If British Columbia, Canada, were anywhere else in the world, the entire province would be a National Park. Ten mountain ranges dominate the landscape, covered in glaciers, hot springs, waterfalls, and endless forest trails. Wildlife like grizzly bears, bighorn sheep, and moose roam vast, intact ecosystems unlike any other in North America. Winding and rambunctious rivers still follow their ancient courses, flowing through thousand-year-old rainforests to pristine stretches of Pacific coast where wild islands harbor whales and trophy salmon. And the best part? Visiting all these epic spots is within reach.
In fact, getting there can be half the adventure. The trip to the top of the Canadian Rockies in one of Canadian Mountain Holiday’s Bell helicopters is almost as exhilarating as the chance to hike through the Bugaboo Mountains, traversing meadows, razorback ridges, and ice fields that almost no one else on earth has seen.
Adventurers more interested in experiencing gravity than fighting it can muddy their fat tires at the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort Bike Park near the town of Golden. With 30 miles of trail, 3,700 feet of vertical drop, and 29 bike courses ranging from beginner to double black diamond, riding the Horse is a must, whether bikers want a spin through the forest leisurely, or to challenge themselves on slick rock slabs and technical singletrack.
For an exhilarating shot of adrenaline, Kicking Horse visitors can also try their hand at the resort’s brand new via ferrata, a steep climbing path featuring metal ladders bolted into the rock face to help get up the north face of 7,900-foot Terminator Peak.
BC’s lower elevations have their thrills too, especially getting up close with grizzlies in the Great Bear Rainforest. Guides like Great Bear Nature Tours take visitors to blinds to watch the toothy apex predators hunt for salmon, and perhaps to spot the Kermode, the elusive white spirit bear that haunts the forest.
Even fishing can be an epic adventure in BC, and the rainforest archipelago Haida Gwaii is the premier spot to wet a line. Each year, anglers gather at Cartright Sound, where halibut up to 400 pounds have filled visitors’ coolers and where the Chinook salmon run in July and August.
A river trip gets travelers even closer to the water, and northern BC has some of the wildest, most remote rivers in North America. Routes along the Tatshenshini River, led by Nahanni River Adventures, take wilderness rafters through the Coast Range, where they’ll encounter iceberg-filled lakes, flowering meadows full of caribou, and paddle through the largest non-polar ice cap in the world. Canoeing fans can opt for a trip down the Class II and III whitewater of the Stikine River on a journey from Spatsizi Wilderness Park to the wild Grand Canyon of the Stikine.
Whatever your style of getting outdoors, BC is a one-stop destination for epic adventures. The only hard part is choosing which journey. To learn more about the wild adventure in British Columbia, please visit wildwithin.ca