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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-18-2015, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 1
Default Hiking in 2016

First time poster here from out of country.

I am planning a summer trip to British Columbia (i have done some hiking in the UK) and will have 5-6 days free with which I would like to do some hiking.
Are there any (gentle) hiking enthusiasts who can provide some pointers.
- I'm looking for a 5 - 6 day hiking trip that allows me to take in the sights (so it's not rushed) -- any suggestions for trails? (Ending around Vancouver)
- What is the etiquette for campsites? I assume I have to bring my own tent? Or are there cabins for me to stay in?
--- obviously this is a starting point so if anyone has anything I should be aware of, I'd be most obliged.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-18-2015, 12:07 PM
Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Whistler, BC, Canada.
Posts: 368

Not certain where you're posting from, but there are some significant differences in the camping/hiking in BC over the UK:
-BC is huge, almost 4 times larger in area than the UK. This is pertinent, because there is only so large of a trail/campsite budget to spread over a big area, so many destinations are very basic. A good standard would be flat campsite, a pit toilet and a metal fire ring, but plenty of destinations do not have even that.
-There's a big range of camping types, from full backcountry (you need to bring EVERYTHING) to frontcountry/car camping (drive-in, neighbours and noise, piped water and electricity plug-ins).
-There are 2 major resources when researching camping and hiking areas. BC Parks/Parks Canada (Provincial and National Park management, respectively), and BC Recreation sites (website). It's worth noting that Parks does not necessarily seem to make camping or hiking a priority in their management plan; within that scope, car-accessible camping makes up a large part of their focus, and rules can be strict (as perhaps they need to be with so many users).
- There is literally infinity options for camping and exploring beyond these resources, if you are flexible about what you need in a site/destination and responsible enough to clean up after yourself.
-My impression of walking/hiking in the UK is that the emphasis is on routes. BC would contrast this by having the emphasis on destinations.
-Huts/cabins exist, although in an ad-hoc way and by no means systematically (privately managed, Alpine Club, BCMC, secret/illegal, etc.). Bring everything you need, assume there will be no facilities for you.
-Because BC is so big, the best routes for you may not be nearby or easy to get to. Choosing a destination is always a balancing act of time available, type of destination/experience, difficulty, ease of access, equipment necessary, and expected reward. Every BC camper choosing an outing faces this. This site is a great way to research trip ideas (so many great photos) once you've got basic understanding of the various areas around Vancouver.
-Etiquette: http://www.leavenotrace.ca/principles, https://forums.clubtread.com/11-hikin...etiquette.html

Beyond this, I can recommend Garibaldi Prov Park for a great destination for multi-day trips. Depending on your intended dates, you won't have it to yourself though, unless you're planning on (responsibly) getting off the beaten path so-to-speak.
I'm sure others can pipe up with their faves.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-18-2015, 09:51 PM
Off the Beaten Path
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Interest: Hiking, Backpacking, Skiing, Space History
Posts: 723

West Coast Trail might be an option. It's on the Island so you're looking at a 2 hour ferry ride from Vancouver and 2 hour drive to Port Renfrew. However as Big Ian mentioned, BC is huge, there is no one single trail that will allow you to "take in the sights". There is everything from ocean beach hiking, to rugged Apline and everything in between
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-19-2015, 12:52 AM
Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Squamish, BC, Canada.
Posts: 360

GlobeTrekka, Welcome to CT. I'm from the UK too so may be able to make useful comparisons for you.

You'll probably need to give us a little more info. e.g. Will you have transport? BC and Canada in general just doesn't have the public transport system that Europe does so you need to consider that. Do you have much in the way of experience? What gear are you bringing with you? What time of year is this adventure being planned for? In your OP did you mean you wanted gentle hiking? If so take a look at a relief map of BC, we've had this issue on here before.

For that reason I would also say Garibaldi Park. Reasons? It is real Canadian wilderness even though it can get busy (by Canadian standards that is) in some areas at some times. It is close enough to Vancouver that, if you don't have transport, you can hitch a ride quite easily or get the Greyhound to Squamish or Whistler and hitch from there. There are enough people that, presuming you stayed on trail, you wouldn't have to worry too much if something happened to you, someone would always be along in a while. The scenery is truly world class (be prepared to be totally blown away if the weather plays ball). There are organised, official campsites with pit toilets and bear caches/hangs and even food shelters in a couple of them.

Route? Get to the Cheakamus Lake trailhead on day one. Hike to Cheakamus Lake (3.5km) and camp there for the night. You'll have passed through a magnificent section of old growth rainforest to get there and you'll be on the shore of a glacial lake. Day two I would head up to Helm Creek campground which will be about 9km and 6-700m of elevation gain. Camp at the meadows there in the official campsite. Bugs can be bad there but that's all part of the BC experience. Day three I would walk to the junction with Panorama Ridge, stow my pack in the trees and head up to Panorama Ridge. This is the absolutely best view you'll get (if the weather is ok) of the deepest blue glacial lake you will ever see and all in a spectacular setting. On return pick up your pack and head to Garibaldi Lake. It will be busier here, quite a bit busier as you get all the daytrippers to the lake. Do not under any circumstances camp here on a long weekend (or maybe any weekend tbh). I would spend two nights here. On the day in between I would summit Black Tusk, not having a pack with you will make things easier. After your second night you could actually head out down to the Rubble Creek trailhead ( a different one than you started at) which would give you five days. If you wanted a sixth day that would be easy enough to find somewhere to else to go such as Mt Price. Getting a lift to Whistler or Squamish (or Vancouver) from the trailhead will be easy. You will have covered about 50km and traversed across a good chunk of the western side of Garibaldi Provincial Park.

If you were going to do a coastal hike I would recommend Nootka but I don't know how many people are in your group? It can be expensive logistically that one, and difficult to get to.

Feel free to ask any more questions or PM me if you like.

Last edited by seboyle; 10-19-2015 at 12:57 AM.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-19-2015, 06:57 PM
High on the Mountain Top
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Mackenzie, BC, Canada.
Interest: hiking, skiing, camping, SAR, Canadian Rangers (army reserve)
Posts: 1,515

Lots of different geography in BC, so yeah, let us know what you are looking for (alpine vistas, meadows, coastal?), and how far from Vancouver your max travel distance would be.

If the WCT interests you, you'd want to book that well in advance.

Who needs a signature? Mine is always: Last edited by dougz; Today at 03:27 PM
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 02:38 AM
Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.
Posts: 168

The sunshine coast trail may be a good option, as it is close to a town, has 10 huts along its length so you don't necessarily need a tent, and has accessible transportation from Vancouver without being a headache arranging return transportation from the end of the trail. Its multiple access points mean you can customize the length of your hike, and it includes both coastal and alpine hiking. It is a less travelled trail so you shouldn't be dealing with crowds of people, and no reservations necessary.
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