28 Oct Travel to Vancouver in October | A Guide
Travel to Vancouver in October and experience the best of what the city (and British Columbia) has to offer. Trust me, I’ve travelled to Vancouver in October twice.
As I’ve learned throughout my travels, October is a good month to travel anywhere and travelling to Vancouver is no exception. The lack of tourists being the main reason, but also because attractions prices are less expensive off-season and the weather is still usually good.
What was Vancouver’s weather like during October? Not a question I thought of when I spontaneously booked my trip one night in May. I know, *facepalm*.
My Vancouver trip dates have ranged from from early to mid October. During my first trip in 2017, I regularly monitored Vancouver’s weather up until my departure date. Rain and more rain (which, incidentally, was the demise of my right leg). During my second October trip in 2018, I knew what to expect and fully embraced the rain.
Vancouver scenery in October
Picture this: dense grey fog wraps around the snowy peaks of vast mountainous landscapes. The bright reds, yellows, oranges of leaves barely hang off twigs, letting go in the slight breeze. Mist warps through massive yellow and green pine tree forests, the tops of cedars and waterfalls. The dewy, after-rain earthy smell fills your lungs with fresh, cool air. Tiny droplets on bigleaf maples. The sky, a dark grey, instills a moody ambiance.
Vancouver in October is surreal. A photographer’s dream really.
Vancouver’s October Weather
Fall is the rainiest season so expect to carry an umbrella during your trip. Try not to avoid the rain or plan around it—embrace it as part of your trip or you won’t be going out much. This means wear appropriate attire. You’ll enjoy your trip as long as you’re dressed for the weather. The weather is also unpredictable. It can be raining one minute and the next can be bright and sunny. If you don’t own waterproof clothing, an umbrella is helpful. Carry it on less-intense hikes and use it to shield your camera while taking photographs (considering it’s going to be on a tripod). Trail running shoes or hiking boots with good grip are a must—the wet trails make it easier to slip on grass and rocks. You’ll find many hikers alongside you whether rain or shine and the fall colours make every moment spent outside worth it.
If you venture out of Vancouver, you may be caught driving on a road with no streetlamps while it pours. Be cautious and drive slowly. With poor visibility, you don’t want to come across an animal that may be out in the rain.
The temperature for October 2017 reached a high of 17°C and a low of 4°C. It was a bit chilly, but my hoodie and utility jacket usually provided enough warmth.
Things to do
Almost all attractions are open rain or shine, but check opening times beforehand. Many hiking trails are best hiked until November. A bike ride or walk in Stanley Park is great for experiencing Vancouver’s fall foliage. I began to prefer a rainy Vancouver. It was dark, moody and beautiful. I never hiked in the rain up until this trip, but I grew to like it.
There are several fall and Halloween activities going on. Fright Nights, Halloween Expo, the parade, pumpkin patches and train rides at Stanley Park to name a few.
October is fantastic month to tour other British Columbia cities. While it rains in Vancouver, it may be sunny in Squamish or Whistler so check the weather and take advantage of when to visit other cities. Since it’s colder in northern cities, make sure to dress warmer, pack a blanket, grab some coffee and snacks before you set out for the short road trip.
If I were to visit Vancouver again, which I will, I would choose to go in October in a heartbeat. The mountains, the mist, the fall ambiance… Vancouver offers an appeal I have yet to experience in Toronto.
Have you moved from Toronto to Vancouver? Let me know your experiences in the comments below!