There is no shortage of incredible day hikes to choose from in BC. Some of the most scenic hikes are within a one or two hours drive from Vancouver and other larger towns/cities, however, there are also other day hikes worth considering.
Description: Panorama Ridge is one of several amazing hikes within Garibaldi Provincial Park. The views from Panorama Ridge are some of the most scenic views in the Garibaldi Provincial Park area. High above Garibaldi Lake, Panorama Ridge offers a full panoramic view of Garibaldi Lake, Black Tusk, and the Helm Lake area. The trail to Panorama Ridge takes you up through a forest of Western Red Cedar and Douglas Fir trees, through meadows full of blooming wildflower. For many who have done extensive hiking around Vancouver, the hike to Panorama Ridge remains a favorite year after year. Even though many hinders complete the Panorama Ridge hike in a day, some also choose to camp overnight at Garibaldi Lake.
How to get there: The parking lot of Garibaldi Provincial Park is located about 37km north of Squamish on Highway 99.
Website: Garibaldi Provincial Park
Description: Possibly one of the most spectacular hikes in the Rockies, with close-up views of the numerous glaciers of the Yoho Valley, one of the highest waterfalls in Canada (Takakkaw Falls), peaks of mountains, and much more. If you’re willing to climb 690 m (2264 ft) to the high point on the trail – the amphitheater at the base of Emerald Glacier, then your reward is expansive vistas of three peaks – the Vice President, Whaleback and Isolated Peak.
Location: Takakkaw Falls parking lot, 17 km east of Field, B.C. via the Trans-Canada Highway and Yoho Valley Road.
Website: Yoho National Park
Description: The Joffre Lakes hike is one of British Columbia's most popular and beautiful hikes. Three exquisite lakes with turquoise water, breathtaking views, and majestic glacier-laden peaks towering high above, make this a relatively moderate hike with incredible rewards. The Joffre Lakes hike should be on both locals' and visitors' bucket list!
Location: The Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is located off the Duffey Lake Road north of Pemberton. it is about a 2.5 hours drive from Vancouver if you take the Sea to Sky highway towards Whistler and Pemberton.
There is a convenient and affordable bus service, called the "Joffre Bus" that provides frequent day trips from Vancouver to Joffre Lakes.
Leave the stress of the city behind and visit one of the many majestic waterfalls of British Columbia. The natural energy and sound released by these gifts of nature rarely disappoints. British Columbia is home to a number of roaring waterfalls, many rather close to Vancouver. We have added a visit to three waterfalls to our bucket list for 2018.
Photo Credit: Roadtrippers.com
Description: Cascading 141m to the canyon below, Helmcken Falls is the fourth largest waterfall in Canada. The viewing platform hangs over the lip of the canyon providing a panoramic view of the Murtle River tumbling in the distance. The fact that you can access it just steps from the road is really an added bonus. If you choose to visit Helmcken Falls in winter, you will find a frozen cone of ice climbing 50 metres up the canyon formed from a once raging torrent of water that has become frozen in time and place.
Location: The park is located 384 kilometres northeast of Vancouver, BC. The main entrance to Wells Gray Provincial Park is at Hemp Creek, 40 km north of the Yellowhead Highway #5 via the Clearwater Valley Road. The turn-off from the highway is near the community of Clearwater which is 120 km northeast of the City of Kamloops.
Website: Wells Grey Provincial Park
Photo Credit: offthebeatenpath.com
Description: Takakkaw loosely translates to "Magnificent" which is not an understatement for these falls, considering they are the second highest in the province.
Location: Located 39 km northwest of Lake Louise, AB and 17 km northeast of Field, B.C on Yoho Valley Road.
Website: Takakkaw Falls
Photo Credit: Travel British Columbia Blog
Description: These falls certainly stand up to their name. The water skims over the rocks and creates a wide veil-like stream, located just outside of Chilliwack, about an hour and a half drive from Vancouver. These picturesque falls are a quick 15 minute hike from the parking lot and the peak of Mount Cheam. Where the falls are located you will find an amazing hike with incredible views. Definitely worth the trip!
Location: About one and a half hours from Vancouver, 16km east of Chiliwack. Take exist 135 Agassiz / Harrison Hotspring Road. At the intersection, go left onto Bridal Falls Road and follow the signs to the Bridal Veil Falls parking lot.
Website: Bridal Veil Provincial Park
Soaking in the healing waters of a natural hot spring is one of the most effective ways to relax in nature, and BC has no shortage of natural hot spring. Here are the three we have chosen for our bucket list.
Photo Credit: Nicole Geils
Description: The thermal activity beneath British Columbia has gifted the province with several amazing hot springs, including Liard Hot Springs. It is Canada's second largest hot spring. Its wilderness location is located in a lush boreal setting, adding to its ruggedness, charm and romance. It is a must-see year-round stop on the Alaska Highway, a place to rest weary bones and tired eyes.
Location: Located at kilometre 765 of the Alaska Highway, approximately 60 km north of Muncho Lake Provincial Park.
Description: Lussier Hot Springs is a quaint and undeveloped hot spring just inside Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park in British Columbia. Lussier Hot Springs is the hot spring to go to if you want a seriously surreal hot spring that is more private and quiet. Chances are you might just get the whole hot pool to yourselves. For the adventurous, there is even an icy creek that runs alongside the hot spring that can provide the perfect cool down afterwards.
Location: Access is East off Highway 93/95 at the Whiteswan Provincial Park exit (located 22 km North of Skookumchuck or 8 km South of Canal Flats)
Website: Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park
Photo Credit: Rachel Rilkoff
Description: Hot Springs Cove is located along a remote area of Vancouver Island's west coast, in Maquinna Provincial Park, about 50km northwest of Tofino. For thousands of years, natural thermal hot springs have poured out of the rocks and spilled out on the edge of the Pacific Ocean in Northern Clayoquot Sound.
Location: Located 26 nautical miles from Tofino at Maquinna Provincial Park on Vancouver Island. Access to the park is by taking a 1 - 1.5 hour water taxi trip or a 20-minute float plane flight from Tofino.
Website: Hot Springs Cove
British Columbia has an impressive amount of coastline and islands. You’ve heard of more famous islands like Vancouver Island, but here are a few other islands that should be on your bucket list.
Photo Credit: vancouverisland.com
Description: With the warmest water north of Mexico (thanks to the warm southern tide) and ring of gleaming white sand beaches, Savary Island is a little piece of paradise located in British Columbia’s Strait of Georgia. Savary offers vast beaches and terrific swimming in clear, warm waters on the north shore; big rollers and great surfing on the south. South Beach is the island’s clothing optional beach, which is popular with day trippers who boat over to the island. The tides moving from the north and south of the Georgia Strait meet just north of Savary, causing little water movement, creating wonderful sun-baked warm waters.
Location: Located at the entrance to Desolation Sound, it is accessible by float plane, boat, barge or water taxi from Lund, BC
Website: Savary Island official website
Photo Credit: tofino.com
Description: Of all the places you can travel to in BC, Haida Gwaii is among the most special. The landscape is lush, the beaches are heaven and you'll have the opportunity to learn a lot about aboriginal culture. In the national park and heritage site, there is one of the last authentic examples of a west coast First Nations village. The island is also a great place to camp if you want to avoid the costs of lodging
It is a place where time seems suspended, where land and sea co-exist in a seamless harmony. A natural area of special beauty is Burnaby Narrows, where at low tide the sea bottom is visible with jewel hued sea stars in every conceivable colour from magenta to turquoise to black as well as countless other creatures.
Location: Haida Gwaii is located parallel to the northwest coast of mainland British Columbia, 100km across the Hecate Strait from Prince Rupert. Frequent 2-hour long flights to and from Vancouver are available.
Website: Haida Gwaii official website
Photo Credit: hellobc.com
Description: The best-known of British Columbia's Gulf Islands is inhabited by easygoing, green-oriented freespirits and everyday folk of all ages who share one thing in common: they've opted out of the fast lane for life in a largely unspoilt paradise rich in community spirit and brimming with forested trails, lovely beaches and see-forever vistas. Salt Spring's natural beauty and mild climate encourages outdoor pursuits like hiking, kayaking, golf, cycling, swimming, birding and beach-combing.
A high per-capita assortment of dining options, specialty food producers, bakeries, coffeeshops and farmers selling fresh-picked organic produce reflect the island's passion for creature comforts. It is also a paradise for world-class arts and has a lively music and performing arts scene.
Location: Salt Spring Island is located in the Strait of Georgia between Vancouver Island and the BC mainland and is part of the area known as the Gulf Islands. Because of its close proximity to Vancouver Island, Salt Spring is the most accessible of the Gulf Islands, with the most frequent ferry sailings on three routes to three ferry terminals. BC Ferries links Fulford Harbour with Swartz Bay (near Sidney and Victoria), and also links Vesuvius to Crofton on Vancouver Island.
A growing number of visitors to B.C. are taking the trouble to go off the beaten path and to visit a less visible gem. They're moving beyond the province's marquee tourist spots to experience something unique. Here are three hidden gems that we added to our bucket list for 2018.
Photo Credit: traveller.com.au
Description: The Othello Tunnels are a series of old train tunnels and bridges that cut through the solid granite walls and pass over the wild Coquihalla River. They are located just east of the town of Hope, BC, in the Coquihalla Provincial Park. The Othello Tunnels trail is a short, easy 3.5km return trail that passes through several tunnels and over the rushing river below. It’s the perfect hike for a family and is a great place to make a stop driving from Vancouver to the interior as it’s about a 10 minute drive off of the Coquihalla Highway. Once you have walked through the final tunnel, the trail continues for quite a distance towards the town of Hope, however very few people continue along the trail as the point of interest is really the tunnels.
Location: The easiest route to drive to the Othello Tunnels is to take Exit #183 Othello Road from the Coquihalla Highway. The turnoff is located about 6km east of the junction to the Crowsnest Highway (Highway #3) along Coquihalla Highway (Highway #5).
Website: Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park
Photo Credit: Ashika Parsad
Description: Lake Lovely Water is a crisp alpine lake stocked with canoes and trout, views of craggy glacier-draped mountains, and a picturesque and publicly-accessible cabin. It is only 60km (40 miles) from Vancouver, but there are very few people around. Lake Lovely Water is one of the best getaways in the Vancouver area. But it's also one of the best-kept secrets — hidden high up in the Tantalus Range above Squamish, it can be an adventure just getting there.
Location: The trail to Lake Lovely Water is located on the west side of the Squamish River, so a canoe is needed to cross the river. To reach the river go west from Highway 99 onto the road that heads into the Upper Squamish Valley. A number of float plane and helicopter operators provide flights to Lake Lovely Water from Vancouver and Squamish.
Website: Lake Lovely Water
Description: The Great Bear Rainforest is a global treasure that covers 6.4 million hectares - the size of Ireland. Encompassing a quarter of the world’s coastal temperate rainforest, it’s the perfect place to soak up a whole lot of silence and drink in lush green surroundings. And, it’s the only place on the planet where you can spot the elusive white Kermode bear, also known as the “Spirit bear.”
Location: You can approach the Great Bear Rainforest in several different ways: roads get you only so far in the wilderness. One of the area’s main gateways is Bella Coola in central BC. Highway 20 from Williams Lake leads to Bella Coola, or fly there on scheduled flights from Vancouver. Other points of entry include Bella Bella, Klemtu, and Prince Rupert. Or, venture into the Great Bear Rainforest by sailing along the BC coast. You can experience the area by ferry through BC Ferries’ Inside Passage Route and the Discovery Road Connector.
Website: Great Bear Rainforest
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