Mountains, a temperate rainforest, a desert, high plateaus, an abundance of wildlife, and immense wilderness are all present in British Columbia.
It is a place where moose getting lost in supermarkets and beavers trying to break in frequently make the nightly news.
Rarely, if ever, are the majority of the lakes, rivers, and mountains explored. But even the most daring tourists rarely venture too far from Vancouver.
Here are 8 adventure activity ideas in BC!
1. Rock Climb in the Bugaboos
Bugaboo Provincial Park is a collection of granite spires that were sculpted by glaciers in BC's Purcell Mountains. For climbers and mountaineers all around the world, this location has long retained a certain allure. Sleep in Applebee Dome wilderness camping area or Conrad Kain Hut, which bears the name of the renowned climber who visited the region in 1910. The hike into this part of the park is challenging but only takes around three to four hours. It's a climber's paradise once you get here.
Where else? Climb the Stawamus Chief in Squamish, the Skaha Bluffs in Penticton, or the Boulder Gardens in Tumbler Ridge.
2. White-Water Rafting on the Thompson River
The Thompson River is one of the most accessible rafting rivers in British Columbia despite the fact that there are many other fantastic rivers to choose from, each of which offers advantages.
Shortly after crossing Spences Bridge, the river becomes narrow and plunges through the Devil's Gorge before coming together with the Fraser River near Lytton.
The Thompson is the third-largest river in British Columbia, and the abundance of water makes for some enormous waves. Despite the excitement, it is typically a Class III+ throughout the year, making the ride reasonably safe.
Options are also available from the Thompson River. There are four businesses offering trips, so you may pick the one that provides the packages, extras, lodging, and rates that suit your requirements.
Many businesses have power rafting options that allow children as young as 8 (who meet the weight limits) to participate. These excursions may be completed in only one and a half days, making them doable day trips from Vancouver.
Class IV and V cruises on the neighboring Fraser River, Stein, and Nahatlatch are offered for those who are more daring.
3. Spelunk in Horne Lake Caves
On Vancouver Island, Horne Lake Caves offers some incredible chances for cave exploration, ranging from quick educational tours to five hours of squeezing, climbing, and rappelling.
Two of Horne Lake Caves' caves are available for independent exploration, where visitors can view some truly incredible fossils and calcite formations.
You must, however, reserve a trip in order to explore the Main Cave and the Riverbend Cave. They are inexpensive and well worthwhile.
Depending on the tour you select, you might get to try out a few climbs, squeezes, and a cave slide. The shorter excursions will take you into either the Main Cave or Riverbend Cave with a trained guide.
The Extreme Tour, on the other hand, consists of a seven-story rappel, rope stations, cable ladders, a number of awkward crawls, and squeezes. The journey will take you to undisturbed crystal structures in some absolutely amazing regions of the cave.
When I took the tour, we had the opportunity to turn off our lights and enter the longest crawl by ourselves in complete darkness. The best cave tour I've ever taken is without a doubt this one.
4. Hike into Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park
One of British Columbia's hidden treasures is the Kootenays, which are well known to local adventurers but ignored by visitors. It is located just east of the Rockies.
A fantastic site to start your exploration of the area is Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park.
You can gaze at the surrounding mountains or brave the chilly water for a brief bath at Kaslo Lake after a strenuous day's hiking. Even the Sapphire Lakes are accessible to certain intrepid day hikers.
You can reserve a seat in the Kokanee Glacier Cabin at Kaslo Lake, where you'll have access to running water, hot baths, and a refrigerator, if you want to spend more time exploring and make enough advance preparations.
At Kaslo Lake, camping is also available on a first-come, first-served basis. From there, you can explore the many miles of trails, see a backcountry mini-museum, trek or scramble nearby peaks, and even visit a glacier. To really explore the area, you should budget two to four nights.
5. Canoe the Turner Lake Chain
The Turner Lake Chain in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park is little unknown, in contrast to the Bowron Lake Chain to the east, which has made it onto many bucket lists.
Perhaps that's preferable for those who do venture in as my husband and I saw very few other visitors and had every campground to ourselves except one during our visit.
Although I would argue that the Turner Lake environment is more pristine and the mountain views are more exceptional, both tours offer pristine wilderness and breathtaking mountain views.
Other benefits include the abundance of cutthroat trout, quick portages, and fantastic coastal camping locations. Hunlen Falls, the tallest continuous waterfall in British Columbia, is worth the detour by itself.
Strong paddlers could complete the chain in three days, but we took our time and could have easily stayed longer.
The difficulty and expense of traveling to the Turner Lake chain may be the main factor in its low level of tourism. Despite not requiring far in advance reservations like the Bowron, it still necessitates a 16 km hike or floatplane flight.
Fortunately, there are already canoes and paddling equipment at the lake, and Tweedsmuir Air Services accepts payments for rentals (and flights).
Canoeing in the rain and wind can be unpleasant and even dangerous, so be ready for inclement weather and be willing to wait out a storm or two on land.
In contrast to the Bowron Lakes, you will have to go back, but doing so gives you the chance to stay at additional breathtaking beach locations.
6. Hike the West Coast Trail
One of the top outdoor experiences in British Columbia is the West Coast Trail, the most well-known of the coastal treks on Vancouver Island. In fact, it might be Canada's most well-known hike!
Between Port Renfrew and Bamfield, it travels 75 km down the coast, passing through a thick temperate rainforest and past beaches and rugged shorelines.
It was originally created as a trail for shipwreck survivors and for telegraph line maintenance, but Parks Canada has now turned it into a trek of the highest caliber.
Although the trail is well-maintained, most of its attractiveness comes from its ruggedness. Long ladders, enormous mud pits, and slick plank bridges have all come to define its personality.
The ancient evergreens, seaside sunsets, and beachfront waterfalls make the trail worthwhile despite its numerous difficulties.
The West Coast Trail Express can organize shuttles from Victoria to the trailheads and vice versa.
Bring enough money for both the Nitinaht Narrows ferry and the Gordon River ferry, which are located at the southern and northern ends of the journey, respectively.
Nitinaht Narrows is another location where you can join or leave the Trail, but you'll need to take the daily shuttle boat to Nitinaht settlement.
From May 1 to September 30th, the WCT is accessible, but hikers must make reservations and pay in advance.
You should be aware that Parks Canada no longer provides backup spaces if you've heard of folks getting on at the last minute through a standby list.
The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, which lies south of the WCT, does not require a permit if making reservations months in advance is not feasible for you (you must still pay camping fees, though).
7. Hike the Mt Edziza Traverse
In Northwest British Columbia, Mt. Edziza is nestled away and often ignored by locals.
The logistics must be worked out, which costs money and requires two float plane trips for the normal route. It's a challenging 75 kilometer journey through the rocky and remote landscape once you reach the trail. Both the weather and finding your way around might be challenging.
It goes without saying that only the most seasoned traveler should attempt it!
But if you have the time and the experience, Edziza is unlike any other terrain in British Columbia and will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
A sophisticated stratovolcano, Mt. Edziza. Although it has largely lain inactive for 10,000 years, the landscape it has left behind gives the impression that it may have erupted recently.
A 25 km by 65 km area is covered in basaltic flows, leaving a large area devoid of trees. Around 30 cinder cones were produced by more recent minor eruptions, which can make you wonder if you've been transported to the moon.
Aside from the geology, I've had some of the most incredible wildlife experiences on the Edziza, including some amicable caribou and an unsettlingly brazen grizzly. Edziza is also home to wolves, mountain goats, stone sheep, and moose.
The hike begins with a flight from Tatoga Lodge in Iskut into Buckley Lake and ends with a flight out.
Theoretically, you can avoid the flight by hiking overgrown, unmaintained routes from Telegraph Creek to the Willow Creek Forest Service Road (which would require a 44 and asking locals about access; you'll need to organize a boat trip across the Stikine).
This route would require an additional two vehicles to transport hikers between trailheads, at least three days of hiking, and a lot of extra driving.
Plan on hiking for six to eight days if you are flying. Wait until early July to leave on your trip because the snowpack lasts deep into the summer. Expect snow at any time of the year.
8. Cycle Kettle Valley
From Hope to Castlegar, a distance of 650 km, the Kettle Valley Railway Trail (KVR) follows the rail grade of the former Kettle Valley Railway.
The trail travels through incredible landscapes, enormous trestles, and engineering marvels. While cycling through the Okanagan, you could stop for some wine sampling in many sections that are convenient for day rides.
With the exception of the sections at either end, there are lodges and bed and breakfasts throughout the trail if you want to go for an overnight vacation.
For at least some of the nights, people who are willing to sleep on a stranger's floor can obtain free lodging through Warm Showers or Couchsurfing. In the route from Hope to Princeton, camping is both an option and a must.
You must decide between a very taxing day or camping on the eastern portion, from Christina Lake to Castlegar, as there are no accommodations.
There will be many ups and downs even though the entire trail has been graded for trains.
Be prepared to perspire on the stretches from Hope to Tulameen and Christina Lake to Castlegar, which travel through some sizable mountain ranges.
A hardtail mountain or hybrid bike would be the best choice because the trail is primarily gravel and occasionally in poor condition.
Vancouver is an excellent spot to stay if you are just in British Columbia for a short period of time.
From there, the north shore, Squamish, and Whistler all provide incredible adventures with convenient amenities for people seeking adventure in Canada but not too extreme.
Additionally, you should take some time to visit some of Vancouver's other sights!
But if you travel outside of Vancouver, you may avoid the crowds and visit some incredible locations.
The effort is well worth it even if it gets tougher to reach trailheads and obtain information the farther you get from the city.
Even a short hike on a local route in a rural British Columbia community can transport you to a remote wilderness area. In British Columbia, there are countless wilderness activities waiting to be discovered.
At Fresh Tracks Outdoors Club, we have a collection of products and experiences, driven by our shared love for the mountains and adventures from sea to sky. Outdoors is where we thrive. Order on our online shop, or visit us at our store in Grand Forks, BC!