Getting Around Bowen Island

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We are often asked "Do we need to bring our car to Bowen?" and the short answer is "It depends." If you are fit, used to taking transit, walking a lot, are open to hitchhiking, and/or are okay not seeing every corner of the island, then you'll do fine not bringing a car. See below for more about non-car methods of travelling and what to expect.

HOwever, you will want to bring a car if you plan to bring a lot of stuff, want to explore and get from A to B quickly, and plan to take home lots of treasures. Driving times are short on-island, but walking times are much longer due to hilly and winding roads.
Say what?  THERE ARE NO UBERS OR TAXIS ON BOWEN !!!!  Unlike the city and other destinations Bowen does not provide this type of transportion.  Although, read on for more about all the other ways to get around Bowen and what to expect.
Bringing Your Car (we highly recommend bringing a vehicle) 
If you decide to bring your car, here are some notes on car access to each of the Bowen Island Accommodations properties. You'll be glad to know we have a gas station here which includes diesel, though weekend and holiday hours may be limited. However, as of this writing, We don't have an electric car charging station.

Car Access to Bowen Island Accommodation Properties

The Eastman Cottage is at the bottom of a sloping gravel driveway. Driving down the driveway, you'll see there is space midway to turn around and back into the parking space in front of the cabin, parking facing up the hill. 

View coming down the Eastman Cottage driveway:
take a left to turn around and back down to the parking spot you see on the right.

The Lazy Bowen Hideaway and Lazy B Waterfront Suite are at the bottom of a AWD/4WD access road only. If you have an AWD/4WD vehicle, please watch this handy video on how to safely drive the road down to the properties.

If you don't have AWD/4WD, not to worry, there are a few other options for getting you and your things down to the properties:
  • You can book our Cleator Road Shuttle Service at least a week in advance. It costs 40.00 for a round trip, but worth it if you're bringing lots of luggage or have mobility issues and walking the road is not an option. Ask Jan about the specifics of this service.
  • If you're able-bodied and don't have too much luggage, parking is available up top on Eaglecliff Road by the mailboxes, and walking scenic Cleator Road is an option many choose. It's about 5 minutes down and 8 minutes back up, and is a great opportunity to get some exercise in before you hunker down to a Lazy Bowen holiday on the waterfront deck or in front of the fire.
AWD or 4WD only on Cleator Road.
Winter Road Conditions
Snow is no guarantee on Bowen, but it can happen. As a rural community, our main roads get plowed during a winter snowfall, but side roads get attended to last, and there is no promise that any one road will be plowed, salted, or sanded at any time. We recommend guests be prepared for all road conditions in the winter whether a new snowfall, icy or plowed and sanded. Please use caution and keep in mind that there is only one tow truck on Bowen... if you get stuck, getting help may take a while.
You can check out road conditions here: and on Facebook here:

Property driveways may have snow so you may need to be prepared to park away from the property's designated parking spot and walk in a little way.

Eaglecliff Road, post-plow.
Going Car-less on Bowen
If you don't have a car or want to leave yours at home, there are options for getting around, but be forewarned -- they require you to be fit or very patient.

Bowen is easy to get to via the 250 or 257 bus from Vancouver. While on Bowen, various areas can be accessed by the Bowen Island Community Shuttle, part of TransLink. The schedules can be found at the Municipality website here.

However, do check the schedule, as the buses only service commuter hours on weekdays and are limited throughout the day on weekends and holidays, generally servicing each of the two routes once every two hours. So don't expect regular service as in a city, and do look at the schedule before planning your day out.

The Compass Card fare or transfer you received from the Vancouver buses on your way to Horseshoe Bay will work on Bowen with no extra charge if you board the bus soon after getting off the ferry.

The C281 Eaglecliff bus takes you to the
Lazy Bowen Hideaway & Lazy B Waterfront Suite.

If you are staying on the east side of Bowen Island (this would include the Lazy Bowen Hideaway and the Lazy B Waterfront Suite) you will be pleased to know that the C11 bus to Eaglecliff will drop you right at the top of the driveway. To catch the bus from the ferry, walk a short distance to the red library building where you will see the bus stop on Cardena Road. Tell your bus driver that you would like to be dropped off at Cleator Road, they will know where that is. The bus ride only takes about 15 minutes. When returning to Snug Cove, be out on the road 10 minutes before it's expected time so you don't miss it, and just wave down the bus anywhere along the route and hop on. You can pay with exact change or scan your Compass Card. More info about fares here.

Unfortunately, the bus does not service the Mt. Gardner area, so if you are staying at the Eastman Waterfront Cottage you will have to find other transport there. There are a few options...

For an old-school authentic taste of the Bowen Island lifestyle, hitch a ride with a local to wherever you're going. Either wait on the road or at any of our designated "LIFT" spots, smile, and stick out your thumb, and you should get a ride in no time.

Rather than try to hitch a ride on Bowen Island Trunk Road in Snug Cove, however, walk to the start of one of the four "artery" roads - Miller Road, Dorman road, Mount Gardner Road (by the school), or Bowen Island Trunk Road (past the school). You will be more likely to get picked up as drivers will know which way you're heading.
The Lazy Bowen Hideaway, The Lazy B Waterfront Suite and the Eastman Watterfront Cottage are about 3km or an hour or more from Snug Cove to walk. Bowen is hilly and there are no sidewalks outside of Snug Cove, so walkers should be fit, prepared for all weather, and mindful of traffic.

If you're walking after dark, do make sure you are visible to traffic (reflective gear is best) and have a flashlight, as most roadways on Bowen Island don't have sidewalks and walking becomes dangerous after dark. In snowy conditions, we recommend bringing removable shoe-grips so you don't fall on icy paths.

Biking - Bowen E Bikes
Make arrangements to rent a Bowen Island eBike. Having an assitted bike makes the Bowen Island hills not so daunting. 
Learn more here at the Bowen eBike website. 
email: or 
call 778-956-7946 between 9am and 5pm. 
If you are very fit, bicycling may be an option for you, but be forewarned - Bowen is very hilly and roads are narrow. You'll want to be very aware of cars around you and wear high-visibility gear. Also, know that deer and their young can pop out from the brush onto the road at any time as well. If you are a regular cyclist and have a great set of lungs and the muscle power to tackle Bowen hills, it can be a nice way to travel.

Photo by Neil Spinney

Scooter Rentals

You can rent scooters in the high season for a few hours to a few days from Zoom Zoom Bowen scooter rentals. Rentals are weather dependent, and booking ahead is prudent, so give them a call or email before you head over to Bowen. This can be a fun way to get around, but keep in mind all we have mentioned above, that roads are narrow and hilly, so drive with caution, and please keep to all posted speed limits.

Photo from