British Columbia's untamed nature makes for unexpected moments and unparalleled adventures. With cities that sit on the doorstep of the wild, you're never far from stepping into nature and exploring the great outdoors. The atmosphere here is electric, fuelled by lively and eclectic towns and neighbourhoods that offer fabulous cuisine, sightseeing and shopping opportunities. Paddle along a glacial lake; dip into natural hot springs at Radium Hot Springs in Kootenay National Park; watch as a humpback whale breaches in the Pacific Ocean; do it in all in British Columbia.
British Columbia’s stunning untamed wilderness
British Columbia, with its varied landscapes, pristine ecosystems, and seemingly never-ending wilderness, has one of the highest proportions of protected land of any region in the world.
Almost 15 per cent of British Columbia’s land is protected; visit, and you’ll have a huge range of provincial parks, national parks, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites to choose from. Head into the wilderness and you may even catch a glimpse of an orca, marvel at a moose, or watch eagles soar high above you. You don’t need to go far to find a deep connection to nature.
Where to go?
To immerse yourself in some of the region’s most stunning wilderness, head to Northern British Columbia. Larger than California, Northern British Columbia extends up to the Yukon/Alaska border and boasts sweeping glaciated valleys, volcanic rock formations, towering mountain ranges and a mist-shrouded coast.
Some highlights include Monkman Provincial Park, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park and the beautiful Alaska Highway. Northern BC is also home to the ancient Great Bear Rainforest and the Haida Gwaii archipelago — where you’ll find one of the last authentic examples of a coastal First Nations village.
Get off the beaten track
British Columbia is home to lively towns and neighbourhoods that are filled with fantastic shopping, unparalleled dining options and thriving art scenes. But if you want to get off the beaten track and find something different, there’s plenty for you to discover in British Columbia. From back-country hiking trails to quaint restaurants, you’re sure to find a hidden gem to go home and brag about.
Where to go?
To have a truly exclusive experience, head to Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park. Walk among flower-speckled meadows and turquoise lakes, hike up through golden larches and along the ridges above. Take in the views from a sun-baked summit, reachable ONLY by hiking 27 kms or by flying in by helicopter. The limited access guarantees semi-seclusion in Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park, famous for its stunning scenery and easy hiking peaks lying below Canada’s Matterhorn.
Discover British Columbia’s deep-rooted Indigenous culture
In British Columbia, nature shapes culture. BC’s Indigenous peoples have inhabited the landscape for an estimated 10,000 years. Prior to the arrival of the first Europeans in the late 18th century, hundreds of First Nations communities thrived in all areas of what is now British Columbia, each with its own language, culture, and traditions.
Today, BC is home to more than 200 First Nations whose living traditions can be enjoyed through art, food, immersive cultural experiences, and guided tours around the province.
What to do?
For an authentic experience that incorporates wildlife viewing with indigenous culture, consider a tour with Sea Wolf Adventures.
Owner Mike Willie is from the remote village of Kingcome Inlet and a member of the Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw First Nation. His deep connection to the original land of his ancestors allows you to gain an unparalleled insight into the culture and history of the area, and their relationship with the local wildlife.
As you travel to destinations in the Great Bear Rain Forest and Broughton Archipelago, you'll be spoiled with opportunities to see the wildlife of British Columbia's coast - think humpback whales, orcas, dolphins, sea lions, eagles, wolves, and, of course, grizzly bears.