The West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island is B.C.’s most iconic hike. Backpackers from around the world pin their summer hopes on getting reservations to do the 75-km trek in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
But while the WCT grabs all the glory, B.C. is home to a bunch of other epic backpacking trails.
Here are four multi-day hiking trips worth putting on your list.
East Beach Trail
Distance: 80 km
Location: Haida Gwaii
Running from Tlell to Tow Hill via Rose Spit and North Beach, this remote route covers a whole lot of coastline.
Enjoy six days of magical beach walking and solitude in Naikoon Provincial Park on Graham Island. Be prepared for river crossings and highly variable weather too.
Sunshine Coast Trail
Distance: 178 km
Location: Powell River
Traversing the Upper Sunshine Coast from Sarah Point to Saltery Bay, the Sunshine Coast Trail comes with more than a dozen huts for shelter and a few mountains to sweat up and over.
It’s truly a long (10-day) walk in the woods — one that visits old-growth groves, clear-cuts, and everything in between. Make sure to pack enough toilet paper. (I didn’t.)
North Coast Trail
Distance: 59.5 km
Location: Cape Scott Provincial Park
Don’t expect this rugged trail at the northern tip of Vancouver Island to be an easy walk on the beach.
Fortunately, in between tiring cable car crossings and steep rope sections, you’ll be wowed by stunning beaches and sightings of black bears and grey whales over six days. Steel yourself for lots of mud and deadfall.
Hudson's Bay Company (1849) Heritage Trail
Distance: 74 km
Location: Hope to Tulameen
Travelled by First Nations, fur trade brigades, gold miners, and cattle ranchers, the HBC Heritage Trail has a storied past.
Crossing the Cascade Mountains, this footpath and its 10 campsites beckon backpackers seeking a six-day hike into history. Heading eastbound, the final leg entails (sadly) enduring clearcut after clearcut — before earning an exhilarating crossing of the Tulameen River.
READ MORE: Kid-Friendly Hikes Near Vancouver
Stephen Hui is the author of Best Hikes and Nature Walks With Kids In and Around Southwestern British Columbia, a new guide to 55 hiking trails in B.C. and Washington.
His first two books, 105 Hikes and Destination Hikes, were #1 B.C. bestsellers.
Learn more: 105hikes.com