British Columbia

Happy Thanksgiving from Mount Seymour, North Vancouver

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A perfect fall hike on Mt. Seymour—C.Helbig

My very first blog post was about being thankful for a great local hike called Mt. Seymour in North Vancouver. I’ve hiked this trail many times since I wrote that post, most recently a couple of days ago with my sister. I never get tired of hiking Mt. Seymour trail with its phenomenal views. On this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend I am again thankful for Mt. Seymour and all the other amazing hikes and parks on Vancouver’s North Shore. Continue reading

Categories: Activities, British Columbia, Canada, Hiking, Places, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 18 Comments

Cheakamus – Garibaldi LakeTraverse: On and Off the Beaten Hiking Path

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View from Panorama Ridge, Garibaldi Provincial Park—C.Helbig

Less than two hours from downtown Vancouver, Garibaldi Provincial Park epitomizes the Super, Natural British Columbia tourism tagline. Its extraordinary alpine scenery and iconic hikes to Garibaldi Lake and Black Tusk make it extremely popular with day hikers and backpackers. Despite the knowledge that we would not be alone, a couple of my hiking pals and I were lured by the beauty and proximity of this park. Our three days of backpacking took us on and off the beaten hiking path—from busy but stunning Panorama Ridge, to the overlooked gems of Mount Price and Clinker Peak.

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Categories: Activities, British Columbia, Canada, Hiking, Places | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Paddling the Broken Group Islands in Comfort at the Sechart Lodge

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Relaxing in Sechart’s hot tub after a day of paddling—C.Helbig

“We’re the closest hot tub to the Broken Islands,” says Nancy, one of the managers at the Sechart Lodge on Vancouver Island’s Barkley Sound. That’s music to the ear for anyone who has kayaked through the frigid waters and often fog-laden air of this magnificent archipelago. Until recently, I had no idea that you could kayak the Broken Group Islands, part of Pacific Rim National Park, in warm, dry comfort. Last weekend, we had the pleasure of staying at Sechart Lodge. It’s the only viable non-camping option for kayaking the Broken Islands, and a haven for nature lovers and relaxation seekers. Continue reading

Categories: Activities, British Columbia, Canada, Kayaking, Places | Tags: , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Vancouver Island’s West Coast Trail: Logistics and Itinerary

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Nicole and I reading up for our next day on the West Coast Trail

Planning a backpacking trip on Vancouver Island’s famous West Coast Trail (WCT) can be daunting. Should you hike south to north, or north to south? How many days of hiking should you plan for the 75 km route? At which of the campsites should you stay? While there are many opinions on these questions, I can tell you that we were pleased with our 7-day/6-night, south to north trip. What follows is a Q & A on logistics and itinerary based on my WCT experience. For those with no intentions of doing the trail, I hope you enjoy the photos. Also, check out my previous post, which has lots more photos and provides a broad overview of what it’s like to hike the WCT. Continue reading

Categories: Activities, British Columbia, Canada, Hiking, Places | Tags: , , , , | 28 Comments

20 Takeaways from Hiking Vancouver Island’s West Coast Trail

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Cribbs Creek campsite on West Coast Trail—C.Helbig

The West Coast Trail, a rugged 75 km (46.6 mile) backpacking route on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island, has been on my bucket list for years. In early June, I finally did the iconic trek. It was a great, brutal, muddy affair—an experience I will never forget. This post is a lighthearted account of what I learned about the trail on a 7-day trip with my three hiking companions. In future posts, I’ll provide more of the informational “stuff” like logistics, itinerary and packing lists. So, in no particular order, here are my takeaways from our West Coast Trail (WCT) journey from Port Renfrew to Bamfield: Continue reading

Categories: Activities, British Columbia, Canada, Hiking, Places | Tags: , , , | 38 Comments

100th Post: Ten Places that have “Stuck with Me”

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Skyline Ridge Loop at Sea to Sky Gondola, Squamish, British Columbia

I was going to continue with my Laos series when I noticed that this is my 100th post. To celebrate, I decided to do a post about places that have stuck in my mind and in my heart. It was a tough exercise limiting this to only ten (there are many runners up). I took a broad approach to the word “place” and the list includes countries, regions, and provinces. A few of the places are from visits that happened long before I’d ever heard the word “blog” or even used a computer, and I’m happy to be sharing these “old” favourites. Thank you for reading, for your likes and comments, and motivating me to keep at it. Continue reading

Categories: British Columbia, Egypt, Indonesia, Mexico, Namibia, Places, Spain | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Feeling Grateful for the Trails at Capilano River Regional Park, North Vancouver

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Capilano River Regional Park in North Vancouver, British Columbia is just a short drive from my house. I go there to run or walk at least once a week. Easily accessible trails weave along the Capilano River and through lush coastal rainforest. Giant red cedar trees and Douglas fir abound. Ferns and fungi thrive.  Eagles swoop through the steep-sided canyon and spawning salmon make their incredible journey up the raging river. Incredibly, this park is only 10 km (6 miles) from downtown Vancouver. As Mike and I were in the park, attempting to walk off several rounds of Thanksgiving dinner (Canadian), it occurred to me that I’ve never posted about this beautiful place that I feel very grateful to have in my backyard.

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Categories: Activities, British Columbia, Canada, Hiking, Places | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

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