British Columbia hiking trails wind their ways over mountains, alongside beaches, through the only desert in Canada, and across picturesque plateau and plains regions. Many of the best can be found in the province's numerous parks, and they range from easy to challenging. Guided hiking tours can be arranged with relative ease throughout the province, and they can involve other pursuits on the side, such as birding or whale watching. West coast Vancouver Island trails like the Juan de Fuca trail are among the best for birding and whale watching, and as such, they have little trouble attracting nature enthusiasts.
Wherever you find yourself in British Columbia, you are never very far from an excellent hiking trail. Anyone traveling through the northwest corner, for example, can consider hopping on the renowned Chilkoot Trail. This trail follows along the Chilkoot Pass and is part of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park on the Unites States side. The Chilkoot Trail winds its way from the town of Bennett in British Columbia to the largely abandoned town of Dyea in Alaska. It is approximately 33 miles long and formerly served as a transportation route through the Coastal Mountains. The scenery is spectacular along this trail, and since the number of backpackers that can access it on a daily basis is limited, it has managed to maintain a rather remote and underused appeal.
Over on Vancouver Island, the Juan de Fuca Trail at the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park isn't the only hiking trail worth keeping mind. The island is full of great trails, with other est coast parks such as Pacific Rim National Park being good places to find them. One of the main units of the Pacific Rim National Park is the West Coast Trail Unit. As its name implies, this unit features the renowned West Coast Trail. Consistently ranked among the best hiking trails in the world, the West Coast Trail is a true delight to tackle, though since it is 46 miles long and relatively challenging in parts, you should be prepared for the task at hand.
Other long-distance trails cater to those who want to do some serious hiking in BC. These trails include the Sunshine Coast Trail, which is found in the Sunshine Coast area. Booking a guided tour for trails such as these can be a good idea, as is true when looking to hike in remote backcountry areas. Among other things, guides can help keep hikers safe. This can go a long way in a land that is home to a healthy population of grizzlies. At the national and provincial parks in British Columbia, you can find trail information packets and maps that can also come in handy, especially if you are not planning on booking a guided tour.
The best hiking in all of British Columbia can arguably be enjoyed in the Canada Rockies, and you certainly won't want to overlook Glacier National Park and its awesome alpine vistas. In the Rockies, national parks like Kootenay National Park are among the best places to get your fill of hiking. That being said, trails in the province's highland regions can be snowed over until the month of July. As such, high mountain hiking is best enjoyed in the late summer and early autumn, unless you want to don a pair of snowshoes and go that route.