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graydude

Ride into BC

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graydude

Hi,

I hope this is the place to ask a few questions. I’m based in Seattle and am planning a ride into BC September 6th to around the 20th. The kicker is I have never ridden in your beautiful province. I’m asking for some tips. Here are a few thoughts:
1. I’d love to take the BC ferry from the tip of Vancouver Island to Prince Rupert. Then pick up Hwy 16 and start riding south. I’ll be on the K1600 so road quality is prime. Secondly, will I experience snow along the route that time of the year?
2. Where should I start heading south to get back to Seattle? I prolly won’t be camping so how is lodging along the route. Is the BC Ferry to Price Rupert a good idea? I’m a 40 year rider so I’m not alarmed by challenges but do respect local knowledge and expertise. I look forward to any input!

Cheers!

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szurszewski

When you say "start riding south" are you meaning to take 16 from Prince Rupert to Prince George? If to, the road is quite good, the views are great and I don't think you'll have any trouble with lodging. Here's a quick google of "hotel" along that route - lots of options in the towns along the way.

1598600144_ScreenShot2019-07-16at2_17_18PM.png.8885b82cdd0a022d8cc0cd6a288124ba.png

 

I don't think there's much option to head south before George, and if you have time I'd keep going west until I got to Jasper and then turn either south or southwest if not enough time to ride down through Banff and such. Either way you can cut back toward/through Kamloops and on to Vancouver. 

 

When you say tip of Vancouver Island do you mean up at Port Hardy or from the south? Vancouver Island is a nice day ride (about 300 miles from Victoria to Hardy - I did it over night in December one year and don't recommend that!) but you could easily spend longer there too.

 

As for the weather, I've been many times but not in September so I'll let others answer that. I always tell people that it's odd going to AK because you start, going up the west coast, in beautiful BC and then get the great Yukon, and when you finally get to the first bit of Alaska it's just not nearly as pretty (it does get better as you go further in though). Which is just to say BC is great place to ride. Do watch out for big animals crossing the road though!

josh

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Dennis Andress

So far July's weather has been very Autumn like. I'd have a hard time making any bets on what September will be like.

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Twisties

Get your insurance card now from your insurance co.  They have to be snail mailed and my insurer required a couple of weeks...  we went without last time with no issues, but if you do  need it, you need it, and it's free, or at least always has been for me.  

 

Make your reservations ASAP for the ferry, and good luck with that.  I hear it's beautiful.  We tried it at the last minute before and got on the waiting list with no luck...  still on our bucket list.  

 

We really liked this route which might work into your return trip to some extent if you were to venture over to Jasper/Banff as suggested above.  Also, being in Seattle, you probably have already ridden 99 through Whistler.

 

I personally have a hankering to go to Gingolx, but I can't vouch for the roads or services.  Just taken by the fact that you couldn't get there by land until 2003 and I read some interesting reports on those roads being nice.  If you decide to go there, it would do to invest in some research.  

 

I'm jealous!  Have a great ride!

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mickeym3

We were on 93 two days ago, even cool and overcast the Icefield Parkway is about the most spectacular ride on the continent (unfortunately in a car this time).   Just make sure you make the run from Jasper to Lake Louise. Lots of cool and damp, no telling what September holds. 

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SANTA
On 7/16/2019 at 11:56 PM, Twisties said:

We really liked this route

 

Creston to Vernon or the other way is in the top ten BC rides,

 

Im' not in BC but every time i go there on a  bike it rains. september can be variable rain is usual, snow is also possible...

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MikeRC
On 7/14/2019 at 9:36 PM, graydude said:

Hi,


I hope this is the place to ask a few questions. I’m based in Seattle and am planning a ride into BC September 6th to around the 20th. The kicker is I have never ridden in your beautiful province. I’m asking for some tips. Here are a few thoughts:
1. I’d love to take the BC ferry from the tip of Vancouver Island to Prince Rupert. Then pick up Hwy 16 and start riding south. I’ll be on the K1600 so road quality is prime. Secondly, will I experience snow along the route that time of the year?
2. Where should I start heading south to get back to Seattle? I prolly won’t be camping so how is lodging along the route. Is the BC Ferry to Price Rupert a good idea? I’m a 40 year rider so I’m not alarmed by challenges but do respect local knowledge and expertise. I look forward to any input!

Cheers!

 

Hey Todd, I think that's an excellent plan.  Some of my best rides are in the fall.  You will avoid the summer crowds and will be riding through the start of fall colors.   There will be less than a 10% chance you will see any fresh snow in September at road level unless you decide to go to higher mountain passes (in Alberta or southern BC).    Even there, any snow usually melts in a day or two at that time of year.   There are always exceptions (having been snowbound myself heading to Torrey once in September), but you just have to stay flexible.  If you rode to Prince George you could make a decision to go/not go through Jasper/Lake Louise based on the weather reports/webcams at that point.  

 

Are you hoping to catch one of the last summer daytime Inside Passage ferries ?   Daytime service stops September 13th.  The weather will be cool in the mornings (36-40º F) and warm in the afternoons (55-60º F) with about a 50% chance of rain until you are a a couple of hundred miles from the coast.  It will be a lot warmer further south (could still get to 80ºF near Kamloops).   All the roads mentioned by Jan are great in September, but I also think you should consider BC99 from Cache Creek through Lillooet, Pemberton & Whistler to Vancouver.  That's one of the top 5 rides in BC, and having done it myself the last week of September it's a great time to be there.  If you decide to do that, I have some advice on the least painful ways to get through Vancouver.   

 

Highway 16 from Prince Rupert all they way to Winnipeg is a major highway,  mostly 2 lanes with passing lanes on uphill grades through BC.  Prince Rupert is a container terminal and  there is a lot of  truck and train traffic coming and going.  The maximum elevation before you hit the Rockies is less than 2,000ft, and even at Yellowhead Pass it is only 3,500 ft.  Prince George is a fairly large city (over 75,000) and is a major east-west and north-south crossroads. 

 

Look about 3/4 of the way down this page for advice on tie-downs etc for the ocean-going BC ferries.   My understanding is that most US insurance carriers now issue their insurance card with both US and Canadian endorsement, but as Jan mentioned you should make sure yours has it.  Chip-and-PIN cards are the only type that work at ATMs or pay-at-the-pump gas stops.  

 

If you get a chance, pick up the Destinations Highways BC map or book online or at a Seattle area motorcycle dealer. 

 

Mike 

 

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hedstrom

Hey Graydude,

Maybe we will meet somewhere out there. I will leave Anchorage on Sept 12 and ride down to Long Beach over the next 10 days. I will go to Hyder to check out the Glacier and then onto Prince George, Kamloops, Whistler,Vancouver, Seattle, Port Angeles and then down the coast. 

Have fun!!

Hakan

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