There are some spectacular hiking trails in BC that can only be reached by car, so whenever I find a good one I can get to via transit, it’s a win. This year, I was lucky enough to come across a relatively close trail within my hiking ability: the Jug Island Beach trail.
It’s located in Belcarra Regional Park near Port Moody. The park is found on the land of the səlil̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-waututh) people, most notably the tamtam ix”ten (Tum-tumay-whueton) ancestral village site.
From google image searches, and browsing Instagram, I knew I would not be disappointed with this hike. If you’re looking for an intermediate level hike, accessible via transit, this is for you. Below you’ll find the steps I took to access this trail. For reference, I travelled to Belcarra Regional Park in April and started the journey in Vancouver.
Getting to the trailhead takes less that 2 hours, and 2-3 modes of transport depending on your starting point. If you’re starting in Downtown Vancouver like I did, you’ll first have to board the Expo Line SkyTrain to Commercial–Broadway Station. From there, you’ll transfer to the Millennium Line SkyTrain to Moody Centre.
From Moody Centre, you’ll board the 182 bus towards Belcarra. Exit the bus at stop #58978 WB Bedwell Bay Rd @ Midden Rd, and the trailhead for Jug Island Beach can be found on the right. If you’re worried about missing the stop, mention it to the bus driver at the offset. It is a quick enough journey if the bus isn’t busy, and can take about 20 – 30 minutes.
Before heading on the trail, a washroom can be accessed via a short walk. You’ll just have to cross the road. I’ve included the screengrab below for reference.
The bus back to Moody Centre is also circled in the screengrab above. It is the EB Bedwell Bay Rd @ Midden Rd stop #61536. It’s essentially opposite the WB Bedwell Bay Rd @ Midden Road stop. Always make sure you’ve checked the timetable for the 182 as you don’t want to miss the last bus back.
Jug Island Beach Trail:
The trail itself isn’t that difficult. It mainly meanders through woodland, with some steps, inclines and declines along the way. You can expect to reach the beach in about an hour to an hour and 30 minutes depending on your pace and ability. If you go on a weekend, anticipate meeting many others also tackling this trail, and it is dog friendly so you’ll meet many pups too.
The trees open up at intervals along the trail, providing beautiful views.
And the beach itself offers a picturesque waterscape of Jug Island, and the surrounding area. It’s mainly a small, coarse sand beach with stones, but there are logs to sit on. If you’re brave enough you can take a dip, otherwise it’s a really nice spot to relax, and enjoy some lunch.
There is a pit toilet right before you descend onto the beach, and garbage can be disposed of in the bins provided as well. And once you’re ready to head back to the bus, you’ll return the way you came. In total, it amounts to a 5km hike; a perfect early morning workout!
If you need to kill some time before the bus comes, you can take a wander around the area, and use the toilets previously mentioned. Similarly, you can explore the Belcarra Pier, and the surrounding areas.
The walk along the pier offers up some lovely views, but I would still recommend being back at the bus stop with about 10 – 15 minutes to spare, to guarantee you don’t miss it.
Some Tips from Me:
- If you’re attempting this hike alone, make sure someone knows you’re going and that you have planned the hike out in terms of the bus times. I did this hike with a friend, who doesn’t drive either, so I recommend having a buddy where possible. Use the alltrails app if you’re a hiking novice.
- Learn about any animal safety for the area.
- If you’re using your Compass card for transit, make sure you have enough fare to complete the journey loaded. Or else you’ll need exact change for the bus.
- Wear appropriate shoes! Although you’re going to a beach, I’d recommend not hiking this in flip flops or sandals.
- Packs snacks or a lunch, and bring enough water. Also think about bringing Band-Aids, blister plasters, sunscreen, bug spray and any other essentials you may need.
Thank you so much for reading. All photographs (unless stated otherwise), and opinions are my own. Please do let me know if I have fact-checked anything incorrectly, I’m always open to feedback and corrections.