New Ways to Explore BC This Summer 9

New Ways to Explore BC This Summer

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Looking for an exciting way to explore BC this summer? Check out this list of new experiences that include adrenaline inducing whitewater, mountain adventures, unique places to sleep, and coastal getaways.

1. Zipline and Natural Hot Springs in the Kootenay Rockies

Newly opened Mineral Mountain Ziplines at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort is one of the only places in Canada where you can zipline below the headwall of the Rocky Mountains. Also newly opened, Valley Zipline Adventures at Radium Hot Springs offers eco-adventures for all levels.

2. SUPsquatch River Tour in Fernie

SUPsquatch in Fernie

Teamwork on a paddleboard. Photo: @khphotograph via Instagram

For an entirely new level of adventure, surf the rapids of the Upper Elk River on a 17-foot paddleboard with Mountain High Adventures.

3. Heli-rafting on Kicking Horse River

The ultimate in adrenaline rafting. This tour is heart-racing from the moment you take to the sky, with class four rapids surrounded by towering vertical rock walls.

4. New Mountain Bike Parks

In July, SilverStar Mountain Resort (near Vernon) opened Beowulf. The highly anticipated 35-km (22-mi) cross-country trail takes riders along mountain ridges and through the forest.

Near KelownaBig White Resort opened a new mountain bike park this summer, and on Vancouver IslandMt. Washington Alpine Resort’s bike park reopened after a three-year hiatus.

Kids (1.5 years and up) can learn new skills on fun obstacles at Beaver Lodge Kids Bike Park . Be sure to lean out over the Nels Nelson decommissioned ski jump for a breathtaking view to Revelstoke below.

5. The Pipe Mountain Coaster at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Revelstoke Mountain Resort Pipe Mountain Coaster

Ride the Pipe Mountain Coaster surrounded by mountain views. Photo: @hannahkeiver via Instagram

Descend 279 vertical metres (915 feet) on a high-speed rail through the forest. For adrenaline junkies, one ride won’t be enough. Luckily you can purchase a discounted pass for multiple rides.

6. Glacier Flight Tours

Glaciers cover 3% of British Columbia (that’s about 17,000 glaciers). Take in their grandeur from the air with one of many glacier flight tours around the province, including departures from Squamish and Whistler. Whistler also has a popular glacier walk, and the conditions are just right this year for glissading.

7. Kwa’lilas Hotel on Vancouver Island

Kwa'lilas Hotel in Port Hardy.

Kwa’lilas Hotel in Port Hardy. Photo: Erin Monaghan

This unique hotel is an ideal place to stay when exploring Port Hardy and Northern Vancouver Island. Kwa’lilas hotel is located in the traditional territories of the Kwakiutl people and combines chic style with Aboriginal artistic expression.

8. Love Shack Libations

The newest nano-brewery in Qualicum Beach may just be BC’s smallest. Formerly a tiny home, and then converted to a hobby brewery, Love Shack Libations now has a small tasting room serving four specialty beers. It’s also a stop on the new Mid-Island Ale Trail.

9. Retro Style on Bowen Island

Bowen Island

A view to the mainland from Bowen Island. Photo: @eapetkov via Instagram.

It’s hard to beat a sunny day cruising Bowen Island on a retro scooter. Explore quiet roads surrounded by nature, beach hop, and discover breathtaking viewpoints. Zoom Zoom Bowen started renting scooters from Snug Cove in 2016 and has increased their fleet of scooters for 2017.

10. A View to Remember Bed and Breakfast

This family owned bed and breakfast recently received Gold Level Certification for Green Tourism. It’s an ideal base to explore Kelowna wine and golf or relax on the beach. With the delicious home-made breakfasts and cozy décor, you may not want to leave your room.

11. Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards

Okanagan Lake

Looking out over Okanagan Lake from the Fitzpatrick Family Vineyard.

The Fitzpatrick family has a reputation for producing award-winning wines and their history in Okanagan agriculture dates back to 1913. Their most recent focus is a sparkling wine vineyard overlooking Okanagan Lake. For great food and sparkling wine with a view, visit the FITZ Bistro or The Sparkling Bar.

12. The Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish

Sea To Sky Gondola in Squamish

Sunset from the bridge at the Sea To Sky Gondola. Photo: Tara O’Grady

The gondola trip to the summit is a stunning ride, but you can also hike to the top with the Rise & Climb group every Saturday morning July 1 to September 2.  Mountain Top Yoga classes (June to the end of August) and the Mountain Music Series (Friday nights from June to September 22) are back again this summer. New this year, try your hand at axe throwing with the Axewood Crew, climb the Via Ferrata with Mountain Skills Academy & Adventures, or take the Talking Trees Tour hosted by local First Nations interpretive guides.

13. Top of the Mountain Glamping at Fernie Alpine Resort

The Lost Boys Alpine Camping experience starts with a ride on the Timber Chairlift. Enjoy champagne when you arrive and your tent already set up. You’ll camp on the mountain, enjoy a guided hike, a delicious dinner, s’mores by the fire, and wake up to breakfast.

14. Northern BC Adventures

The University of Northern British Columbia offers guided educational travel experiences via jet boat. Explore the iconic Skeena or Fraser rivers to visit historic canneries, tour ghost towns, or travel to remote coastal estuaries to view grizzly bears.

15. Go Fishing on Shuswap Lake

The view to Shuswap Lake from the Sicamous Lookout.

The view to Shuswap Lake from the Sicamous Lookout. Photo: Darren Robinson

Bucktail Adventures now offers fishing charters on Shuswap Lake. The covered aluminum boat is the perfect place to spend a day fishing with your friends.

16. Heli-Hiking with Bulkley Adventures 

Take a helicopter tour to base camp and explore the mountain, then settle in for the night in your furnished and heated tent. See for yourself with this virtual tour of the heli-sites and glamping tent.

17. Heart Burn Trail in Whistler

The Blackcomb Ascent Trails are uphill hikes on Blackcomb Mountain. At the top, you have the option to save your knees by downloading on the chairlift. Heart Burn, the third and final trail in the series, opened in July.

18. Road Trip the Alaska Highway

The Alaska highway through Muncho Lake Provincial Park.

The Alaska Highway slices through British Columbia’s northern Rocky Mountains. Photo: Andrew Strain

Not so new, but noteworthy. It’s a big birthday for the Alaska Highway, celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2017. There’s no better time to road trip one of North America’s most scenic stretches of highway.

Featured image: Two caribou on the Alaska Highway in Muncho Lake Provincial Park. Photo: Andrew Strain