“Beautiful British Columbia” the tagline used to describe our snow-capped mountains, turquoise lakes and abundance of wilderness is not just a slogan on a license plate or an opinion of the locals. With wildlife around every corner, a never ending blue coastline, and towering evergreen trees making up its lush forests, it’s one of the most stunning places on Earth. Northern BC is known as the hub for hiking enthusiasts and lovers of all things outdoors offering up endless options for excitement and adventure. Whether you are an expert looking for the highest peak or a beginner looking for a nature walk with a view the North is sure to have something for everyone.
Here is a list of hikes sure to satisfy your need for fresh air and exploration.
Maroon Mountain Meadows – Terrace
Enjoy some relaxing backcountry camping in the tranquil alpine meadows of British Columbia’s fascinating Coastal Mountains, then climb to the summit of Maroon Mountain for a little extra adventure! Maroon Mountain is amidst the Kitimat Mountain Range, and can be accessed from the unincorporated town of Rosswood. While on the trail the trees break apart every so often to provide some great views of the glacial blue Kitsumkalum Lake filling up the valley below. The main lake is about 1 km from the trail split, and is surrounded by multiple other smaller beautiful alpine lakes. The ridge near the main lake allows you to enjoy epic views of the Coastal mountain range, and a great view of Maroon Mountain peak just a couple kilometers away.
Butze Rapids Loop Trail – Prince Rupert
This is a perfect afternoon walk to go on by yourself or with your family. The path leads you through a charming old growth forest with stunning ocean views. The trail’s parking lot is situated just outside of Prince Rupert, off Highway 16W. This is a leisurely walk through a stunning coastal rainforest. Butze Rapids’ viewing platform is 1.8 kilometers from the parking lot, after which you can either turn around and return or continue on the loop. Various types of flora and fauna can be seen depending on the season, or go in the winter and experience a magical winter wonderland. Butze Rapids are a natural feature caused by the tide around Kaien Island, which causes Fern Passage to reverse on each tide. The best time to see the Butze Rapids is at extreme low and high tides to get the full impact, however the area is still breathtakingly beautiful at anytime.
Morkill Falls – McBride
Take a scenic dirt road drive to the massive and spectacular sight that is Upper Morkill Falls. As well as the main water fall experience two additional waterfalls located across the river.
The thunderous sound of the Upper Morkill Falls can be heard as soon as you park in the small gravel parking lot. It is, without a doubt, the most impressive waterfall in the Robson Valley. The vantage point takes you right up to the top of Upper Morkill Falls, where you can almost touch it.
How to get there: From Prince George BC drive East for approximately 1.75 hours to the turn off for Crescent Spur BC. Turn left into Crescent Spur-Loos and keep driving on the main road until you see “Morkill FSR” on your right. Turn onto this road and drive to km 34. Just before the bridge you can turn right into a small gravel parking lot. From there just follow the sound of the waterfall.
Livingstone Springs – Bear Lake
Livingstone Springs, located within Crooked River Provincial Park, is a great place to go snowshoeing in the winter. The path is relatively level, and the springs, which are teeming with aquatic life all year, make this a rewarding trek anytime of year. The route begins by staying to the right on the road leading into the park; this road passes Square Lake, where a directional sign indicating the path to the springs can be found. Continuing straight after Square Lake, the trail follows the road for another 1.5 kilometers before it comes to a sign indicating Livingstone Springs, which points right into a forest of scattered pines. Teapot Mountain can be seen to the west from the road, which leads through the loose pines. The path eventually descends a cliff to Livingstone Springs and Crooked River. Another interesting thing to explore at the springs, is an old, run-down trappers cabin that is situated just off the river. Livingstone Springs is well worth the trip, with the surrounding shoreline shrouded in snow and a thriving freshwater ecosystem flourishing underneath the unfrozen soil.
Shipyard/Titanic Trail – Tumbler Ridge
This hike has amazing mountain views and enormous geological rock formations that resemble a shipwreck and the Titanic, and they are a must-see. While this hike already begins in the alpine, it still achieves a significant amount of elevation. Hiking the trail takes you through towering trees, large boulders, and a lovely meadow. As well as a formation of gravity-defying rocks that, with a little imagination, resembles a shipwreck on a mountain called The Spanish Armada. Hiking further and higher past the Shipwreck rocks will allow you to gain more elevation and eventually bring you to the top of the Titanic, which resembles a massive ship’s bow. If you continue to gain elevation, eventually you will arrive at the top of the Titanic. Once you’ve reached the top of the Titanic rock, there are plenty of places to sit and relax while taking in the breathtaking views of the distant mountains. Be aware that there is no cell phone service in this area, so plan accordingly. The bugs, which include mosquitoes and various types of venomous flies, can be very bad, so I would strongly advise wearing pants and carrying plenty of bug spray. Be aware that you are in black bear and grizzly country, so it is a good idea to bring bear spray along as well.
Here is a list of Google Map directions to kick start your adventure!
Header and Feature Image courtesy of Sharon G., MLT.