Jagged ice-covered peaks, glaciers, stunning landscapes, oceans, alpines, rainforests and the northern lights – the Canadian Coast Mountains are an adventurer's dream.
The Coast Mountains has an area of 336,962 kmÂ² and extends from Southwestern Yukon through the Alaska Panhandle and into the Coast of British Columbia. It has 73 named mountains, with 25 unclimbed peaks that are at least 1,500meters tall. It's home to Mt. Waddington, the 63rd highest peak in the world.
Some areas in the Coast Mountains are just an absolute paradise for hardcore adrenaline junkies who don't mind harsh environments, humid forest conditions and quick changing temperatures.Whether you're an athlete, a photographer, or you're just looking for a great vacation spot, there's something for you.
Here are four of the best hikes in the Canadian Coast Mountains.
Garibaldi Provincial Park
Garibaldi Provincial Park is a popular hiking area located north of Vancouver and south of the Canadian Coast Mountains. It houses dozens of peaks, the most popular of which is Mount Garibaldi – a potentially active stratovolcano. If you prefer a higher peak, then you can look into Wedge Mountain, the highest summit in the Garibaldi Ranges with a height of 9.497 ft. or 2894 m. – also a popular ski spot for tourists.
Garibaldi Provincial Park is also a great spot to see the northern lights. The best months to go would be during the winter months (December to March), but it can also be sighted during spring season (March to May).
Photographers, athletes, tourists and sports enthusiasts will enjoy the place with its expansive views and magnificent alien terrain. But bring high-performance outdoor gear, like a good Arcteryx sabre jacket, when venturing anywhere in the Canadian Coast Mountains. The diverse climates and challenging conditions add to the excitement and rawness of the experience, however, if you don't bring the necessary clothing, footwear, or equipment, you won't be able to immerse yourself in the adventure.
Tweedsmuir Provincial Park
One of the largest provincial parks in British Columbia, Tweedsmuir is located to the north of Vancouver right at the center of the Canadian Coast Mountains. It has 73 known mountains with the highest one being the Monarch Mountain – a mountain surrounded by major icefields of the Pacific Ranges.
Not only is it remote and can only be accessed by road through the southern section of the area, but it's also where Hunlen Falls is located. Hunlen Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in Canada at 260 meters or 853 feet. Tourists love to hike to the falls, though it will require a long day trip which can also be turned into an overnight adventure.
Muncho Lake Provincial Park
Located on the Alaska Highway in Northern British Columbia, this isolated park is not only famous for the amazing view of the northern lights that look gorgeous reflected on the deep jade green lake, but also for the folded mountains surrounding it, wildlife, and breathtaking flowers which makes for a photographer's fantasy.
Muncho Lake Provincial Park has a lotof natural and man-made trails that will give you a great hiking experience with a breathtaking view to the lake.
Pacific Rim National Park
Home to West Coast Trail, the Pacific Rim National Park is Canada's infamous hiking trail that's 75 kilometers long, Its three regions,the West Coast Trail,Long Beach and TheBroken Group Islands, feature stunning beaches, beautiful sceneries, and rich cultural history.
Aside from experiencing the hike of a lifetime, there are many activities that you can do here like kayaking, camping, swimming, and strolling by the beach.
Note that if you choose to do the West Coast Trail hike, be aware that there's a quota system that limits the number of hikers who can be on the trail. This grueling trail can take you 5 to 7 days to finish so come very prepared. However, there are much less challenging day-hike alternatives in the area.
Plan your trip ahead of time and make sure that you're in good shape when venturing into the Canadian Coast Mountains for that hike of a lifetime. Pack the necessary gears, clothing, and equipment. Make sure that they're durable and sturdy enough to stand the harsh environment that you're going to be in. This way, you're sure to make your hike and travel more enjoyable.