PW on the Map – British Columbia Travel Guide

PW on the Map – British Columbia Travel Guide

Considerations & Climate

Considering BC is in Canada, most people may fear the cold temperatures this country is known for. However, BC is not as cold as you may think! It has some of the mildest weather in Canada with temperatures normally ranging between 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the summers, and lowers down to around 45 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. Winters in this province are considered mild and tend to bring more rain than snow, especially considering their rainiest months are during the winters from October – March.  

If you’re considering visiting, but are unsure of when, here’s a few tips that can help. Spring season is gorgeous with all of the budding flowers and beauty spring brings, and that includes fewer tourists. However, you may catch a slight chill from the lingering winter still melting away. Summer is the most popular time to visit BC due to all the amazing outdoor adventures available to you. Summers will be crowded, but the days will be long, warm, and sunny. Fall is the start of shoulder season and the deals that come with it! Autumn in BC is absolutely stunning with their vast amounts of forests that bring all the warm fall colors to life. However, it will start to get chillier and rainier during this time, so be ready to get cozy!

BC is filled with National Parks, and several big cities including the most popular; Vancouver, Victoria, and Kelowna. Each of these cities are packed with luxury dining, great shopping, entertainment, and copious adventures. However, the cities are far apart. The distance from Kelowna to Vancouver is over four hours away, so plan your activities accordingly! Here’s what we would recommend.

Photo by Lia Bijsterveld

Yoho National Park

Yoho National Park is located on the western slopes of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. This park is filled with huge mountains, forests, rivers, lakes, valleys, beautiful waterfalls and up to ninety-six different hiking trails. There are currently sixty-one lakes and ponds within this national park, with the beautifully turquoise Emerald Lake sitting at the largest in the park. There is a trail for everyone’s hiking and scenic preferences, making this park a perfect place for a variety of opportunities and adventure.

What To Know Before You Visit

Here’s some helpful tips for your trip! Daily fees for park entrance is under eleven dollars, with discovery passes available from $75.25(CAD) for adults, and $64.50(CAD) for seniors, which are valid for a full year at any National Park. There are four un-serviced campgrounds to choose from, all recommended for tents, motorhomes, or trailers under twenty-five feet long. Two of the four sites are first come first serve and the other two accept reservations, with prices ranging from $19.75 – $30.50 (CAD). They also offer many guided programs, perfect for a peaceful, scenic hike.

Yoho National Park is located in British Columbia. However, it is quite far and located closer to the Alberta border. It is over four hours from Kelowna, eight hours from Vancouver, and over ten hours from Victoria. We recommend visiting this park if you’re staying in the Golden, BC area as it is less than a half an hour away, or when it is most convenient at the start or end of your trip! Wherever your journey takes you, this National Park is definitely worth the visit.

Glacier National Park

This park is truly a year-round paradise, and has been described as ‘fifty Switzerland’s in one. This park is (obviously) known for its glaciers, gorgeous mountain views, amazing scenery, and snow. This park is home to over seven hundred miles of hiking trails, and is a perfect place to go horseback riding, fishing, biking, hiking, or white-water rafting; it is truly an outdoor adventurist’s dream.

What To Know Before You Visit

Since this park is so large, it is recommended to stray away from day trips and consider long weekends or up to five-day-trips. There are a few campgrounds within the park, but be aware that the purchase of a National Park pass is required. The campgrounds are called Illecillewaet and Loop Brook campground with Mount Sir Donald campground being currently closed. One is first come first serve, with Loop Brook allowing reservations. Both are priced equally at $24.00CAD per night. If you only stay a couple of nights, here’s some trail recommendations.

  • Eva and Miller Lakes
  • Asulkan Trail
  • Balu Pass
  • Avalanche Crest

Each of these trails recommend a minimum of five hours to a maximum of seven hours for the entire hike, but it’s completely dependent upon how long you want to hike for!

Before you visit this park, it is best to know what weather you prefer or expect on your trip. You can expect to see some snow if you travel here for any of the months besides June, July, and August. They typically have snow and avalanche seasons from October – May. The best times to visit depending on your personal preference would be from June – September in the summer season, and December – February for the winter months, (be cautious of any avalanche warnings), perfect for winter backcountry skiing.

Photo by Lia Bijsterveld

Granville Island

Vancouver’s Granville Island Public Market is a hub for culturally rich activities, and was built in the late 1970’s and still remains as one of Vancouver’s most popular tourist attractions today. If you’re a foodie, this is the place for you. This large indoor market features an amazing assortment of produce and food, some still fresh from the oven, ocean, or field. They offer a variety of different experiences, from taking a ride on the Aqua-bus, to visiting plant boutiques, and tasting new food, there is truly an experience for everyone.

What To Know Before You Visit

The public market is open seven days a week from nine in the morning to six in the evening. The market tends to get quite busy over the weekends, so it is recommended to visit during a weekday, or prepare to save some patience. Under the city’s street and traffic bylaw, only three- hour street parking is available for RV’s, and no RVs or campers are permitted to be parked on any street overnight. There are a few recommendations for parking in the public market.

  • Public Market outdoor lot
  • Old Bridge St. indoor lot
  • Duranleau St. outdoor lot
  • Net Loft outdoor lot
  • Cartwright St. outdoor lot


A beautiful place located on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, surrounded by the natural beauty of the rainforest and the ocean, lies a little town called Tofino. This town has earned a great reputation for being an ideal outdoor destination, catering to a wide range of activities. This little town is filled with an abundance of wildlife, beautiful beaches, an ocean that is perfect for surfing, paddle-boarding, kayaking, or fishing. Tofino’s incredible beaches and old-growth rainforests attract nature lovers, campers, and fishermen from all over the globe. Here’s some of the highest rated beaches we recommend you check out.

  • Long Beach- great for long walks, 10 miles long. (recommended to rent beach cruiser bikes).
  • Cox Bay Beach- great spot for a picnic or a leisurely stroll, more secluded surrounded by a forest.
  • Chesterman Beach- an all-ages beach that is very wide, known for its tide pools and soft sand.
  • Tonquin Beach- a smaller and more secluded beach, known for visible sea life at low tide on the south end of the beach.

What To Know Before You Visit

Being on the coast and being so close to the ocean is exciting. But with the coast comes caution; the coast is unpredictable and is a place of warm sun and vicious storms. While you visit, prepare yourself and check the weather conditions. This includes the tide levels and the wind. If you’re checking out the ocean, take the time and observe the conditions before you step into the shoreline, and always watch for incoming waves and the daily tidal information. It is always better to be safe than sorry!

The best time to visit Tofino is in the summer months of June, July, and August. With moderate temperatures, clear skies, and the warm sun, it is an unbeatable summer destination. If you travel in the fall, you will be right in time for the rainy season. Locals in Tofino enjoy heading to a beach and watching the storms. If you find yourself stopping here during the winter, don’t worry! Winters on the West Coast tend to be quite mild. Arguably, the West Coast is said to have the best winter in the country. The Tofino weather in spring shows true natural beauty. Wild life begins to come back including whales, making this time of the year the best for whale watching! Just be ready to expect some rain, and a little less sun.

Kelowna’s Vineyard

The Okanagan Valley is known as BC’s premier region for wine production and grape growth throughout the years. Each year these wineries continue to produce and sell award-winning wines, and are internationally recognized for their wine. The Okanagan Valley area is gorgeous, and the vineyards are stunning. Amazing views and exceptional wine, can it get any better?

What To Know Before You Visit

Guided wine tours are recommended as the best way to experience the wineries in the valley. These tours are a great option as you can visit multiple wineries without the hassle of driving! These tours offer a comfortable air-conditioned van with a designated driver so you can allow yourself the freedom to taste more wine. The best time to visit is anytime of the year! There are forty wineries open all year around in the Kelowna area.

Honorable Mentions

Gwaii Haanas National Park

Stanley Park

Kootenay National Park

Wild Pacific Trail