Category: BC

Vancouver named among top adventure cities in the world

The new Adventure Trip e-zine just ranked Vancouver as #3 among top adventure cities in the world, behind Kathmandu and Arusha. Their description of Vancouver:

Vancouver sits at the confluence of the Strait of Georgia, the Fraser River, and the Coastal Mountains in British Columbia Canada. It’s close proximity to those natural resources make it a paradise for outdoor nuts. Few other cities in the world can boast such close proximity to an ocean, rivers, lakes, and mountains, affording residents and visitors great hiking, backpacking, kayaking, climbing, and just about any other outdoor activity you can think of. Great skiing is a short drive away to the North Shore, and the same region offers unrivaled mountain biking in the warmer months. Speaking of which, the relatively mild temperatures make for warmer winters and cooler summers meaning that the outdoor paradise accessible year round.

Via Besthike.

Myra canyon trestles reopening

Four years after the disastrous Okanagan wildfires destroyed the historic trestles in the Myra Canyon on the 455 km long Kettle Valley Rail trail, they are about to reopen. All trestles have been restored to historic specifications. The reopening celebrations are June 22.

Vancouver trails website

I just stumbled across another hiking website, courtesy of my colleague William Bakker at Tourism BC. Vancouver Trails appears to have a reasonable number of hikes, and the maps are well done. Finally in-line maps that have a decent size (most of them are too small). But the banner images impressed me the most – they look gorgeous. I immediately increased the height of my blog banner…

The only disapointing aspect of yet another hiking website is that great content gets scattered among websites. None are truly complete, so one has to visit several sites to get a full picture of hiking trails in the Lower Mainland (Trailpeak is another website with trails in the area). If only one website integrated all the information…

Tripadvisor top 100 hotels

Together with their top destinations, TripAdvisor also published their top 100 places to stay. Canada has three entries in the top luxury hotels:
17: Fairmont YVR airport hotel
27. Hotel Dominion 1912, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
95. Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

I would have rated the Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver or Chateau Lake Louise higher – I wouldn’t don’t see an airport hotel as a wonderful place to stay, no matter how luxurious.

The rest of the top 10 luxury hotels in Canada:
4. Auberge Saint-Antoine, Quebec City, Quebec
5. Loews Hotel Vogue, Montreal, Quebec
6. Hotel Nelligan, Montreal, Quebec
7. Four Seasons Resort Whistler, Whistler, British Columbia
8. Hotel Gault, Montreal, Quebec
9. Le Place d’Armes Hotel & Suites, Montreal, Quebec
10. Sofitel Montreal, Montreal, Quebec

Some interesting hotels among their top 10 hidden gems in Canada:

1. Harbour House Hotel, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
4. Alpine Village – Jasper, Jasper National Park, Alberta
6. Mt. Engadine Lodge, Canmore, Alberta  <- keep an eye out for this lodge. Up and coming.
8. Patricia Lake Bungalows, Jasper National Park, Alberta
9. Chateau Beauvallon Mont Tremblant, Mont Tremblant, Quebec
10. Artisan Inn, Trinity, Newfoundland and Labrador <- another property to keep an eye out for. Very cool place.

Hut to hut trekking in Canada

We usually associate hut to hut trekking with Europe, or New Zealand. But in a recent article, National Geographic Adventure magazine did highlight two such treks in Canada. In BC, Wells Gray Adventures organizes multi day hut to hut treks – in summer on foot, and in winter on ski.

Meanwhile, Quebec offers the self guided grande traversée in the Chic Choc mountains. You’ll find well-appointed huts along the way, with shuttles available to ferry goods back and forth. Aside from that, the new Chic Choc mountain lodge offers luxury in the middle of the mountain range.

Spring in the city, winter in the mountains

Lonely treeWhat I love about Vancouver is the mountains just outside the city. Especially this spring, the contrast between the city is amazing. While here the cherries are in full bloom, 20 minutes away, on the north shore mountains there is a foot of fresh powder, adding to the 6 m of snow they have already. A brewing storm this weekend made for some great pictures.

Is the North Coast Trail or West Coast Trail better?

That is the question that the authors of a recent article on the new North Coast Trail (NCT; you saw the abbreviation here first!) asked. Their conclusion? It’s a close call, but they feel the scenery along the NCT is slightly better, and it’s more rugged. Think the WCT 20-30 years ago. This seems to be a truly hot trail. Combined with all the other attractions in the area (Cape Scott, Johnson Strait whalewatching, Sointula area) it will help put northern Vancouver Island on the map.

New outdoor magazine for Vancouver Island

A new magazine just hit the shelf: the Wild Coast Magazine, described as Vancouver Island’s only outdoor, adventure and recreation magazine catering to the island’s eco-tourism industry. Its first issue was Free, and the contents are published on their website. It has some great articles about trips to take there. There is just too much to see and do in this province!

North coast trail close to opening

It’s been five years in the making, but it’s finally nearing completion: Vancouver Island’s north coast trail. Stretching 43 km from near port Hardy to Cape Scott, it is said to give the West Coast Trail a run for its money when it comes to scenery. It doesn’t have as many cable cars and ladders as the WCT, but there is one 200-rung ladder to keep you in shape.

The new Wild Coast Magazine has a feature article on the trail, including a two-page North Coast Trail map. The trail is slated to open sometime this year. I will need to arrange some holidays to walk this trail as soon as it actually opens.

Chilcotin alpine experience

Nuk Tessli alpine experience

Nuk Tessli is a fly-in alpine eco-adventure on the edge of Tweedsmuir Provincial park, run by German-born author Chris Czajkowski. She operates rustic cabins on the shore Whitton lake. The alpine hiking possibilities from her base are endless.

Chris has written several books about her experiences. Aside from hiking, she also offers volunteer stays to help her out with heavy work. Sign me up!