From vast sandy beaches to soaring snow-capped mountains, the West Coast boasts breathtaking landscapes begging to be explored.

With so much to discover, where will your adventures take you once we’re travelling safely once again? A summer hike along the shores of Haida Gwaii? Bucket-list snow-season getaways beneath the Northern Lights?

For those looking for a little inspiration, here’s a selection of some favourite must-try experiences across Canada’s western region:

Dog sledding experiences
Dog sledding experiences

1. Catch the Northern Lights Few of earth’s wonders captivate our collective imagination quite like the Aurora Borealis, thanks in no small measure to the talents of the Bard of the Yukon, Robert Service. Nice in photos and stories, but spectacular to experience first-hand, it’s no surprise this a bucket-list experience for many.

2. Hike back in time – Close to the Alberta border in the BC Rocky Mountains lies the Burgess Shale, a spot where scientists and tourists regularly travel 500 million years back in time. Some of the world’s oldest and most complex fossils are preserved at the UNESCO Heritage Site, where challenging hikes yield dramatic mountain views. For a little kid-friendly time-travel, you can’t beat Alberta’s Drumheller and the Royal Tyrrell Museum, and for a few more manageable Rocky Mountain hikes, the Banff area has plenty to discover.

Hiking in the Rockies
Hiking in the Rockies

3. Yukon Dog Sledding – With the wealth of options in the Yukon, the question isn’t CAN you go dog sledding, but rather what kind of dog sledding do you want to do? Whether you’re an along-for-the-ride sledder – under blankets and with camera in hand – or you want to learn how to care for the dogs and drive a team, the Yukon has an array of adventures to choose from.

4. Big beaches to explore – It wouldn’t be a West Coast visit without experiencing some of the region’s most spectacular beaches. From hiking Haida Gwaii’s East Beach Trail to storm watching at Pacific Rim National Park, perfectly positioned between Tofino and Ucluelet, these are some of the world’s most breathtaking shorelines. And, hey, when you feel like catching a wave, you can do that too!

Northern lights in Canada

5. Take in a wildlife adventure – From watching massive grizzly bears harvest shellfish on a British Columbia beach to marvelling at the spectacle of a breaching Orca, you’re never far from nature along the wild West Coast. Choose a responsible and knowledgeable tour provider and experience these amazing creatures in their natural environment from a safe distance – for them, and you.

What’s on your must-visit list of dream destinations? We’re betting at least some will involve Canada’s West Coast!