I would like to drive my friend (US citizen) in Washington State US to the Peace Arch coastal border crossing between Blaine US and Surrey CA, to visit Vancouver BC for a few days.

Can I drop the friend off there, to cross the border on foot, without me dealing with the border control guards of either country?

Will the Canada border guards have a problem with someone arriving on foot? (Assume they would have no problem if having driven through: valid passport in hand, no criminal record, cash in pocket, hotel reservations, history of previous visits, etc.)

If Canada refuses entry, can I easily retrieve my friend after coordinating by cell phone?

If that works and Canada allows entry, what are the transportation options on the Canada side for my friend headed to downtown Vancouver BC? Public transit such as bus, light rail, heavy rail? Private bus company (equivalent of Greyhound in the US)? Taxi? Uber/Lyft? My friend has more time than money, and is hale and hearty.

I am aware of the Cascades train service by Amtrak. But let’s ignore that option for the sake of this Question.


3 Answers 3


I have gone on foot across the border in the other direction at Peace Arch as a Canadian (in the park and went to Blaine for food), and then returned to Canada to leave the park and head home. Not exactly the same situation, but cross-border pedestrian traffic does happen. (NB: This was in approximately 2010 or 2011, so not particularly recent).

You could park in the lot in the State park and your friend could walk from there. If he is refused entry to Canada for whatever reason, he would be walked back to the border by the CBSA agents. He would then need to report to the US CBP office to re-enter the US and cover customs formalities, before meeting you in the parking lot.

Taxi may be an option, but I would pre-book if possible. Uber/Lyft is a "hot topic" in Vancouver these days, but not an option (yet).

Provided he walks facing the traffic and on the shoulder of the highway, my understanding is that walking as far as King George and 8th is legally allowed. I've never done this or seen anyone walking on that stretch.

From King George Boulevard and 8th, it is possible to reach Vancouver using buses and the Canada Line (an arm of the SkyTrain rapid transit).

For bus info, TransLink.ca has a journey planner and information on fares. There will probably be a few options in terms of routes, but it will require a change as there is no longer a bus all the way from White Rock to Vancouver. The 375 bus goes to Semiahmoo mall, where you can get on the 351. It's last stop (Bridgeport) is out by Vancouver International Airport and outside Bridgeport Station on the Canada Line. From there, take the Canada Line to Waterfront Station. 90-120 minutes would be my guesstimate at duration; you can study this timetable for SkyTrain.


I picked up my friend on foot crossing peace arch border today, there is visitor parking adjacent to the staff parking. You will see you when you drive on left lane before the duty free shop. Don’t use the duty free shop parking as it will force you to go to the US custom. When in doubt just call Canada border office - they are very helpful +1 204-983-3500 or (800) 461-9999. Good luck!


Can I drop the friend off there, to cross the border on foot, without me dealing with the border control guards of either country?

I did this today albeit my "friend" was called RideWTA which offers a flexible ride service on the Route 75 and that drops you off really close to the border. I can't recall whether it was 2 and B or C but it doesn't matter much. let's look at the map, you will start in the lower right corner:

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walk up 2nd street, cross the parking lot, you can see the green trail you need to take. Let's take a look at the satellite imagery:


you can see it's a paved winding path which takes you to restrooms and a marked crossing on Highway 5. Cross to the other side, there's a sidewalk, just walk on it, you can't make a mistake because it only goes one way from here. Ignore the "park is closed" signs, we are not going into the park anyways. You will reach the border soon, wait a little, the border guard in the booth handling cars will call you fairly soon. I didn't have ArriveCAN working but it wasn't needed, I showed him a vaccination record printout and that was it.

I walked a few minutes further up to Beach Road, there's a bench you can sit on and a little bay a car can pull into https://goo.gl/maps/VuoJ2s83hMujZS6w7 to wait for your Uber. If a friend picks you up: while Google Maps doesn't show it, there's a sign here saying last chance to turn around before entering the USA so this is a good spot to wait for them if they are coming from North/West. If they are arriving from the East, they can follow 0 Ave which becomes Peace Park Drive after a turn and that becomes an unnamed long onramp to the 99 completely fenced off from the border crossing. Impossible to make a mistake, there's nowhere else to go.

Back to Uber, what is our destination? There's a bus stop at NB King George Blvd @ 8th Ave just off the highway, it is just 1.5km away if you really want to save money and then two buses will take you to Surrey Central on the Skytrain. But I would strongly recommend taking that Uber as far as White Rock Centre bus station Bay 5 (5.4km). This was a <13 CAD ride for me. You could plug in 1640 152 St as a destination, it's a store with a small parking lot right at the 351 bus stop. This bus will take you straight to the Bridgeport station on the Canada Line -- much more convenient than two buses to Surrey, at least for me. (There are buses from the NB King George Blvd @ 8th Ave to White Rock Centre as well.)

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