In my articles on RV touring BC I have covered Vancouver Island and the Rocky Mountains on the eastern border with Alberta. BC is full of amazingly beautiful areas and southern half of the province from the Kootenays to the Pacific Ocean should not be missed when visiting this spectacular province. The southern half of the province provides an ideal 4 season climate without the harsh winters like the rest of Canada. Its no wonder this is where the major portion of the population lives.
Home to the southern BC 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, and wildlife flourishes. During the winter, the region is home to some of the continent’s finest mountain snow powder skiing.
The Kootenays can be accessed from Alberta via hwy 3 or from Montana, Idaho, and Washington state on several other routes. This vast area runs west from the Alberta border to the Okanagan area.
Outdoor pursuits here are epic. The area is one of Canada’s pre-eminent destinations for hiking and mountain biking, as well as for whitewater rafting. Golf courses are the perfect combination of challenging and stunningly beautiful, and the region is internationally renowned for its abundant fishing.
There are also opportunities to visit interestingly restored heritage towns left over from the gold rush boom days of the 1800’s as well as thriving arts communities.
Many RV/camping opportunities await with a multitude of beautiful provincial and national parks usually bordering a pristine lake or river.
The Thompson Okanagan.
The natural landscape of the Thompson Okanagan includes mountains, valleys, desert, and everything in between.
The highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies is here, as is a waterfall twice the height of Niagara Falls, and Canada’s only true desert environment.
This is a region that truly has something for everyone. Foodies flock to the area’s renowned orchards and vineyards; families can’t get enough of the many sandy, lakeside beaches; and outdoor enthusiasts come for the golfing, hiking, biking and skiing.
The history and culture of the region is strongly tied to the land from the Aboriginal peoples to the European fur traders and more recently the wine makers and food producers.
These colorful influences are brought to life through the many museums, heritage sites, and much of the art works.
The Thompson Okanagan covers an area north from the US border to Mount Robson provincial park, the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies, on the Alberta border and west from the Kootenays to the BC coast mountains.
The Osoyoos area bordering the US is Canada’s only desert climate complete with rattlesnakes.
Most of the south Okanagan is situated in the rain shadow of the coastal mountains that produces a dry climate and some of the finest wines in the world along with amazing fruit.
The Thompson Okanagan is truly BC’s summer play ground with hundreds of miles of beaches on some huge lakes like Okanagan Lake and Shuswap Lake to the north to mention a couple of the biggest. Shuswap Lake is the houseboat capital of Canada.
The Southern Coast
Without a doubt one of the most spectacular cities in the world with the snow capped mountain back drop and the ocean at the forefront. Vancouver is the envy of the rest of Canada and often referred to as “lotus land” with a mild climate.
The jewel of Canada, Vancouver attracts masses of tourists, some embarking on the world famous Alaskan cruise.
Vancouver also known as Hollywood North has a thriving film industry although most often it is referred to as Seattle in the movies.
Vancouver is the gateway to BC’s adventure land with several ski mountains a short drive from downtown and Whistler mountain a couple of hours north.
It is actually possible to ski a spectacular mountain in the morning and swim in the ocean in the afternoon.
To get to Vancouver from the US head north on US I-5, cross the border and continue north to hwy 1 then west. It is not necessary to travel into Vancouver city if you do not choose, you can by pass the city and continue north on the Sea to Sky hwy to Whistler without leaving the freeway.
The drive to Whistler is a scenic route as the hwy is virtually carved into the cliffs that shore Howe Sound, a long fjord ending at Squamish, the gateway to Whistler.
Along the way don’t miss the Sea to Sky Gondola that will take you over 3000 feet above the ocean for spectacular mountain and ocean views as well as miles of hiking trails beginning at the summit.
A four season play ground with access to the high alpine areas winter and summer, complete with a breath taking gondola ride from the summit of Whistler mountain to the top of Blackcomb mountain, the Peak 2 Peak Gondola.
In this mountain paradise you can laze on a different beach everyday, explore miles of hiking and biking trails, play four different golf courses and walk to a different restaurant every night.
Southern British Columbia is truly a summer time RV destination with so much to see and do it would take a lifetime to enjoy.
As RV touring goes BC is a must with all the experiences an RVer could ask for. With its diverse landscape from desert and green grasslands to lush forests and jagged mountain peaks along with thousands of pristine lakes and rivers
A land that should not be missed.
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