British Columbia Travel Guide
Discover the Top Backcountry Regions in British Columbia, the westernmost province in Canada.
Table of Contents
About British Columbia
Travelling in British Columbia Canada is a journey through a breathtaking wild landscape. Towering mountains, wildlife-packed forests, and dramatic coastlines are there for you to be discovered. Don’t miss off-the-beaten-track treasures like steaming hot natural springs and the ghost towns of the Kootenay Rockies – discover the history and tragedies of days gone by.
For sure you will spend time in cosmopolitan Vancouver before heading out into the backcountry. Vancouver is often the arrival port when you fly in from overseas. Both, Victoria on Vancouver Island and Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley also have international airports.
Thompson Okanagan and Okanagan Valley
Thompson Okanagan stretches from Valemount and Mt. Robson all the way down to Osoyoos and from Christina Lake in the east to Cache Creek in the west. It’s a land of lakes rivers, beaches, vineyards and with lots of outdoor adventures waiting
Kootenay Rockies – West Kootenay and East Kootenay
Plan a road trip to the West Kootenay, explore the hidden treasures and definitely visit the ghost town of Sandon.
Kootenay Rockies is Canada’s most stunning mountain scenery. The Rocky Mountains are the main attractions for many visitors to British Columbia Canada. The natural beauty and wild landscape call for unlimited recreational opportunities. The sensation of gazing up at towering glacial peaks will touch you with a sense of awe. This area is famous for its incredible ski resorts, natural hot springs, ghost towns and abundant wildlife.
Cariboo Chilcotin Country
The first taste I got from the untamed wilderness of the Cariboo Chilcotin was years ago in the South Chilcotin mountains on horseback. For sure, the Cariboo is one of the most beautiful wild areas I’ve ever seen. I’ve been riding these mountains again since and the beauty of the magnificent land will stick with me forever.
Venture along highway 20, the Chilcotin highway, and drive the famous “Hill” into Bella Coola Valley for a road trip to be remembered.
The Chilcotin is loaded with history and pioneer stories that inspire to go on a discovery and adventure trip.
Travel along the popular and historic Alaska Highway through the untamed wilderness of Northern BC. Stop at hot springs on the way and watch out for Canadian wildlife through this remote land. Enjoy spectacular scenery in this sparsely populated land. Chances are that you will see herds of bison roaming alongside the road, bighorn sheep and possibly mountain goats, moose, and bears. Start in Dawson Creek BC and end up at Watson Lake, Yukon.
For an alternative wilderness route, travel the Stewart-Cassiar Highway to or from the Yukon border.
Make sure you reserve a few days to discover the treasures of Vancouver Island. Try the delicious seafood in Tofino. Go for a hike in the rain forests or stroll along one of the beaches. I went on a whale-watching trip on a floatplane a few years ago and this was just amazing. I fully recommend it if your budget allows. Since it doesn’t take long to get to Vancouver Island from Vancouver, the island is a popular getaway for the locals during summer.
The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on the west coast of Vancouver Island is a must-see. If you are looking for a multi-day challenge, check out the West Coast Trail.
Outdoor activities in British Columbia are endless and nature is around you. Look for wilderness in the big cities when you travel through or get stuck there for a few days.
- Explore Stanley Park, a perfect example of wilderness in the city. This 404-hectare wilderness paradise is located in the city of Vancouver. Many old tales told at Stanley Park are carved into totem poles located at the park’s eastern edge. Each totem pole tells its own story. This extensive urban wilderness should not be missed by any traveller to British Columbia.
- Sailing the Inside Passage on a BC Ferris’s day-long trip to Prince Rupert is a breathtaking experience guaranteed.
- Consider hopping the Southern Gulf Islands. The islands of BC’s mainland is easily reached with a short ferry trip. Start your island hopping on Salt Spring Island and consider a kayak excursion around Mayne Island or a bike ride on Galiano.
- A road trip through the Rockies is one of Canada’s most scenic driving routes. Don’t miss the world-famous Icefields Parkway located between Banff and Jasper.
- Hikers, campers, and anglers are drawn to BC’s great parks and reserves, including Glacier National Park and the Pacific Rim National Park.
- Make sure to take part in the same wild west actions and visit a small-town rodeo. No visit to Canada is complete without it! You will find rodeo events all over British Columbia starting in spring.
- Plan in a few days at a Wilderness Ranch for a trip highlight you will never forget.
British Columbia is known to have the most extensive parks system in Canada. More than 1,000 provincial parks and protected areas, plus many more National Parks and city parks are waiting to be discovered.
You find walking and hiking trails in every park. Beyond that, there is wildlife viewing, backpacking, camping, kayaking and canoeing, swimming, fishing and boating, skiing and boarding, mountain biking and mountaineering.
More About Canada