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6-2624-Summit-Peak-Trail

 Summit Peak Trail

(Destination BC/Andrew Strain)

Trip Ideas

BC Hiking Trails

British Columbia’s hiking trails lead to some of the world’s most spectacular terrain, from the heights of the Rockies to the rainforests of the Pacific Coast. Explore a wooded trail, clamber up rounded boulders, tread softly to spot wildlife, and push your cardio limit on steep terrain - BC has some of the best hiking in North America.

Things to Do

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Destination BC/Ian Holmes

Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands)

For a really out-there experience, fly or take the ferry to Haida Gwaii, a chain of isolated islands off BC’s north coast. Near Masset, hike as far as your heart desires on North Beach’s wide, untracked sands. Enjoy beachcombing, roaming past sand dunes and watching waves roll in from the north. For scenic views of Alaska, hike up Tow Hill, where an elevated view gives the feeling of being at the edge of the world. Before leaving the islands, stop at the cedar longhouses of the Haida Heritage Centre to see ornately carved works of traditional Haida art.

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Destination BC/Carrie Cole

Yoho National Park

Glacial lakes, snow-capped peaks, and more than 400 km (249 mi) of trails make Yoho National Park a paradise for hikers. Highlights include turquoise-green Emerald Lake, Takakkaw Falls (one of Canada’s highest waterfalls) and the Burgess Shale, an ancient fossil bed and World Heritage Site.

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Destination BC/Kari Medig

Rockwall Trail

In Kootenay National Park, trek across wildflower meadows, past hanging glaciers and beneath jagged peaks on the classic three-to-five day Rockwall Trail. Highlights on this advanced-rated, 55-km (34-mi) route include the shimmering waters of Floe Lake, the bright ochre beds known as Paint Pots, and the trail’s namesake, a massive limestone cliff.

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(iStockphoto.com/Glowing Earth Photography photo)

Berg Lake Trail

Trek the beauty of Mount Robson Provincial Park on the Berg Lake Trail, a 23-km/14-mi, two-to-three day hike deep into the Rocky Mountain backcountry. Bliss out in the rugged surroundings on the way to the blue-green waters of Berg Lake, where a glacier tumbles into the water and the striking Emperor Face of Mount Robson soars high above. This well-used trail is a great introduction to BC's backcountry. A reservation system is in place for camping spots on the Berg Lake Trail; the Mount Robson Visitor Centre has details.
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Hike the Stawamus Chief

On the way to Whistler from Vancouver, the Sea to Sky Highway passes the sheer wall of the Stawamus Chief in Squamish. You’ll probably spot rock climbers on the face, but there’s an easier way up – take the steep but lovely trail that leads through lush forest to the top. Have a pair of rock climbing shoes? Squamish Rock Guides can show you the best routes.
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Destination BC/Blake Jorgenson

Garibaldi Lake/Black Tusk Trail

Extinct volcanoes, glaciers, and wildflower meadows are some of the draws on the Garibaldi Lake/Black Tusk Trail, a scenic wonder in Garibaldi Provincial Park, between Squamish and Whistler. Get an early start to day hike the 7 to 8 hour Garibaldi Lake trail, or pack a tent and trek to Black Tusk and surrounding trails.

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Destination BC

Grouse Grind

Vancouver’s most popular hiking trail is the Grouse Grind. The trail starts at the base of Grouse Mountain and head up – way up. On the 2.9-km/1.8-mi trail, gain 853m/2,798ft of elevation and step up 2,830 stairs. The average time is an hour and a half, with a course record of just under 24 minutes. But the Grind isn’t just a grind – the forest is gorgeous, and the trail leads to the mountaintop where stunning views, restaurants and numerous activities make it all worthwhile. For a small fee, hikers can ride the Skyride down to the bottom of the mountain.

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(Robin O'Neill/Whistler Blackcomb photo)

The High Note Trail, Whistler Mountain

Ride the Peak Chair to the top of Whistler Mountain and be awed by the scenery on the High Note Trail. Stride through alpine meadows filled with wildflowers, and take postcard pictures of surrounding peaks. Return by the Musical Bumps trail to complete a 9km/6mi loop to Whistler’s Roundhouse Lodge; finish the day with an après snack in the alpine air.
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(Dannielle Hayes photo)

The Sunshine Coast Trail

Canada’s longest hut-to-hut hiking trail winds through old growth forest and past stunning marine views all the way from the shores of Desolation Sound Provincial Marine Park to Saltery Bay on BC’s Upper Sunshine Coast. The 180 km (112 mi) route is made up of 30 sections, ranging from easy to advanced, so day hikes are an option; the Inland Lakes section is accessible to bikes and wheelchairs. In for the long haul? Allow 9 to 12 days; 12 rustic huts offer shelter en route.
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(BC Heritage photo)

Barkerville Trails

Visit historical Barkerville, an 1860s townsite and living museum east of Quesnel in BC’s Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region. Step back in time as you stroll past dozens of restored gold rush-era buildings. Grab a root beer in the saloon, ride a stagecoach, catch a show at the Theatre Royal, and see who’s on trial at the courthouse; it’s all part of BC’s largest historic site. Hiking trails around town follow routes that brought thousands of prospectors to the area. For a more demanding trip, tackle the Yellowhawk Trail to lovely outlooks over the Cariboo Mountains.
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Hiking on the West Coast of Vancouver Island

For the feel of the West Coast Trail without the multi-day commitment, try some short hikes... Read more around Tofino and Ucluelet.  The Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet winds through rainforest and around rugged headlands, offering an easy and accessible taste of the area’s magnificent coastal scenery. Near Tofino, the trails in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve include the lovely Schooner Cove Trail, a 2-km/1.2-mi round trip that leads to a secluded sandy beach. Or hike Long Beach; its forest-backed, driftwood-strewn sand is the ultimate beach walk.

(Destination British Columbia photo)

Hiking the West Coast Trail

Test your mettle on the West Coast Trail. This iconic wilderness hike is a rugged, week-long, 75-km/47-mi hike on the island’s wild western shore. Scramble up steep headlands, walk surf-swept beaches and sleep under the stars. Reservations are required well in advance during peak season (June 15 – September 15), and proper gear and preparation are essential.
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Heli-Hiking in BC

Explore the pristine alpine on a heli-hiking adventure. Heli-ski operators, such as Canadian... Read more Mountain Holidays, can whisk you high into the Kootenay Rockies for a multi-day hike through mountain landscapes that few others have ever seen (think flower-filled valleys, racing brooks and glacial lakes).  The three-to-seven day trips start with a dramatic chopper ride past towering spires and hanging glaciers to a comfortable fly-in lodge.  Each day, your pilot and guide will fly you to a new area to explore, with hikes ranging from family-friendly rambles to challenging ascents. Back at the lodge, the food and views are magnificent.

(BC Parks photo)

Juan de Fuca Trail Marine Trail

Prefer a shorter hike than the West Coast Trail? The Juan de Fuca Trail, along Vancouver Island’s southwest coast, has several access points so you can enjoy rugged coastal scenery on a day trip or a multi-day trek.
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Backcountry Hiking Lodges

Want to spend a few days exploring BC’s spectacular alpine scenery and breathing in the... Read more fresh mountain air? Consider staying in a backcountry hiking lodge. Whether you’re hiking through alpine meadows in the summer, or skiing virgin powder in the winter, you can enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep and a warm meal.

Purcell Mountain Lodge

Purcell Mountain Lodge sits amidst one of the largest alpine meadows in BC. It's surrounded by some of the finest alpine ski touring, glades and tree skiing imaginable!

Our spectacular luxury lodge offers guests three, four and seven day...

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Selkirk Mountain Experience

Selkirk Mountain Experience is one of the world's finest hiking, ski touring & mountaineering companies. Selkirk Mountain Experience offers a wide variety of programs to cater to alpine adventurers around the world. The superb skiing on the pristi...
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Insiders' Tips

  • The West Coast Trail Express provides shuttle bus service from Victoria and Nanaimo to the trail heads of the West Coast and Juan de Fuca trails.
  • In Yoho National Park, book a seat on the bus to Lake O’Hara to save your energy for hiking around the beautiful teal-blue lake.
  • Check out the 505 million year-old fossils at Burgess Shale in Yoho National Park. Access to the fossil beds is restricted to guided hikes only; reserve with Parks Canada.
  • Hiking doesn’t have to mean roughing it. BC’s park and wilderness lodges, such as Emerald Lake Lodge or Cathedral Mountain Lodge in Yoho National Park, make fine base camps.
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