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Cycling Vancouver: Tips for riding on the Stanley Park Causeway

The causeway is a good alternative to Stanley Park Drive to access the Lions Gate Bridge.

The Stanley Park Causeway is a three-lane road that connects downtown Vancouver to the Lions Gate Bridge through Stanley Park. On either side of it, there is a bike/pedestrian path: the east side being northbound, the west side being southbound. These paths do not separate the bike and pedestrian sides with physical boundaries; they are also one-way.  These paths are also very well-travelled by pedestrians, commuters and recreational cyclists.

The bike path is just over two kilometres, at an average gradient of about two per cent (northbound). It pitches up to around five per cent for the last half-kilometre before Lions Gate, which can require some effort but should be manageable for most fitness levels and bike types.

There are a couple of access points to the northbound bike path: via the bike lane on West Georgia entering the park or via a pedestrian type path right off North Lagoon Drive, just before the roundabout. Alternatively, if you feel like taking a more scenic route, Stanley Park Drive connects to the northbound bike path via a vehicle exit, just south of the Prospect Point rest area (you will have to do most of the steep climb.) The southbound bike path can only be accessed via the Lions Gate Bridge or the small park trail that intersects the south exit of the bridge.

The causeway is a good alternative to Stanley Park Drive to access the Lions Gate Bridge. It allows you to bypass all the traffic that can accumulate inside Stanley Park during peak visiting times.

Notes of caution:

  1. There can be many commuters/pedestrians taking the causeway during rush hour. Please be respectful and cautious and call out if passing.
  2. The paths are not necessarily narrow, but neither are they wide. There are also regularly placed light/sign posts, so please be mindful of where you are on the path.
  3. Entering the southbound bike path, cyclists can be travelling at speed since they will be entering it off a descent from Lions Gate Bridge. Please be careful as pedestrians and cyclists can pop out onto the path from a small trail at the southwest foot of the bridge. 
  4. When travelling southbound on the path, there is a vehicle exit to Prospect Point. There are motion-triggered warning signs for motor vehicles, but regardless, as a cyclist, please keep an eye out for cars turning across the bike path.
  5. Finally, the southbound bike path is a descent. Cyclists can reach speeds in excess of 50 km/h if they pedal/let gravity do its work. Please be careful as the path winds slightly; there are regular posts, and there can be pine needles which can get slippery when wet.

Brian Lim likes to ride bikes (sometimes with his camera). He's a complete and consummate amateur - both in cycling and in photography, and says he doesn't take himself seriously - and neither should you. Lim wants to share his love of cycling, so please reach out if you want to talk! You'll find him on Instagram at @wheelsandwhisky.