What It’s Really Like to Ride Your Motorcycle In British Columbia

Canada’s west coast province has many different landscapes to enjoy, from the Mountains, to the Oceans, the lakes & rivers not to forget about the wildlife and friendly people.

Every type of motorcyclist can find a great road to ride on, plenty of places to stop for the night, grab a burger and if need be, repair your bike. If you haven’t rode in British Columbia, plan a trip this year, you will fall in love with it.

map of british columbia

Ride Details

  • Speed Limits & Laws Find out about BC Laws, more than just speed limits
  • Border Crossing: Where to cross into British Columbia from the USA
  • BC Roads: What are the roads really like, by the water, through the forest?
  • Ferry Schedules: Find out what Ferry you need and how much it costs
  • Biker Friendly Accommodation: What sort of options are there for clean cheap motels?
  • Must Do Rides: Rides that are talked about by everyone, so many to do!
  • Riding Conditions 6 different regions to ride in.
  • Attractions Plan extra time to see all BC has to offer.

Top Rides in British Columbia

Sunshine Coast Gibsons to Egmont

This is a terrific ride. Takes about 90 minutes one way to Egmont from Gibsons or the Langdale Ferry. Lots of stops to admire the view, eat, stay in nice little places. Not a raceway so chill. It's amazing this is a cheap, beautiful 40 minute ferry ride away from the thousands of motorcyclists in Metro Vancouver. As a day trip or part of a loop up to Powell River, across to Vancouver Island and back through Nanaimo or Victoria you couldn't do much better. Do it!

Creston British Columbia loop through the Colville National Forest & back

Doing this ride is one for your Bike-It List, a long day ride or a fun couple days exploring around Canada and USA.

Parksville to Tofino on Hwy 4

Amazing roads, great conditions, curves, lakes, trees, the smells... This is a ride to add to your BIKE-IT List for sure! You will want to spend at least a day in Tofino, enjoy a sunset that will leave you in awe.

Planning a Ride to BC?

Read the rest of this page for trip planning details. You’ll be glad you did. If you find it useful, please share it

Must Do Rides in BC (British Columbia)

top rides in BCIt is a good thing BC has a longer riding season because you will need quite a few weeks to ride around this massive province. You will be stunned by the Mountains, Lakes, Ocean, Forestry’s, amazing roads, smells and all the great places to stop and take a few pictures. When ever you ask someone about riding in BC, you will see their facial expression change, light up in fact, they begin to smile and share a few of the amazing rides that BC has to offer.

Nakusp through New Denver over to Kaslo down to Creston
A spectacular ride to do in BC talked about by many riders. An exhilarating ride that will take you through twists and turns along rivers, valleys and trees!
Parksville to Tofino Hwy 4
A Huge Favorite day ride to do on the island, through Cathedral Grove, the road, the views, the smells will all make life long memories.
Scenic Fraser Canyon
WOW this is one of Canada’s least traveled parts of the Trans Canada Highway, you can ride on this breath taking road with so many places to stop and take pictures with very little traffic.

Riding Conditions in the 6 areas of BC

Riding in Beautiful British Columbia you will experience milder temperatures from areas that hardly ever see snow to areas that were hosts to the 2010 Winter Olympics!

BC has 6 regions, each of them having their own beauty and uniqueness to them.
riding conditions in BC

Northern BC
Spectacular riding country, colder temperatures in winter months, gateway to Alaska.
Cariboo Chilcotin Coast
So much to see and do in this area. Great roads, weather and people.
The Islands
Ferry ride to and from the island is scenic in itself, but riding the island is breath taking, leaving you wanting to never leave.
Vancouver Coast & Mountains
You will fall in love with all the rides along the coast, and through the mountains.
Thompson Okanagan
Riding in the Okangan your temperatures will be warmer, down right hot, as this is where the vast majority of orchards and vine yards are.
BC Rockies
The almighty powerful rockies where you ride along glaciers, through mining towns and witness wildlife all in one day.

Good Information for Riding in British Columbia

speed limits in BC
While riding in British Columbia you will find that it is a safe place to ride in, the people are really friendly. The local farmer/ranchers, vineyards, orchards and tree nursery families all along the way. British Columbia is a very laid back province one may say they enjoy the “fruits” of their labour, from small towns to big cities people are eager to please.

Driver’s License/Insurance – British Columbia promotes Motorcycle Awareness all year. You must have valid insurance to ride in BC, along with a valid drivers license.

Once you are in British Columbia there are plenty of fuel stations to gas up at, buy snacks and have air available, that cost a Loonie WTH?!?!. Price of fuel is in Litres, gas stations sell snacks and hot food, it is LAW in BC that you pre-pay for your fuel. Drinking age is 19 in British Columbia.
British Columbia has become one of the most aggressive provinces for speed fines: **CAUTION** IF you are pulled over for speeding, and you are over the speed limit by 20 km/hr or more, they have the right to tow your motorcycle right then and there along with a stiff fine. Watch your SPEED

Biker Friendly Motels in British Columbia – Some Reviews

a review of Apple Tree Inn

Apple Tree Inn

Distance from Alberta Border: 95kms
Distance to USA Border: 220kms
Phone: 800-350-1511
Website: Apple Tree Inn Website

our rating: 4 / 5

price: Special Bike Prices

* Motorcycle Friendly
* Group Rates Available

  • Ground Floor Rooms
  • Kitchenettes, BBQ Area
  • 2 mins from Radium Hot Springs
  • Clean Rooms with Friendly Staff
  • Mountain Standard Time Zone
  • Pets allowed in certain units

Review: Riders Retreat Nakusp

Riders Retreat Nakusp

Distance from Alberta Border: 270km south
Distance to USA Border: 202km south
Phone: (250) 265-8043
Website: Riders Retreat, Nakusp

our rating: 4 / 5

price: Vary’s on type of unit

* Motorcycle Friendly
* Book Early to secure a spot

  • Variety of lodging; tents, Bus, RV
  • Clean, Comfy & Cozy
  • Community Bonfire, Kitchenette, Showers
  • Beautiful space to meet other riders
  • Food, liquid, supplies available in town, Nakusp.

review of the King Edward

King Edward, Stewart BC

Distance from Alberta Border: 1000km
Distance to USA Border Crossing: 5km
Phone: (800)663-3126
Website:King Edward, Stewart

our rating: 3 / 5

price: Starts at $99/night

* Motorcycle Friendly

  • Rooms are clean
  • Restaurant and Pub across the street
  • Laundry on site
  • Surrounded by Glaciers
  • Great area for wildlife

What Are British Columbia Roads Like?

roads in BC
British Columbia has a massive land mass of trees, which means there are lots of logging trucks on the road. Depending on the area of the Province, the roads due vary, the Northern parts of BC close to Alaska & the Yukon you will encounter some hard packed gravel.
The Trans Canada Highway(also known as The Scenic Fraser Canyon) is in great shape as well as the Coquihalla Highway is very good. Majority of Central and Southern roads in BC are in good condition, there are more 2 lane roads than 4 lanes roads.
There are a lot of great secondary roads that are less traveled, that will take you through some pretty neat small towns who love seeing motorcyclist.
We asked other riders what they thought of the roads in British Columbia:

  • “The Scenic Fraser Canyon is beautiful to ride”
  • “Highway 3 from Hope could use some TLC”
  • “the Coquihalla Highway is fast and busy”
  • “Northern BC has roads that can challenge your riding skills”
  • “so much to see along these roads, landscapes change so much”
  • “Some of the best riding in the world is right here in BC”

British Columbia Laws

BC RCMP Car

DOT Approved Helmet
It is the law for riders and passengers to wear a DOT approved helmet, you must have a valid driver’s license and insurance is also mandatory. Safety is important while riding, being alert and aware of your surroundings is key to a fun safe ride, signage is very good in most areas.
Construction Zone
Spring, Summer and Fall there is a lot of construction to rebuild all these millions of kilometres of roads, it is the law to slow down to the posted speed limit through a construction zone, fines are STEEP!
Passing Emergency Vehicles
At any time you pass an emergency vehicle (Police, Ambulance, Tow Truck, etc) on the shoulder of the road or in a lane, it is the law to slow down to 70km/hr
Zero Tolerance
If you are caught speeding you may have your motorcycle towed on the spot, .05 is the legal alcohol limit & they are SERIOUS about their laws!

Wildlife in British Columbia

british columbia wildlifeBC is home to more than 2000 different species(vertebrates, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibian, fresh water and salt water fish) with over 150 of those species endangered, threatened, or in a vulnerable status. Any of these animals that you see along your ride are magnificent and we all know not to get close to these animals, feed them or get off your bike to take a picture.

The great thing about British Columbia is the wide variety of wildlife, you could see a caribou one day and the next you are watching salmon jumping upstream, you can take a whale watching guided tour or look up above and spot a bald eagle.

Animals you may see:

  • Bison, Moose, Caribou, Wolves, Cougars, Black & Brown Bears
  • Wild Horses, Big Horn Sheep, Lynx, Coyotes, Foxes,
  • Raccoons, Badgers, gophers and all kinds of birds
  • Killer Whales, Sea Lions, Salmon, Trout, Sea Otter

 
NEVER STOP WHEN WILDLIFE IS NEAR

You will take one or many Ferry’s while riding in BC

BC Ferry Motorcycle ride

There is an abundance of Ferry’s in British Columbia, connecting 1000’s of commuters every hour to and from their destination, great thing about being on a motorcycle is going to the FRONT OF THE LINE! Once you are on the Ferry, get yourself parked, find a block to wedge under the frame on the non-kickstand side. These BC Ferry routes do not require you to tie down your motorcycle.

There are 7 different Ferry Schedules that will take you to your desired stop.

  1. Metro Vancouver- Vancouver Island
  2. Sunshine Coast
  3. Saanich Inlet Route
  4. Southern Gulf Islands
  5. Northern Gulf Islands
  6. Inside Passage – Mid Coast Bella Coola
  7. Inside Passage – Haida Gwaii

 

Prices for taking the Ferry

You pay for your motorcycle and you as a person, depending which Ferry you are taking will depend on the price. For the Ferry’s traveling longer distances, 2014 pricing: $26.25/motorcycle and $16.25/person, the shorter distance are obviously less than that.

Click here for rates BC Ferry’s


Click here for schedule BC Ferry’s

British Columbia Attractions, oh there are so many

BC attractions hells gate
Man where to start… having milder temperatures in British Columbia makes it a little easier to see more with a longer riding season, it just may be a colder ride home is all!

Northern BC
Northern lights, Liard Hot Springs, Gold Panning, Kitwanga Totem Poles
Cariboo Chilcotin Coast
Wildlife Tours, Bear or whale watching, white water rafting.
The Islands
Rain forests, beaches, fishing, zipline, Cathedral Grove
Vancouver Coast & Mountains
Hell’s Gate, Scenic Fraser Canyon, Suspension Bridge and some city night life if you so choose.
Thompson Okanagan
Vine yards, orchards, waterfalls, golfing, bungee jumping.
BC Rockies
White water rafting, sight seeing tours, ghost towns

Border Crossing into British Columbia from the USA

Port of Entry Border Crossing
There are quite a few border crossings that you can enter British Columbia by:
 
From Washington there are 5 different port of entries

  • Point Roberts / Boundary Bay
  • Peach Arch
  • Blaine / Surrey
  • Lynden / Alderngrove
  • Sumas / Huntingdon

 
From Idaho there are only 2 port of entries

  • East Port / Kingsgate
  • Porthill / Rykerts

 
From Montana there is only 1 port of entry

  • Rooseville / Grasmere

 
From Alaska there are 2 port of entries

  • Skagway / Fraser
  • Hyder / Stewart

Did you know…

  • British Columbia has a land mass of 95 million hectares,
    60 million of those hectares is forest land, with more than half of that not even been touched by humans!
  • 1 in 4 North American Grizzly Bears are found in BC
  • BC has 10 Mountain Ranges to explore
  • 90% of BC Land is owned by the Government
  • The Fraser River is one of the largest rivers in Canada
  • BC has the oldest and largest trees in Canada
  • It is law to pre-pay for fuel

On the Backroads with Ride Stop N Go”, we tour British Columbia!

Watch both episodes On the Backroads