Hiking in British Columbia, Canada

Backpacking trails in British Columbia

State in Canada

Beautiful British Columbia is a great place for a holiday. Fly into Vancouver and from there explore everything from the rugged BC coast to the interior mountain peaks. In between, stop for a glass of wine in the vineyards of the Okanagan or some lake kayaking on one of the great lakes of the BC interior.

BC has a little bit of everything for visitors. There are stunning coastal walks on Vancouver Island and near Vancouver, where you can also combine some sea kayaking. Surfers flock to the village of Tofino, for big waves surrounded by forests.

In winter, BC is home to great ski resorts. Famed for the light champagne powder that falls here, you can choose world-class Whistler or any number of smaller regional resorts, all of which boast great ski terrain and wonderful, fun little towns nearby. Consider a trip ski touring or snowshoeing while in the mountains, a great way to enjoy some serenity in a busy world.

Summer sees hikers, climbers and mountain bikers descend on the BC mountains. Famous mountain ranges, like the Island Alps, Coast Mountains, Monashees, Purcells, Selkirks and Rockies provide enormous opportunities to explore. Many of these mountains are crossed by only a single road, providing the ability to truly get off-grid and explore.

Want to join a group trip and explore BC with a bunch of other adventurers? Check out these incredible tours in British Columbia. Explore tours on the West Coast, or other great tours on Vancouver Island, Mount Assiniboine, Mount Robson or any of the other great BC Hiking Tours on offer.

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Backpacking regions in British Columbia

Best Backpacking trails in British Columbia

Open details for The Rockwall Trail

The Rockwall Trail

Hard
52.6 km
2,982 m
4-5 days

Kootenay National Park’s Rockwall Trail is one of the most popular, multi-day backpacks in the Canadian Rockies. The Rockwall is on most backpackers bucket lists, and for good reason. Not only does this trail contain the namesake Rockwall, but there are many lakes, waterfalls, glaciers, creeks, and wildlife to make it a perfect escape into the wild. Be careful, you may not want to come back!

User Ratings
Overall Rating
10.0
Technical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Open details for Castle Towers Backpacking Trail

Castle Towers Backpacking Trail

Hard
34.6 km
2,565 m
2 days

The Castle Towers Backpacking Trail is a difficult 34.6 km out-and-back hiking route that climbs through the rugged landscape of Garibaldi Provincial Park on the way to summit Castle Towers. This trail is best completed in a multi-day format, with an overnight stay at the Helm Creek Campground. Along the trail you will hike through scenic alpine meadows and experience the amazing sights within the park, such as the iconic Black Tusk and numerous glaciers. This is a challenging route that should only be attempted by experienced and confident hikers, but it does offer fantastic views that will allow you to witness the natural beauty of the Whistler area.

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Open details for Heather Trail to Nicomen Lake Backpacking Trail

Heather Trail to Nicomen Lake Backpacking Trail

Hard
43.8 km
1,531 m
2d

The Heather Trail to Nicomen Lake is a beautifully scenic multi-day hike that climbs through the alpine meadows of E.C. Manning Provincial Park on the way to the pristine waters of Nicomen Lake. This backpacking trail is fairly long at 43.8 km, but the terrain isn’t overly difficult/technical and there are several campsites located along the route. This makes for a flexible backcountry journey that you can customize to fit your schedule.

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Open details for Floe Lake and Numa Pass

Floe Lake and Numa Pass

Moderate
26.1 km
1,122 m
2-3 days

Floe Lake is one of the most photogenic lakes in the Rockies and the backpack to it and beyond to Numa Pass is one of the most colorful as wildflowers bloom in the summer and larch trees below the pass turn brilliantly gold in the fall.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
10.0
Technical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for PCT Northern Terminus Backpacking Trail

PCT Northern Terminus Backpacking Trail

Hard
26.7 km
1,539 m
2d

The PCT Northern Terminus Trail is an amazing hike within E.C. Manning Provincial Park that takes hikers to the northern tip of the Pacific Crest Trail, a legendary route through the United States that spans a 4,265.0 km distance from Mexico to the border with Canada. While you won’t be able to legally cross the border into the United States, this trail will bring you right up to the monument marking the beginning of the famous hiking route. Along the way you will be surrounded with scenic views of the rugged mountains and picturesque stretches of forest that characterize the landscape along the border.

User Ratings
No Reviews
Open details for Frosty Mountain Loop Backpacking Trail

Frosty Mountain Loop Backpacking Trail

Hard
27.0 km
1,644 m
2d

The Frosty Mountain Loop Backpacking Trail is a 27.0 km loop through E.C. Manning Provincial Park that takes hikers on a scenic uphill climb to the summit of Frosty Mountain. From the highest point in the park, you will be able to experience sweeping views that reach out across both sides of the Canada-United States border. Hikers will then camp the night at Frosty Creek Camp before continuing the journey through beautiful forests and alpine meadows on the return leg of the trek.

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No Reviews
Open details for Ball Pass to Shadow Lake

Ball Pass to Shadow Lake

Moderate
22.0 km
1,925 m
2-3 days

The Ball Pass backpack starts in Kootenay National Park and leads you into Banff National Park and Shadow Lake. Hiking up and over Ball Pass to either the Ball Pass Junction Campground or Shadow Lake Lodge is a great overnight trip, and there are numerous options to extend this trip.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
10.0
Technical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Open details for Mamquam Lake Backpacking Trail

Mamquam Lake Backpacking Trail

Hard
40.0 km
1,953 m
2d

The Mamquam Lake Backpacking Trail is a 40.0 km out-and-back hiking route in Garibaldi Provincial Park that takes hikers through the beautiful subalpine landscape east of Squamish to the backcountry waters of Mamquam Lake. Best done as a 2-day trip, this is a scenic hike that will allow you to experience the beautiful sights around Elfin Lakes, Mamquam Lake, the Garibaldi Mountains. This hiking route is a great multi-day option, especially if you are looking to tack on a bit of extra distance from Elfin Lakes.

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Open details for Baden Powell Backpacking Trail

Baden Powell Backpacking Trail

Hard
45.5 km
2,448 m
2 days

The Baden Powell Trail is the penultimate hiking route on Vancouver’s North Shore, stretching over 45.0 km from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove. While there isn’t much in terms of accommodation along this lengthy trail, it is a popular route that is most often split into manageable portions, with each section being a good day hike. No matter how you decide to tackle this trail, its stunning views and legendary reputation are sure to leave you feeling like an accomplished adventurer

User Ratings
No Reviews
Open details for Lake O’Hara Backcountry

Lake O’Hara Backcountry

Hard
17.8 km
1,104 m
2 d / 1 n

Explore the incomparable Lake O'Hara area of Yoho National Park on this backcountry trek that totally immerses you in western Canada's backyard. This adventure-based hike has you camping for two nights in Lake O'Hara campground, propelling the authenticity of your outdoor experience. Meanwhile, the hiking trails and alpine routes lead to sparkling glacial lakes and spectacular views in the Canadian Rockies.

User Ratings
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