Family Friendly Adventure Escapes in Western Canada

Just because you have a little one, doesn't mean you have to surrender your adventurous soul.

Before we had kids, we had adventures. We had mud on our faces, salt in our hair, high alpine air in our lungs kind of adventures. For the first few months of becoming parents, we itched for an escape and longed for those overnight trips into the backcountry.  After spending five months living in a van travelling Western Canada, we discovered a few great areas to take our little one and introduce them to the wilderness. 

 

Here were some of our favourite family friendly adventures:

 

 

1. Paddle and Camp Slocan Lake  

 

Valhalla Provincial Park is an excellent introduction to backcountry paddling with campsites set up along sandy shores shaded by red cedars and western hemlocks. Waterfall explorations are plentiful and the backcountry campsites are well equipped with picnic tables, firepits, bear proof caches, and excellent views of mountain vistas.  

 

2. Backcountry Hut Hike in the Babine Mountains

 

Another easy introduction to the backcountry with enough scenery and add-in options to make even the more intrepid traveller keen to explore. Follow an easily graded former mining road into an alpine basin flooded with wildflowers and surrounded by majestic peaks with waterfalls and glaciers carving away into the valley. The backcountry hut has three rooms with a communal kitchen area and a large meadow behind it that is perfect for camping.

 

3. Mountain Biking and Camping in Revelstoke and Golden  

 

Two up and coming mountain towns in BC have all the mountain biking options one could desire. From extreme downhill options on ski hills, to mild bike paths in between cafes. We liked being able to find green trails near campsites that meant we didn’t have to travel far between camping and biking.  

In Golden, try the Cedar Lake Rec Site that has 22 campsites connected to a sprawling mountain bike network.  

In Revelstoke, we opted for Blanket Creek Provincial Park that has 105 sites nestled within walking distance of Sutherland Falls and a 10 minute drive to the Mount MacPherson trails that has every skill level accounted for.  

 

 

4. Hiking the Chilkoot Trail

 

Granted, a 53km multi-day backpack along the Chilkoot is not for everyone. But it is possible to follow in the footsteps of thousands of prospectors from the Klondike Gold Rush. Only one day is technically difficult and will take roughly 8-12 hours minimum. We took 5 days to complete the trail and I wrote about it here.

 

5. Cultural Road Trip along the Yellowhead Highway  

Wanting to expose your child to wonderful views with a cultural twist? Try the Yellowhead highway. You can start with a 19th century cannery on the salmon filled Skeena River before driving along one of BC’s most beautiful roads.   

Temperate rainforests and granite cliffs guide you to more quaint villages that at one stage would have felt like working company towns but have turned into mini outdoor hubs for those in the know. Make pit stops with the many museums of the Tsimshian, Nisga’a and Gitxan people along the way.   

If you have extra time, take in the lava fields and hot springs in the Nass Valley, just a short half day trip away from the Yellowhead highway.  

6. Day Hiking in the Canadian Rockies

 

Using Mount Engadine Lodge as our base in the Rockies, since the time of year we went was still snow covered and most campgrounds were closed, we ventured to some popular areas in the Rockies to stretch out legs on short day hikes.  

 

Our favourites? 

 

Grassi Lakes, Lake Louise Teahouse and Little Beehive, Wilcox Pass, Sulphur Mountain (free downloading of the gondola after 7pm).

 

Engadine was the perfect base as it was quiet and serene, with delicious meals included to fuel our adventures.

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Any questions about these adventures? Shoot me a message on Instagram @meandertheworld

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Rachel Bertsch (Kristensen)Explorer

Travel Blogger | Adventure Seeker | Tour Leader | Find me regularly @meandertheworld on Instagram.