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Must see places in British Columbia

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1. Posted by nicksource (Budding Member, 19 posts) 4 Mar '08 15:02

nicksource has indicated that this thread is about Canada

Hi there,

I'm planning to go to BC, Canada in August/September with a friend. I've seen so many places in BC that look great, I need some help finding the 'must see' areas. I'll be landing in Vancouver most likely and then making my way to depart at Calgary, spending around 3-4weeks traveling in between.

I'm looking for lakes/mountains/parks that aren't too inhabited by family tourists for some canoing and serious hiking and any other natural wonders in BC that are really worth visiting. With great views and atmospheres.

Yoho Park is one I've had my eye on for a while, has anyone visited here?

I look forward to hearing from you!

Thanks,
Nick.

2. Posted by ChubbDub (Full Member, 132 posts) 4 Mar '08 15:49

Hey Nick,

I live in Calgary, and last september I took an amazing bike tour, driving to Vancouver, then onto Vancouver island. I Definetly recommend the west coast of the island (around Tofino) and then again the Northwest part. You'll know what I mean if you look at a map and see the roads that connect the east to the west.

I then went further North to Port Hardy and caught the "Inland Passage" ferry, that takes you to Prince Rupert. The boat rides past the most beautiful scenery I think i've ever seen in Canada. Once in Prince Rupert you can hop on another boat and get to the Queen Charlotte Islands. I've never been but heard nothing but great things about it....

I drove from Prince Rupert to Prince George/Mt. Robson and then onto Jasper... a very nice national park that isn't as "busy" as Banff. Be sure to take the Jasper highway down to Lake Louise/Banff though!... then your only an hour to Calgary!

I did this trip in 6 days, but there's soooo much I missed that you'll be able to do in a few weeks easily.

Good luck!

Kevin

3. Posted by Buttfish (Respected Member, 297 posts) 4 Mar '08 16:46

beautiful bc..coincidentally, it's bc's 150th birthday this year.

anyway. if you're getting off at vancouver, there are plenty of place you can go to. for example, for hiking, you can try the Grouse Grind (on grouse!) - it's in vancouver, and fairly easily accessible through traffic. the hike is fairly good. i did it once and got about a third of the way there, because i'm a weiner and don't move. but it gets goood reviews otherwise :)

cultus lake is beautiful, but it's a bit of a hassle to get there - i THINK you can get there by bus. it's about 2 hours away from vancouver, and the scenery is just amazing! there's lots of camping going on there, but it's a pretty large area, and so peaceful.

then there's the capilano suspension bridge (vancouver area as well). it's a very long and old (and high) suspension bridge. i went there several times as a kid, but i heard they jacked the price in the meanwhile. so it may be a bit of a price to be able to cross it.

vancouver area, burnaby mountain (in burnaby!). amazing view - next to the Horizons Restaurant. also, Crescent Beach in White Rock (it's about an hour's drive from downtown - there's transit that can take you there but it's ...long). Beautiful view, there's also a big white rock with a story behind it (which coincidentally also gets painted white very once in a while to retain its' splendor :P)

Tofino, on Vancouver Island is pretty neat, I've heard. Victoria (the capital) is sort of interesting for a day trip, I think. I haven't been there in many years, but last I heard is there were some haunted areas and buildings that were pretty cool.

If you end up near Hope, which is a small town northeast from vancouver, there are these tunnels that were created many years ago for this railway line. It's a bit of a walk, and there are watefalls and a small river going through, always worth a look.

Garibaldi National Park is also a good one, it's near Squamish (north of Vancouver) - I've heard there's quite a hike to get up, but once you do the view is breathtaking. if you keep going north past Garibaldi, you reach Whistler, which is a small town very busy in the winter season, for snowboarding and skiing and the lot.

There are also Banff National Park and Jasper National Park, partly in Alberta, though - beautiful sceneries, small virtually touristy towns, but the view is brilliant. In between the two (I think) there's the Athabasca Glacier (you can walk on it!), and consequently the Athabasca river...created from the glacier. very big, very cold. I went there once, it was a bit scary at some points; there are cracks and holes in the ice at some areas. Brilliant, though.

There's a small town called "Valemount" just to the west of Jasper, but it's in BC, it's small, middle of nowhere, but has one restaurant with the best tomato sauce i've every tasted in my life! But you would probably have to get there by car, it's really in the middle of nowhere. it's around a highway. Or something. it's really really small.

Unfortunately, I've never been to Yoho, so I don't know much about it.

I'm running out of time at the moment. But there are a few things to start you off with. Maybe google some of them and check them out! I hope you have a good trip :) If you need any help or advice, feel free to message me; I'll be gone by August (going to Europe and SE Asia), but I'll see what I can do!

Happy Travels

Kat

4. Posted by Ham Radio (Respected Member, 276 posts) 5 Mar '08 12:43

Nick,

I know you are trying to avoid tourist areas, but if you get to Vancouver Island you really need to see the Butchart Gardens. It's a stunning floral display.

http://www.butchartgardens.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1

5. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member, 622 posts) 5 Mar '08 18:11

Try to include http://www.bcferries.com/schedules/discovery/ if you can.

It travels to places that only see a few hundred visitors a year and through the most beautiful part of BC's coast, they you can head up 'n over the Coast mountains and down through ranch country and east to the Rockies.

BTW-Some of the suggestions are posted are the grossest tourist traps extant-Capilano Suspension Bridge and Buchart Gardens absolutely heave with tourists all season.

6. Posted by nicksource (Budding Member, 19 posts) 6 Mar '08 00:23

Thanks a lot guys! :) Some great places so far.

Is public transport good, such as rail/bus to most areas? I'm also wondering how flexible I can be, does it need to be really planned, or can I just plan a few routes on the fly while there?

7. Posted by Monalisa (Budding Member, 17 posts) 6 Mar '08 09:41

Hi!

If you want the hike of your life I really really suggest that you go to Mount Robson (just northwest of Jasper) and do the Berg Lake Trail. It takes 2 to 3 days (27 miles/44 km return) and it's a moderate climb. It is exceptional!http://www.britishcolumbia.com/parks/?id=178

Also, Yoho National Park is the most beautiful park I visited in Alberta. The Iceline Trail is astonishing with outstanding views of mountains summit and you walk along the glacier. It's rewarding all along the way.
http://www.clubtread.org/iceline.htm

Monalisa

8. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member, 622 posts) 6 Mar '08 11:54

Quoting nicksource

Thanks a lot guys! :) Some great places so far.

Is public transport good, such as rail/bus to most areas? I'm also wondering how flexible I can be, does it need to be really planned, or can I just plan a few routes on the fly while there?

No!

Unless you have your own transportation it's tough to get around-very tough in fact few people and long distances mean limited options.

This book might offer some ideas but it's limited to a small area of a large place http://www.car-free.ca/ .

9. Posted by nicksource (Budding Member, 19 posts) 6 Mar '08 12:17

Quoting SamSalmon

Quoting nicksource

Thanks a lot guys! :) Some great places so far.

Is public transport good, such as rail/bus to most areas? I'm also wondering how flexible I can be, does it need to be really planned, or can I just plan a few routes on the fly while there?

No!

Unless you have your own transportation it's tough to get around-very tough in fact few people and long distances mean limited options.

This book might offer some ideas but it's limited to a small area of a large place http://www.car-free.ca/ .

Ah that's disappointing to hear. From seeing all the Canada-by-rail style packages I was hoping it was easily available. :(

10. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member, 622 posts) 6 Mar '08 19:58

Canada by rail means gazing out the window and stopping in cities-not accessing the outdoors in any way.

Instead of canoeing consider sea kayaking-countless options in all kinds of places here on the coast from sunset paddles to multi day excursions.

Pick a spot on the coast and there'll be someone renting kayaks/doing trips.