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10 Places Every Adventurer Needs to Visit in BC

It’s not called “Beautiful British Columbia” without reason. From stunning mountain ranges, breathtaking coastlines to the deep, lush rainforests, there is no shortage of new places of places to explore. With all these options, it’s hard to narrow down where to head on your next adventure, but here are just a few suggestions of the best places to visit in BC! 

Best Places in BC, Canada Off the Beaten Path

  1. Haida Gawaii

    Aerial view from a float plane of Tofino, BC

    A birds of view of whats in store in Tofino.

An archipelago of about 150 islands scattered off the coast of British Columbia roughly 450 km north-west of Vancouver. The islands are home to dramatic landscapes and diverse flora and fauna – so much so that it is often called the Galapogos of Canada.

While you can fly to Haida Gawaii from Vancouver, part of the adventure is the remoteness of the area, which you will certainly understand if you take the ferry from Prince Rupert which takes about eight hours (in good weather).  

The rambling beaches,  dense forests with giant trees, and the abundance of wildlife all while being surrounded on all sides by the Pacific Ocean is surely an off-the-beaten-path experience that you never forget. 

  1. Tofino

A little coastal town which lies on the rugged, battered west coast of Vancouver Island. In the quiet, winter time, the swells are big and pummel the coastline in dramatic winter storms.the community of Tofino is approximately 2,000 people with a quiet, quaint surfer-town feel. In the summertime, it swells to many times its winter size, attracting surfers, hikers, nature lovers, bird watchers, campers, whale watchers, fishers, or anyone just looking to be close to nature.

Best Places in BC, Canada for the Adrenaline Junkie

  1. Whistler

You may have heard of it. This mountain town is about two hours north of Vancouver on the famous Sea-to-Sky highway, and it is fair to say that Whistler and “extreme” are practically synonymous. Extreme sports. Extreme natural beauty.

You can try your hand at a myriad of adrenaline-inducing activities and adventures in Whistler amongst the stunning setting of the rugged Coast Mountains. Alongside the world-famous skiing and snowboarding, Whistler is also famous for downhill mountain biking and bungee jumping. Other activities, like axe-throwing. are becoming a crowd favourite in Whistler, with Forged Axe Throwing being Whistler’s top-rated activity.

  1. Vernon

Roughly a five hour drive east of Vancouver, itmay not immediately come to mind when one thinks of adrenaline junkie destinations. Think ahain, with nearby Silverstar Mountain Resort and Skydive Okanagan, you’ll be sure to find something that gets your blood pumping.

Silverstar not only offers skiing and snowboarding in the winter but also fat biking, cross country skiing and 16 acres of terrain park. In the summertime, Silverstar turns into a mountain biking mecca with lift-assisted downhill mountain bike park (just like in Whistler) and cross-country riding including the 35 km long XC epic “Beowulf.” Skydive Okanagan offers opportunities to view the Okanagan from a unique perspective – 10,000 vertical feet up! 

An aerial view of Squamish and Howe Sound.

A misty, mountainous town just south of Whistler.

  1. Squamish

A small town with a big reputation on the Sea-to-Sky highway. Itis often overshadowed by Whistler and Vancouver, but it isn’t Canada’s adventure capital without a reason. Squamish is a mecca for rock climbing and the Stawamus Chief Mountain towers above the quaint mountain town.

Jutting nearly 700 m above the waters of nearby Howe Sound, this stunning geological feature is often claimed to be the second largest granite monolith in the world. The abundance of climbing “The Chief” provides is one of the reasons that Squamish is referred to as “Yosemite of the North.” Not to be overlooked are Squamish’s other activities – including world-class mountain biking, white-water kayaking, white-water rafting and hiking.

2 Adventurous Camping Destinations in BC, Canada

  1. The Shushwap

Pronounced “Show-sh-wap”, this is the place to go when you need to get away from it all. With over 40 recreation sites and campgrounds in the Shushwap with different options (RV, Cabins, etc.) there will certainly be something to suit your needs. Relax at the lake, take the canoe out for a paddle and go fishing – walk to the beat that nature intended. 

A ridge line on the Sunshine Coast in BC

A long coast full of sunshine and good vides in BC

  1.  The Sunshine Coast

Takethe ferry from Vancouver at Horseshoe Bay and land at the Langdale Ferry Terminal on the Sunshine Coast. It is practically like stepping into ‘Island Time’ without technically ever leaving mainland British Columbia.

Camping is the perfect way to take in the Sunshine Coast with a number of fantastic campgrounds dotting the 180 km stretch of paradise. Explore the laid back charm of the quaint seaside towns, or set off on the Sunshine Coast Trail – a 180 km backcountry hut-to-hut hiking experience that stretches the length of the Sunshine Coast from Sarah Point in Desolation Sound to Saltery Bay.

3 Places in BC, Canada for the Mountain Lover

  1. Revelstoke

Yet another mountain town! This one is situated along the banks of the Columbia River where the Selkirk and Monashee mountain ranges meet. A six to seven hour drive east of Vancouver along the Trans-Canada highway, it is definitely worth the effort to make it to this stunning mountain town.

Enjoy the unique experience of driving a winding 26 kilometre-long road uphill along the Meadows in the Sky Parkway, which takes you through forests of cedar and hemlock, spruce and fir to the renowned subalpine wildflower meadows of Mount Revelstoke National Park. Along with its quaint, small-town charm, Revelstoke offers a range of mountain activities from skiing and snowboarding at Revelstoke Mountain Resort, to hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing.

  1. Field

Field is a community of fewer than 300 people located in the Kicking Horse River valley of southeastern British Columbia, Canada, within the boundaries of Yoho National Park. The word ‘Yoho’ comes from the Cree word for awe and wonder, and you will understand this perfectly when you drive along the Trans Canada Highway through the awe-inspiring vistas towards Field.

First established in 1885 as an outpost for the Canadian Pacific Railway, Field is still an important stop for the railway. It was CPR train track workers in Field who discovered the first fossils of the Burgess Shale locality – now one of the most important fossil sites in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other recreational activities in the area include mountain climbing, hiking, cross-country skiing, fishing, ice-climbing, horseback riding, and canoeing. 

Mt. Robson in Valemount BC

With views like these, there is no reason NOT to visit Valemount

  1. Valemount

Among mountain folk, this is the epicenter of BC mountain culture.  Valemont is the community closest to Mount Robson Provincial Park, with Mount Robson being the highest mountain in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

If you have time, the moderate 42 km long Berg Lake Trail Hike is a favourite multi-day hiking trip that will take you through diverse landscapes which include turquoise lakes, waterfalls and glaciers before arriving at the toe of Mount Robson itself. Hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, and horseback riding are common activities in Valemount, and Via Rail’s Canadian passenger train stops in Valemount two or three times per week in each direction depending on the season.

Bonus BC Destination – Bella Coola

A small community nestled at the mouth of the Bella Coola on British Columbia’s North Coast. Here, the mountains rise dramatically from the ocean and the lush coastal rainforest are known as the Great Bear Rainforest – home to a diversity of flora and fauna, including grizzly bears and the“Spirit Bear.”  

The Spirit Bear, or Kermode Bear, is a black bear with a stunning all-white coat. This unusual colouring is the result of a recessive gene in the area and occurs in approximately one in ten bears in the area. The Spirit Bear is woven deep into the fabric of the legends of the local First Nations people who have lived in the area since time immemorial.

Bella Coola is accessible by a 454 km-long, mostly paved road to Williams Lake. This road includes a 15 km long descent to the Bella Coola Valley floor which drops 1600 m from the Chilcotin plateau. This scenic descent is known as Heckman Pass, which includes a number of steep grades and switchbacks.

While the drive may offer stunningly beautiful views, it is also a challenging drive with grades of up to 18%, no guard rails, and sheer drop-offs of many hundreds of feet. You may choose to access Bella Coola via Ferry, with two options running a few times a week – the Nimpkish from Bella Coola to Bella Bella and the Northern Expedition to Port Hardy.

From the sea to the mountain summits, British Columbia’s untamed beauty speaks to the soul and there are countless paths to explore, lakes to paddle and forests to discover. The vast landscapes inspire personal journeys and unbridled adventures and we are certain that these are some of the best places to visit in BC and they will spark the fire of adventure within you. So pack your bags and hit the road – there are adventures to be had!

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