You Should Really Be in British Columbia. Here's Why.

British Columbia, Canada

Storyteller

Jacalyn Beales

With so much lush forest landscape, towering mountains and untouched wilderness to discover, BC should be at the top of your travel list.

Most Canadians travel Europe before they explore Canada. 

Ironic, no? 

A considerably large country with vast landscapes and a small population should make it simple enough to explore and discover Canada. We are, after all, home to many of Instagram's most photo-worthy destinations (I'm looking at you, Banff), and it's been rumored that our great nation gave birth to the gentleman who created Tiger Stripe ice cream (both a blessing and a curse, I'd say). Perhaps surprisingly, though, most Canadians you'll bump into have not traveled Canada extensively. Much to our collective chagrin, traveling throughout Canada is expensive, with flight fare to provinces like Alberta costing more than a roundtrip ticket to England. Accommodation is rarely cheap, and some provinces are as far away by plane as many exotic European countries. 

To celebrate Canada's 150th birthday, our government made it simple for virtually anyone to explore our Provincial and National Parks in 2017 by offering free admission to these landmark areas, in addition to cutting costs for train tickets through ViaRail for trips across Canada. Though I typically fly when I travel, even I recognized the benefits to scaled-back travel fees and hopped at the chance to book my second trip ever to British Columbia this past spring.

If you ever do anything for yourself, let it be booking a trip to BC. 


Trails to Lighthouse Park

Not only are the restaurants unreal, the people stunningly good looking (must be something in the water), and the scenery totally fantastical; but the experience itself is what will truly have you itching to go back. Even if the flights are $800+ for a round trip ticket. 

To make my case for this beautiful province, let me show you through my own images exactly why you need to book a trip and discover British Columbia for yourself. You'll spot black bears and perhaps a few wolves, though the liberals are making it considerably more easy for people to kill BC's most prized wildlife for trophy (so you may want to book your trip there now before the government ruins one of the best aspects of BC's wild and cultural heritage). If you visit at the correct time, you may be able to witness the salmon run at my favorite place on this beautiful planet: the Capilano Salmon Hatchery


Shannon Falls


Shannon Falls in Squamish is truly an awe-inspiring site, and if you get there early enough, you will avoid the lone grizzly who lives near the base of the falls. Englishmen River Falls in Coombs will give you Sleepy Hollow vibes with truly unreal scenery and a decent uphill hike for those of you who enjoy feeling your calves burn and your body sweat like a sinner in church for 45 minutes. 


Views in Squamish, BC


The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is another gem which is not only easy to travel to but is also suspiciously peaceful, despite being located smack-dab in a residential area with roadside access and lots of people crying out of fear the suspension bridge will break (it won't). You can literally walk among tree tops and skip along the side of a mountain face while your mother cautions you "not to lean over the rail that far!" 


Capilano Suspension Bridge Park


Just down the road is the Capilano Salmon Hatchery which, despite being literally right down the road from the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, is rarely busy. Time seems to slow as you approach the end of a 1-2km road which leads you to a hatchery facility completely devoid of staff (seriously, they're never around) and, surprisingly, tourists. In fact, of all the 7 times I've visited the hatchery (I make multiple pit stops there, sue me) I haven't once bumped into more than 2 tourists. The trails are otherworldly and, if you're lucky, you'll come across a fisherman sitting on a rock below the main bridge, quietly fishing for salmon as the water from the Hatchery's main dam rushes idly by. It can get so quiet at the hatchery that the only sound you hear is your own slow breathing and the distant thundering of gushing water from the dam. It's paradise (read: there are never any tourists). 


Capilano Suspension Bridge Park


When you're done hiking, climbing, camping and exploring, a peaceful stop to make is Lighthouse Park. If you're afraid of creepy crawly things, you'll probably hate the giant slugs which fall from the trees (when they fall on your shoulders, they give you quite a fright, let me tell you) but the view from the Lighthouse is worth any amount of bug-related torture. The hike to it is simple and worth the hour you can spend walking through densely covered trails. 


Englishmen River Falls Provincial Park


There are many more places to discover in British Columbia; some are rugged, others aren't, but all provide a trip that you are sure to remember for years to come. And, if you happen to be a Canadian reading this, suck up the expensive travel costs. BC is worth every penny, and in a land where Blundstones and plaid are the only requirements for fitting in, everyone is welcome. 

Published: June 26, 2017

Jacalyn BealesStoryteller

Toronto-based freelance writer, outdoors enthusiast and wildlife conservationist.

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.

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