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Is British Columbia the Perfect Adventure Destination?

5 reasons why you need to visit Canada's westernmost province

By: Kevin Abernethy + Save to a List

I recently traveled through what seems like half of British Columbia, but after reviewing a map it was realistically maybe a third of the province. Nevertheless I am here to convince you why you need to visit for the first time, or make another trip if you have been before. 

1. The Bugs 

This is the first time I have ever written or talked about bugs in a positive manner, the bugs were almost nonexistent while I was visiting. I would estimate about 99% of my interactions with Canadians have been positive and come to find out the bugs are just as friendly. They seem to quickly recognize your annoyance and they just fly away. Mosquito's would just prance around on my arm almost inviting me to swat them away before they draw blood. We were in the backcountry for 9 days and I sprayed bug spray maybe 2-3 total times. I'm comparing this to the Sierra's in California which probably isn't fair because mosquito's out there seem to love DEET and they laugh at any tactic that is meant to prevent them from invading every square inch of exposed skin. I may seem a little too excited about this, but if you have ever experienced swarms of mosquitos for hours on a hike you can understand the joy of not having to worry about them.

2. The Drives

I'm normally not a fan of driving from point A to point B, I want to strap on my boots and hit the trail ASAP, but every strip of road in BC seemed beautiful and it never seemed like a monotonous drive. In retrospect it seemed liked we traveled through plains, heights, peaks, and valleys and it was all memorable. I could easily visit the province again and just road trip the entire time. We backpacked and camped throughout the entire southern area and the drives were never a bore. At one point we had to force ourselves to drive for 2 hours without stopping to enjoy a vantage point, look at a scenic mountain, or just enjoy the peace of the surrounding area.  

3. The Lakes

This goes for most areas I have visited in Canada but the water is so beautiful. I'm sure anyone reading this has seen countless pictures of Joffre Lakes, Berg Lake , Garibaldi Lake, etc. and the pics are great but seeing these alpine lakes firsthand is something I wish everyone could experience. I won't name names, but a friend of mine admitted the water was so blue she initially thought they put dye in the water. 

4. The Challenge, or Lack Thereof 

If you are looking for a challenge British Columbia has you covered. Hikes like Wedgemount Glacier, Panorama Ridge, or the complete Berg Lake trail will challenge your physical and mental endurance. If you want to take it easy and see nice spots without breaking much of a sweat you can do that too. Joffre Lakes, Emerald Lake, and Seton Lake are all beginner level hikes most people can accomplish. There are also several hot springs scattered around the province that are easy to access if you want to nurse ailing muscles or if you just want to lounge around and relax. Either way you can lace up your hiking boots and put in some work, or drive around and enjoy the scenery while stopping at the easy family friendly hikes. 

5. The Options

There are so many options if you are in the area. We spent a solid week camping and backpacking and we didn't even scratch the surface of what the province has to offer. I have logged over 200 miles (322 kilometers for my Canadian friends) in the past year on backpacking trips and BC gave me the best view I have ever seen (Panorama Ridge) and the best trail I have ever hiked (Berg Lake Trail). Whether it's just exploring Vancouver, traveling the Sea to Sky Highway, visiting the Olympic Village in Whistler, or enjoying the views from the Canadian Rockies, British Columbia has just about everything you could want and more. 

My travels haven't taken me everywhere (yet) but British Columbia takes the cake for my most memorable destination thus far. If you haven't had the chance to visit this province in the Great White North, I strongly encourage you to see it firsthand.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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