British Columbia boasts of cities that are both modern and historic, a rich cultural heritage, and no shortage of natural beauty. Regarding that last point, there are seven British Columbia national parks to choose from when you're there. What this means for you is that a road trip through Canada's Pacific province is bound to keep you busy, especially if you're a fan of national parks.
If you're planning to go to B.C., you should try to see as much of the best of it as you can, whether you're looking for national parks near Vancouver or are excited about the chance to visit the Canadian Rockies. To help you figure out where to go, here are a few of the best national parks in British Columbia that, once you see them, you may never want to leave!
The Best National Parks in British Columbia
There are seven national parks in British Columbia, none of which you should skip. However, there are a few that it's safe to say are the best, so read on to learn about them and why they made the list.
Kootenay National Park
Kootenay National Park, in eastern British Columbia, is an oasis for outdoorsy visitors to the province. However, it can be a bit of a trek to get there, as Kootenay National Park is a nine-hour drive from Vancouver, a ten-hour drive from Seattle, WA, or a slightly shorter five-hour drive from Spokane.
Still, once you arrive, Kootenay National Park's opportunities to get out and experience nature's beauty amongst the Canadian Rockies will help you feel all the driving (ideally, in an RV rental) was worth it!
So, what is there to do at Kootenay National Park? Plenty. You can go hiking in Marble Canyon or Stanley Glacier, or even fish. If you want to enjoy a scenic drive, get behind the wheel and check out Sinclair Canyon or the Continental Divide!
When you're done with all of that, take the time to relax in the Radium Hot Springs. With water temperatures averaging from 37ºC/98ºF and 40ºC/104ºF at Radium Hot Springs, it's easy to see why it's one of the most popular attractions of all British Columbia national parks.
Glacier National Park of Canada
Six and a half hours from Vancouver by the Trans-Canada Highway (or about a two-hour drive northwest up the Trans-Canada Highway from Kootenay National Park) lies Glacier National Park of Canada. It's important to keep the idea of transportation in your mind when planning a visit to Glacier National Park. After all, in the early 1880s, the discovery of Rogers Pass within what is now Glacier National Park is what enabled the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885 and, later, the Trans-Canada Highway in 1963.
At Glacier National Park of Canada, you can learn about the history of Rogers Pass and Canadian Pacific Railway at the Rogers Pass National Historic Site. If you're more into spelunking than learning history, then you're in luck: The Nakimu Caves, located in the central area of the national park, are (at 6 km/3.7 miles in length) one of Canada's largest cave systems. There are, of course (as befitting its name) also glaciers to see at Glacier National Park, which you can see when hiking in the spring or backcountry skiing in winter.
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
If you prefer to stay in the Vancouver area, there are also British Columbia national parks you can explore that are a relatively short RV drive from Rain City. One such park located a few hours west of "Hollywood North" is Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Travelers eager to connect with British Columbia's rich natural beauty won't be the least bit disappointed with this most bucolic of national parks near Vancouver.
It's not just the tree-lined hiking along the West Coast Trail that draws you in at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Once you set foot on the aptly-named Long Beach, the feel of the sand and the smells and sounds of the surf (or actually going surfing yourself!) will make it very hard for you to pull yourself away. While at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, also take the chance to learn about the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations people, who have lived in the area for centuries.
Explore British Columbia National Parks By RV
There are so many beautiful British Columbia National Parks that, honestly, you'll need a repeat visit to get to them all. Once you've seen Kootenay National Park, Glacier National Park of Canada, and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, you'll want to return to check out Yoho National Park, Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, Mount Revelstoke National Park, and Gwaii Haanas National Park. And, if you didn't already know, you can get to all of the best national parks in British Columbia in an RV rental from Cruise America.
Whether you want to drive up from Washington state or rent and pick up an RV in British Columbia is up to you. To see how you can rent an RV from Cruise America and visit British Columbia national parks at your own pace in comfort and style, get in touch with Cruise America today and get on the road!