BC’s rugged coast is home to thousands of islands, inlets and mountains

British Columbia (BC) is Canada’s westernmost province, flanked by ocean to the west and the Rocky Mountains to the east. It is also home to 25 per cent of the world’s temperate rainforests, including the Great Bear Rainforest that spans 64,000 km2 on the province’s north and central coast.

BC’s rugged coast is home to thousands of islands, inlets and mountains sculpted from millions of years of geological activity. Volcanic eruptions and colliding tectonic plates formed the Coast Mountains, while glaciers carved dramatic fjords between them, creating a landscape that rivals Norway’s famous coast. The Metro Vancouver is located on the southernmost fjord in North America, known to settler cultures as Burrard Inlet and Indian Arm.

Sea Lions in Juan de Fuca
Sea Lions in Juan de Fuca

These geographic features add up to 25,000 km of coastline that is home to incredibly diverse aquatic ecosystems and species such as:

  • Ancient and globally unique glass sponge reefs that provide important habitat for many marine animals including spot prawns, rockfish, herring, halibut and sharks.
  • The largest and longest-living cephalopod species in the world, the Northern Giant Pacific Octopus, which has been measured at over nine metres long and weighing over 270 kg.
  • A wide range of marine mammals including 25 species of whales, five types of seals and one subspecies of sea otter.

British Columbia has the second largest parks system in Canada, boasting nearly 1,000 Provincial Parks, Marine Parks, Regional Parks, Protected Areas, Conservancy Areas, and Ecological Reserves, covering approximately 12 per cent of the land area of BC.

Seven of Canada’s national parks and national park reserves are located in British Columbia:

Super, Natural British Columbia

With many options for single and multi-day trips from Vancouver, visitors to IMPAC5 can explore British Columbia’s oceans, mountains, rainforests and more.

Indigenous Tourism British Columbia

With 203 Indigenous communities and more than 30 Indigenous languages, British Columbia offers numerous authentic Indigenous experiences. Connect with the people and languages that have spoken the land, collected the knowledge, and passed the stories of Indigenous BC for thousands upon thousands of years.

Paddlers in Indian Arm, BC Canada Photo Sabine Jessen