FAQ | Bowen Island

Here are some answers to common questions. Send us an email if you have need more information. We want you to have a safe and enjoyable visit.

When is the next ferry?

– You can find the current ferry schedule here.
– Today’s Bowen Island departures and arrivals and on-time information is on the BC Ferries website.
Where do I buy a return ticket?
– Your ferry ticket is a return fare, so you only pay in Horseshoe Bay. No one will ask to see your ticket stub when you depart Bowen Island. Just walk on or drive onto the ferry.

How and where do I line up for the ferry?

Walk-on passengers should arrive 15 minutes before the next departure and wait in the covered areas by the ferry loading terminal.
Cyclists load with foot passengers. Disembark your bike and walk onto the ferry.
Motorcyclists board before cars. Arrive at least 15 minutes before the next departure and wait at the front of the car line up.
Vehicles must line up in the designated ferry lane that starts at the ferry terminal and goes up Bowen Island Trunk Road to the intersection of Mt. Gardner Road. Do not stop, park or idle on yellow hatching and do not block intersections or driveway. Arrive at least 15 minutes before the departure. Check out and download the ferry guide for more detailed information.

Car Ferry Line-up Guide 2023

Is there a bank or ABM (automated bank machine) on Bowen?

– There’s an ATM outside the building beside the General Store in Snug Cove

Where can I go hiking that is near Snug Cove?

– Crippen Park area (Killarney Lake, Bridal Veil Falls)
– Dorman Point look-out trail
– Mt. Gardner

How do I get to Mt. Gardner/ How long does it take?

– There are three trailheads: Hikers Road Trail, Laura Road Trail, and Bluewater Trails
– Allow 3 – 4 hours from trail head to North Summit and return to trail head
– If walking from the ferry to Hikers Road Trail, allow 5 – 7 hours for the return hike
– The #280 Bluewater bus goes near the Laura Road Trailhead and Bluewater Trailhead, so you can go up one side and down the other
– On weekends and holidays, the #282 Mt. Gardner bus goes near the Hikers Trailhead
*Note: on weekends and holidays all public buses have limited schedules – departing every two hours.

Where can I ride my bike?

– Biking is permitted on paved roads throughout the Island as well as on many of trails
– Crippen Regional Park: you can ride on many but not all trails. Look for signs at the entrance to each trail
Warning: Bowen Island is very hilly and there are no bike lanes. So if you’re not comfortable cycling with cars or tackling steep hills, you may wish to consider other modes of transportation.

Where can I go swimming?

  • Sandy Beach is the closest beach from Snug Cove, a short 5-minute walk. The beach has a gentle slope and trees provide some shade.
  • Pebbly Beach is a 10–15 minute walk from Snug Cove. Pebbly Beach is more pebbly than Sandy Beach, but they both share the warm water of Deep Bay.
  • Tunstall Bay Beach is is located on the western side, so it has afternoon sun and sunsets. You can cycle, drive or bus to Tunstall Bay. The #280 Bluewater bus goes near Tunstall Bay, but you’ll have to walk 5–10 minutes to the beach.
    *Note: on weekends and holidays all public buses have limited schedules – departing every two hours.

How does the bus system work?

– There are three routes:
– 280 Bluewater (goes to Artisan Square)
– 281 Eaglecliff
– 282 Mt. Gardner – weekends and holidays only
*Note: on weekends and holidays all public buses have limited schedules – departing every two hours.

Where can I park my car?

– Pay parking is available at the Union Steamship Marina and the gravel lot beside the Snug Cove General Store
– There is some short-term 2 hour parking in front of the shops and restaurants on the main road, Bowen Island Trunk Road
– There is some 3-hour parking on Cardena Drive and in the parking lot west of the public library

Map showing parking lot options in Snug Cove