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Tour of British Columbia: From the Rainforest to the Rockies

The asphalt is calling, nature is waiting: a road trip through British Columbia is a journey full of freedom, discovery and unforgettable views. Its magnificent natural landscape is constantly changing: from lush rainforest to monumental desert, finally to the snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains. The route leads past winding rivers, deep blue lakes and some outdoor adventures for the whole family. On this 10-14 day your from Vancouver to Mount Robson and back, we’ll show you the best of British Columbia.

Skyline of Vancouver
Cable Car

Green Metropolis: Vancouver

A highlight to kick off the tour: in Vancouver, modern big-city life meets the deep-blue Pacific and Coast Mountains, where cosmopolitan urbanites and nature lovers alike are happy. Explore the 400-hectare Stanley Park, promenade on countless shore paths, or visit the Museum of Anthropology or Science World. With the “Skyride Gondola”, you can climb Grouse Mountain – a great view of the surrounding mountain ranges – and from here you can see a little bit of the route over the next few days.

Scenic street
Woman enjoying the view

From Vancouver to Whistler (120 km)

All aboard! The journey begins on the “Sea-to-Sky Highway” towards Whistler, one of the largest ski and outdoor areas in British Columbia. From the window you have views over the UNESCO biosphere reserve Howe Sound and the islands in the picturesque fjord. If you want to enjoy the perfect view of the huge glaciers in the distance, stop at one of the viewing points along the route. Whistler offers fun for all the family: zip-lining between the treetops, beautiful hiking trails and the famous “PEAK 2 PEAK” gondola.

Road through wonderful landscape
Sign of national park

From Whistler to Cache Creek (215 km)

We continue northwards through the Coast Mountains. The route leads past deep-blue lakes and sparkling rivers, while the green rainforest gradually softens plants that thrive even in dry climates. If you are feeling energetic, you can stop and hike to the viewing point with a view over Seton Lake. The next stop is in Lillooet, a community on the banks of the Fraser River: here, local suppliers share a wealth of knowledge about the traditional fishing and lifestyle of the indigenous communities – listen, take to the water, taste! Behind Lillooet, Marble Canyon Park opens up with limestone boulders and crystal clear lakes – an Eldorado for those who like to paddle.

Kamploops Lake
Bighorn sheep

From Cache Creek to Kamloops (85 km)

Highway 1 continues east to where the twin North and South Thompson rivers come together to form the Kamloops Lake. Rocky cliffs tower over the 29-kilometre long lake. Hiking here, you can capture the unique panorama from many different perspectives. The Kamloops area also offers some spectacular golf courses that extend between the shores and cliffs. The vast grass landscapes of the Lac du Bois Grassland nature reserve lie to the north of the city. Look out for bighorn sheep, mule deer and hoodoos, the characteristic ultra-thin peaks of rock.


From Kamloops to Clearwater (120 km)

North of Kamloops, the Yellowhead Highway (officially: Highway 16) leads past hilly pasture landscapes towards Wells Gray, one of the largest Provincial Parks in British Columbia. On the way, an overnight stay on a guest ranch is a good idea, and a trip to the Sun Peaks Resort is also worthwhile. Clearwater and Wells Gray Park are even further north. We recommend allowing plenty of time here, because there is a lot to see: waterfalls, mineral springs, lava beds and extinct volcanoes adorn the landscape. Fauna fans will also get their fill: bears, moose and wolves all have their home here.

Mount Robson

From Clearwater to Mount Robson (235 km)

As the mountains become clearer and clearer, you’ll be well on your way to Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The glacier lake Berg Lake offers the best view of the nearly 4,000-metre-high giants. You can get there by a multi-day backcountry hiking route that leads past waterfalls and mountain lakes. We recommend booking the tour in advance as it sells out quickly. If you want to take a different perspective, you can admire Mount Robson and the park of the same name while flying in the helicopter.

Lake with nice restaurant at the water

From Mount Robson to Yoho National Park (520 km)

Continue eastwards through the Rocky Mountains to Yoho National Park. It’s easy to spend a few days on this route. Staying in a typical Canadian mountain hut is an adventure. From here, you can make excursions to Emerald Lake and Lake O’Hara or to the Wapta and Takakkaw waterfalls. It’s also worth visiting the Burgess Shale, an impressive fossil deposit with exceptionally well preserved fossils from the Cambrium age, around 508 million years old.

Coquihalla canyon
Othello tunnel

From Yoho National Park to Hope (600 km)

Before heading back to Vancouver, the last stop is in Hope, a settlement at the foot of the Cascade Mountains. The small town might seem familiar to you: it was the location for films such as “Rambo” or “The Promise”. Not far away is Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park, including the Othello tunnel, originally built for the Kettle Valley railway line in Coquihalla Canyon. On the way back to the big city (120 km from Hope), the Fraser Valley offers a great opportunity to slow down: there are many family-run farms and berry and vegetable fields here for self-picking.

Logo British Colombia

This holiday tip was presented to you by our cooperation partner:

Super, Natural British Columbia

Photo Credits

  • Header - Photo by Jordan Siemens on Getty Images
  • Paragraph 1 - Photo by PKS Media Inc./ on Getty Images
  • Paragraph 2 - Photo by Albert Normandin from Destiantion Vancouver
  • Paragraph 2 - Photo by Lithuaniakid on Shutterstock
  • Paragraph 3 - Photo by EB Adventure Photography on Shutterstock
  • Paragraph 3 - Photo by @entre2escales from Destination BC
  • Paragraph 4 - Photo by Anthony on Adobe Stock
  • Paragraph 4 - Photo by Luis War on Shutterstock
  • Paragraph 5 - Photo by Autumn Sky Photography on Alamy
  • Paragraph 5 - Photo by tomreichner on Adobe Stock
  • Paragraph 6 - Photo by Libor on Adobe Stock
  • Paragraph 7 - Photo by Megan McLellan from Destination BC
  • Paragraph 8 - Photo by Thomas Amler on Adobe Stock
  • Paragraph 8 - Photo by Fred Heikkinen on Shutterstock
  • Paragraph 9 - Photos by ChristinaPrinn on Getty Images