There are three things road trip travellers should know about when it comes to driving to British Columbia from Alberta. First, it is approximately 5 to 8 hours away from you, depending on where you reside in Central Alberta. Second, always pack a cooler full of food because you never know if there will be a forest fire or avalanche which prevents you from driving down the roadway towards British Columbia. Third, always come prepared to divert from your original plans because Southern British Columbia is a vast combination of topography and enticing landscapes which may take you to places like Nakusp Hot Springs, or Galena Bay, or Nelson, or Fernie, or Swan Lakes, or… there are just too many places to name and I think you get the point.
British Columbia, is the western most province in Canada (or the 2nd Western most? Will let the people in Northwestern BC and the Yukon fight it out). It’s land mass is 944,735 km2, this is composed of land 925,186 km2 and water 19,548.9 km2. According to Wikipedia, in 2011, its population was 4,400,057 people. Now that the “facts” are out of the way, we can digest why YOU should grab your keys and go to southern British Columbia.
- Kootney Rockies, to name a few reasons to journey into Castlegar, Nelson, Nakusp and Cranbrook in the winter would be cat skiing, snowshoeing, ice climbing and hot springs lounging
- South Okanagan, wine and Oliver, wine and Osoyoos, wine and Penticton, wine and Summerland, wine and skiing (water or snow, your choice really) and the Kettle Valley Rail road
- Hot Springs Circle Route, this is fairly simple, you just need a really hot spring of water, a bathing suit and a bath towel (I recommend a warm cup of tea, if doing this in the winter months) and a sense of adventure. There are the man-made local pools like Nakusp and Ainsworth or there are the ones off the beaten path on your way up to Whiteswan Lakes Provincial Park, or any of the other 22 different pools of natural hot water bathing areas
- Selkirk Mountains, go camping, spelunking, water skiing and more near the historic towns of Ainsworth,
- Take your pick at any National Park; Glacier NP of Canada, Mt. Revelstoke NP, Yoho NP and so many more. You can hike, bike, trail ride, ski, hang glide, explore waterfalls, glaciers, and view wildlife along the way. And if that’s not enough? You can camp or stay in a cabin to prolong your adventure in the Southern Mountains
These are just some of the fantastic things you can do, explore or see along the way in Southern British Columbia. The first thing you need to do is do a little bit of preplanning, to know what type of weather you are up against, choose a general direction to drive towards, pack up your bags and hit the road Jack (and / or Jill) because Southern British Columbia awaits your arrival.