Science has proven that time spent in nature can make us happier, more creative, and less stressed – in fact, immersion in British Columbia’s majestic wildness has been shown to improve short-term memory by 20% and boost creativity and problem-solving by 50% while decreasing cortisol levels by 12.4%! We call that the British Columbia Effect.
Here we’ve suggested the top new ways to experience the health-boosting benefits of nature in British Columbia. Whether it’s breathing in British Columbia’s acres of lush temperate rainforest and observing your stress levels evaporate; getting lost in the soothing motion of the sea or retreating into ancient mountain wilderness – You belong in the wild.
Find Clarity in the Mountains
Kootenay National Park celebrates 100 years in 2020. From grasslands and glaciers to narrow canyons and extensive mountain ridges, Kootenay National Park is a land of awe-inspiring contrasts. Stay in an “oTENTik” (part tent, part cabin) visit Radium Hot Springs (part of the Hot Springs Circle Route) or hike the 17.5km Kindersley-Sinclair trail; one of Kootenay’s most epic day hikes. National Park admission is priced at £5.80 per adult from 1 January 2020.
Retreat to the mountains with Mountain Trek’s award-winning luxury health programs near Ainsworth Hot Springs. Offering all-inclusive wellness retreats guaranteed to flood the mind and body with positive endorphins, Mountain Trek’s unique program allows visitors to slow down, relax fully, sleep deeply, reduce stress, reset metabolism and dramatically change body composition (losing weight and increasing muscle!), all through the restorative benefits of being immersed in nature. Guests will strengthen the body with daily Nordic Hiking, detox in the on-site spa, reduce screen time, nourish the body with a gourmet nutrition plan and practice mindfulness in dedicated training sessions. All-inclusive programs are priced from £4,162pp excluding flights and transfers.
Get your heart pumping with CMH Heli-Skiing and Summer Adventures new Alpine Heli Trail Running and Full Zillmer Canyon Via Ferrata trips, available from July 2020. These heli-supported mountain adventures run from the Bugaboos Lodge and newly renovated Cariboos Lodge respectively. Previous mountaineering experience is not required to explore the Zillmer Canyon’s slots and waterfalls while trail-runners can expect to cover up to 25km per day across ridgelines, forest trails and mountaintop terrain. Three-day trips are priced from £2,084 per person, excluding flights.
Go hut-to-hut on the Spearhead Traverse, Whistler. The new Kees and Claire Hut at Russet Lake offers 38 bunks across six sleeping areas along the remote Spearhead Traverse, with a further two brand new huts planned to open this year. The 40 km route crosses 13 glaciers over 2,000 metres between Whistler and Blackcomb. Hikers are able to stay for as little as £26 per night.
Head North for BC’s first Northern Lights Festival in Fort Nelson, held 12-21 March 2020. Watch the Aurora Borealis dance across the sky and enjoy a series of cultural and musical events in BC’s Northern climbs. A Full Festival Package includes access to all events, an overnight trip to the Fort Nelson First Nations Lodge at Liard Hot Springs, a sled dog ride with Streeper Kennels and a snowmobiling adventure with Jag Adventures, priced from £706 per person excluding flights and transfers.
Wander in the Rainforest
Step into the wild with new operator Coastal Rainforest Safaris this spring. This once-in-a-lifetime nature experience includes safari-style camping on the secluded Branham Island in the Great Bear Rainforest, whale and bear watching and unique insights into the local Indigenous Kwakwaka’wakw culture. Three-day safaris are priced from £2,292 per person based on double occupancy in a safari-style tent, including all meals and activities, excluding flights and transfers.
Homalco Wildlife and Cultural Tours will continue to offer new Indigenous led wildlife and cultural experiences on the edge of the Great Bear Rainforest. Join the Great Bears of Bute excursion which offers the chance to spot some of BC’s most iconic predators or the new full-day People Water Land excursion, running from June – August 2020 showcasing Homalco culture in Bute Inlet. Prices to be confirmed.
(Sleep…and) Be Soothed by the Sea
Re-connect with the North Shore at the new waterfront Seaside Hotel in Vancouver’s Lower Lonsdale neighbourhood. The hotel’s design echoes the outside elements offering guests world-class comfort inspired by a unique waterfront ambiance across 71-rooms and suites, the Seaside Provisions restaurant and The Waterfront Spa. Room-only priced from £213 based on a mid-week May 2020 arrival.
Disconnect in Desolation Sound at the newly reopened Lund Resort at Klah ah men. The first, full-service Indigenous Resort on the Sunshine Coast. Originally built in 1905, this 31-room hotel has undergone considerable upgrades. The redesigned Back Eatery features a seasonal indigenous inspired menu and the new Sweet Shack coffee shop offers the Resort’s exclusive 13 Moons Coffee. A spa is set to open onsite in late 2020. Standard Queen rooms are priced from £125 based on a mid-week May 2020 arrival.
Check in to the newly renovated Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa on Vancouver Island. As part of its $17 million renovations the resort has revealed 14 newly appointed Ocean Courtyard guestrooms with stunning views of the Georgia Strait. The renovated Pacific Mist Spa is focused around the life-giving power of water. The resort also offers two new restaurants; the AQUA Bistro & Wine Bar and Ocean 7 which use fresh ingredients from local purveyors and exercise sustainable practices in all menu creations. Standard rooms are priced from £122 based on a mid-week May 2020 arrival.
For more information on The British Columbia Effect, visit: www.hellobc.com/the-british-columbia-effect-US
For more information on British Columbia, visit: www.hellobc.co.uk