5 Great Trails to Hike on Your Next Car Camping Trip in B.C.
Leave the heavy backpacks behind!
Last month, we shared local expert Stephen Hui’s fave overnight hikes. But as much as we love sleeping under the stars, it’s not always fun having to carry a heavy pack full of gear to the campsite. Hence why we we went back to Hui to get the scoop on the overnight trails you can access by car. Read on for his notes on five scenic day hikes that pair well with car camping trips in B.C., from his new book 105 Hikes In and Around Southwestern British Columbia.
Reminder: Check conditions, tell someone where you’ll be and never leave anything behind: “Pack it in, pack it out.”
1. Mount Currie Trail
Round trip 13 km
Nearby campground Nairn Falls Provincial Park (south of Pemberton)
Imposing Mount Currie towers above the Pemberton. Therefore, tackling the Mount Currie Trail might impress your friends, even though the hike to the Pemberton Valley Lookout gets you only halfway to the summit. Be prepared for lots of switchbacks and boulder fields, and carry sufficient water.
2. Tantalus View Lookout
Round trip 3.5 km
Nearby campground Alice Lake Provincial Park (Squamish)
A walk in the very pleasant woods of Brohm Lake Interpretive Forest can earn you fine views of the imposing peaks and glaciers of the Tantalus Range. Enjoy the lovely Cheakamus Loop Trail and Tantalus View Trail during a clockwise circuit around the lake. A historic fire lookout crowns the day’s high point.
3. Alouette Mountain
Round trip 22 km
Nearby campgrounds Golden Ears Provincial Park (north of Maple Ridge)
The million-dollar views from Alouette Mountain’s stadium-sized summit plateau are a revelation. For the classic approach, follow its long, mellow south ridge. On the way back, take the side loop to Lake Beautiful to walk among old-growth trees and colourful fungi.
4. Campbell Lake
Round trip 10 km
Nearby campgrounds Sasquatch Provincial Park (northeast of Harrison Hot Springs)
The Campbell Lake Trail is Harrison Hot Spring’s version of the Grouse Grind. A rooty, muddy path ascends slopes littered with moss-covered boulders and deadfall en route to the lookout that’s the scenic crescendo of this outing. Cross a boulder-filled gully and follow an old, puddly road to the east shore of Campbell Lake.
5. Snow Camp Mountain
Round trip 17 km
Nearby campgrounds Manning Provincial Park (southeast of Hope)
With its sharp towers, Hozomeen Mountain in Washington’s North Cascades is an unmistakable landmark for hikers across the border in Manning Provincial Park. Venturing onto the Skyline Trail means getting an eyeful of the double peak. From Strawberry Flats, ascend the Skyline I Trail, drop to aptly named Despair Pass on Skyline II, and rise up to the colourful wildflowers of Snow Camp Mountain.