Though the year’s longest days are behind us, taking with them afternoons spent in sun-drenched bliss, the idea of enjoying the outdoors doesn’t have to be put to bed. You can still climb into your thermals and set out adventuring in the Pacific Northwest. Rent yourself a comfy cabin or lodge, and soon you’ll be snowshoeing by day and lounging by a fire at night. Or, bring a sturdy tent and plenty of blankets for a true blue camping experience. We’ve teamed up with Treeline Outdoors to highlight just a few places to experience nature in BC this winter.
This northern British Columbia city is the perfect home base for winter nature lovers. There are four parks in the region that offer various skiing options. For cross-country, head to Otway Nordic Ski Centre, where you’ll find 45 km of trails, night skiing, and a ski school for newbies. Seasoned adventurers should try Bearpaw Heli-Skiing, where you’ll drop in on deep snow, high Alpine bowls, majestic glacier runs, or the open visibility of big burn lines. Situated near seven provincial parks, the scenery will take your breath away. Downhill skiers will love the Pine Pass, with its legendary snowfall and drops ranging from high-skill to beginner. If skiing is not for you, try a dog sledding adventure. You can drive your own team or take it easy as a passenger.
Banff and Lake Louise
Awake to the sun breaking over the mountains, eventually creating a glimmering shadow over the water. Then spend your day marveling at the natural splendour of Lake Louise and investigating the diverse landscape. This park serves as an ideal location for those who like their views with a side of pampering. Cozy up under thick blankets and sip a hot beverage on a horse-drawn sleigh ride and scope out the scenic panoramas in every direction.
Sometimes an escape from real life is in order, and there is perhaps no better place to retreat from your stress than in rejuvenating warm waters. With an abundance of winter activity options–including snowshoeing, skiing, tobogganing, and snowmobiling—this area also has several year-round hot springs, perfect for relaxing in after a day of adventure. This stretch of utopia boasts a landscape so pristine you may feel as if you’re the first to discover each snow-capped peak and emerald, swaying tree.
This is a highly popular camping destination, and a good way to beat the crowds is to save it for winter. Pitch your tent in a private site, at one of the communal recreation areas, or bring your RV. Take your snowboard to Mount Washington, where you will find high-speed lifts, scenic runs, and a halfpipe. Or, explore the trails on snowshoes and then retire to your campsite to take in the majestic views.
Where will you get outdoors this winter?