British Columbia

British Columbia (BC) is Canada’s westernmost province (although Yukon Territory is directly north and technically farther west). The province features an impressive 25,725km of Pacific coastline dotted with many islands, including Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, and Haida Gwaii, formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands. The pacific coast is known to be one of the most diverse marine environments in the world, a perfect haven for seals, sea lions, orcas, humpback whales, and minke whales… to name a few.

The Pacific Province is world-renowned for its majestic snow-capped mountains. Contrary to popular belief, not all mountains in Canada’s west are part of the Rocky Mountains. There are ten mountain ranges in BC, from the Pacific coast to the Alberta border. These include the Coast Mountains, the Cascade Mountains, the Columbia Mountains and of course, the Rocky Mountains.

Victoria (on Vancouver Island) is British Columbia’s capital city; however, the city of Vancouver is its largest and serves as the international gateway. Vancouver has been chosen on multiple occasions as the world’s ‘Most Liveable City’ mainly due to its ocean-side location, proximity to mountains, many recreation opportunities, and its temperate climate.

On Vancouver Island, in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, a 75km trail has garnered an international reputation as one of the world’s top hikes. The West Coast Trail runs along sandy beaches and ocean shelf, past intriguing caves and scenic waterfalls, and through a lush rainforest filled with giant trees.

A great destination for year-round adventures, British Columbia has a lot going for it in terms of natural beauty. With gems like the Rocky Mountains, Whistler, and the West Coast Trail, beautiful British Columbia (BC) is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Combined with incredible parks and abundant wildlife, a strong aboriginal presence, and relatively close proximity to Asian Pacific nations, BC is definitely a ‘bucket list’ destination.

Find your British Columbia trip

 

Self-Guided Active Travel Experts

As the pioneers of self guided active travel in Quebec you can expect a seamless experience. Our quality tour notes and logistical expertise sets us apart and ensures a quality experience for you.

Small Group

Some trails are simply better undertaken with the guidance and knowledge of an expert local leader. Our group sizes are small (typically from 4-12 people per group) and our travellers come from all around the world.


 

Leave No Trace

Great Canadian Trails is committed to responsible travel and true sustainability. We are aligned with Leave No Trace, an international organisation that has set the global standard for outdoor ethics to ensure that our recreation in natural places is sustainable.

Dedicated to Canadian Trails

Included in all tour packages which use the Trans Canada Trail is a donation to support ongoing trail maintenance and continued success of the project.

100% Carbon Offset

All our trips are 100% carbon offset and will directly support renewable energy and reforestation projects across the world.




BC has a number of different climatic zones: Coast Mountains & the Islands, The Interior Plateau, Columbia Mountains & Southern Rockies, Northern and Central Plateaus & Mountains, and the Great Plains. This diversity causes wide variations in average rainfall, snowfall, temperature and hours of sunshine, sometimes over very short distances

Spring & Fall can often be very warm and pleasant, especially in June and September. Daytime temperatures – particularly in southwestern BC and the southern interior – allow for dresses, shorts and short-sleeved shirts; however, it is advisable to have sweaters, trousers and a light coat or jacket on hand as well.

Summers are hottest in BC's interior, particularly in the south where temperatures frequently surpass 30°C/86°F. Nearer the coast, temperatures range from 22 to 28°C/72 to 83°F. Recommended clothing for both regions in summer is the same: shorts, short-sleeved shirts and light dresses in daytime and sweaters and trousers in the evenings.

Winters on the coast are temperate, and if snow falls it doesn't stay long. A warm coat and umbrella are sufficient weather protection in these mild coastal climes. Most of BC's interior, on the other hand, experiences freezing temperatures and snow lasting from November to March, so full winter wear is necessary for comfort: a heavy coat, a warm hat and gloves or mittens.

We recommend visiting Environment Canada’s website for information specific to the region in which you are travelling.