Tracks range from beginner to expert, and all of them offer that stunning West Coast scenery
Whether you sojourn to 60-metre (197-foot) Kinuseo Falls in Monkman Provincial Park, scramble through the Capilano Canyon just minutes from downtown Vancouver or ramble beside the Pacific Ocean on Vancouver Island, there’s a hike awaiting you in British Columbia. This vast province bursts with so much wilderness that your largest challenge will be determining where to go.
Go big: If you only have time for one extended hike in the province, why not make it world class? The 75-km (47-mile) West Coast Trail in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve was built to aid rescuers sent to save those placed in peril when their boats capsized in the “Graveyard of the Pacific” off southwestern Vancouver Island. This rugged – expert only – hike follows the coastline through temperate old growth rain forest and past gorgeous features like Tsusiat Falls, two reasons why this hike is ranked among the best trails in the world.
Go tall: More than 200 climbing routes ascend Stawamus Chief in Squamish, but less known are the three peak trails that ascend the backside of the 700-metre (2,300-foot) granite monolith. You’ll find an added bonus at the Shannon Falls trailhead, a spectacular cascade. The main trail diverges twice, allowing you to calibrate your lung capacity at two lower vista points or continue to the summit, a 90-minute trek.
Go deep: At 5,000 square km (1,930 square miles) Wells Grays Provincial Park carves out a wilderness niche the size of many national parks. Hikers rejoice here among convenient, two-tiered Spahats, Helmcken and Dawson Falls, but you can also plot a week’s worth of adventure at remote campsites or on a hut-to-hut traverse within the Trophies and Fight Lake region. The central interior at its best, you can ascend the challenging 2,860-metre (9,383-foot) Garnet Peak, tiptoe upon multiple alpine meadows and descend into cathedral forests.
Go near: Pop out of downtown Vancouver and onto the Elsay Lake Trail in less than an hour. Located in Mount Seymour Provincial Park, this 7-km (4-mile) ‘expert’ trail is recommended in late spring and requires a full day to complete. Of course, you need not spend 10 hours hiking; Mount Seymour offers 14 trails of varying length and difficulty.
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