If you think that 'Beautiful British Columbia' is a trite moniker, it's time to get off the sofa. This province is home to ten major mountain ranges and a host of lakes, rivers and waterfalls, plus the shoreline of the Pacific Ocean.

If it's inspiration you need, here are 25 of the best, bucket-list worthy hiking trails in BC.

NOTE: Several of these parks are currently closed due to COVID-19. Please refer to the park's websites before visiting for updated information.

  

Metro Vancouver & Sea-to-Sky Corridor

The Lions (West Vancouver)

The Lions Hike Vancouver British Columbia
Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/md9/

Length: 15 kilometres (round-trip)

Elevation Gain: 1,280 m

Time: 7-10 hours

Level of difficulty: Difficult. Reaching the summit requires a technical climb

Details: Taking The Lions Trail will require a spare set of lungs, but hikers are well rewarded with views of Howe Sound. Traversing through dense forest and into the Coast Range Alpine is equally stunning. This is an in-and-out hike along the same route, which will deposit you back at your vehicle. Hikers without climbing skills need not reach the summit to enjoy hiking the Lions.  Be sure to wear or pack layers, plan for changing weather, and bring food and water. 

How do I get to The Lions? Head for Sunset Drive, Lion's Bay. Go early as the designated lot fills quickly.

Read more about this hikeClick here

Bloggers who have lived the adventure: Ourlifeourtravel

 

Al's Habrich Ridge Trail

habrich ridgeEric Carter

Length: 12 kilometres

Elevation Gain: 350 m

Time: 4-6 hours

Level of difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

Details: Get into the backcountry on this advanced, full day hike. Hikers will be rewarded by sweeping views of Howe Sound, Skypilot Mountain and Habrich itself. The terrain the trail winds through is sublime. You'll venture through old growth forests, around glacial formations and all manners of streams and waterfalls. The end of the trail is marked by scenic Neverland Lake. 

How do I get to Al's Habrich? The marked trail begins at the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola.

Read more about this hikeClick here

  

Elfin Lakes Trail (Garibaldi Provincial Park)

Length: 22 kilometres

Elevation Gain: 600 m

Time: 8 hours

Level of difficulty: Moderate

Details: Providing (relatively) easy access to high alpine, this is a classic and popular hike. The first four kilometres or so from the trailhead are the steepest, until you reach Red Heather Meadows. From there, it's an enjoyable, long stretch to Elfin Lake. If you decide to pack your camping gear, there is a cabin and campsites where you can stay overnight and turn this day trip into a weekend adventure.

How do I get to Elfin Lakes trailhead? Follow Mamquam Road which will become a gravel road. When confronted by a fork in the road, go left. You'll eventually reach the parking lot. A 4x4 is recommended.

Read more about this hikeClick here

 

Mount Cheam (Chilliwack)

Length: 9.5 kilometres

Elevation Gain: 700 m

Time: 4-5 hours

Details: Moderate

Details: This hike will put you on top of the world! You’ll be out in the open during your trip, as the trail zigzags its way up the mountain through beautiful meadows and gravelly terrain. You’ll get unbeatable views all the way. The high point is at 2,111 metres! This hike requires a 4x4 vehicle to reach the trailhead.  

How do I get to Mount Cheam? The trailhead is near Chipmunk Creek Forest Service Rd. 

Read more about this hikeClick here

 

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Golden Ears Trail (Maple Ridge)

golden ears
Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mananetwork/

Length: 24 kilometres

Elevation Gain: 1,500 m

Time: 10 hours

Level of difficulty: Difficult

Details: With an elevation gain of 1,500 metres (!) and an average grade of 12.5 per cent, this well-maintained trail is a lung buster. The first two hours are a pleasant stroll through the forest and Alder Flats. After Alder Flats is when the trail really starts to get steep.  Although the views may not be unobstructed, it’ll put you in mind of scenery from Lord Of The Rings and the colourful trees make this a picturesque fall hike. Note: most people do this as an overnight hike.

How do I get to the trailhead? Head to the North Beach area of Alouette Lake, along Golden Ears Parkway. Watch for signage advertising West Canyon parking lot.

Read more about this hikeClick here

 

Stawamus Chief (Squamish)

Stawamus Chief Squamish
Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/slaunay/

Length: 7 kilometres

Elevation Gain: 600 m

Time: 3 hours

Level of difficulty: Moderate

Details: Hiking The Chief is a popular choice: it’s easy to find, hard to get lost and great for the occasional hiker looking to push their fitness level, though it can be extremely busy. After a long time and a perilous scramble up a metal ladder, you’ll have panoramic views of the Squamish Valley, Howe Sound, the town of Squamish and nearby mountain peaks from a smooth rock. Although this is a popular destination, don’t be fooled into thinking this is an easy hike. Come prepared with the right footwear, first aid, food and water. If you're ready for a serious adventure, you can hike all three of the Chief's peaks in one day.

How do I get to The Chief? Along the way to Squamish you'll find a parking lot near the trailhead.

Read more about this hikeClick here

 

Vancouver Island & Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast Trail (Powell River)

sunshine coast trail hutJeremy Williams, Sunshine Coast Tourism

Length: 180 kilometres

Elevation Gain: Approximately 7,300 m (total)

Time: one week + (can be broken into sections)

Level of difficulty: Moderate

Details: If you’re looking for amazing views, pristine wilderness and lakes and some of the best hiking in the province, this is the trail for you. Stretching 180 kilometres from beginning to end, this trail moves from easy to difficult; seasoned hikers can easily complete it. The Sunshine Coast Trail is Canada's longest hut-to-hut trail. Starting at the Sarah Point in Desolation Sound, it winds into alpine meadows and the region's hinterland lakes. There are several rest stops along the way and 14 huts to sleep in. Ending in Saltery Bay, the entire trail takes about 10 days to complete, but you can break it up into a section that suits your needs and skill level.

Read more about this hikeClick here

 

Judges Route, Mt. Arrowsmith (Port Alberni area)

Judges Route, Mt. Arrowsmith (Port Alberni area)
Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/msanseve/3779353204/

Length: 6 kilometres

Elevation Gain: 1,006 m

Time: 5-6 hours

Level of difficulty: Difficult

Details: Mt. Arrowsmith is the highest mountain in southern Vancouver Island. The views from the top are worth the uphill grind. Trekking the Judges Route is the quickest and easiest way to the top. Although the route isn’t technical, it is steep and will require some scrambling in a few spots. Hikers should be fit and prepared with plenty of water, snacks and emergency gear.

How do I get to the Mt. Arrowhead trailhead? From highway 4, make a left at the Arrowsmith Skill Hill Sign.

Read more about this hikeClick here

 

Cape Scott Trail (Cape Scott Provincial Park)

Cape Scott Trail
Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/n-r-t/

Length: 24 kilometres

Elevation Gain: 1,048 m

Time: 2-3 days

Level of difficulty: Moderate

Details: This trail is situated in the Cape Scott Provincial Park near Port Hardy, a rugged and remote area that offers unpredictable weather. Hikers need to be prepared and properly equipped for (often muddy) wilderness trails and extreme conditions. Dress in layers and be aware of bears and cougars on your journey. There are campsites available.

How to I get to the Cape Scott Trail? Head for the San Josef Main/RD and turn left onto Cape Scott Park Road. There is a parking lot close to a campground.

Read more about this hikeClick here

 

Juan De Fuca Marine Trail

juan de fuca marine trail
Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/10213764@N02/

Length: 47 kilometres

Elevation Gain: 1,4823 m

Time: 4-6 days

Level of difficulty: Moderate

Details: The Juan De Fuca Trail is a wilderness hiking trail that leads through some of Vancouver Islands most remote and isolated shoreline. Here, you'll find excellent coastal hiking, marked by scenic old-growth forest and thundering surf. The opportunities for spotting wildlife are ample (including bears and cougars) and the tidal pools at Botanical Beach are spectacular. This hike can be broken up into four 10-kilometre stretches. 

How do I get to the trailheads? You can start at the north end at Botanical Beach near Port Renfrew or the south end at China Beach. There are campgrounds at both ends of the trail. 

Read more about this trailClick here

 

Mt. Albert Edward (Strathcona Park)

Mt. Albert Edward
Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jordansnielsen/

Length: 31 kilometres

Elevation Gain: 1,727 m

Time: 9-10 hours

Level of difficulty: Difficult

Details: Steep climbs and narrow trails are the hallmarks of this hike. Most hikers do this as an overnight trip and sleep at the campsite at Circlet Lake. It is possible to do it as a long day hike or a trail run. Bring your pup and expect t find snow, rock cairns and mosquitoes.

How do I get to the trailhead? Make your way to the Raven Lodge at Mount Washington Alpine Resort via Nordic Drive. Park in this designated lot. 

Read more about this hike: Click here

 

Thompson-Okanagan

Okanagan High Rim Trail (Vernon/Kelowna)

Length: 55 kilometres (one-way)

Elevation Gain: 2,000 m

Time: 3-4 days

Level of difficulty: Difficult

Details: This trail stretches across the east side of the Okanagan Valley,from Vernon to Kelowna. There are six access points to start your hike from. Most hikers begin in Kelowna at Philpott Road at Highway 33 and finish at Cosen's Bay in Kalamalka Provincial Park. If you know the beauty that stretches between these two cities, you can imagine how incredible this trail is.

Read more about this hikeClick here

 

Sun Peaks Resort Trail Network (Sun Peaks/Kamloops)

kamloops sun peaks trails
Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bcgovphotos/

Length: There are 18 trails available in this network. The shortest one, the Juniper Ridge Loop, is 0.6 kilometres; the longest, the West Bowl Trail, is 5.4 kilometres.

Time: Varies from 20 minutes to 6 hours

Level of difficulty: Trails in this network range from beginner to advanced.

Details: Sun Peaks has the second largest ski area in Canada. In summer, several hiking trails can be accessed by lift. You'll find stunning alpine wildflowers and few other adventurers. There are amenities nearby, such as a restaurant, washrooms and a first aid station.

How do I get to Sun Peaks Resort? Leaving from Kamloops, follow BC-5 N. Turn right onto Old Highway 5 and left onto Tod Mountain Road.

Read more about these trailsClick here

 

Blue Grouse Mountain (Kelowna)

Length: 8-12 kilometres

Elevation Gain: 876 m

Time: 3-5 hours

Level of difficulty: Moderate

Details: This trail provides great views of the Okanagan Valley and Kelowna. You can almost see all the way to Vernon and Penticton. If you have a four-wheel-drive vehicle, you can cut your trip time down by parking at the lower communication tower. As you hike, the views will get better and better.

How do I get to the Blue Grouse Mountain trailhead? Follow Bear Lake Main Road and then make a right on Blue Grouse Road. 

Read more about this trailClick here

 

Paul's Tomb, Knox Mountain (Kelowna)

photoAlison Karlene Hodgins

Length: 3 kilometres round-trip

Elevation Gain: Approximately 100 m

Time: 2 hours

Level of difficulty: Easy

Details: This is a wide and easy trail that runs along the east shore of Lake Okanagan in Knox Mountain Park in Kelowna. You can hike the Apex Trail up or drive to the scenic lookout on Knox before continuing to Paul's Tomb. Once you reach the end, you’ll find a pebbly beach and a swimming area with cool, clear Okanagan water. If you have energy left, continue to the second lookout for stunning views across Kelowna.

How do I get to Paul's Tomb trailhead? Take Ellis Street north from downtown to reach the park entrance. 

Read more about this trailClick here

 

Kootenays

Iceline Trail (Yoho National Park)

Iceline Trail
Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/julis_travel_log/

Length: 20.8 kilometres

Elevation Gain: 710 m

Time: 9 hours to 2 days

Level of difficulty: Difficult

Details: “Yoho” is a Cree expression for awe and wonder, and this hike has it all: amazing alpine views, a vast look across the Yoho Valley, Takakkaw Falls and its reservoir, Daly Glacier, and so much more. There are several variations of this route that you can choose from if you’re interested in finding more adventures. The rather lengthy walk back down the Yoho Valley can seem a bit boring compared to your climb up.

How do I get to the Iceline trailhead? Set your GPS for Takakkaw Falls parking area

Read more about this trailClick here

Bloggers who have lived the adventure: Hiking with Barry

  

Vermillion Peak

Length: 8 kilometres

Elevation Gain: 1,200 m

Time: 5-6 hours

Level of difficulty: Moderate

Details: This hike will take you up in an avalanche gully, filled with wildflowers. The ridge walk can be narrow, requiring sure-footed scrambling, but confident explorers will be rewarded with views of glaciers and surrounded mountains on clear days.

How do I get to Vermilion Peak trailhead? Look for signs when travelling along the Kootenay Highway.

Read more about this hikeClick here

Bloggers who have lived the adventure: Bob Spirko 

  

Dogtooth Traverse (Golden)

dogtooth traverse
Credit: Tourism Golden

Length: 16 kilometres

Time: 8-10 hours

Level of difficulty: Difficult

Details: Hardcore hikers only! This route doesn't have much of a trail, so be prepared for wayfinding. Your journey will start off with a gondola ride at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.  From there, the going gets tough, and the easily lost should turn back. The terrain will be challenging, through the Dogtooth Range in the Purcell Mountains near Golden. The views are beautiful and exploring this ski resort in off-season will give you a renewed appreciation for the beauty of BC's mountains.

How do I get to the Dogtooth Traverse trailhead? Set off for Gorman Lake 

Read more about this trailClick here

Bloggers who have lived the adventure: Sonny Bou

 

Heiko's Trail (Fernie)

Length: 21 kilometres

Elevation Gain: 1,200 m

Time: 10-12 hours

Level of difficulty: Difficult

Details: Cascading waterfalls, dark caves and mountain scenery are just a few of the reasons people love this hike. The journey begins from Hartley Lake Road and ends at Island Lake Lodge, but you can optimize your time and effort if you get dropped off at Hartley Lake and picked back up at Island Lake. This hike is also referred to as Mountain Lakes Trail. 

How do I get to Heiko's Trail? Located near Fernie 

Read more about this hikeClick here

 

Cariboo-Chilcotin

Helmcken Falls Rim Trail (Wells Grey Provincial Park)

photoFlickr | Giuseppe Milo cc by 2.0

Length: 8 kilometres

Elevation Gain: 203 m

Time: 2-3 hours

Level of difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Details: Canada's fourth highest waterfall drops an impressive 141 metres into the Murtle River below. It's an astonishing, stunning sight. Paddlers should bring a canoe and camping gear to spend a night or two exploring the nearby lakes.

How do I get to Chain Meadows Lake Trail? This trail is near Clearwater.

Read more about this hikeClick here

 

Rainbow Range Trail (Tweedsmuir Provincial Park)

Length: 7 kilometres

Elevation Gain: 300 m

Time: 3 hours

Level of difficulty: Moderate

Details: This area is well-known for its colourful scenery. Your hike will start at Highway 20, near Tweedsmuir Provincial Park’s east entrance and Heckman Pass. You’ll pass through forested areas and open alpine before coming to a small lake. The best time for hiking is mid-June to mid-September. While the trail itself does not take more than a half day, a network of connected trails offers days of additional hiking. 

How do I get to Rainbow Range Trail? Just off Highway 20, shortly after entering Tweedsmuir Provincial Park (when driving west). Approximately a 40 minute drive from Anahim Lake.

Trail mapClick here

Bloggers who have lived the adventure: Hikebiketravel

  

Northern British Columbia

Mt. Edziza Plateau Traverse (Northeast BC)

Mt. Edziza Plateau Traverse
Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/23882980@N00/

Length: 75 kilometres

Time: 7-10 days

Level of difficulty: Extreme

Trail details: This hike is not for the faint of heart. Carrying in your gear, camping as you go, the chance to spot magnificent wildlife and not come across another human being for daysit could be argued this is what hiking is all about. Mount Edziza Provincial Park is home to a volcanic landscape rich with lakes and wildlife. It looks like another world.

How do I access the Mount Edziza trail system? Access is by overland hiking routs, float plane or helicopter.

Read moreClick here

 

East Beach Trail (Haida Gwaii)

PesutaBrandon Smith via Dollar Photo Club

Length: 90 kilometres

Elevation Gain: Minimal

Time: 4-6 days

Level of difficulty: Moderate

Trail details: This hike will take you along the eastern shoreline of Graham Island on Haida Gwaii, stretching from just north of Tlell (Tl.aal) to Tow Hill (Taaw) near Masset. You’d be better off to do the hike from south to northit’s better to have the wind and rain at your back than in your face. Keep your eyes peeled for black bears and be prepared for numerous river crossings. There are two primitive shelters along the trail. Leave-no-trace camping is allowed.

How do I get to the East Beach Trail? This trail is located in Naikoon Provincial Park, a remote wilderness area that encourages visitors to practice "Yahgudaang," the Haida concept about respect for the land, sea and all living things.

Read more about this hikeClick here

Bloggers who have lived the adventure: 105 Hikes

 

 

Teetering Rock Trail (Fort Nelson)

Length: 23 kilometres

Time: 8 hours

Level of difficulty: Difficult

Details: This hike includes several steep sections and can be completed as a long day hike. Alternatively, a small campsite along the trail at kilometre seven allows leisurely hikers to do it in two days as an overnight hike. The summit offers a great view of Steamboat Mountain. You'll want to pack in an ample amount of water as there are very few sources along the trail. 

How do I get to Teetering Rock Trail? Access the trailhead by heading for Mile 345 of the Alaska Highway. From Fort Nelson, drive 99 kilometres northwest before turning off at Tetsa River Park.

Read more about this hikeClick here

 

Mineral Licks Trail (Muncho Lake)

Mineral Lick Trail (Muncho Lake)
Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/petechar/

Length: 1.3 kilometres

Time: 1-2 hours

Level of difficulty: Easy

Details: This is a relatively easy loop trail that affords stellar views of Trout River and the mineral-laden cliffs, where you might be able to see wildlife.

How do I get to Mineral Licks Trail? Access the trailhead by heading to Mile 454 of the Alaska Highway, roughly 275 km northwest of Fort Nelson. 

Read more about this hikeClick here

 

 

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