Cycling along the Pacific Coast Highway from Canada to Mexico is a great long distance bike tour for beginners and more experienced cyclists alike. Here's some insights into the bike ride from Canada to Mexico.
Canada to Mexico Bike Ride
The Pacific Coast Highway is one of the world's most beautiful roads for bicycle touring, with its stunning ocean views and rugged coastline.
While biking along the route from Vancouver to the Mexican border, you'll stop at various places of natural beauty and interesting towns and cities, experiencing incredible ocean views as well as lush forests.
Whether you want to cycle the entire way from Canada to Mexico, or just want to concentrate on a couple of sections, you've an exciting adventure ahead of you!
Mexico to Canada Highway
The distance from Vancouver to Tijuana is about 1414 miles or 2276 kilometres along the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway or Highway 101).
This means that it is a comfortable distance for a first long distance bike tour, and can be completed in a month or less for most people if they want.
There is unfortunately no cycling infrastructure along the Canada Mexico Highway (although we can dream there will be one day!). So, you'll have to get used to cycling on roads with a reasonable amount of traffic. If you do spot a bike path, let me know!
One of the great things though, is that this is one of the all time classic cycling routes along the west coast of the USA, so you'll also get to see plenty of other cyclists!
Biking the Pacific Coast
I cycled this route when bike touring from Alaska to Argentina. In many ways, I found it one of the easiest sections of my ride, as there were plenty of places to camp along the way.
The only unenjoyable part for me, was having to cycle across Los Angeles. I got let down by a hostel that refused me to stay there because I was traveling by bicycle, and ended up pedalling a very long day as a result.
You can read my daily blog updates from cycling along the west coast of the USA here: Pacific Coast Cycling
Bike ride from Canada to Mexico
When it comes to accommodation along the Pacific Coast Highway between Canada and Mexico, there is a wide range.
Most people however, will choose to camp. There are the famous hiker/biker sites (sadly less of them nowadays than in the past), state campgrounds, and private campsites.
If you prefer to put your feet up and enjoy the comforts of a proper bed, then there's also a wide range of guesthouses, AirBnBs and hotels along the PCH.
I tend to find that if I want to do some city sightseeing, I find it more comfortable to be based in hotel or hostel accommodation. The rest of the time when bikepacking, I far prefer to camp out.
Another advantage of cycling Canada to Mexico along the coast as opposed to the Great Divide route, is there's plenty of bike shops along the way.
Also, you can find reliable food stops despite the long stretches, and navigation is easy using Google maps.
Highway from Mexico to Canada
The vast majority of cyclists ride from Canada to Mexico, but you will find that some other people ride in the other direction.
The reason that most people cycle from North to South, is that there are prevailing winds which make life a little harder than it should be riding the other way!
Also, be aware that the north section of the route tends to have the worst weather – Remember to pack some clothes for cycling in the rain!
Biking the Pacific Coast Book
If you're planning on cycling the Pacific Coast Highway from Canada to the border of Mexico, these cycling books are a must read. Packed full of useful trip planning information, they are a vital read to your pre-trip preparations!
- Bicycling The Pacific Coast: A Complete Route Guide, Canada to Mexico
- Cycling the Pacific Coast: The Complete Guide from Canada to Mexico
- Bicycle Touring Map: Pacific Coast Section 1
- Bicycle Touring Map: Pacific Coast Section 2
- Bicycle Touring Map: Pacific Coast Section 3
You might also want to read:
- Tips for picking a bicycle touring sleeping bag
- Where to sleep when bike touring
- Duct Tape Bike Repairs: Bicycle Touring Tips and Hacks
- Best Bike Pump For Touring: How to choose the right bicycle pump
- Cycling North America
– Dave Briggs
Dave cycled from Canada to Mexico on the PCH when bike touring from Alaska to Argentina. In addition to this post about biking the Pacific Coast, he's written many other guides to bike touring.
Follow Dave on social media for travel, adventure and bike touring inspiration: