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Travel British Columbia

In today's post I am going to list various places to visit within British Columbia. I was hoping to have this posted on Monday I wasn't able to get it done on time for it to go up Monday morning. No photos in this post. Please remember that all non-essential travel should be avoided right now.


Historic Sites

Britannia Mine Museum

The Britannia Mines Concentrator is a National Historic Site of Canada. The large, inclined gravity mill was built on the northwest side of Mount Sheer to assist the transfer of copper ore through the chemical and mechanical processes of the plant. It is a landmark in Britannia Beach, British Columbia some forty-five kilometers north of Vancouver. The nearby volcanic peak of Mount Garibaldi indicates the presence of magmatic inclusions and volcanic cores, in which copper is usually found. As such, the town and mill sit on the western shore of the Britannia Range and defined by the large fjord of Howe Sound. The mining claims were discovered in the 1880s and the Britannia Beach Mining and Smelting Company established in the Edwardian years. Copper was first mined in the area in 1903 and the distance from smelters necessitated the construction of an ore concentrator, a system to deliver ore, and a system to ship the ore concentrate. A primitive concentrator, No. 1, was built in 1904, which was upgraded with two more units, collective known as No.2, built in 1914 and 1915. A fire in 1921 destroyed these, and a concrete and steel structure to house a new concentrator was completed (immediately to the right of the 1914 plant) in early 1923. In the late 1920s, Britannia Mines was the most productive copper mine in the British Empire, and it also produced silver and gold. Now owned by the Britannia Beach Historical Society, it is part of the Britannia Mine Museum.

Emily Carr House

Carr House is a National Historic Site of Canada located in Victoria, British Columbia. It was the childhood home of Canadian painter Emily Carr, and had a lasting impression on her paintings and writings.

Point Ellice House

O'Reilly's residence in Victoria, Point Ellice House, is preserved today as a house museum and gardens. Positioned overlooking Selkirk Water and the Gorge Waterway, Point Ellice House was constructed between 1861 and 1862 for Catherine and Charles Wentworth Wallace. Architects John Wright & George Sanders chose an Italianate Villa-style design that was popular during the nineteenth century. Point Ellice House was designated a National Historic Site in 1966 and became a Provincial Historic Site in 1975. The house is also listed on the City of Victoria heritage registry. It is located right next to the site of the Point Ellice Bridge Disaster.

Hat Creek Ranch

Historic site with guided tours of original roadhouse (hotel) built in 1860. Over 20 original buildings and many pieces of old farm equipment. First Nations site has a winter lodge and displays of early food storage, shelters, and traditions. Stage Coach rides every day, short shows daily in July and August, and all is included with your admission. A gift/souvenir shop and restaurant are also in the main reception building.

Fort Steele Heritage Site

The origin of Fort Steele is closely linked to the discovery of gold on nearby Wild Horse Creek in the 1860s. The gold rush peaked in 1865 when an estimated 5,000 prospectors flooded into Fisherville combing the hills in search of their fortune. The gold strike was rich, as many men reportedly earned from $40,000 to $60,000 that summer. One would-be miner named John Galbraith recognized the need for providing a crossing over the Kootenay River and started a ferry service. A small cluster of buildings grew up around his ferry office and the town became known as Galbraith’s Ferry. Records indicate John Galbraith charged $5 per person and $10 per animal to use his ferry service, a huge amount of money at that time. The Galbraith family earned a lucrative income from the ferry operation until the first bridge was built in 1888. By that time, they were well established as the town’s founding family. By the fall of 1865 the rich and easy-to-access gold diggings close to the surface were largely depleted. To make a profit, miners had to invest money in shafts or hydraulic equipment. Interested only in the quick profits of a new strike, most of the 5,000 miners moved on in search of better prospects. By 1882, only 11 settlers lived in the East Kootenay district. The completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway to Golden in 1885 encouraged settlers and prospectors to once more venture into the region. As more people arrived, it was inevitable disputes over land ownership between the local Ktunaxa First Nation population and the newcomers would arise. The most serious dispute was between Chief Isadore of the Ktunaxa and Colonel James Baker over a piece of land called Joseph’s Prairie, the site of present-day Cranbrook. Tension peaked in 1887 when two young members of Chief Isadore’s band were arrested for the murder of two miners. The murders had taken place almost three years prior to the arrest. Chief Isadore and 30 armed men broke open the Government Building jail in Galbraith’s Ferry and released the Ktunaxa prisoners.

London Heritage Farm

Explore the 1898, late Victorian London Farm House that has been fully restored and furnished to illustrate rural life in Richmond between 1890 and 1920. London Heritage Farm is one of the earliest farm sites in Richmond. Charles and Henrietta London built a small house on site in 1898 and then added to it in 1906. The farm produced dairy products, oats, wheat barley, fruit from an orchard and vegetables. This riverfront land became known as London’s landing and a wharf was built on the property to provide greater access to the river to send farm products to market. Today visitors can also enjoy beautiful heritage perennial flowers, a kitchen and herb garden, an outside exhibit of large, antique farm equipment and chickens.

Helmcken House

Helmcken House is a one-storey log house, with two distinctive two-storey wood-frame additions. The house faces Elliott Street Square beside the Royal BC Museum on a slight rise of land that looks north to downtown Victoria, BC. Helmcken House is significant because it was the home of Dr. John Sebastian Helmcken, first speaker of an elected assembly in British Columbia, one of the three negotiators of British Columbia's entry into Confederation, an early Vancouver Island doctor, and first president of the Canadian Medical Association. It is also an excellent example of the evolution of wooden, vernacular houses in nineteenth-century British Columbia. The original shingle-clad, squared-log structure is one of the few surviving intact examples of piece-sur-piece construction. Helmcken lived in the home from 1853 to 1920.


Natural Wonders

Stanley Park

Stanley Park is a magnificent green oasis in the midst of the urban landscape of Vancouver. Explore the 400-hectare natural West Coast rainforest and enjoy scenic views of water, mountains, sky, and majestic trees along Stanley Park's famous Seawall. Discover kilometres of trails, beautiful beaches, local wildlife, great eats, natural, cultural and historical landmarks, along with many other adventures.

Stikine Canyon

Stikine River Provincial Park is a narrow park straddling the Stikine River and linking Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Provincial Park and Mount Edziza Provincial Park. The park protects a geological feature unparalleled in Canada. Eighty kilometres of steep-walled canyon, composed of sedimentary and volcanic rock, has been carved through eons of river erosion. In the bottom of this sometimes 300 metre deep chasm flows the wild and unnavigable Stikine River, which varies in width from 200 metres to as little as 2 metres at a point near the Tanzilla and Stikine confluence. The 217,000-hectare Stikine River Provincial Park is home to hundreds of animal species including moose, grizzly and black bears, wolves, beavers, hoary marmots, and a variety of birds. At last count, the Grand Canyon of the Stikine was home to more than 360 mountain goats that use the sheer canyon walls as effective protection from all natural predators.

Kermode Bear

The Kermode bear, sometimes called the spirit bear (Ursus americanus kermodei), is a subspecies of the American black bear and lives in the Central and North Coast regions of British Columbia, Canada. It is the official provincial mammal of British Columbia and symbol of Terrace, British Columbia. While most Kermode bears are black, between 100 and 500 fully white individuals exist. The white variant is known as spirit bear, and is most common on three islands in British Columbia (Gribbell, Princess Royal, and Roderick), where they make up 10–20% of the Kermode population. Spirit bears hold a prominent place in the oral traditions of the indigenous peoples of the area. They have also been featured in a National Geographic documentary.

Wokkpash Canyon

From the obscure mining road trailhead to the surreal landscape of the Wokkpash Canyon hoodoos is 18 kilometres of serious backpacking, or a half-day’s travel with pack horses. Located south of Highway 97’s Toad River in the Northern Rockies, this site contains the largest collection of erosional columns in Canada. Thousands of boulders, some the size of armchairs and some the size of VW Beetles, balance precariously along both side of the glacial creek for five kilometres in a natural display of inverted exclamation marks. They seem impossible: tapering erosional columns supporting suspended rocks, raised five or 50 metres in the air. From horseback on the cliffside trail, I fight the juvenile temptation to hurl rocks at a few in hopes of creating a Big Bang.

Giant Cleft

The Giant Cleft in the cliffs that encircle the Cathedral Lakes appears near the end of a comfortable, day-long, counter-clockwise circuit along the Rim Trail Loop. Having gradually ascended 600 metres through fields of blooming alpine flowers to ridgeline, the views immediately south encompass families of curious mountain goats, and farther away, the 2,600-metre-high summits of the U.S. Cascade Range. The views north encompass the six aquamarine lakes for which Cathedral Lake Provincial Park, located southwest of Keremeos, is named. The extraordinary, 200-metre-deep cleft was caused, geologists explain, by the erosion of a metamorphic intrusion into harder bedrock. Hikers, myself included, cannot resist the temptation to pose at the precipice-edge, bravado trumping the hazards of gravity.


Check out Tourism British Columbia's website:


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