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5 BC Hiking Destinations for the Perfect Summer

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Vic chapter.

We’re in the home stretch! Classes are done, exams will be over soon, and we’ll all be able to breathe. If you’re like me, after escaping the stuffiness of classrooms, you’ll want to be breathing fresh air. There’s no better way to do that than to hike.

I would go so far as to say that hiking is an integral part of British Columbian culture, so it’s an essential piece of the perfect summer. A hike can have as much or as little planning as you’d like, but where do you even start? That’s an easy one: pick your destination. Here’s a few spots that are absolutely bucket list worthy.


Whistler, BC


1. Start close to home

So, you want to go on a hiking adventure and you’re just about to spend way too much money on campgrounds and passes. STOP! While most trails on this list are popular for a reason, they can take up a lot of your time and money—not something most students have, even in the summertime. Check out your city’s website, HelloBC,or Recreation Sites and Trails BC to see what gems are nearby.

The best hikes I’ve been on have been day hikes, close to home, that showed me the hidden beauty of the place I live in.


Helmcken Falls, Wells Gray Provincial Park


2. Wells Gray

Wells Gray isn’t a single trail, rather, a region encompassing several trails. Choose to stay in either Wells Gray Provincial Park or North Thompson River Provincial Park, and wake up every morning with a new hike waiting just beyond your tent flap.

The beauty of Wells Gray is the range of choices you have for your hikes. There are easier hikes if you’re inexperienced or just laid-back, and moderate to difficult hikes for those looking for a challenge. With 5,250 square kilometres to explore, there’s no way to be disappointed.


Emperor Falls, Mount Robson


3. Mount Robson Provincial Park

This one is personal for me. The Berg Lake Trail is the longest hike I’ve ever done, and even though some parts were grueling for me, it was worth it to stand beside a glacier and stick my aching feet into the freezing water of Berg Lake.

If the three- or four-day backpacking trip up and down the mountain isn’t your speed, don’t write this one off too quickly. There are campsites all along the Berg Lake Trail, or you can simply make it a day hike up the Kinney Lake Trail. Either way, you get to say you hiked up a mountain.


Garibaldi Provincial Park, Squamish


4. Garibaldi Provincial Park

Moving down south, Squamish’s largest provincial park offers over 90 km of trails to explore and is home to the park’s namesake, Mount Garibaldi. Lakes, glaciers, and alpine meadows are all there for you to gaze at in astonishment.

Planning a hike or two (or five) at Garibaldi is the perfect excuse to visit Squamish, now that there’s no music festival to otherwise draw you in.


One of the many huts along the Sunshine Coast Trail


5. Sunshine Coast Trail

If you’re looking for a more classic BC hike, the Sunshine Coast Trail is for you. This one is on every bucket list and my mom talks about doing it every year (we haven’t done it … yet).

Located in the Powell River area, this trail is over 180 km long. It’s the longest hut to hut hiking trail in Canada! With multiple access points allowing you to break it up into smaller chunks, this trail is a must-do for any British Columbian who’s able.


The East Beach Trail, Haida Gwaii


6. Haida Gwaii (Yes, the whole island)

The best is saved for last. I don’t want to be dramatic, but Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlottes) is BC’s greatest treasure. If you commit to traveling up to Haida Gwaii, there is very little chance of being disappointed. The trails there aren’t just beautiful, but experiences rich in art and history.

Haida Gwaii is one of those places you have to see, if you’re going to live in BC. Call it a rite of passage, but you won’t find an experience like this one. It’s a chance to get out in the world, stretch your legs, and maybe learn a little bit along the way.


Wherever you decide to go, if you have the chance to take a hike (in the most positive sense), do it! Just remember to book your camping reservations fast, pack wisely, and bring your whole squad along to keep each other motivated.

Where are you planning on hiking this summer? Let us know!


Sources: 1/2/3/4/5/6

Emma is a second-year graduate student at the University of Victoria. She's a pop-culture-obsessed filmmaker and aspiring video game designer. When she isn't writing for Her Campus or burning her eyes from staring at a screenplay that just isn't working, she's probably at home playing video games, watching movies (it's technically homework, she's studying them) or mindlessly scrolling through her TikTok feed.