Andy Smith's Blog

Cycling Vancouver to Tijuana along the Pacific Coast

Header Pic - A Sign

I recently finished cycling from Vancouver to Tijuana along the pacific coast and wanted to share some bits that I'd have found useful before I started.

This is by no means the best or most direct route, but if you’re looking at a similar ride and looking for inspiration, maybe it will help. At the very least it will give you reassurance that 'someone on a bicycle went this way'.

It's based mostly on route planning apps and is likely quite far from the "official" ACA route.


(Map takes a little time to load fully)



(click to enlarge)


Stat Value
Start 4th May 2022
End 3rd July 2022
Days Cycling 41
Shortest Day 15 miles
Longest Day 115 miles
Total Distance 2225 miles
Average Speed 13.06 mph
Total Ascent 130,766 ft
Total Descent 125,911 ft


A few general points that you’ll likely read elsewhere but are probably worth repeating:

  • It really is a beautiful route and a great opportunity to visit many chunks of North America, see some great scenery and visit some awesome places.
  • The roads are busy - you’ll spend a lot of time on Highway 101 and Highway 1 which can at times be 4+ lanes and full of large vehicles. These roads are officially designated for cyclists and you’ll nearly always have a hard shoulder, but I did not always feel safe.
  • The weather is varied - you’ll spend a lot of time next to the pacific ocean which really impacts the weather (makes it cold and wet).
  • The camping situation was great, the ‘hiker biker’ system ($5-15 campsites in state parks that always had a space on the day, no booking) was truly impressive and a great way to meet interesting people.
  • The Warmshowers community along the way (fellow bike tourers who will host you at their homes) is definitely worth giving a shot. Make sure to give a few days notice and don’t expect it to be consistent the whole way down (unsurprisingly it generally correlates with how populated places are).

All in all I am really pleased I chose this route, I got to spent a lot of time outdoors pedalling whilst exploring a country I'd previously not spent much time in. Now to figure out what the next trip is!

Comments !