British Columbia’s parks offer an extraordinarily diverse range of hiking opportunities. This page supplies information on everything from frontcountry day-hiking trails to backcountry wilderness adventures in parks across B.C.
Look on this page for basic information about hiking trails in specific regions of the province and individual BC Parks. For more detailed information on hiking at a specific park, click on the park name.
‘Frontcountry’ means an area within one kilometre of a park road or a highway. Frontcountry trails are generally accessible by car and offer day-hiking adventures for all levels of ability and experience.
Day-hiking and parking areas in British Columbia’s frontcountry are open to the public from 7am to 11pm, daily. For those staying overnight, there are hiking trails accessible from most frontcountry campgrounds.
Watch our responsible day-hiking video and learn how to hike safely while minimizing your environmental impact in the frontcountry.
‘Backcountry’ means an area more than one kilometre away from any highway or park road. Backcountry trails offer multi-day hiking expeditions to the experienced outdoorsperson looking for an adventure in B.C.’s wild country.
Day-hiking is available in the backcountry, but most trails are suitable only for experienced and properly equipped hikers. Backcountry terrain can be rugged, and weather changeable, with extreme conditions possible year-round.
Learn how to hike safely and minimize your environmental impact in the backcountry with our backcountry guide.
- S⨱ótsaqel/Chilliwack Lake offers over 40km of trails. These provide many opportunities for day-hiking as well as bird spotting, wildlife viewing, and general nature appreciation.
- Cultus Lake includes a large day-use area with five main trails. Hikes range from 30-minute walks for the whole family to the five-hour Cultus Lake Horse Trail.
- Cypress features over 30km of day-hikes and wilderness trails, including the popular Baden Powell Trail. While the frontcountry area is family-friendly, the mountainous backcountry can be rugged and challenging.
- E.C. Manning has a wide variety of summer hiking opportunities. These range from 15-minute walks to six-day wilderness hikes. During the winter, all hiking trails are closed due to snow.
- Garibaldi is a popular backcountry area that can be accessed via well-developed trail systems leading from five separate trailheads. Within the park, there are countless rugged wilderness hikes on offer.
- Golden Ears has many trails, ranging from easy to very challenging. These include the Spirea Universal Access Trail, which is designed to be accessible by people with physical disabilities or adaptive equipment.
- Mount Seymour boasts an extensive network of trails, many leading to spectacular lookouts. There are 14 main trails offering everything from relatively easy day-hikes to challenging backcountry treks.
- Skagit Valley contains summer hiking trails ranging from a one-hour walk to overnight wilderness experiences. In winter, all hiking trails are closed due to snow.
- Cape Scott is a hike-in backcountry park suitable for backpacking excursions to explore sandy beaches, rainforests, and lowland bogs. It also offers some day-hiking opportunities.
- Carmanah Walbran is one of the most remarkable and lush natural landscapes on Vancouver Island. Hiking can be challenging but, for those with the backcountry abilities, well worth the effort.
- Cowichan River features an abandoned rail right-of-way and the historic Cowichan River Footpath. These provide excellent day-hiking opportunities, though backcountry skill is a definite asset.
- Juan de Fuca includes a marine wilderness trail, mostly designed for strenuous day-hiking or multi-day adventures. Some easy-to-moderate hiking is also available.
- Strathcona is a rugged wilderness dominated by mountain peaks. Trails range from 20-minute ambles to intense, multi-day hikes and mountaineering adventures.
Okanagan and Cariboo
- Cathedral offers a genuine wilderness experience to adventurous hikers. You will need at least a day to hike into the core area. Alternatively, transportation is available for a fee.
- Hamber is a remote wilderness area. For experienced backcountry adventurers, an old trail can be used to access campsites on the north shore of Fortress Lake.
- Mount Robson offers many short walks and self-guided trails. It includes the much-loved Berg Lake Trail, which is currently closed for safety reasons (learn more at the Berg Lake Trail reservations page).
- Tweedsmuir North and South are isolated and rarely patrolled wilderness areas, with snow possible in any season. For experienced backcountry hikers, they offer many scenic trails.
- Wells Gray is a remote area, mostly viewable only after a vigorous hike or canoe. This will provide access to lush alpine meadows with excellent birding and wildlife viewing.
- Bugaboo is a remote area in the Purcell Mountains, which is popular with climbers. It includes trails accessible to experienced backcountry hikers who do not have mountaineering skills.
- Elk Lakes features backcountry areas that can be accessed easily. These include maintained trails appropriate for anyone with some backcountry hiking experience.
- Kokanee Glacier provides an excellent backcountry adventure for the whole family. It includes backcountry trails suitable for all levels of outdoor experience and ability.
- Mount Assiniboine is world-renowned for its mountain views. This is a truly unspoiled wilderness area, with extraordinary multi-day adventures for experienced backcountry hikers.
- Purcell Wilderness Conservancy is a wild and rugged mountain landscape. It offers experienced wilderness hikers many remarkable adventures, including an old outfitting trail leading to Dewar Hot Springs.
- Top of the World is a backcountry area with hiking trails providing the only access. However, these trails are not particularly arduous. In most cases, they are appropriate for the whole family.
- Valhalla has varied and abundant hiking opportunities across its rugged terrain. These range from short walks to wilderness treks. During winter season, the trails are under snow.
- Monkman offers an attractive selection of short hiking trails, with the region’s changeable climate providing the only real challenge. Options include the Monkman Lake Trail, an easy hike that is 7km one way.
- Mount Edziza is an exceptionally remote park with snow lingering year-round. The park can be accessed by hiking trails but most hikers choose to fly in and out by float plane.
- Stone Mountain includes several short backcountry hiking routes starting at the Summit Lake Campground area. Longer trails are available in the park’s wilderness area.
- Babine Mountains offers some of the finest day and overnight hiking opportunities in west-central British Columbia. An abundance of snow makes this area ideal for snowshoers of all skill levels.
- Naikoon is a wilderness area featuring trails suitable for those with backcountry skills. There are beautiful beaches and sand dunes to explore as well as many birding opportunities.
- Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness has many trails, but none are maintained. These are recommended only for experienced and properly equipped backcountry hikers.