I Backpack Canada » British Columbia http://ibackpackcanada.com A backpackers travel guide to Canada Fri, 28 Nov 2014 05:22:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 5 Jaw Dropping Canadian RV Road Tripshttp://ibackpackcanada.com/5-jaw-dropping-canadian-rv-road-trips/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/5-jaw-dropping-canadian-rv-road-trips/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 13:57:25 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=5804 5 Jaw Dropping Canadian RV Road Trips is a post from: I Backpack Canada

Canada is a mecca of jaw-dropping road trips, from east to west, to way up north, there’s something for everyone. Given an appropriate amount of time, it’s hard not to enjoy yourself on the highways of this large nation. Unfortunately, many of us are limited to a couple of weeks off per year, and every day counts. Covering an entire country is not for the time-constrained, so in an effort to help point you in the right direction, I’m going to share some of my favourite Canadian Road Trips, perfect for RVer’s or anyone with a set of wheels.

My RV Motor Home Experience

Winnebago motor home;Photographer unknown;1975I have a long standing love affair with RV Road Trips. My first taste of extended travel occurred at a young age. I would have been around 8 or 9, maybe 10 (those early years all blur together unfortunately). My dad surprised my mom and us kids by bringing home a 1972 Winnibego Motor Home. Straight out of the Griswolds Family Vacation (Remember Cousin Eddie’s Motorhome?), or the early meth-cooking episodes of Breaking Bad. We jokingly called it a box on wheels. It was an absolute eyesore, and I’m sure our neighbours were none too pleased when he pulled it into our driveway. My mom, laughing, shook her head in disbelief, and I recall my siblings and I climbing into the RV and running around the interior, crawling into the brown faux-leather lined top bunk, jumping on dual-purpose furniture, and admiring the 1970’s yellow shag carpet found throughout the interior.

During the first 5 years of ownership, it became a tradition to spend a few weeks on the road throughout the summer. Be it camping, exploring the Rockies in Alberta and BC, or heading south to the Black Hills of South Dakota. We grew up with that motor home, and it grew old with us. Those Motor Home trips are likely what caused my love affair with extended travel, history, and run down beat-up vehicles.

Road Trip #1 – The Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia

nova scotia shore

My first visit to Nova Scotia included a superb trip on one of Canada’s most famous Road Trips. The Cabot Trail is located in Northern Victoria County & Inverness County on Cape Breton Island. While not necessarily an Island (it is connected to Nova Scotia after all), you’ll be hard pressed to believe it, as the highway follows the coastal hills and cliffs of the Cape Breton Highlands with a near constant view of the Gulf of St Lawrence.

The Cabot Trail measures 298km (185 miles) and loops around the tip of the the island, passing through Baddeck, St. Anns, Ingonish, Chéticamp, Dingwall, and the world famous Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Expect to see a tremendous amount of wildlife, some world class panoramic views, and some traditional maritimes towns. Note that from Halifax, a route to and from the Cabot Trail will be closer to 935km as seen in the map below.

Recommended amount of days to spend in the area: 3 – 4 days

Cabot Trail Road Trip Map

Road Trip #2 – Coast Cariboo Circle Route, Vancouver/Vancouver Island BC

bc road trip

The Coast Cariboo Circle Route is a whopping 2110.86 km (1311.63 miles) Road Trip is sure to keep you busy and experiencing all that BC has to offer. This stunning adventure takes you from Vancouver through small coastal Vancouver Island villages, exploring the remains of the Gold Rush Trail, hiking on volcanic mountains, and experiencing some of the best beaches in Canada.

This route is guaranteed to provide you with ample photo opportunities of wildlife, amazing sunsets, and really provide you with a thorough understanding of why BC folks are so laid back.

Recommended amount of days to spend on the road: 7 – 10 days

Coast Cariboo Circle Route Road Trip Map

Road Trip #3 – Southern Saskatchewan Discovery Loop

Sask Road Trip

The flatlands are often overlooked as your typical Road Trip destination. People immediately think of flatlands and think boring. But spend any more than a few hours off the trans Canada and you’ll soon realize why it’s on this list. Explore rural Saskatchewan towns, quaint cafés and hotel bars, scenic panoramas of valleys, miles upon miles of flax, canola, wheat, and barley, and discover what western Canada really looked like before agriculture dominated the land.

The Southern Saskatchewan Discovery Loop is 1,659km (1,030.85 miles) of driving. This route is a bit of a DIY route that I regularly share to friends, family, and curious Saskatchewan visitors.

From Regina head south to the Big Muddy Badlands. This scenic transition from flatlands, to rolling hills, to desolate badlands shows you the stark contrast of Southern Saskatchewans topography. Climb Castle Butte (vaguely similar to Uluru of Australia), a world famous landmark carved by ice ages thousands of years ago. Sid Cassidy and the Sundance Kid once roamed these parts, relive it by riding horses at one of the ranches in the area. Continue on to the Val Marie & the Grasslands National Park, home to a wild herd of Bison, and countless other critters, both large and small. Don’t forget to camp out at Grasslands National Park under the Milky Way and shooting stars at one of Saskatchewans best kept secret dark sky preserves. Wake up slow and find work up a thirst, then stop for a beer and a burger at the Cadillac Hotel and catch some live country music.

Continue on to Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, and partake in Ziplining, hiking, or relaxing at the lake. Head north to Leader, and explore the Great Sand Dunes of Saskatchewan, a tremendous and curious sight to see amongst all the farmland. Start your trip back to Regina, but be sure to stop at Moose Jaw to explore the historic downtown, cheese it up at the Moose Jaw Tunnels, and don’t forget to stop at Bobby’s Place, my favourite Moose Jaw pub. Make the final trip back to Regina and pat yourself on the back for seeing more of Saskatchewan than most locals ever get to see!

Recommended amount of days to spend on the road: 4 – 5 days

Southern Saskatchewan Discovery Loop Road Trip Map

Road Trip #4 – St Johns to Central Newfoundland


I had the pleasure of exploring Central Newfoundland with Candice of Candice Does The World, and Riley of Riles for Miles. It was one of the most memorable road trips I’ve had out East. I will never forget how many times I said “Wow” during our five day trip. It was this road trip that led me to not only fall in love with this province, but also admit to falling in love with Riley – we’ve been together since and recently got engaged.

This trip is approximately 1,401km (870.54 miles) in total, and lets you experience world famous icebergs, small fishing villages, cod kissing kitchen parties, delightful Newfoundland dishes like Lobster Chowder, or more curious (but equally delicious) dishes such as Cod Tongues and Fish and brews. You’ve probably seen those famous Newfoundland commercials at the movie theatres and on TV. Central Newfoundland is featured several times throughout those spots, and you’ll see why as you explore the area.

From St Johns, travel to Twillingate to explore the small Maritime town made famous by countless folk songs. Get your stomping feet and kissing lips ready for a good ol’ fashion Kitchen Party and Screechin’ In at the Anchor Inn Hotel & Suites then sleep off the hangover and revel in the laughs from the night prior.  Sample wine at Auk Island Winery, and find out why the Wine Connoisseurs are taking notice on Newfoundlands exports. Get your sea legs on, and begin ferry hopping from Farewell, Newfoundland. Stay in quaint bed & breakfasts on Fogo Island, and check out the growing arts scene,but whatever you do, don’t forget some of the most breathtaking hiking trails, including BrimStone Head, one of the four corners of the world according to the Flat Earth Society. Nurse your sore legs and body on the way home to St Johns and revel in seeing some of the most unique and traditional Newfoundland sights.

Recommended amount of days to spend on the road: 5 – 7 days

St Johns to Central Newfoundland Road trip Map

Road Trip #5 – Calgary, Banff and Jasper Trip

banff jasper road trip

While easily one of the most popular road trips in Canada, you’ll soon realize it’s popular for a reason. The Calgary-Banff-Jasper trip covers just about everything you could want from an Alberta road trip. Wildlife, blue shale lakes, a mountain backdrop, world class hiking, and some of the best sights in Western Canada.

This ~953km (592.16 miles) road trip can be built upon to create anything form a 3 – 7 day road trip, depending on how many stops you make and how busy the season is. Something to be very wary of is that in the busy summer months, tour buses and RV Holiday Tourists can slow down highway travel, and the dreaded bear-traffic-jams are all but too frequent. But despite the crazy busyness, once you’re off the highways and have found your own solitary place amongst the mountains, it’ll be all too easy to forgot the chaos that can sometimes be seen on the roads. This region is setup great for extended travel. Both Jasper and Banff have something unique to offer. Either or can be a great temporary headquarters to branch out and explore the Rockies. Calgary is a great place to stop and pickup an RV Rental if you want a bit more room for this trip. There are countless RV Parks and Camp sites setup for RV Vacationiers and tent campers, as well as several discount hostels, budget hotels, and enough high-end hotels to keep all types of travellers happy.

Recommended amount of days to spend on the road: 3 – 7 days

Calgary, Banff and Jasper Road Trip Map

Road Trip #6 – Quebecois Rivers, Mountains, Lakes & Fjords

quebec road trip shipwreck

I’ve had a long standing crush on Quebec. I truly feel that if Canada ever lost Quebec, a large part of Canada’s cultural identity would go with it. As many people know, nothing breaks down barriers like travel. I strongly feel that if more western Canadians would brush up on their french and give this region a go, we’d be able to bridge the divide in language and culture and I wouldn’t have to listen to so many gomers that think the french are all jerks. Someone once said you can’t fix stupid though, so maybe it’s pointless. For those more refined in the art of tolerance, this trip is for you!

I’m fortunate in that I’ve been able to explore Quebec several times, each visit is a constant reminder of the beauty of this region. The Quebecois Rivers, Mountains, Lakes & Fjords Road trip is filled to the brim with culture. From delightful microbrews, luxurious wine, delicious foods, friendly people, stunning views of the Gulf of St Lawrence, and countless museums and art galleries.

This trip can be anywhere from 7 – 16 days, and is approximately 1,600 km (994.19 miles).

Quebecois Rivers, Mountains, Lakes & Fjords Road Trip Map

There is absolutely no shortage of road trips and routes to check out in Canada. These are just a handful of my favourites that I think about often. If you have any other ones you recommend checking out please be sure to leave a comment below or let me know by Twitter!

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Mountains and Stunning Adventure in the Columbia Valley [Photo Essay]http://ibackpackcanada.com/mountains-stunning-adventure-in-the-columbia-valley/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/mountains-stunning-adventure-in-the-columbia-valley/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 00:21:00 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=5748 Mountains and Stunning Adventure in the Columbia Valley [Photo Essay] is a post from: I Backpack Canada

It’s feeling colder and colder each day. As winter fast approaches, I’ve decided to head into my archives and find something winter related to share. Something to remind me that while this burst of cold is kind of not fun, in another month or two, we’ll be knee deep in snow. My last trip to BC seems like a good fit!

I sometimes find weekend trips to be too short. I suppose it all depends on the time allotted for what you want out of the trip. In this particular trip, I wanted to relive my love affair with snowboarding, and truly capture what it means to snowboard in Canada. Bruises, sore muscles, and that burning desire to do “one more run”. After 3 days in BC last winter, it was safe to say I relived it all. And I have the photos to prove it.

Columbia Valley Mountains BC

British Columbia is known across the world for its stunning panoramic views the snowy mountains. A mecca for all things ski and snowboard, it’s hard to keep your camera down.


A skier prepares for a downhill decent as snowboarders prepare to disembark from the chairlift.


This is me. Just headin’ up the mountain, I’m surprised my beard isn’t frosty yet.


Keeping warm as I snowboard. Despite taking a few years off of snowboarding, no nasty falls were had.


Where trees meet the top of mountains. I love comparing mountains, and seeing which mountains have trees all of the way to the top, and which are higher than the tree line. This fellow is a bit smaller. But still breathtaking!


After a few hours on the slopes, warming up by a fire while sipping on a hot coffee provides just enough relaxation to push through the rest of the afternoon.


Kristian coming to a safe stop. It might be her 4th time snowboarding, but she’s getting the hang of it!


Snow covered fir trees provide some fresh blasts of powder that are always fun riding through.


There’s something sweet about this photo. Seeing a father and daughter head downhill. I assume his daughter is beat.


Sun rays, snowflakes, and one hell of a moustache. This is the Canada I love to see!


Beautiful chalet in Columbia Valley. Their bar is superb and the fireplace lounge chairs are very much worth a sit. I get excited about comfy chairs, so what? 

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Superb Snowboarding and Luxury Resorts in the Columbia Valleyhttp://ibackpackcanada.com/superb-snowboarding-and-luxury-resorts-in-the-columbia-valley/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/superb-snowboarding-and-luxury-resorts-in-the-columbia-valley/#comments Tue, 11 Feb 2014 02:35:41 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=5734 Superb Snowboarding and Luxury Resorts in the Columbia Valley is a post from: I Backpack Canada

I recently took a weekend trip to Columbia Valley, in beautiful British Columbia. My girlfriend and I were set on experiencing some of the famous snowboarding of the Purcell Mountains. With dozens of mountain resorts within a close distance perfect for skiing and snowboarding, we opted to check out Panorama Mountain Village, and the Fairmont Hot Springs Ski Resort.


A Scenic Sunset Drive Through Columbia Valley

The Columbia Valley is  only a 10 and a half hour drive from our home in Saskatchewan. We were incredibly fortunate with safe and clear highways, which allowed us both to enjoy the scenic drive much more. Our drive west through the Rockies and into the Purcell Mountains was stunning. Somehow we managed to time it perfectly, so just as we were on the last hour of our trip, we were greeted with a superb sunset.


We were surrounded by the silhouettes of mountains as we pulled into the small town of Radium Hot Springs. After a brief 10 minute tour of town we came across the Bighorn Meadows Resort, a luxurious all-season resort in conveniently located close to just about everything in the Columbia Valley. As luck would have it, this was to be our stay for the weekend. Checking in was a breeze, and within no time my jaw was dropped & I was gushing over the suite. Heated bathroom floors, jacuzzi, king sized bed, kitchen, and a gorgeous patio view of the Purcell Mountains, leaving this place wasn’t going to be easy come Sunday.


The alarm sounded and we were greeted by a beautiful winter sunrise. After some coffee we proceeded to pack up for a day on the slopes. My girlfriend, being a novice snowboarder, was incredibly intimidated by the size of these mountains. Having snowboarded these parts almost a decade ago I was able to assure her that if young Corbin could survive it, so could she. Up until now, she had only ever experienced the small valley snowboarding found in Saskatchewan. She laughed nervously, but it was clear she was excited to see what it’s like in the “big leagues”.


We suited up, grabbed the gondola, and proceeded to the chalet of Panorama Mountain Village. We stared up at the panorama of mountains, and laughed at how well named this place is. Getting good photos of this place was going to be a breeze.

Stay tuned for a photo essay of the Columbia Valley! Special thanks to Columbia Valley Tourism and Bighorn Meadows for hosting us in this beautiful part of Canada.


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A Winter Adventure Awaits in the Columbia Valleyhttp://ibackpackcanada.com/a-winter-adventure-awaits-in-the-columbia-valley/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/a-winter-adventure-awaits-in-the-columbia-valley/#comments Sat, 01 Feb 2014 04:50:41 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=5717 A Winter Adventure Awaits in the Columbia Valley is a post from: I Backpack Canada

After 10 long, incredibly scenic, hours driving from Saskatchewan to British Columbia, I’ve finally arrived in Radium Hot Springs, home of some of Canada’s most well known luxury resorts including Bighorn Meadows Resort, along with some of the best skiing and snowboarding in Canada. With the help of Columbia Valley Tourism, I’ve been asked to join a group of writers and bloggers to partake in as much of this little slice of Canadiana as possible.

The gameplan includes snowboarding at Panorama where I’ll no doubt enjoy a couple coffees and a bite to eat at their mountain village. Après-ski will likely include a cold BC Beer (or two), and a hot soak in the Hot Springs. It’s been more than a few years since I’ve been able to make it to BC for some snowboarding, so I fully expect each and every bone & muscle to be aching the following day. Hopefully the Hot Springs will heal me up as best as possible, because the next day I’ll be strapping the bindings back on, and heading to Fairmont Resort to do it all over again.

In between snowboarding and hitting the spa, I’ll be sampling the food, drinks, culture, and keeping an eye out for the any local fauna that get within range of my camera, so be sure to follow along on Twitter or Instagram.

A Winter Adventure Awaits in the Columbia Valley is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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The White Pass & Yukon Route – Gateway to the Northhttp://ibackpackcanada.com/the-white-pass-yukon-route-gateway-to-the-north/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/the-white-pass-yukon-route-gateway-to-the-north/#comments Thu, 02 Aug 2012 17:19:18 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=4712 The White Pass & Yukon Route – Gateway to the North is a post from: I Backpack Canada

Driving from Whitehorse in the Yukon to Fraser, B.C to climb aboard the White Pass & Yukon Route is an experience unto itself. The scenery in this region can hardly be described. Hues of blue & green with sharp contrasts of icy white and dark charcoals and black cover the rocky mountainous terrain. It’s as if a painter had only a few colours on his pallet, but somehow managed to make a masterpiece with various tones and shades. The old train parked along the tracks overlooking this natural work of art is a stark reminder that you’re still a part of civilization, even if you can only see a few dozen people.

whitepass-yukon-route-train IN FRASER-BC

All Aboard the White Pass & Yukon Route

After awing over the beauty of Fraser, B.C, I boarded the train and was greeted by a friendly young train employee who happily points out the Train Engineer and the Conductor. At a cost of $135, taking the WhitePass is a great way to get to and from Skagway, Alaska and Whitehorse, Yukon. It’s worth noting that this isn’t your typical Eurorail type of train. These carts are old, and the rail line is practically ancient. While it may not be the fastest train you’ll ride, the slow pace gives you ample time to take in the breathtaking views during the ride.


Old Sounds on an Old Train

As I acquainted myself with my seat, the train slowly began to move forward and I watched as the natural skyline began to change. My cart rocked gently back and forth, swaying to the beat of the precise heavy bass caused by the turning of the wheels. The hissing cry of metal on metal added a sense of old time flavour to the experience. The steam whistle screams and makes me jump. I laugh at myself for not expecting that. As the train passes through canyons covered in snow and ice I couldn’t help but feel as if it’s winter. It’s June 1st – practically summer – and snow in these regions are still measured in feet, rather than inches.


A low ceiling of misty white clouds hangs over the mountains. Sleet and rain gently pour down, adding a sense of adventure to the slow moving train. Walking outside of the trailing cart I snap photos of the ever changing terrain. After passing through a few tunnels it’s clear to see we’re approaching a rainforest. Snow trades it’s place for massive trees and the temperature begins to warms up. Waterfalls and cliffs can be found every few kilometres along the rail line.


Does a bear sh*t in the woods?

As the train curves around bends, I hang over the iron rails and snap photos. Then suddenly, as if waiting to see the train go by, a large brown bear is crouching beside the tracks. He isn’t moving, and one passenger asks “Is it real?” – as our cart is dragged a little further down the track we see the bear from another angle and quickly find out that yes, he is real, and yes bears do in fact shit in the woods. Our cart erupts in laughter as someone jokes “It’s the Charmin bear!“.


On to Alaska

Moving slowly along cliffs and waterfalls, across old bridges and rivers, we made it to our final destination – Skagway, Alaska. While I have many thoughts and opinions on Skagway; I’ve decided to leave them be for now (separate post on that coming soon). A train with this much history and beauty along it’s path really needs to be experienced to fully understand it’s allure. You don’t have to be a train buff, history geek, or arctic explorer to enjoy the Whitepass Yukon Route. All you need are some curious eyes interested in seeing one of the most beautiful stretches of rail you can find in North America.


The History of the White Pass & Yukon Route

The rail line between the Yukon and Alaska was built in 1898 in response to the Klondike Gold rush. Over 100,00 men & women stormed the Klondike region in hopes of striking it rich. These stampeders needed a quick way to get themselves and their gear into the region, and wealthy entrepreneurs of yesteryear tried to strike it rich by providing a futile service to the region. The single-track rail is 27.7 miles and takes you through the Norths most rugged terrain, including the Coast Mountains, Tongass National Forest & The White Pass Summit between British Columbia & Alaska, which sports a soaring elevation of 2,865 ft or 873m.

The White Pass & Yukon Route was designated an International Historic Civic Engineering Landmark in 1994, alongside such other engineering feats, including the Eiffel Tower, The Statue of Liberty and the Panama Canal.

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6 Vancouver Parks worth checking out this Summerhttp://ibackpackcanada.com/6-vancouver-parks-worth-checking-out-this-summer/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/6-vancouver-parks-worth-checking-out-this-summer/#comments Wed, 18 Apr 2012 13:15:55 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=4482 6 Vancouver Parks worth checking out this Summer is a post from: I Backpack Canada

Vancouver is a city for the outdoorsy. The amount of parks, acitivities, and scenic locations you can stumble upon in a 2 hour walk will astound you. It’s no surprise that Vancouver is rated as one of the healthiest city in Canada, with the lowest obesity rates, lowest rates of heavy drinking, and the most physicians per 100,000 people. It’s so easy to participate and get outdoors. Whether that means busting out a bicycle, or strapping on your jogging shoes, there’s hardly any reason not to assimilate into this healthy behaviour. What better place to absorb a new lifestyle than in Vancouvers Parks.

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Lynn Canyon

While the Capilano Suspension Bridge is more popular, it’s also $25 dollars more expensive. Save yourself some money, and the headache of falling into a bit of a “tourist trap” and check out Lynn Canyon. It’s a short drive from downtown Vancouver and is an incredible location to take in the outdoors of Vancouver. The Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge looms beautifully over trees and gives you a great view of the area.

Cross the bridge and you’ll come across Baden Powell trail, a relatively novice hike that can get you all the way down to Rice Lake. Lynn Canyon has several trails, and many places to explore, including a few secluded spots to setup picnic and even go for a swim. This location offers some beautiful photo opportunities. What better way to take in Vancouver than above a BC river & twin waterfalls.

cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by JoshNV

Seymour Demonstration Forest

Not far from Lynn Canyon, bikers, hikers, walkers and strollers grace the Demonstration Forest on a daily basis. A great getaway to stretch your legs and enjoy some outdoor activity. There’s plenty of wildlife in the area, so keep your eyes peeled. If you’re looking for a paved trail, you’ll be happy to hear the Seymour Valley Trailway is just that. But be wary, it can be the busiest trail, so if you’re looking for a little “you time” and less “get out of my way please and thank you time” you should stick to the unpaved trails.

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Sinéad McKeown

Grouse Mountain

Many Vancouverites tend to take their wall of mountains for granted. North Vancouver has some of the most scenic views in the city, and Grouse Mountain is no exception. While it can be a bit touristy at times, and the crowd can be a bit of a headache on weekends, if you stop by midweek on a beautiful day you’re going to be in for a treat.

Grouse Mountain is an outdoorsy mecca. Whether you’re a runner, hiker, skiier, or crazy enough to hit the Grouse Grind (a 2.9 KM hike to the top with an elevation gain of 853 meters (2,800ft) known locally as the “Stair Master”), you’re sure to find a few ways to burn a couple hundred calories here. If you’re not at your physical peak and would rather take it easy, the Gondola ride to the top, followed by the free chairlift (which gets you even higher) can offer some of the most beautiful views of the area. Best of all, they’ve got ziplining!

Expect Grouse Mountain to be a “splurge” day, as it’s definitely not cheap to do, but if you’re planning on seeing Vancouver and experiencing the outdoors it’s worth a stop!

cc licensed ( BY SD ) flickr photo shared by dmealiffe

Stanley Park

Stanley Park is probably one of my favourite spots in all of Vancouver. This massive park has a notorious ability to make you think you’ve completely left the city. With countless walkways, a swimming pool, a zoo, a bunch of awesome monuments, totem poles, and all the free room you could ask for. Stanley Park offers locals and tourists the ability to enjoy the outdoors in a budget friendly fashion. Rent a bike and explore the trails, or strap on your favourite runners and see the park from a slightly higher speed than your ordinary walker.

Hands down one of the best city parks I’ve ever been to. Stanley Park is easily worth a full day if you have the time, or a half day if you’ve got other plans nearby.

cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by rickie22

Crab Park

Crab Park is a beautiful little park located in Gastown that’s always bustling with activity. Watch as the coast guard’s hovercraft cruises by, or dream of what it must be like to be rich and famous as you watch private helicopters take off from the city. While this Crab Park isn’t really the hiker friendly park that others in this list are, it’s convenient and offers some simple walks and gorgeous views of the city. I should note that some may be put off at this park by some the locals. Gastown can be notorious for it’s wide variety of characters, so just keep a smart head on you. Though at the end of the day you have to remember Vancouver is a very friendly city, even amongst the most quirky individuals.

cc licensed ( BY ND ) flickr photo shared by WriterGal39

Queen Elizabeth Park

Another great nearby and local park worth stopping by. While it may not be for the diehard hikers, it’s easily worth a relaxing stroll. This park is filled with simple trails, the occasional tennis player and lawn bowler, and some great views of downtown Vancouver. Queen Elizabeth Park offers plenty of great photo opportunities in this park, including some friendly people and a plant conservatory. Rain or shine it’s worth a stroll!

Vancouver’s a big city with countless parks to explore. Whether they’re small and simple with a few benches and a good view, or a park that competes with the rest of the world and pushes it’s visitors to try something new and break a bit of a sweat. Taking in the outdoors as much as possible is an incredibly “Vancouver” thing to do. I’ve heard people say they could never live in a city that get’s so much rain. But when you see an entire populace simply ignore it and continue on with their day to day lives, it’s easy to feel like you could too.

Am I missing any other awesome Vancouver Parks? Would love to hear from you in the comments below!

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My 5 Favourite Beaches in Vancouver, British Columbiahttp://ibackpackcanada.com/my-5-favourite-beaches-in-vancouver-british-columbia/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/my-5-favourite-beaches-in-vancouver-british-columbia/#comments Wed, 11 Apr 2012 12:59:59 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=3130 My 5 Favourite Beaches in Vancouver, British Columbia is a post from: I Backpack Canada

Vancouver has beaches. Lots of ‘em. Many people from afar tend to picture Canada as a year round frozen hell. That’s not the case, especially for Vancouver. The so called “California of the north” is filled with eager people craving to take in as much Vitamin D as they possibly can during the warm sunny months. In order to help a friend plan her upcoming trip to the west coast, I figured I should share my favourite beaches in Vancouver.

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Wreck Beach

Vancouver’s Wreck Beach never ceases to make me smile. Perhaps it’s my North American upbringing that makes me giggle at the thought of hundreds of people letting the sun shine where it so rarely does. Nude beaches, they’re intriguingly fascinating. They’re by all means not common in Canada, but I’m happy they exist! While nudity is a big part of this beach, it’s technically only “clothing-optional”. There’s plenty of things to do for those scared to make that leap into letting your bits and kibbles out for the day.

Volleyball, hot dogs, guitars, smack a drum or two or take in the cool waters of the Pacific. Of coarse, there’s also a fair amount of public drinking to be had, but be careful. Beer is crazy expensive around here. So perhaps consider smuggling your own. On a warm summer day, expect the skunky smell of BC Bud to fill the air. While technically Pot is illegal in Canada, it is legal for medicinal use, and is generally tolerated by most, particularly on the west coast. Wreck Beach is a unique Vancouver experience. Just whatever you do, avoid bringing your camera out in these parts. Old timer hippies will happily bark at tourists and looky-lou’s trying to snap photos of their “freedom”.

cc licensed ( BY NC SD )  flickr photo shared by gmcmullen

Tower Beach

Tower beach isn’t your typical “paradise” looking beach. You won’t find gold sand, tanned and oiled bodies who look like they just finished a set at the gym. What you will find is rocks. Lots of them. If you plan on relaxing in these parts, bring good shoes. It may not be the comfiest beach to lounge around, but the sight of two 10-11 meter high concrete towers that overlook the Vancouver Harbour makes for neat photos.

Don’t expect much in terms of amenities. There’s no public washrooms or vendors, but there is something that can be hard to come by at the other beaches. Peace and quiet.

cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo shared by Danny Ko

Spanish Banks

The Spanish Banks will always have a place in my heart. It’s hard to complain about the view. A massive view of the ocean, mountains, sky, and the sight of dozens of sail boats cruising around. Great sand, cute beach cafes, volleyball courts, and a large grassy area perfect for picnics, BBQ’s, and playing frisbee with your dog!

While it’s a little more “out of the way”, it is a great reprieve from the hustle and bustle of downtown Vancouver. In my opinion this has to be the best beach in Vancouver.

cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by russilwvong

Jericho Beach

Probably one of the best views of the North Shore mountains, Jericho Beach is far enough away to be considered quiet and family friendly. Tucked away from the Spanish Banks and Kits Beach, this little slice of heaven is perfect to get away from everything. There’s plenty of room to lounge, get your volleyball on, or setup a fancy picnic to impress that special someone. If you’re from away and checking out Jericho Beach, consider staying at the HI Jericho Beach. It’s the only beach retreat hostel in Vancouver and they know the Jericho like nobodies business.

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Junnn

Kitsilano Beach

Kits gets bashed a lot because of the people that hang out around here. There seems to be a ridiculous amount of good looking people in these parts. Which is quite common in Vancouver, but these particular types are sort of the “hot and I know it” variety. If you can get over the occasional douche vibe, and put your reservations aside, Kits is actually an awesome beach to check out.

Kits is an urban beach, which means it’s not going to be your typical secluded and peaceful beach. But if you can embrace the chaos, it’s widely interesting and can be a great way to spend a hot day in Vancouver. This is one of the best places in Vancouver to people watch. Frisbees, hippies, hacky sacks, girls in bikinis and high heels, guys trying to flex their way out of tshirts, cute dogs, people with hilarious burns, people with great tans, and best of all: It’s all surrounded in the beautiful scenery of mountains, ocean, and the city!

Boom! So that sums up my favourite 5 beaches in the beautiful city of Vancouver. Beaches are synonymous with summer in Canada, and you’d have to be a full on crazy not to take advantage of them during our short but hot summer months. While summer may be a good month or two away from fully kicking in, it’s good to be prepared. Bring you sunscreen, a towel, and a few friends and find out why Vancouver is so consistently rated as one of the best cities in Canada.

Map of Vancouver’s Beaches


My 5 Favourite Beaches in Vancouver, British Columbia is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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Sunday Canadian Travel Video – The Surf Lifestyle in Tofino BChttp://ibackpackcanada.com/sunday-canadian-travel-video-the-surf-lifestyle-in-tofino-bc/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/sunday-canadian-travel-video-the-surf-lifestyle-in-tofino-bc/#comments Sun, 11 Sep 2011 15:02:40 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=3295 Sunday Canadian Travel Video – The Surf Lifestyle in Tofino BC is a post from: I Backpack Canada

I’ve been on a real west coast stint as of lately with Fridays photo of
Vancouvers Skyline and countless posts in the last couple months about British Columbia. So just to be consistent, I’ve decided to share a video by Tourism Canada of one of my favourite locations in Canada.

Tofino is a surf town at its very core, and its a great stop for backpackers. There’s a couple Hostels in town, and plenty to see and do. Tofino’s a great spot for first-time surfers. If you have a little more experience you’ll have to chat to the locals to find the fear-inducing locations. Be sure to book ahead in Tofino as accommodation in the summer is pretty limited. If things are full, don’t be afraid to check out Ucluelet, which is a great alternative to Tofino.

Video by Canadian Tourism



Sunday Canadian Travel Video – The Surf Lifestyle in Tofino BC is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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