The Best Way to Road Trip British Columbia

Hastings Overland is helping travelers explore off the beaten path in BC.

By: Kyle Frost + Save to a List

British Columbia landscapes, a Jeep Rubicon with a rooftop tent, and a very rough itinerary. Sounds like my kind of trip.

Based out of Vancouver, Hastings Overland rents off-road Jeeps to travelers looking to get off the beaten path in British Columbia. While they will provide a rough plan based on your preferences, they encourage you to diverge, explore, and take off down that old forest service road that looks enticing to find a remote camp spot for the night.

In a world where popular spots and destinations are becoming more and more crowded, it's refreshing to see a company making it their mission to give travelers the tools and confidence to *really* get off the beaten path and create their own adventures. I love that some tour providers and destinations are pushing this kind of exploratory travel (Hastings Overland is a Canadian Signature Experience) -- encouraging travelers to discover the true diversity of a region like British Columbia.

Do Something Different

Normally, I'd tell you about my day-to-day itinerary, how many days I was out, where I was, etc. But that's not really the point with Hastings. The whole idea behind a fully self-sufficient Jeep is that you make your own adventure. Your goal shouldn't be to copy my trip, or even follow a route they suggest. As Max and and Cory, the owners of Hastings reminded me: "These are only suggestions -- this is your adventure to create." Nowadays it seems that a high percentage of travel is dictated by getting that "one shot" or visiting places you've seen on social media. But there is fun, and true adventure, in setting that aside and letting the backroads take you where they will.

So, with that in mind, I'd love to share my (rough) trip with you, because I had a wonderful time and I want to inspire you to take a similar trip -- not necessarily with Hastings (although they are awesome and I would highly recommend that you do if you're headed to British Columbia), but also on your next weekend adventure, road trip, or vacation. If you see most people going right, maybe try going left :)

The Trip

We started the trip with an overnight on a helipad in Howe Sound. In typical coastal mountain style, the trail was basically straight up -- but the 360 views at the top were worth it.

After taking our water taxi back to the mainland, it was time for me to head out on my own. The jeeps come with basically everything you could need (minus food). A place to sleep, a stove with full complement of cutlery and dishware, various toiletries, a cooler, a table, and even a few camp chairs. All I had to do was get in the driver seat, swing by the grocery store, and be on my way.

The first night, after being stymied on the initial logging road I chose due to a downed tree, I backtracked and followed another road that looked promising into this basin. I was not disappointed. These aren't your typical campground views. All I had to do was pull the Jeep over and 5 minutes later I had the tent fully set up and ready to go.

I've never spent much time in this area of BC, so it was great to hit the roads and explore the landscapes and towns around the Fraser River Valley.

I accessed this spot via a mostly hidden side road down to the river. Definitely 4WD access, one of the many situations I was glad I had the Jeep.

This spot was another great example of embracing spontaneity. After getting back from hiking late afternoon, I took a look at the map, found a 4x4 road in an area I thought might be beautiful, and started driving. It took a bit of backtracking and picking random roads, but I found an incredible spot to park, set up the tent, cook dinner and enjoy the sunset.

There's always time for hitting the "popular" spots as well -- although it feels a bit strange when you've been solo for a few days to hit a trailhead swarming with people.

All in all, a fantastic overlanding trip to British Columbia. Even with the amount of territory I covered, it still felt like just a taste of the adventure to be had here. I can't recommend a trip with these guys enough. Whether you're an experienced backroads traveler or just looking for something different, I can't think of a better way to road-trip through British Columbia.

Learn more about Hastings Overland on their website and follow along with their traveler's latest adventures on instagram.

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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