Bowen Island - A Day Trip

by Nathan


OK, so Bowen Island isn't a burial ground of prehistoric dinosaur bones, but like dad said, it's still a pretty neat place to go.  Jen said it's spelled the same way as the empty beer bottles we have stacked up in our carport.  We didn't see any beer either but dad said there is a place that makes beer on Bowen Island. 

There's also some small shops (including one that sells toys), restaurants, and old buildings.  We took a picture in front of the Union Steamship Company marina.  It had a lookout at the top, which reminded Mom of an old television show she used to watch called F-Troop.  Mom said the Snug Coffee House passed the coffee test, and I have to admit, I ate two bowls of their vegetarian chili.  It was good--not as good as Mom's of course.  Dad was hoping for greasy fish and chips at Doc Morgan's pub, but he got out-voted.

After lunch we moseyed across the street to Crippen Park and set off for Killarney Lake.  We stopped at a fish ladder by Bridal Veil Falls to look for fish, but there wasn't even one.  The forest was cool.  It had lot of running water, perfect for building dams.  We even found a waterfall going over an old log.  I just wished I brought my bike, because we didn't have time to explore around the lake.  Dad said, "definitely, next time we'd bring our bikes."  It took us about 2 hours to get back to the village.  When we got back to the village we went to the general store and bought some Mr. Freezies.  They sell everything in that store, even beer and wine.

We still had an hour to spend before the next ferry so we went along a trail beside the marina, which led us up to a ridge.  Dad kept pretending he was a Sasquatch, which got Jen going a few times.  I've heard his Sasquatch routine a hundred times, so he didn't scare me.

I found the sweetest ditch, and made the world's sweetest dam.  That made my day.  On the way back we saw some kids fishing off the dock.  Dad said we would, "definitely take our rods next time."

Age group:

This place is good for any age. 

Expense rating:

There's pay parking at Horseshoe Bay. Check the BC Ferries website below for current rates from Horseshoe Bay to Snug Cove.


It's kind of neat when you can spend only 20 minutes and go somewhere totally different.  Dad says people go to Bowen Island so they can get away from the city and relax.  It's pretty relaxing all right, you can't help but relax.  It's like there's not a lot to do on Bowen Island, so there's no big decisions to make and nothing you have to be on time for (except the ferry back).  Dad really likes the feel of Bowen Island.  He says it reminds him of the old days when he grew his hair long and wore a peace sign around his neck.  Mom says it's lucky she didn't know him back then.


The one thing Dad is always uptight about when we go to Bowen Island is that we won't get a parking spot at Horseshoe Bay.  Last time we went during spring break and took the 10:05 am ferry -- there was only a couple of spots left.  Mind you, the parking attendant told us if there's no spots left we can park under the Upper Levels highway overpass (about four blocks from the ferry terminal).  Or you can take bus, bus #250 or #257, I saw them stopping right beside the terminal.


Bowen Island is a small island across from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver.  It takes only 20 minutes to get there by ferry.  We always park at the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal and walk on to the ferry, but you can take your car on the ferry if your want to.  You should phone B.C. Ferries for an up-to-date schedule of sailing times (1-888-223-3779), or check the BC Ferries website:

Around Snug Cove is a 600 acre park called Crippen Park, so there's a lot to explore.  A nice easy walk is to the pretty Bridal Veil Falls and fish ladder (about 10 minutes), or on to Killarney Lake about 45 minute walk from Snug Cove.  You start off at the trail behind the old Union Steamship store, a tudor style building which houses a Post Office and a GVRD Park office, which is located on the right side of the road as you exit off the ferry.  See map for details.  Website:,


West Vancouver


All seasons

Educational highlights:

Dad said Snug Cove was built by the Union Steamship Company in the early 1900's.  Some of the buildings are still standing like the Union Steamship store, which they've turned into a post office and a park office.  When you go to Bowen Island you can imagine what life was like for the early settlers, because things haven't changed there as much as they have in the city.

Fun for the adult?:

I think what Mom and Dad like the best about Bowen Island is that life is simple.  Jen and I can't argue about what to do, because there's only one thing to do.  Actually, I like that too -- for one day anyway.