseshoe Bay Village

7. We turned left onto Bay Street and took advantage of two hours free parking. The non-resident parking is allowed between 7 AM - Midnight only. There are a bunch of shops and eateries on the left side of Bay Street, as well as on several adjacent streets.


Bay Street Horseshoe Bay Village British Columbia Canada

8. First good look at the bay. Very nice indeed.


Horseshoe Bay

9. An information board explains the history of Horseshoe Bay. The photo on the left is from the 1970 salmon derby. The photo on the right shows the horseshoe shape of the bay in 1960. The small photo in the middle shows a few shacks around the bay in 1930s to emphasize the quiet appeal of the bay back in those days.


Horseshoe Bay History

10. The Lookout Tourist Information - Coffee House - Gift shop was closed until the busy season.


The Lookout Store Horseshoe Bay British Columbia Canada

11. But the murals on The Lookout are available year-round.


The Lookout store mural Horseshoe Bay BC Canada

12. In the meanwhile, Queen of Capilano departed to Bowen Island.


Queen of Capilano Ferry in Horseshoe Bay

Queen of Capilano Ferry

13. Horseshoe Bay Park runs along the street where we parked our vehicle.


Horseshoe Bay Park British Columbia Canada

14. This propeller once propelled tug "Samarinda." Five thousand pounds of solid bronze on display.

15. BC Ferry Queen of Coquitlam arriving to Horseshoe Bay.

16. View of the bay.

Horseshoe Bay is a great place to visit, even if you don't plan on taking a ferry.

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