Oliver Tour

The Valley Outdoor Association (VOA) was formed in 1973 by a small group of people intent on experiencing and sharing their love for the outdoors. We are a small club of approximately 300 adult members, and are loosely based in the Fraser Valley (if you wandered here from Google, that's near Vancouver, BC). Members hail from all over the Lower Mainland, with the majority being from Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Langley, Maple Ridge, Surrey & White Rock.

Juan De Fuca Trail

Our club offers a wide variety of weekend activities for all fitness and experience levels. There's also an active group of mid-week hikers if you have the time. Destinations are ad hoc with the group picking next week's hike over coffee and ice cream after a hike. Birthday people get an extra vote! Wednesday is the most popular day with one of more groups heading out to enjoy the day together.

We're also on Facebook at Valley Outdoor Association.

A schedule of activities is mailed to members every 3 months.

The VOA is a member of the Federation of Mountain Clubs of British Columbia, (the FED or FMCBC), along with 22 other outdoor clubs in BC. Together we all represent the interests of non-mechanized outdoor activities throughout British Columbia and address mountain trails and wilderness access for all. Our combined interests are for recreation, conservation, outdoor uses, outdoor education and safety for British Columbians.


It's like Summer all year now

The July 2015 Bulletin is available.

I'm a Miner '49er

How often have you driven past Britannia Mine and wondered what was inside? On November 23rd 35 VOA members showed to take the tour. These days we use candles to set the mood for a romantic dinner. In 1900 that was the source of light working in the mine. Dave made a smilebox of the event.

I love the smell of chainsaws in the morning

Sometimes a trail needs a little TLC and sometimes you need power tools to make it happen. (more photos...).

The Cycling Jerseys are a Hit

And it makes it easier for the trip leader to keep track of their flock. The jerseys have been spotted all over the world (more photos...).

Celebrating 40 Years of Outdoor Activity

Dianne Wharton has spent the last couple of years compiling the reflections and events that have occurred over the past 15 years since the 25th Anniversary book was published in 1998. The VOA 40th Anniversary is in PDF format and can be downloaded for viewing on your computer or tablet.

There's no printed version available from the club but you can take the PDF file to a printer like Staples (or do it online at staplescopyandprint.ca). The document is 220 pages and about $20 to print a black & white copy (the picture quality in B&W is ok, not great). Be sure to order double sided. You can order 3-hole punch paper or add a plastic or wire binding.

Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park User Experience

Chad Neufelt of the University of Guelph did a questionaire of the user experience. It's feedback like that that directs the improvements in Provincial parks. You can read the results here: Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park User Experience Questionnaire

Now on Facebook

Some members are now posting on Facebook and sharing on the Valley Outdoor Association page. Paul has added pictures from

Check out other pictures from Paul and Keith at Valley Outdoor Association.


Dave has been organizing his pictures and added a little music. Check out his smilebox for

Updated Club Photos

Pictures (with comments) are also welcome for our web site and can be emailed to Hilmar. Several members are posting on the VOA Facebook page.

Backpacking the Hudson Bay Heritage Trail
September 12 - 18, 2014

(more photos...)
Sooke, BC - Galloping Goose Weekend
August 2 - 4, 2014

(more photos...)
Agassiz - Harrison - Seabird Island Loop
June 22, 2014

(more photos...)

Trail Talk

Fort Langley - Campbell Valley Cycle

We led a cycle trip May 10. The weather was perfect with a thin overcast and temperature of 20 degrees.

We had about 20 people for the ride so we split it in two with Christine leading one group and me leading the other. The route took us from the Walnut Grove Community Centre south past the Langley airport, up the hill then east and north to the Otter co-op for lunch. We came back via 264 street and Fort Langley. About a dozen people came to our place afterward for refreshments.

Overall, a great day!

Murray McDonald

Galiano Hike

On Saturday, April 11, eighteen happy hikers boarded the Mayne Queen, cruising to the "exotic" Gulf Island of Galiano led by our trusty "Captain" Rodney Edwards. OK, perhaps a slight exaggeration, but there was no exaggerating our stellar day beginning with the dark curtain of clouds parting to reveal blue skies bathed in sunshine. Upon disembarking, our first port of call was Bluff Park but a sweet little bay at the foot of a flight of stairs beckoned us down. Half of us took the bait and succumbed to the warmth of the driftwood-strewn beach leaving the others to patiently wait for our return. Continue reading...

Cherry Blossom Cycle

The Cherry Blossom cycle took place despite dire forecasts for heavy rain and the possibility of very few blossoms still being out there due to our very mild winter and early spring weather. It was a joint activity for both VOA and North Shore Hikers (NSH) members. We had 5 participants from VOA and 4 from NSH. As it was not raining at the start time the cycle went ahead. Continue reading...

Backpacking the Hudson Bay Heritage Trail

Mid September, 4 of us ventured out to do a section of the recently upgraded 50 km cross over route that followed the old Hudson Bay Trail. Originally a First Nations route for hunting and trade, the HBC Trail played a key role in British Columbia’s early development. Completed in 1849, the HBC Trail was built by the Hudson’s Bay Company with the help of local First Nations. They built the trail to link the Fraser River at Fort Hope with Fort Kamloops and other important fur forts farther north to Stuart Lake. Continue reading...

Darrell is lost on the Appalachian Trail


But he still has Internet access and is with John and Sandy and some new friends. You can follow Darrell's travels at Darrell on the AT.

Looking Ahead in 2015

Yes, it's time to plan your 2015 adventures. Check the April bulletin for more information.

Cycle Summer Cycle Camp in Oliver

July 4 - 7: We're returning to Oliver to enjoy the warm desert air, beautiful orchards, wine tasting, fun times and . oh ya . the great cycling! This time we'll stay at the private resort of Gallagher Lake, with its spring-fed lake and sandy beaches, and of which offers camping, RV spots and cabins on site, with comfortable hotels close by. We will complete a few lovely rides such as along the old KVR on the west side to Penticton and return on the east side of Skaha Lake; Osoyoos via the Okanagan River trail and for the adventure ride; and the "Loomis Loop" through Orville WA, along lakes and through the ghost towns of Loomis and Nighthawk, with lunch at Sully's in Loomis. Don't forget your passport!

All are welcome so don't miss this outing. Please RSVP to either Rodney or Chris if you're planning on going to Oliver.

Hiking Summer Car Camping, Winthrop Washington

July 15 - 20: This year we are heading to the cowboy town of Winthrop in Washington State (approx. 3 ˝ hr drive from Peace Arch), where we'll hike the wonderful Methow Valley and North Cascades area.

Camping & RV sites have been reserved at Pine Near Park campground, which is a short walk to town with hotels close by. Add to that the Schaefer Museum, world famous ice cream and nearby golf, with an added bonus of the annual Washington Rhythm and Blues Festival being held during the time we're there just a mile down the road. Tickets for the 3 days can be purchased on line for $90. Check out their website.

The hiking in the area is superb, offering a great variety of hikes - Blue Lake, Sun Mountain, Hart's Pass, Maple Pass, Patterson Mountain, West Fork, Goat Peak, Pipestone Canyon, Scatter Lake, and the list goes on & on.

Contact Rodney Edwards or Chris Larson for more information.

Columbia Gorge Scenic Bikeway tour - back by popular demand!

July 25 - 29: This trip is a 3-day loop ride along Oregon's famous Columbia Gorge return via Washington.

Start & finish in Vancouver WA. Experience the stunning viewpoints & waterfalls overlooking the Gorge along the Old Historic Columbia River Highway. Very limited space available, reserve your spot to avoid disappointment.

Contact Chris Larson for more information.

Paddle trip - Pender Island

August 7 - 10: Our annual paddle trip this summer will be on Pender Island, with camping at Browning Marina & limited indoor accommodations at the Pender Island Inn. At Browning Marina we have a large grassy group campsite booked, which has a nice outdoor pool and the Driftwood Centre (small strip mall) is within short walking distance of our sites. Indoor accommodations are just down the road at Pender Island Inn.

As with all the Gulf Island, there are many activities to enjoy on Pender Island, including cycling, golfing, easy hiking trails and art displays. I have reserved the entire fleet of rental kayaks available on the Island and kayaking will be right out of Browning Marina. Get your name in early to avoid disappointment.

Contact Chris Larson for more information.

Pink Salmon Fishing Day at Squamish

August 18: How about a change of pace from the usual hikes and bike rides .. why not try your hand at Salmon fishing. Dave Wettlaufer, self proclaimed fishing addict, will lead a small group on a one day trip to Squamish during the peak of the pink salmon on Tues Aug 18.

Every two years the pink salmon migrate to their spawning grounds. 2015 is the next time they are due. These fish are easy to catch, put up a good fight and are good to eat fresh. One of the best places to find them is the Squamish River about 2 km up from the ocean. The first VOA fishing day in August 2013 was very successful, with everyone catching pinks. 2015 promises to be another good year with millions of fish expected to show up for the party. If you would like to join in on the fun the experienced fishers will provide some instruction to the newbees. If you do not have fishing equipment you could borrow a spinning rod from a friend. If you are interested, and indicate your level of fishing experience.

Contact Dave Wettlaufer for more information.

Hiking Baker

September 4 - 7: This is a two night three day weekend of hiking at Baker with a wide variety of amazing hikes to choose from and the best time of year to do it. Our accommodations will be rustic - dorm style at the Baker Mountaineering Lodge close to the ski area and Lake Ann. Approximate cost of $115.00 CA p/p (depending on where our CA $$ is "at") for the two nights and including 2 breakfasts & 2 dinners.

Limited spaces available, please contact Chris to get your name on this list.

Upcoming Events

For more information about an event contact the trip leader. Don't wait until the night before to call. Updated phone and e-mail information for events is in the April and July bulletins.

June 27
Sea to Summit in Squamish
Contact: Dianne Dimozantos
(Changed from Mount Unnecessary & Potluck Dinner due to the forecasted heat.)
Saturday June 27
Sunday June 28
Victoria via Peninsula & Inner Harbour Sunset Paddle
Contact: Carole Chesham
Limited to 12 people.
June 28
Delta - Surrey - Langley Loop
Contact: Dave Heatherington
July 1
Contact: Alan Meggy
July 4
Coquitlam Lake Lookout
Contact: Dianne Wharton
Saturday July 4
Wednesday July 8
Cycle Car Camp Annual Oliver Cycle & Camp
Contact: Rodney Edwards & Chris Larson
July 11
Goat Mountain
Contact: Alan Meggy
July 11
Lummi Island
Contact: Rick Anvick
July 12
Othello Tunnels
Contact: Carol Chesham
July 12
Delta - Richmond Loop
Contact: Dave Heatherington
Wednesday July 15
Monday July 20
Hiking Car Camp Annual Summer Hiking & Camp
Contact: Rodney Edwards & Chris Larson
In Winthrop, WA. Border ID required.

Grading of Hiking & Snowshoeing Trips Grading of Cycling Trips
Elevation Gain: Distance: Elevation Gain: Distance:
A - up to 500 m 1 - up to 10 km A - mostly level 1 - 40 to 50 km
B - 500 - 1000 m 2 - 10 to 20 km B - some hills 2 - 50 to 70 km
C - over 1000 m 3 - over 20 km C - mostly hills 3 - over 70 km


For more information about the great outdoors around Greater Vancouver check out these sites:

The Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC is a federation of outdoor recreation clubs representing most regions of British Columbia. Individual members are also welcome to support our work. By working together we are more able to protect British Columbia’s spectacular mountains and wilderness areas for our future generations to experience.
VOA is a member of the FMCBC.
ClubTread is an online community dedicated to the outdoors. They are a group of outdoors enthusiasts who get together online to share ideas, trip reports, photographs, and advice. Our message board is one of the primary methods to communicate with others, plan trips, and talk gear.
Canadian Wildlife Federation is dedicated to ensuring an appreciation of our natural world and a lasting legacy of healthy wildlife and habitat by:
  • informing and educating Canadians;
  • advocating responsible human actions; and
  • representing wildlife on conservation issues.
Outdoor Vancouver is your guide to sports and recreation in Vancouver BC and the surrounding area. Find club listings, articles, trails, photos, maps and more covering a wide variety of activities.
Bivouac.com is the Canadian Mountain Encyclopedia. It provides maps, trails, trip reports, road bulletins and photos for hiking and mountaineering. It covers all of Canada and the USA.