Destination Hikes in and around Southwestern British Columbia by Stephen Hui is a companion book for the fantastic 105 Hikes In and Around Southwestern British Columbia. If you enjoyed 105 hikes, you will probably also love the 55 day hikes described in this book too. For this volume, Stephen chose destinations that will take you to somewhere with fantastic mountain views, waterfalls, lakes or somewhere with historical significance. Each walk is 3 hours+ and has at least 150m elevation gain, so they all *feel* worth the effort!
Like Backpacking in Southwestern British Columbia, I bought this book last spring. I have had the book for almost a year and visited 12 of the hikes so far. I finally feel like I have explored enough to write a review. Please note, I bought my copy with my own money, and I’m not sponsored in any way. The most famous trails in this part of BC are getting a little crowded, so I honestly think it would be good for more of us to read books like this and spread ourselves out to have adventures in some of the less obvious trails.
Destination Hikes in and around Southwestern BC – the basics
Stephen Hui did it again. This book contains 55 stonking adventures. There is a mix of levels from easy-ish to exhausting with plenty of walks in between. There are photos to give you an idea about each destination. Just remember, the real views are always even better.
Destination Hikes – Maps
I really like the maps in the books published by Greystone and Backpacking in Southwestern British Columbia is no exception. The maps are clear, show the topography and are easy to understand. I never use them alone (we buy more detailed paper maps and use apps like alltrails) but they are useful getting a general idea of the area.
Leave no Trace
There is a whole section of the book about outdoor ethics and leave no trace. Hopefully if you hike regularly you’ll already be aware of the details, but it is good that Stephen always includes it for newbie hikers. I think this section is preaching to the converted. I love that sometimes he gets a bit sassy when writing about it.
Just like 105 Hikes, the descriptions are useful and fun to read while you plan adventures. They often include details about geology and wildlife as well as history about each region and the first nations that were the first stewards of the land. I normally read the descriptions while we prepare for hikes, then rely on maps when we are out and about.
The hikes are located all over the mainland of Southwestern British Columbia. They are spread out from Washington State in the south, to the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island to the west. To the north there are trails near Pemberton, Whistler, Squamish and close to Vancouver. I am excited about the trails to the east in the Fraser Valley, Manning Park and even the Coquihalla summit area.
Hiking vs Backpacking
All the hikes are possible with a (sometimes long) day trip from Vancouver. Stephen often mentions when you can continue on to camp in the backcountry. Or, if you fancy camping, it is worth looking at Backpacking in Southwestern British Columbia (also published by Greystone). The two books sometimes cover the same locations.
Extra places to visit along the way
I like that each of the hikes also includes information about a “stop of interest” that you can visit on the way, or way back from your hike. For example the hike about Slhanay Peak includes information about Shannon Falls that you could easily visit nearby. Or Marriott Basin trail mentions the Lil̓wat7úl Culture Centre in Mount Curry.
Destination Hikes Views
I’ll share a few photos of some of these destinations so you can see the kind of trails Stephen will lead you down. Clockwise from left:
- Waterfall below the Train Glacier at Semaphore Lakes (15)
- Crooked Falls (9)
- Black Tusk view on the trail to Helm Lake (10)
- Just before Singing Pass from the High Note trail (12)
- On the trail near Elsay Lake (1)
- Eaton Lake‘s high point (31)
I hope you like the sound of this guidebook! I am happy to promise that it’ll make planning epic hikes in BC a bit easier. If you’ve already read 105 Hikes, you’ll know what to expect. You can click on the pins below to save this for later.