Skip to Content

30 Best Backpacking Trips in BC

30 Best Backpacking Trips in BC

Ever since I discovered backpacking nearly 20 years ago, it’s been my favourite outdoor activity. Some of my most memorable backpacking trips have been close to home in British Columbia. So I put together a list of the best backpacking trips in BC.

If you’re going to take time off to go backpacking, you don’t want to waste it on sub-par hikes. All the trips on my list are vacation-worthy – you won’t mind travelling a bit to get there.

It includes the best backpacking trips near Vancouver, on Vancouver Island, and in Eastern BC including the Rocky Mountains. For each trip, I’ve got details on difficulty, duration, and distance, and planning tips including fees, reservations, and links to trail guides.

I’ve also made sure that there are trips for both beginners and experts, and lots in between. And there are trips to suit any vacation length with a few quick overnighters, lots of long weekend-length trips, and a few that stretch over a week.

A few of these trips require reservations, but most do not. Read my guides to BC backpacking reservation dates and tips for backpacking in BC without reservations for more info.

Here’s a handy map I made for you that shows the locations for each of my picks for the best backpacking trips in BC.

Google Map showing all the locations of the best backpacking trips in BC
Click the map to zoom in.

This is a sensitive wilderness area. Learn how to Leave No Trace to keep the wilderness wild. Make sure you are prepared by bringing the 10 Essentials. Get ready for adventure with this checklist of things to do before every hike.

Hey there: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for your support. -Taryn

Best Backpacking Trips Near Vancouver

Howe Sound Crest Trail

Hiking the Howe Sound Crest Trail near Vancouver, one of the best bacpacking trips in BC
Hiking near the Lions on the Howe Sound Crest Trail

Duration: 2-4 days

Distance: 31.7 km traverse

Best Months: Mid-July to September

Difficulty: Very Challenging

Elevation Gain: 660 m

Fees and Reservations: None.

This very rough trail is more like a route in some places and requires occasional hands-on scrambling moves as you traverse a chain of rocky summits high above Howe Sound near Vancouver. If you’re up for the challenge, the views are worth it.

More Info: Find details on this hike in my book, Backpacking in Southwestern British Columbia.

Watersprite Lake

Watersprite Lake in Squamish, one of BC's best overnight backpacking destinations
Watersprite Lake

Duration: 2 days

Distance: 17 km round trip

Best Months: Mid-June to October

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 660 m

Fees and Reservations: The hut requires reservations and costs $20/person/night. Starting in 2022, advance reservations and fees will be required for camping.

Watersprite Lake is an Instagram sensation thanks to its ice blue water and dramatic rock tower. We can credit the BC Mountaineering Club for building the trail to the lake along with a cabin and campground. I think it’s one of the best hikes in Squamish.

More Info: Find details on this hike in my book, Backpacking in Southwestern British Columbia. Make cabin reservations through the BCMC.

Book cover for Backpacking in Southwestern British Columbia

Get My Book…

Backpacking in Southwestern British Columbia

A one-stop resource for backpackers in beautiful British Columbia.

  • 40 backpacking trips within a few hours of Vancouver
  • Info about permits, reservations, and campsite facilities
  • Detailed maps and photos
  • Advice for extending your trip
  • Points of cultural and natural history

Garibaldi Lake

Garibaldi Lake in Squamish is a popular place for an overnight backpacking trip
Hikers swimming in Garibaldi Lake

Duration: 2 to 4 days

Distance: 18 km round trip

Best Months: July to September

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 900 m

Fees and Reservations: Reservations are required and cost $6/night/tent pad. Camping fees are $10/person/night

Located just north of Squamish, Garibaldi Lake is one of the most popular backpacking trips in BC. But it’s also one of the most picturesque with tumbling glaciers, alpine meadows, and unique volcanic geology. From the lake, you can tackle incredible day hikes like Black Tusk and Panorama Ridge.

More Info: Find details on this hike in my book, Backpacking in Southwestern British Columbia. For info on reservations, see Garibaldi Provincial Park.

Russet Lake

A man wearing a large backpack at Russet Lake near Whistler
Backpackers leaving Russet Lake

Duration: 2 days

Distance: 25 to 29 km round trip

Best Months: Mid-July to September

Difficulty: Challenging

Elevation Gain: 305 to 1280 m

Fees and Reservations: Reservations are required and cost $6/night/tent pad. Camping fees are $10/person/night. Hut fees are $50/person/night.

Nestled into the mountains above Whistler, Russet Lake is home to a backcountry campground and a luxurious new hut. There are two ways to get there: a steep trail from the village or an undulating traverse across mountain summits from the top of the Whistler Gondola.

More Info: Find details on this hike in my book, Backpacking in Southwestern British Columbia. For camping reservations, see Garibaldi Provincial Park. For hut reservations, see the Spearhead Huts Society.

Wedgemount Lake

Wedgemount Lake near Whistler
Summer wildflowers at Wedgemount Lake

Duration: 2 days

Distance: 13 km round trip

Best Months: July to September

Difficulty: Very Challenging

Elevation Gain: 1160 m

Fees and Reservations: Reservations are required and cost $6/night/tent pad. Camping fees are $10/person/night

The hike to Wedgemount Lake is punishingly steep. But at the top, you’ll enjoy a gorgeous lake ringed with summits. Hike beyond the far end of the lake to touch a glacier, which has retreated an alarming 400 m in less than 30 years.

More Info: Find details on this hike in my book, Backpacking in Southwestern British Columbia. For info on reservations, see Garibaldi Provincial Park.

Join the Backpacking Trips in BC Facebook group

Joffre Lakes

The view from above Upper Joffre Lake near Whistler
Looking down from above Upper Joffre Lake

Duration: 2 days

Distance: 10 km round trip

Best Months: Late June to early October

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 320 m

Fees and Reservations: Reservations are required and cost $6/night/tent pad. Camping fees are $5/person/night.

The chain of three Joffre Lakes near Pemberton make up one of the Vancouver area’s most popular day hikes. But leave the day-time crowds behind by scoring a coveted reservation to camp at the Upper Lake. Listen for chunks of glacier crashing down the rocks on warm days.

More Info: Find details on this hike in my book, Backpacking in Southwestern British Columbia. For info on reservations, see Joffre Lakes Provincial Park.

Sunshine Coast Trail

Tin Hat Hut on the Sunshine Coast Trail
Tin Hat Hut on the second-highest point of the Sunshine Coast Trail

Duration: 8-14 days

Distance: 180 km traverse

Best Months: Late May to October

Difficulty: Challenging

Elevation Gain: 1305 m

Fees and Reservations: None.

The Sunshine Coast Trail winds through the forests along the length of the upper Sunshine Coast near the town of Powell River. Hike by the ocean, through old-growth forest, and across mountain tops, staying in rustic backcountry huts along the way.

More Info: Find details on shorter backpacking trips you can do on sections of the SCT in my book, Backpacking in Southwestern British Columbia. For full details on the trail, pick up a copy of The Sunshine Coast Trail Guide Book by R. E. Walz or visit the Sunshine Coast Trail website.

Psst! Some sections of the Sunshine Coast Trail are hikeable all year and made my list of the best spring backpacking trips in British Columbia.

HBC Heritage Trail

Palmer's Pond on the HBC Heritage Trail near Vancouver
Palmer’s Pond near the summit of Mount Davis

Duration: 4-6 days

Distance: 74 km traverse

Best Months: July to September

Difficulty: Challenging

Elevation Gain: 1525 m

Fees and Reservations: None.

The HBC Heritage Trail traces a historic route through the Cascade Mountains followed by fur traders during the 1840s and 50s from Hope to Tulameen. Info panels along the way explain settler and Indigenous history. This trail is not well-known, making it one of the quieter hikes on this list of the best backpacking trips in BC.

More Info: Find details on shorter backpacking trips you can do on sections of the HBC Heritage Trail in my book, Backpacking in Southwestern British Columbia. For full details on the trail, pick up a copy of The HBC Trail Book and the HBC Topo Map, or visit the HBC Heritage Trail website.

Book cover for Backpacking in Southwestern British Columbia

Get My Book…

Backpacking in Southwestern British Columbia

A one-stop resource for backpackers in beautiful British Columbia.

  • 40 backpacking trips within a few hours of Vancouver
  • Info about permits, reservations, and campsite facilities
  • Detailed maps and photos
  • Advice for extending your trip
  • Points of cultural and natural history

Heather Trail

The Heather Trail in Manning Provincial Park
Late season flowers along the Heather Trail in Manning Provincial Park

Duration: 2 to 5 days

Distance: 45 km round trip

Best Months: July to mid-September

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 320 m

Fees and Reservations: Camping fees are $5/person/night. All campsites are first-come, first-served

This is Manning Park’s signature trail. With a start high in the alpine, you stay above treeline in meadows of wildflowers for nearly the entire length. Take a side trip to summit Three Brothers Mountain and dip in chilly Nicomen Lake.

More Info: Find details on this hike in my book, Backpacking in Southwestern British Columbia. For info on camping fees, see Manning Provincial Park.

Frosty Mountain

Larches on Frosty Mountain Manning Provincial Park
Hikers walk through larch trees on the trail to Frosty Mountain

Duration: 2 to 3 days

Distance: 14 km round trip

Best Months: July to early October

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 670 m

Fees and Reservations: Camping fees are $5/person/night. All campsites are first-come, first-served

Ascend the highest mountain in Manning Park for panoramic views. Break up your hike by camping at Frosty Creek camp. Plan your visit for fall when the larch tree needles turn golden.

More Info: Find details on this hike in my book, Backpacking in Southwestern British Columbia, and my Frosty Mountain trail guide. For info on camping fees, see Manning Provincial Park.

Best Backpacking Trips on Vancouver Island

Juan de Fuca Trail

A backpacker on Bear Beach on the Juan de Fuca Trail on Vancouver Island
Hiking along the beach on the Juan de Fuca Trail

Duration: 3 to 5 days

Distance: 47 km

Best Months: May to October

Difficulty: Challenging

Elevation Gain: 190 m

Fees and Reservations: Camping costs $10/person/night. All campsites are first-come, first-served.

This gorgeous coastal trail is easier to access than the West Coast Trail thanks to first-come, first-served camping and trailheads close to Victoria. But the hike is just as challenging and spectacular, making it easy to include on a list of the best backpacking trips in BC.

More Info: Get details on this hike in my Juan de Fuca Trail guide. For info on camping fees, see Juan de Fuca Provincial Park.

Did you know? The Juan de Trail is hikeable all year and made my list of the best spring backpacking trips in British Columbia.

West Coast Trail

A backpacker climbs a ladder on the West Coast Trail
One of the many ladders on the West Coast Trail

Duration: 5-8 days

Distance: 75 km

Best Months: June to September

Difficulty: Challenging

Elevation Gain: 225 m

Fees and Reservations: Reservations are required and cost $25.75. Trail fees are $180. You will also need to pay National Park entry fees of $10/person/day.

The West Coast Trail is Canada’s premier multi-day backpacking trip. It follows the wild coastline for 75 kilometres, up and down ladders, across cable cars, through mud holes, and along beautiful beaches as it travels between the isolated towns of Port Renfrew and Bamfield.

More Info: Get details on this hike in my West Coast Trail guide. For reservation info, see Pacific Rim National Park.

Psst! The West Coast Trail opens in May and made my list of the best spring backpacking trips in British Columbia.

Wild Side Trail

Backpackers hiking on the beach on the Wild Side Trail near Tofino
Hiking along the beach on the Wild Side Trail near Tofino

Duration: 2 days

Distance: 22 km round trip

Best Months: May to October

Difficulty: Easy

Elevation Gain: None

Fees and Reservations: Trail fees are $15/person. Camping fees are $10/person/night.

This trail takes you along the shoreline of Flores Island in Ahousaht First Nation territory. Most of the hike is along incredible sandy beaches. The trail is a short water taxi ride from Tofino. This off-the-beaten-path hike doesn’t get many visitors, making it one of the quietest hikes on this list of the best backpacking trips in BC.

More Info: Get details on this hike in my Wild Side Trail guide.

Heads up! The Wild Side Trail opens in May and made my list of the best spring backpacking trips in British Columbia.

Lake Helen Mackenzie Loop

Hikers on the boardwalk through Paradise Meadows at Forbidden Plateau in Strathcona Provincial Park
Hikers on the boardwalk through Paradise Meadows

Duration: 2 days

Distance: 8 to 15 km loop

Best Months: July to September

Difficulty: Easy

Elevation Gain: 190 m

Fees and Reservations: Camping fees are $10/person/night. All campsites are first-come, first-served.

This beginner-friendly loop starts high in the alpine of Strathcona Provincial Park at Mount Washington ski area, which means there is little elevation gain. Two different loop trips are possible, each with its own lakeside campground.

More Info: See Strathcona Provincial Park for trail info and camping fees.

Read next: Backpacking for Beginners: Tips for Getting Started

Circlet Lake and Mount Albert Edward

Mount Albert Edward in Stathcona Provincial Park is one of the best backpacking trips in BC
Cairns on the summit ridge of Mount Albert Edward

Duration: 2 to 3 days

Distance: 31 km round trip

Best Months: July to September

Difficulty: Challenging

Elevation Gain: 980 m

Fees and Reservations: Camping fees are $10/person/night. All campsites are first-come, first-served.

Summit Mount Albert Edward, one of the highest peaks on Vancouver Island. On the way, you’ll stay at tiny Circlet Lake. This Strathcona Provincial Park trip also starts at Mount Washington and is a rite of passage for many Vancouver Island hikers.

More Info: Read my trip report from my hike to Mount Albert Edward. See Strathcona Provincial Park for trail info and camping fees.

Join the Backpacking Trips in BC Facebook group

Bedwell Lakes

A hiker enjoys the view of Bedwell Lake, one of the best backpacking trips on Vancouver Island
Looking down to Bedwell Lake

Duration: 2 to 3 days

Distance: 22 km round trip

Best Months: July to September

Difficulty: Challenging

Elevation Gain: 850 m

Fees and Reservations: Camping fees are $10/person/night. All campsites are first-come, first-served.

Climb steeply up through the forest to emerge on the granite shores of Bedwell and Baby Bedwell Lakes, each with their own campground. Intrepid hikers can continue to isolated Cream Lake, which makes a great day trip destination. The trailhead is in a remote area near Buttle Lake in Strathcona Provincial Park.

More Info: See Strathcona Provincial Park for trail info and camping fees.

Elk River Trail

Landslide Lake on the Elk River Trail in Strathcona Provincial Park - one of the best backpacking trips in BC
Landslide Lake at the end of the Elk River Trail

Duration: 2 to 3 days

Distance: 22 km round trip

Best Months: May to October

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 640 m

Fees and Reservations: Camping fees are $10/person/night. All campsites are first-come, first-served.

Follow the trail through a beautiful forest alongside the shady Elk River Trail to its terminus at picturesque Landslide Lake and great views of Mount Colonel Foster. There are two campgrounds along the river to choose from. Find the trailhead along the highway to Gold River.

More Info: See Strathcona Provincial Park for trail info and camping fees.

Nootka Trail

Backpackers on the beach on the Nootka Trail on Vancouver Island - one of the best backpacking trips in BC
Hiking on the beach on the Nootka Trail

Duration: 3 to 5 days

Distance: 35 km traverse

Best Months: May to October

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: None

Fees and Reservations: None.

Arrange a water taxi or floatplane to shuttle you to the Nootka Trail on Nootka Island near Gold River. It’s a remote coastal hike that sees few visitors but has incredible scenery. Highlights include sandy beaches, wolf sightings, Calvin Falls, and the tiny Mowachaht First Nation village of Yuquot.

More Info: See my trip report from my Nootka Trail hike.

Did you know? The Nootka Trail made my list of the best spring backpacking trips in British Columbia.

North Coast Trail

Tents on the beach on the North Coast Trail on Vancouver Island, one of BC's best backpacking trips
Tents on the beach on the North Coast Trail

Duration: 4 to 5 days

Distance: 43 to 59 km traverse

Best Months: May to September

Difficulty: Very Challenging

Elevation Gain: 240 m

Fees and Reservations: Camping fees are $10/person/night. All campsites are first-come, first-served.

The rough and rugged trail follows the coastline around the northern tip of Vancouver Island. Start with a water taxi from Port Hardy, then get ready for lots of mud, steep hills with rope assists, and rocky beaches.

More Info: Get details on this hike in my North Coast Trail guide. For camping fee info, see Cape Scott Provincial Park.

Psst! The North Coast Trail is a great destination between May and September, so it made my list of the best spring backpacking trips in British Columbia.

Cape Scott Trail

Guise Bay on the Cape Scott Trail - one of the best backpacking trips on Vancouver Island
Guise Bay on the Cape Scott Trail

Duration: 3 days

Distance: 47 km

Best Months: May to October

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 100 m

Fees and Reservations: Camping fees are $10/person/night. All campsites are first-come, first-served.

Follow an old settler’s route through the muddy forest to the wild beaches at the north end of Vancouver Island. Choose from several campsites on sandy beaches, then day hike out to the Cape Scott Lighthouse.

More Info: Get details on this hike in my Cape Scott Trail guide. For camping fee info, see Cape Scott Provincial Park.

Check it out: The Cape Scott Trail is hikeable all year, so it made my list of the best spring backpacking trips in British Columbia.

Best Backpacking Trips in Eastern BC and the Rocky Mountains

Okanagan High Rim Trail

View from the High Rim Trail. Photo: Okanagan High Rim Trail Association/Daniel Henhoeffer

Duration: 3 to 4 days

Distance: 58 km traverse

Best Months: Late-April to October

Difficulty: Moderate/Challenging

Elevation Gain: 800 m

Fees and Reservations: None.

This is one of the newest backpacking trips in BC. It follows a high route along a ridge top between Vernon and Kelowna. Along the way, you’ll pass by numerous viewpoints where you can look down to Kalamalka Lake and Okanagan Lake.

More Info: Get the details from the Okanagan High Rim Trail Association.

Did you know? The Okanagan HighRim Trail made my list of the best spring backpacking trips in British Columbia.

Spectrum Lake

Spectrum Lake in Monashee Provincial Park in the Okanagan. Photo by Gemma Taylor
Spectrum Lake. Photo: Gemma Taylor

Duration: 2 days

Distance: 12 km round trip

Best Months: June to October

Difficulty: Easy

Elevation Gain: 209 m

Fees and Reservations: Camping fees are $5/person/night. All campsites are first-come, first-served.

This pretty lake sits deep in Monashee Provincial Park near Cherryville in the Okanagan. It’s a short and easy hike, perfect for beginners and families. The lake is nestled between forested peaks and has a dock for swimming.

More Info: Get the details from my friend Gemma’s Spectrum Lake trail guide. For info on camping fees, see Monashee Provincial Park.

Gwillim Lakes

Gwillim Lakes in Valhalla Provincial Park in the Kootenays - one of BC's best backpacking trips. Photo by Leigh McAdam
Gwilliam Lakes. Photo: Leigh McAdam

Duration: 2 days

Distance: 12 km round trip

Best Months: Mid-July to late September

Difficulty: Challenging

Elevation Gain: 890 m

Fees and Reservations: None

These spectacular lakes are located in Valhalla Provincial Park in the Kootenays above the Slocan Valley. There are several backcountry campgrounds at Gwillim Lakes and nearby Drinnon Lake. The alpine terrain makes for incredible views.

More Info: Get the details from my friend Leigh’s Gwillim Lakes trail guide.

Kaslo Lake

A backpacking tent in front of a still lake at Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park in British Columbia
Backcountry campground at Kalso Lake at Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park

Duration: 2 to 3 days

Distance: 18 km round trip

Best Months: mid-July to late September

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 580 m

Fees and Reservations: Camping fees are $10/person/night. All campsites are first-come, first-served. Cabin rental is $350/night.

Hike into the backcountry of Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park near Nelson to camp next to Kaslo Lake. Follow beautiful trails through the alpine to viewpoints and peaks. You can also book the palatial Kokanee Glacier Cabin nearby.

More Info: See Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park for trail info and camping fees. See the Alpine Club of Canada for cabin reservations.

Eva and Jade Lakes

Eva Lake in Mount Revelstoke National Park is one of the best backpacking trips in BC
Eva Lake in Mount Revelstoke National Park

Duration: 2 days

Distance: 12 to 18 km round trip

Best Months: Mid-July to September

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 180-430 m

Fees and Reservations: Reservations required. Camping fees are $10/person/night. You will also need to pay National Park entry fees of $10/person/day.

This alpine hike is easily accessible thanks to the paved Meadows in the Sky Parkway at Mount Revelstoke National Park. Walk through the alpine to a beautiful campsite on the shores of Eva Lake, an easy distance for beginners. If you want more solitude, head over a pass to Jade Lake.

More Info: Get the details in my Mount Revelstoke National Park guide. See Mount Revelstoke National Park for reservations.

Join the Backpacking Trips in BC Facebook group

Hermit Meadows Trail

Hikers on the Hermit Meadows Trail in Glacier National Park
Hermit Meadows Trail in Glacier National Park. Photo: Tourism Revelstoke / Tom Poole

Duration: 2 days

Distance: 13 km round trip

Best Months: Mid-July to September

Difficulty: Challenging

Elevation Gain: 819 m

Fees and Reservations: Reservations required. Camping fees are $10/person/night. You will also need to pay National Park entry fees of $10/person/day.

This steep trail in Glacier National Park climbs relentlessly from the Trans-Canada Highway near Rogers Pass. It tops out in a spectacular alpine bowl with meadows and a great view.

More Info: Get the details in my Revelstoke hiking trails guide. See Glacier National Park for reservations.

Mount Assiniboine

Looking across to Mount Assiniboine and the surrounding lakes - one of BC's most spectacular backpacking trips
Mount Assiniboine. Photo: Christopher Czermak/Unsplash

Duration: 4 to 6 days

Distance: 52 to 55 km round trip

Best Months: Mid-July to mid-September

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 430-480 m

Fees and Reservations: Reservations and fees are required to camp in the park through BC Parks and to camp on the access trails through Banff National Park.

The scenery at Mount Assiniboine is postcard-worthy, but getting there can be a challenge. The hike itself is long, but not too difficult and the camping at Lake Magog is gorgeous. But it requires reservations in both a BC Park and Banff National Park, which can be tough to arrange.

More Info: See Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park for trail info and reservations. See Banff National Park for info on access trails and reservations for camping on those trails.

Rockwall Trail

A backpacker takes a break near a glacier on the Rockwall Trail in Kootenay National Park. This is one of the best backpacking trips in BC
Taking a break near the Tumbling Glacier on the Rockwall Trail

Duration: 4 to 5 days

Distance: 55 km traverse

Best Months: Late July to mid-September

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 920 m

Fees and Reservations: Reservations are required and cost $11.50/per reservation. Camping fees are $10/person/night. You will also need to pay National Park entry fees of $10/person/day.

This spectacular trail traverses the mountains of Kootenay National Park near Banff, climbing up and over several high passes. There are glacier views, alpine lakes, and the best wildflower meadows I’ve ever seen. I think it has the best effort to reward ratio of all the backpacking trips in BC.

More Info: Get details on this hike in my Rockwall Trail guide. For reservation info, see Kootenay National Park.

Iceline and Whaleback Trails

Iceline trail in Yoho National Park
A snowy section of the Iceline Trail in Yoho National Park. Photo: Jesse Martini/Unsplash

Duration: 2 to 3 days

Distance: 28 km loop

Best Months: Mid-July to early September

Difficulty: Challenging

Elevation Gain: 710 m

Fees and Reservations: Reservations are required and cost $11.50/per reservation. Camping fees are $10/person/night. You will also need to pay National Park entry fees of $10/person/day.

Combine several trails in Yoho National Park near Field to make an epic loop that takes in the spectacular Iceline and Whaleback Trails. The views of nearby peaks and waterfalls are breathtaking. Choose from two backcountry campgrounds along the way.

More Info: See Yoho National Park for trail info and reservations.

Berg Lake

A hiker taking a photo at Berg Lake, one of the best backpacking trips in BC
A backpacker takes a photo of the glacier at Berg Lake

Duration: 2 to 4 days

Distance: 42 km round trip

Best Months: July to early September

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 800 m

Fees and Reservations: Reservations are required and cost $6/night/tent pad. Camping fees are $10/person/night

This incredible trail near Valemount follows the Robson River uphill to Berg Lake, named for the glaciers crashing into it from Mount Robson, the tallest mountain in the Canadian Rockies. Plan to spend a few days in the area to tackle spectacular day hikes.

More Info: Get details on this hike in my Berg Lake Trail guide. For reservation info, see Mount Robson Provincial Park.

So there you have it: 30 recommendations for the best backpacking trips in BC. How many of these trips have you done? Is there an amazing backpacking destination that I left off the list? Tell me in the comments.

Book cover for Backpacking in Southwestern British Columbia

Get My Book…

Backpacking in Southwestern British Columbia

A one-stop resource for backpackers in beautiful British Columbia.

  • 40 backpacking trips within a few hours of Vancouver
  • Info about permits, reservations, and campsite facilities
  • Detailed maps and photos
  • Advice for extending your trip
  • Points of cultural and natural history

READ NEXT:

Taryn Eyton

Jim And Sue Caruth

Monday 15th of August 2022

Taryn - looking at the ones we have done on your list makes us 100% sure your other recommendations are worthy. We will work at ticking as many as we can. Thanks for this list - it looks great. We knew of some but did not know some others. Awsome! Just in Port Hardy to start into 4 days on Cape Scott tomorrow - it’s drizzling - lol. Ps - kinda think the rock wall is more than a moderate hike especially if wedge is getting a challenging rating but we are splitting hairs here.

Don

Monday 28th of February 2022

Great list Taryn - thanks for sharing. I have heard some good things about the following trips in Northern BC, but I have not done them - maybe some can be additions to a future expanded edition of your list (i.e. 35 or 40 best): Wokkpash Valley-MacDonald Creek Loop Trail, Chilkoot Trail (BC & Alaska), Rainbow Range (Tweedsmuir PP), Mt Edziza Traverse.

Taryn Eyton

Tuesday 1st of March 2022

I hiked the Chilkoot Trail back in 2015 and it was great but I didn't put it on this list. It is technically half in Alaska, half in BC, but most people think of it as the Yukon since it's in a weird sliver of BC. Mt Edziza is also on my some day list.

Andreas Moser

Monday 3rd of January 2022

Thanks for bringing back to memory some hikes around Canmore and Banff

Anna

Wednesday 29th of December 2021

Thank you so much for sharing this list of places Taryn. Can’t wait to visit some of them in the future :)