This photo by Sally Matthews was taken in the Chilcotins.river bear


The Island has over 30 provincial parks, and there are hundreds of wilderness campsites. The diversity and abundance of wildlife and flora, and the rugged nature of the western coast make it a natural choice for backpackers. Hiking through the towering Sitka spruce of the Carmanah Valley, or a day spent at Botanical Beach will never be forgotten.


West Coast Trail: one of the more famous hiking trails which was originally built to rescue shipwrecked sailors stranded along the coast. It is a 6-8 day hike through lush rainforest. Bookings should be made at least a year in advance. Permit required.


Strathcona Provincial Park: here are hikes which vary from a few hours to others that can last a week or more. Forbidden Plateau is possibly the most scenic, with views of peaks such as Mt. Golden Hinde, the highest elevation on the island. From the north-east drive from Campbell River. The southern area of the park is best reached from Portt Alberni - Grand Central Lake and Della Falls..


Cape Scott Provincial Park: on the north-west tip of Vancouver Island, it is a day's hike just to get to one of the most picturesque beaches in the world. Campsites on various beaches and further hikes - such as to the Lighthouse - in the vicinity.


Schoen Lake Provincial Park: the northern area of the island, has wilderness campsites, breath-taking scenery, and abundant wildlife, including Roosevelt elk. The Nisnak Meadows Trail has an array of wild-flowers, and the lake is in its natural state. 40 km west of Sayward.


Carmanah Pacific Provincial Park: is new and undeveloped, and a magnificent park to hike in. Old growth rain forest, with all the flora and fauna of the old wilderness.
NB.. There are many other areas on the Island in and outside provincial and national parks.


There are numerous hiking trails in the vicinity of Vancouver, most of which are completed in less than a day. Mt. Seymour, Cypress Park and Lynn Canyon all have many trails worth the effort. On a clear day, the view from Seymour is riveting.


Garibaldi Provincial Park: about 100 km north of Vancouver, the park's two main backpacking areas are Diamond Head and Black Tusk. There are wilderness campsites and some A frame cabins, rugged peaks, glacial lakes, mountain flora, and golden eagles can be often sighted.


Golden Ears Provincial Park: although there are many day hikes around the Allouette Lake area, there are only a few hikes for the backpacker. The Golden Ears Trail is 15 km, with a mountain shelter near the ridge. Campsites and canoeing at the lake.


Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park: with wilderness campsites, and a main one by the lake. The overnight Flora Lake Trail is the only marked trail of any length.


bell mtn


Chilko Trail: 90 kilometres west of Atlin. This was originally the most popular route to the Klondike gold rush. The 53 km trail is for seasoned hikers and takes about 5 days.


Alexander Mackenzie Trail: the entire trek takes experienced backpackers 3 weeks, but shorter sections can be done by hiring float planes to drop your group off. Best times are late summer or fall. The Tweedsmuir Park section is about 80 km. through the Rainbow Mountains.


Tweedsmuir Provincial Park: has many other trails in this huge wilderness area: Atnarko River, Hotnarko River being the more popular. This is grizzly bear country and it is advisable to let your presence be known in the woods.


Mt. Edziza Provincial Park: for the very experienced only, the trails are not maintained. Telegraph Creek trail is about 80 km. Access by boat or plane.


Atlin Recreation Area: is reached only by boat or plane, and for backpackers a guide is advised. Grizzly bears, arctic terns, ptarmigan, caribou and other wildlife not often seen in the south. Approach from Yukon to Atlin.



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