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Best Backpacking Trips In British Columbia

Jetting off to Peru to hike along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu isn’t the only way to have a life-changing backpacking trek.

There is an abundance of hiking trails scattered across the province to escape into the wilderness for a day, or even, a couple weeks.

RELATED: 25 Places In British Columbia You Must See Before You Die

Check out some of these amazing trails in our own backyard that will make you feel like you’ve been transported halfway across the world.

North Coast Trail

Photo: Radost Rychtera
Photo: Radost Rychtera/Instagram

Travel 43.1 kms through the wilderness in Cape Scott Provincial Park, located on northern Vancouver Island. Pass by pristine beaches and majestic forests from Shushartie Bay to Nissen Bright. Plenty of wildlife can be seen throughout the trek, such as deer, elk, black bears, cougars, sea otters, and even grey whales. The North Coast Trail is an extention to the original Cape Scott Trail, which would make the trek a total distance of nearly 60 kms. It’s for experienced hikers only and takes about 5 to 8 days to complete.

Sunshine Coast Trail

Best Backpacking Trips In British Columbia
Photo: Rumon Carter/Hello BC

The 180-km trail takes hikers through the back country starting from Sarah Point in Desolation Sound to Saltery Bay near Powell River. It offers a wide variety of beautiful landscapes along the way, including coastal shorelines, creeks, lakes, stunning mountaintops and more. What makes this trail unique is that there are huts planted at destinations along the way where hikers can stop for a sheltered break and use the facilities (outhouses, picnic tables, fire pit, sleeping loft, etc). Hikers can choose to do a portion of the trail for a day hike, or a multi-day hike spanning the entire distance.

Diez Vistas Trail

Best Backpacking Trips In British Columbia
Photo: Candice Ciesla/Instagram

The 15km hike offers beautiful scenic views overlooking Indian Arm and around Buntzen Lake. Enjoy the sights at Sasamat Lake and Belcarra Regional Park. The trek takes about 6 or 7 hours to complete and is considered to be a moderate level hike. It’s located near Anmore and offers a total of 10 incredible viewing points, hence its name.

West Coast Trail

Photo: Taylor Roades/Hello BC
Photo: Taylor Roades/Instagram

The stunning West Coast Trail is an amazing 75-km backpacking trek located in the southwestern region of Vancouver Island. Hike a portion of it for a couple days, or take on the whole trail, which would take about a week to complete. You can reserve a tent ahead of time with Parks Canada to have a spot to unwind after a long day of exploring. The trail is a challenging one, but the views along the way make it all worthwhile.

Juan De Fuca Trail

Best Backpacking Trips In British Columbia
Photo: Andrew Wong/Instagram

The rugged 47-km trail stretches from China Beach to Botanical Beach, located along the southwestern coast of Vancouver Island. A lot of wildlife can be spotted along the way, including bald eagles, sea lions and sometimes even a pod of whales. Hike any part of the trail or the entire thing, which would take anywhere from 4 to 6 days to complete. Enjoy views of Sombrio Beach, Parkinson Creek, the Juan de Fuca Strait and the Olympic Mountains.

Nootka Island Trail

Best Backpacking Trips In British Columbia
Photo: Lara Campbell/Instagram

The stunning trail is located near the town of Gold River on Vancouver Island and offers breathtaking landscapes each step of the way. The 40-km trail takes about 5 to 6 days to complete. Views include everything from sandy beaches and sea caves to lush rainforest and amazing wildlife. The trail is rugged and tough but will offer memories for a lifetime.

Feeling inspired? Do your research on what to bring, how to prepare properly for a long distance hike and the best times to go. Go on—start planning your next backpacking trip!

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