British Columbia is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west, by the U.S. state of Alaska on the northwest as well as parts of the west, on the north by the Yukon and the Northwest Territories, on the east by the province of Alberta, and on the south by the U.S. states of Washington, Idaho, and Montana. British Columbia’s land area is 944,735 square kilometres (364,800 sq. miles). British Columbia’s rugged coastline stretches for more than 27,000 kilometres (17,000 mi), and includes deep, mountainous fjords and about six thousand islands, most of which are uninhabited. The province is famous for its spectacular scenery.
Northern BC’s vast wilderness comprises more than half the province – approximately 500,000 km2 (193,051 sq. miles). It is larger than California or Japan and twice the size of the United Kingdom. The mountain ranges, which dominate the northern landscape, were shaped by volcanic fire. The rugged, heavily-forested valleys between them were carved by glaciers which at one time covered most of the province.
The wide open spaces and blue skies combined with countless clean, clear lakes and rivers create a stunning landscape that captures the heart of all who visit the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast. The region, born in the Gold Rush, was soon bustling with miners and cowboys all looking for a bit of excitement. Capture wildlife in their element and return home with photos of caribou, grizzly bears, black bears, and countless birds. Discover nature’s creative side when you come across the Rainbow Mountains, a fusion of vibrant reds, yellows, and purples.
Thanks to the warming currents of the Pacific Ocean and the protection of the Coast Mountains, the Vancouver Island region has the mildest climate in Canada, making any time of year an ideal time to visit. It has one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems: rainforests, marshes, meadows, beaches, mountains, oceans, rivers and lakes create habitats for multitudes of wildlife species. In fact, the region is one of the world’s premier locations for whale watching, birding, as well as salmon and trout fishing. Much of the island is protected parkland. It contains many pockets of old-growth fir and cedar forests, as well as rare, naturally occurring groves of Garry oak.
Mountains, oceans, lakes, rivers and beaches – this region boasts them in breathtaking abundance and beauty. The spectacular setting provides the venue for a vast array of outdoor adventures, such as biking, hiking, camping, kayaking, sailing, golfing, skiing and snowboarding. Don’t miss what the locals call the “West Coast Special” – skiing in the morning and sailing in the afternoon.
The Thompson Okanagan is Canada’s only true desert environment. It is famous for its orchards, vineyards, skiing, golf, deserts, mountains, valleys and everything in between. The highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies is here, as is a waterfall twice the height of Niagara Falls
The Kootenay Rockies is a pristine region of rivers, lakes, waterfalls, beaches, mineral hot springs, alpine meadows and snow-capped mountains. Four of British Columbia’s seven national parks are located here.