A person walks through thick, lush rainforest surrounded by moss-covered trees

Top 5 Places to Experience the Rainforest in BC

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Haida Gwaii | Ian Holmes

British Columbia is home to close to 25% of the world’s temperate rainforest. This unique eco-system covers vast tracts of BC’s coastal areas and islands, and is a rich habitat for thousands of species of flora and fauna. It is also an incredible place to connect with nature.

Here are some of the top places to experience BC’s rainforest.

Vancouver Island

Tofino | Chris Burkard

Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim is an area on the west coast of Vancouver Island that includes the communities of Tofino and Ucluelet. This area boasts sandy beaches that stretch on for kilometres, fringed by thick, lush rainforests perfect for hiking. Between hikes, enjoy fresh, local food in town, take a surf lesson, or just gaze out at the wild, open Pacific Ocean. Visit in the winter for dramatic storm watching.

Visit Pacific Rim
Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Park | Tourism Vancouver Island


Sooke is also located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, south of Tofino and Ucluelet and overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This ruggedly scenic area is a 45-minute drive from Victoria, and it offers spectacular beaches backed by thick rainforest. Not to be missed is East Sooke Regional Park. Walk along the dramatic, rocky coast, or hike forested trails that lead to quiet, sheltered coves.

Visit Sooke

Central Coast

Thorsen Creek | Callum Snape

Bella Coola

The remote Bella Coola Valley sits along BC’s central coast. Hike a seemingly endless number of rainforest trails, many of which lead to cascading waterfalls, or search for local wildlife. Black and grizzly bears are common in these parts, and bear viewing tours are available. Visit the estuary to see birds and marine mammals. And take a cultural tour to learn about the vibrant Nuxalk Nation.

Visit Bella Coola

Northern BC

Gwaii Haanas | JF Bergeron

Haida Gwaii

Mystical Haida Gwaii is an ancient archipelago off the coast of Northern BC. It is covered in pristine rainforest, much of it protected jointly by Parks Canada and the local Haida Nation, whose rich cultural heritage you can experience here. Make time to visit the wild and remote Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site, home to the UNESCO World Heritage site of SGang Gwaay.

Visit Haida Gwaii
Skeena River | Northern BC Tourism/Andrew Strain


Terrace sits near the bottom of the Alaska Panhandle, and is home to the mighty Skeena River, a spot known to host some of the world’s best steelhead fishing. Dense rainforest covers much of the landscape, and opportunities for hiking are everywhere you look. If you are extremely lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the elusive Kermode (Spirit) bear, a rare black bear with white fur found only on BC’s north and central coast.

Visit Terrace

Originally published in April, 2015.

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