Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Amazing insular mountains in Victoria

Bikecouver Island

AmeriCan Cycling Adventures
5.0 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
6 days
From: $ 2,395 $ 399 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Ferry ride across the saanich inlet to mills bay
  • Explore the local food and flare
  • Ride the Cowichan valley trail, part of the trans Canada trail
  • Climb towards the edge of lake Cowichan
  • 19 mile lake Cowichan loop ride
  • Enjoy some of the region's best wine, food, and beer
  • Follow the insular mountains to the island remote pacific coast
  • Cruise down into the san Juan river valley
  • Have a snack while viewing Lizard lake
  • Take time to visit botanical beach's tidal pools
  • Spectacular views of the Olympic mountains

Short Description

Ride the Pacific Marine Circle to discover the ancient forests, rugged mountains, and breathtaking coasts of Vancouver Island. Enjoy quiet rides around tranquil lakes, and abandoned logging roads. Explore communities settled by the First Nation thousands of years ago, and the burgeoning wine and foodies destination of Lake Cowichan. Vancouver Island is a hub of outdoor, cultural, and culinary adventure, and sure to be one of your greatest experiences.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Victoria, BC
End City Victoria, BC

Trip Includes

  • Cycling Expert and ‘on the road’ support staff and vehicle
  • Custom Fitting on 2018 Specialized Diverge Comp Cycle
  • 5 nights’ accommodation as per the itinerary
  • Supported Rest/Lunch stops
  • Luggage Transfer each day
  • Snacks/Drinks for the ride
  • Mill Bay Ferry
  • Cowichan Bay Dinner
  • Port Renfrew Dinner
  • Use of Garmin GPS Unit
  • Sooke Brewing Happy Hour

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Itinerary

Day 1: Victoria to Cowichan Bay

Accommodation: Oceanfront Suites

Starting/Meeting point: Strathcona Victoria

Route: via Mill Bay Ferry

Distance: 25 miles

Elevation Gain: 1220ft

Meet your fellow riders and cycling specialist this morning at the southern tip of Vancouver Island for a custom bike fitting and briefing on the adventure to come. As we head North and leave the capital city behind, houses and communities become sparse in favor of the more remote sections of the Island. Today’s ride will be augmented with a ferry across the Saanich Inlet to Mills Bay. Known as ͞”The Island’s Most Beautiful Shortcut,” this ferry ride will take ~25 minutes.  Enjoy the incredible landscape and be sure to keep an eye open for the seals, orcas, and whales that frequently patrol the area. Once across, we’ll hop back in the saddle to enjoy the incredible views along the coast as we cruise into the fishing community of Cowichan Bay.

The indigenous First Nations people have harvested salmon and shellfish in this region for thousands of years. Be sure to sample some at the included welcome meal as you reflect on your first day’s ride and the adventures yet to come.

Day 2: Cowichan Bay to Lake Cowichan

Accommodation: The Campbell River Lodge

Route: via Kinsol Trestle

Distance: 40 miles

Elevation Gain: 2018ft

Burner Route: via Shawnigan Lake, and Cowichan Valley Trail

Distance: 49 miles

Elevation Gain: 2375ft

For today’s ride, we will head inland through the Cowichan Valley and towards Lake Cowichan. The Cowichan Valley Trail is a spectacular section of the 15,000 mile long Trans Canada Trail, one of the longest trail networks in the world. The well maintained gravel trail is wide and relatively flat, with amazing features such as the wooden Kinsol Trestle, a converted railway towering nearly 150ft above the Koksilah River. The mountains begin to rise around us as we climb towards the edge of Lake Cowichan for our night’s stop in the cleverly named town of Lake Cowichan. Surrounded by temperate rainforest, the town of Lake Cowichan boasts a unique maritime Mediterranean climate, allowing it to become Canada’s premier wine country, specializing in Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.

Add an extra 9 miles to the beginning of your ride with today’s Burner route. This extension will have you circle the marvelous Shawinigan Lake before rejoining the main route along the Cowichan Valley Trail.

Day 3: Lake Cowichan

Accommodation: The Campbell River Lodge

Route: via Lake Cowichan Loop

Distance: 46 miles

Elevation Gain: 2218ft

Explore the full 19 miles of this long lake and surrounding wilderness with a beautiful 46 mile loop. The loop features a number of partial dirt sections, coastal hills, and plentiful opportunities to relax by the water. As you head toward the far side of the lake, keep a lookout for some of the 3000 massive Roosevelt Elk that call the Island home. Conquer one last climb toward the end of the loop, and glide into Lake Cowichan for another night of relaxation, and some of the region’s finest wine, beer, and food.

Day 4: Lake Cowichan to Port Renfrew

Accommodation: Seaside Cottages

Route: via Pacific Marine Rd

Distance: 38 miles

Elevation Gain: 2750ft

Burner Route: via Gordon River Rd

Distance: 37 miles

Elevation Gain: 2400ft

Today we will follow the valley and ridges of the Insular Mountains to the island’s beautiful and remote Pacific Coast. You’ll find yourself surrounded by lush forests of ancient fir and cedar, including some of the largest, tallest, and oldest trees in the world. After making your way through the mountains, cruise down into the San Juan River Valley for an included nutrition stop at Lizard Lake.  Take a refreshing swim if you like, before continuing on to our ending point in Port Renfrew. Home of the Pacheedaht First Nations and gateway to the famous West Coast Trail, Port Renfrew features a diverse mix of indigenous culture and outdoor enthusiasts, evident throughout much of the main village. Be sure to visit the Botanical Beach for incredible tidal pools brimming with life and views of the United States rising to the south.

Today’s Burner Route takes you through the mountains along a number of old gravel logging roads. Far from the beaten path, you will truly feel the desolation of the wilderness around you. Make a pit stop from this gnarly route to visit the amazing old growth Avatar Grove and “Canada’s Gnarliest Tree.

Day 5: Port Renfrew to Sooke

Accommodation: Prestige Inn Sooke

Route: via Jordan River

Distance: 45 miles

Elevation Gain: 3950ft

Today’s ride will take us south along the beautiful Pacific Coast. With some hilly terrain along the route, you’ll be able to combine photo stops with rest stops to take in spectacular views of the jagged coastline and the surrounding Olympic Mountains. If the waves are calling you, be sure to check out the remote French and China Beaches on your own, as well as an included nutrition stop along the famous surf of the Jordan River.

Celebrate today’s ride and the final night stop of our trip with an included happy hour at Sooke Brewing Co. A hub for outdoor adventures, the District of Sooke also maintains a vibrant arts community, many of whom are prominently on display at the Harbour House Art Gallery. When you’re feeling hungry, be sure to join the Harbor Seals at the pier to inspect the daily catches of freshwater and ocean fish.

Day 6: Sooke to Victoria

Optional Post Night: Strathcona Victoria

Route:  via Happy Valley Rd

Distance: 23 miles

Elevation Gain: 1263ft

Today we take off on the final stretch and get our last taste of the Canadian wilderness before returning to the bustling city of Victoria. A number of quick hills will keep your tires pumping before giving way to a relaxing downhill into Downtown Victoria concluding your tour. Rejoin your group to celebrate the success of your adventure with a lunch send–off at a local brewery.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 2,395
Price Per Day: $ 399 per day
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Checking price
Start DateEnd DateDouble StandardSingle StandardDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Aug-25-2019Aug-30-2019$ 2,395$ 2,994YesLimited Reserve
Sep-08-2019Sep-13-2019$ 2,395$ 2,994YesLimited Reserve
Sep-15-2019Sep-20-2019$ 2,395$ 2,994YesLimited Reserve
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  • Deposit Price: $ 250
  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 599

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with AmeriCan Cycling Adventures.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

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Brian Gillis
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Details

Optional Activities

Exploring local towns, local pubs, burner routes, senic parks and destinations  - Cost Varies

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 12

Cancellation Policy:

  • 56 days or more prior to departure, we will retain the deposit
  • Between 31 and 55 days prior to departure, we will retain the deposit or 50% of the total booking cost; whichever is greater, and
  • Between 30 days and 15 days prior to departure, we will retain 75% paid by you in connection with the booking.
  • Within 15 days of departure, we will retain 100% of the booking value.

Age Notes

Min. Age: 18

Additional Information:

Physical Requirements

While you don’t need to be a high level athlete, our tours are geared towards those with active lifestyles, and some riding experience. Our routes average about 40-60 miles per day, often at high elevations, and featuring a number of climbs.   Many of our passengers look at these trips as great motivation to train for their vacation.

Culture Notes

The biggest culture shock may be that tipping in America is part of our culture. Bartender's, masseuse, local guides, etc often rely on tips as 50% or more of their salary

Trip ID#:

BikCouAme

Trip Excludes

  • Flights
  • Transfers to/from the starting point hotel (unless booked separately)
  • Other meals not listed in Trip Notes
  • Optional activities and all personal expenses
  • Trip leader gratuities

Meals Included:

  • Supported rest/lunch stops
  • Snacks/drinks for the ride
  • Dinner in cowichan bay
  • Dinner in port Renfrew
  • Sooke brewing happy hour

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