Discovering Vancouver: Cycling in Stanley Park

One of the best things to do on a sunny day in Vancouver is spending some time in beautiful Stanley Park. 400 hectares of greenery and scenery await and you’d better rent a bike for the day and get exploring on two wheels or you won’t be able to see half of what it has to offer!

View of Coal Harbour from Stanley Park

View of Coal Harbour from Stanley Park

Cycling in Stanley Park

Cycling in Stanley Park

Bikes are easily rented on Denman Street near the entrance to the park. Prices range from 6 CAD per hour, to 16 CAD for 4 hours or 24 CAD for 8 hours. The bikes we rented were very comfortable light-weight mountain bikes and also came with helmets. Enter the park from Coal Harbour and take the cycling path along the seawall. It’s a beauty – you get to look onto the many boats in coal harbour on your right, the elegant high rises, the Burrard Inlet and of course many trees and greenery to your left!

Entrance to park

Entrance to park

In case you’re not into cycling, you could also walk around or rent rollerblades and zoom around the seawall. The cycling and walking paths run right next to each other. As you ride along the cycling path you’ll pass many an interesting spot or lookout point. The first one, after Coal Harbour, will probably be the Totem Poles with adjacent museum / gift shop. Definitely well worth a stop and great for informing yourself on Canada’s First Nations People!

Lionsgate Bridge, Stanley Park

Lionsgate Bridge, Stanley Park

About halfway around Stanley Park’s seawall you will reach Lionsgate Bridge, an impressive 2km suspension bridge linking Vancouver City with North and West Vancouver, across the Burrard Inlet. You’ll see quite a few ships in this passage as it forms the entrance to Vancouver’s port.

Cycling, skating and walking path around Stanley Park

Cycling, skating and walking path around Stanley Park

Once you have reached the northernmost tip of Stanley Park and cycle back towards the city along False Creek, you’re in for yet another treat. Look to your right and you’ll see Kitsilano, the young, hip and relaxed quarter with a fantastic beach. Or look straight ahead and look forward to arriving in English Bay, one of the most popular sunbathing beaches in Vancouver, and not just because of its easy accessibility from downtown Vancouver.

Ducks in Stanley Park

Ducks in Stanley Park

Naturally you don’t have to stay on the cycling and walking paths around the seawall. There’s plenty to explore in the depths of the park, like Beaver Lake and Hollow Tree or the Vancouver Aquarium. And of course a lot of feathery and furry friends along the way as well! Alternatively you could opt for a round of golf at Stanley Park Pitch & Putt.

Playing golf in Stanley Park

Playing golf in Stanley Park

At the end of your ride make sure you head towards where you started off, cycling away from the seawall, and you will find Lost Lagoon. Admittedly for most it will sound like a tropical paradise, which of course it is not, but it is certainly no less peaceful. Get of your bike and sit down on a bench by the lake and enjoy the sight of the fountain with the snowcapped mountains in the background!

The Lost Lagoon, Stanley Park

The Lost Lagoon, Stanley Park

Have you cycled in Stanley Park? What is your favourite urban park?

Christina Hegele

About the author: Christina Hegele runs Sandal Road, a blog on her favourite destinations. It just so happened that 95% turned out to be about New Zealand. Follow Christina and her blog on Twitter, like her blog on Facebook, and subscribe to her Youtube channel. Alternatively, subscribe to her email newsletter at the top right of this blog.

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  15 comments for “Discovering Vancouver: Cycling in Stanley Park

  1. 16 April, 2012 at 11:44

    I simply never thought about exploring Stanley Park by bike. This is such a good idea that I will try it during my next visit in Vancouver. Thanks for this wonderful post, the nice photos and especially the helpful info where to rent the bikes.

    • Christina
      21 April, 2012 at 10:59

      Thanks Monika! I do hope you get to explore the park by bike next time.

  2. 17 April, 2012 at 23:48

    What a great idea to rent a bike and explore this huge park. I’ve never been there, so it totally goes on my wishlist on Pinterest 🙂

    • Christina
      21 April, 2012 at 11:00

      Great Sabrina! Vancouver rocks. Stanley Park is a big part of that.

  3. 21 April, 2012 at 14:06

    Stanley Park is really one of the nicest parks I have ever seen. Everyone who visits Vancouver should see it – and visit the aquarium. Make sure you take in the 4D theater in the aquarium as it’s quite an experience.

    • Christina
      1 May, 2012 at 22:14

      I totally agree. Stanley Park is indeed one of the best city parks ever. I didn’t go to the aquarium actually – I need to next time. 4D sounds… weird.

  4. 22 April, 2012 at 07:00

    I only spent a short time in Stanley Park. I’ve always wanted to go back there and I think by bike would be a great way to see it. Lovely photos.

    • Christina
      1 May, 2012 at 22:19

      Thanks Cathy! You’d love the biking in that park. It’s got so much to offer!

  5. 23 April, 2012 at 08:01

    Love that you were able to take photos while the blossoms were out, great photos.

  6. 24 April, 2012 at 06:38

    Beautiful pictures at one of the best parks in the continent. We love Stanley Park! I’ve never actually thought of renting a bike but this is a great idea. Glad you had a great time.

  7. 24 April, 2012 at 10:00

    Beautiful post! Personally I think cycling is a very convenient way to tour any place (no worries about parking, paying the meter, and so on). As long as there are no crazy hills like in San Francisco I would ride my bicycle.

  8. Elliott
    29 April, 2012 at 19:32

    Hello Christina I found your blog searching for advice on how to ride our bikes to Lions Gate Bridge from Stanley Park. My husband and I just moved to Vancouver last December. We live in West End and so far we have only explored around the sea wall. We can enter Stanley Park either from W.Georgia or from Beach as we are kind of in the middle of the neighborhood. Is there a preferred route that we should take?
    Thank you!

  9. Ash
    1 May, 2012 at 11:03

    Stanley Park – a must see if you’re in Van, good call seeing it by bike!

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