British Columbia

Winter hike and overnight at Elfin Lakes, Garibaldi Provincial Park


Elfin Lakes Trail, Garibaldi Provincial Park—C.Helbig

I have raved about this hike in summer and now I’m going to sing its praises in winter. The snowy mountain scenery along the Elfin Lakes trail in Garibaldi Provincial Park, near Squamish, British Columbia, is stunning. Hiking it on a windstill day, under a cerulean sky is pure happiness for me.  It’s still early in 2018, but our hike to Elfin Lakes and overnight at its backcountry shelter may well turn out to be the highlight of my year.  Continue reading

Categories: Activities, British Columbia, Canada, Hiking, Places | Tags: , , , , | 30 Comments

Snowshoeing in Whistler’s Callaghan Valley and Vancouver’s North Shore Mountains


Snowshoeing in West Vancouver’s Cypress Provincial Park—C.Helbig

There is one silver lining to the incessant rainfall in Vancouver: snow in the mountains, and lots of it! A couple of weeks ago, Whistler had 79 cm  (31 inches) within 24 hours. Our local mountains too, just a 15 minute drive from my rain-soaked abode, have piles of the white stuff. This makes me very happy! During the last few weeks I’ve snowshoed at Whistler’s Callaghan Valley and on the North Shore mountains, in West Vancouver’s Cypress Provincial Park. They were very different experiences, from trailblazing in hip-deep snow to a gentle jaunt in a winter wonderland. Continue reading

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

The Festivities Continue at Vancouver’s Chinese Lantern Festival


Entrance arches at Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival—C.Helbig

January can be a bit of a letdown after the merriment of Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s celebrations. A few nights ago, I was thrilled to get another festive jolt at the Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival.  Lantern displays featuring everything from giant dragons to smiling trees light up the night sky at the Pacific National Coliseum (PNE) complex. The holidays have come and gone for many of us, but this festive event runs through January 21. The bonus: no holiday traffic, parking issues and crowds to contend with. Continue reading

Categories: British Columbia, Canada, Crazy Fun Stuff | Tags: , , , , | 28 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving from Mount Seymour, North Vancouver


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: , , , , | 20 Comments

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


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


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: , , , , | 29 Comments

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