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17 of the Best Canoe Trips in British Columbia

Explore the BC’s dramatic mountains and misty forests from a different perspective – the classic Canadian canoe. There’s a large variety of incredible multi-day canoe trips in British Columbia, ranging from relaxing paddles on pristine glacier fed lakes to adventurous circuit expeditions with portages and river sections.

With that in mind, here are 17 of the best BC canoe trips you need to need to put on your paddling ‘to do’ list!

Stretching from Vancouver Island to Northern BC, these routes and circuits range from 2 to 10 days in length so you can pick the best fit for your own adventure. Some are more remote than others, but all offer glorious scenery accompanied by a serene paddling experience.

Mirror lake reflections of snow capped mountains on Murtle Lake, one of the best BC canoe trips
Murtle Lake, Wells Gray Provincial Park

BC canoe trips: about this list

This is not a definitive list of canoe trips in British Columbia but includes some of the most popular, fun and varied canoe adventures to be had!

  • While we love canoeing, we have not paddled all of these BC canoe trips (yet). I have noted those that remain on our ‘to do’ list so you will know which I write about with personal experience
  • All but one of the following canoe trips have established lakeshore camping facilities (usually with outhouses, fire pits, occasionally picnic tables, tent pads and bear caches)
  • This post features flat water adventures only (with very short river sections). If you’re looking for river paddling options, I’d suggest researching the Similkameen, Thompson, Nicola, Nanaimo River, Cowichan River, Slocan River and the Upper Fraser River
  • The majority of these BC canoe routes are first come, first serve – only one uses a reservation system
  • Prefer kayaks? No problem – all of these routes are suitable for kayaks too though portaging may be more laborious

This post includes affiliate links. If you make a purchase via one of these links, I may receive a percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.

Google Map of BC Canoe Trips
Click the map above to view Google Map featuring the locations of all the BC canoe trips in this post

Preparing for your paddling adventure

Help keep the wilderness wild and make sure you understand the principles of Leave No Trace before heading out on your BC canoe trip. Learn how to avoid a negative bear encounter, for a safer camping adventure.

Finally, ensure you have the 10 essentials to survive longer in the outdoors and know how to stay safe, in case things don’t go to plan.

Back view of Gemma paddling on Isaac Lake, with mountains and rain in the distance
Paddling the Bowron Lakes Canoe Circuit

Besides your 10 essentials, here are more items to bring:

  • Proper canoe cart – For the BC canoe routes that have suitable portages for them, a canoe cart can be a big help. Make sure you buy or rent a ‘proper’ one, meaning a canoe specific portage cart that looks like this. The smaller ones with horizontal supports are built for kayaks and are a lot more difficult to maneuver
  • Foldable chairs – Some of the campsites on the following BC canoe trips have picnic tables but most do not (and even then, picnic tables don’t have backrests!) We always bring our lightweight Helinox chairs on canoe trips for that extra comfort after a long day of paddling
  • Camp stove – Yes, I know, cooking on the fire can feel like a non-negotiable part of a canoe trip but it’s important to have a backcountry stove for back-up. Think fire bans, torrential rain and/or a severe lack of dry wood….
  • Lightweight tarp – For rain or for shade, I wouldn’t ever consider going on a BC canoe trip without a tarp. My preference is to use an ultralight siltarp, which saves extra weight and bulk on portages
Gemma is pulling a white canoe away from the camera while carrying a green backpack, portaging on the Bowron Lakes Canoe Circuits, one of the best canoe trips in BC
Portaging on the Bowron Lakes Canoe Circuit (it isn’t always this easy looking!)

BC Canoe Circuits

The following are true canoe circuits, in that you finish exactly where you started after completing a circular route. This occurrence is pretty rare in British Columbia due to topography, even with man-made portages. Nevertheless, there are three great examples.

Sayward Forest Canoe Circuit

Overview: 12 lakes, 12 portages with short river/creek/pond sections (47km total)
Where: Vancouver Island, 30km from Campbell River
Camping: 37 camping areas
Fees/reservations: No fees, lots of free campgrounds
Launch: Multiple options. Mohun Lake in Morton Lake Provincial Park is the most popular
Rentals: Comox Valley Kayaks (75km from the circuit)
Other things to do: Fishing
Dogs: Permitted
Suggested length of trip: 4 days
For more info: Complete paddling guide

Orange tent is set up in front of lake view from island on Sayward Canoe Circuit
Peaceful evenings on the Sayward Canoe Circuit

A destination usually associated with ocean paddling, Vancouver Island is also host to some excellent freshwater paddling opportunities. Indeed, one of the few true canoe circuits in all of BC can be found in an assuming forest just northwest of Campbell River.

The 47km long canoe circuit comprises twelve lakes, twelve portages and a couple of short river sections.

Each lake is wonderfully memorable, ranging from the expansive Lower Campbell Lake to the tiny lily-padded Whymper Lake. Amor Lake, with unusual shape and delicate islands, is a definite highlight.

Situated in a working forest, the Sayward Canoe Circuit is not as pristine as Bowron Lakes but feels surprisingly remote. The campgrounds offer a variety of experiences, from very rustic (no facilities) and basic (outhouses only) to well established (Rec Sites with picnic tables) and even developed (private campgrounds).

Emar Lakes Canoe Circuit

Overview: 7 small lakes, 6 portages in Emar Lakes Provincial Park
Where: North Thompson region, 115km north of Kamloops
Camping: 2 vehicle accessible campgrounds plus wild camping
Fees/reservations: None, first come first serve
Launch: Willowgrouse Lake, Janice Lake or Dytiscid Lake
Other things to do: Fishing
Dogs: Not recommended
Suggested length of trip: 2 days

This compact canoe circuit is on my list for a trip in 2021. Seven pretty lakes form a complete loop, connected by six short portages.

The largest lake is Janice Lake (also known as Long Island Lake) and is about 2.5km across at its widest point. While it is possible to paddle the lakes in a day, a night or two helps to slow the experience down.

The opportunity to fish for rainbow trout is a major draw on this BC canoe trip, and indeed, for this area in general. The nearby road is sometimes nicknamed the ‘Fishing Highway’!

There are two vehicle accessible Recreation Site campgrounds on two of the lakes and wild camping spots elsewhere on the circuit (no facilities). The Rec Sites also provide the best places to launch.

Bowron Lakes Canoe Circuit

Overview: Parallelogram of 12 lakes, 8 portages plus a number of river sections (116km total)
Where: Central Cariboo region, 110km east of Quesnel
Camping: 54 designated camping areas, each with tent pads, outhouses and bear caches
Fees/reservations: $60 per person for full circuit, $30 for west side, plus reservation fee (highly recommended)
Launch: Kibbee Lake, after 2.4km portage (full circuit) / Bowron Lake (west side)
Rentals: Multiple options close to launch
Other things to do: Fishing, hiking opportunities
Dogs: Not permitted
Suggested length of trip: 6-10 days (3-5 for the west side)
For more info: Complete paddling guide

Mountains surrounding Lanezi lake on the Bowron Lakes Canoe Circuit, one of the best BC canoe trips
Lanezi Lake on the Bowron Lakes Canoe Circuit

Bowron Lakes is the most well known (and popular) BC canoe route. It’s easy to understand why – this epic 116km circuit in Bowron Lakes Provincial Park is a perfect parallelogram of lakes, rivers and portages backdropped by wild, temperature rainforest and rugged mountains.

It is, however, no mean feat. Almost 11km of the total circuit distance takes the form of (often muddy) portages, with the longest being 2.4km

There is the option to explore just the west side of the Bowron Lakes Canoe Circuit, which still takes in a good handful of lakes and rivers as well as some outstanding views.

Bowron’s popularity means that the daily canoe launches are restricted. Reservations are therefore all but essential during the summer months, with the booking system usually opening the October prior. For the 2021 season, reservations will launch on March 1st at 7am PT.

Canoe Routes

For this section, I define a canoe route as one including at least two lakes, connected by a river or portage. Some of these BC canoe routes feature many more than two lakes, with one even being considered a circuit of sorts.

One great aspect of choosing a canoe route over a circuit is being able to choose how much or little you want to paddle. It is perfectly possible to change campsites every night or to explore the lake system from a base camp if you’re feeling lazy!

Mirror reflections on Slocan lake, with rolling mountains and many layers of blue
Reflections on Slocan Lake

Main Lakes Canoe Route

Overview: 1 large lake with connections to 5 others in Main Lake Provincial Park
Where: Quadra Island, a short ferry from Campbell River on Vancouver Island
Camping: 7 established marine campsites with outhouses
Fees/reservations: $5/per camping night/per person, first come first serve
Launch: Mine Lake or Village Bay Lake
Dogs: Not recommended
Other things to do: Hiking opportunities, fishing
Suggested length of trip: 2-4 days

Close up view of canoe bow with calm lake water and forest behind on Main Lake, one of the best BC canoe trips
Canoeing Main Lake

Positively idyllic in summer, the Main Lakes Canoe Route is an ideal destination for a relaxing BC canoe trip. Five smaller lakes branch out from the largest one, the eponymous Main Lake.

Setting up a base camp at a campsite on Main Lake is the most convenient and comfortable way to explore the park. There are seven camp areas to choose from, with some having gorgeous sandy beaches (perfect for those long hot days!)

Besides visiting the other lakes in the area, it’s also possible to hike 1.6km to Yeatman Bay. This offers the unusual opportunity to visit the ocean on a freshwater trip. And the views across to Maurelle Island are stunning!

Powell Forest Canoe Route

Overview: 8 lakes, 5 portages in a horseshoe shape (63km total)
Where: Sunshine Coast, east of Powell River
Camping: 17 designated camping areas
Fees/reservations: No fees, first come first serve
Launch: Multiple options, Lois Lake is the most popular
Rentals: Mitchell’s
Other things to do: Fishing
Dogs: Permitted
Suggested length of trip: 4-6 days
For more info: Paddling guide

JR standing on a floating dock and  looking out to Windsor Lake Powell Forest Canoe Circuit, with mountains in background
Watching the approaching rain on Windsor Lake, part of the Powell Forest Canoe Circuit

Just a stone’s throw from the Salish Sea, an exciting off the beaten path adventure awaits on the Powell Forest Canoe Route. Well maintained portages connect 8 unique lakes, which are surrounded by misty temperate rainforest and stunning coastal mountains.

Most of the lakes in the Powell Forest are small, easily crossable in a few hours or less. The exception is Powell Lake, which accounts for 30km of the quoted canoe route length listed above.

Deep, mysterious, temperamental and seemingly never-ending, paddling this fjord is an experience in itself.

The Powell Forest Canoe Route is so close to being a circuit that a lot of people do call it one. The technicality is that while it is an incredible adventure on its own merits, you do not start and finish at the same spot unless you double back or utilise a vehicle.

There are various ways to extend, shorten or otherwise adapt the route of this BC canoe trip to your own needs.

Lightning Lakes Canoe Route

Overview: Three lake chain in E.C. Manning Provincial Park
Where: Between Hope and Princeton, just off Highway 3
Camping: Backcountry campsite on Strike Lake, with outhouses and bear cache
Fees/reservations: $5/per camping night/per person, first come first serve
Launch: Lightning Lake day-use area
Rentals: Manning Park Resort
Other things to do: Hiking opportunities, fishing
Dogs: Allowed on leash
Suggested length of trip: 2 days

Looking through the trees down to curving Lightning Lake, with mountains in distance
View of Lightning Lake from the Frosty Mountain Trail

This trio of imaginatively named lakes in Manning Park forms a short yet scenic BC canoe route, bordered by forested mountains and a lakeshore hiking trail.

Lightning Lake is the first lake on the chain, also the largest and most interesting to paddle. The portage to Flash Lake is 500m and the next to Strike Lake 1.5km.

There is a backcountry campsite just a short walk (600m) away from Strike Lake. Located in a grove of spruce trees, it’s primarily used by hikers.

From Strike Lake, it is possible to hike to Thunder Lake (6km return), the fourth and final lake of the chain. In theory, you could also portage but the trail is narrow, slippery and littered with avalanche debris. Access to the lake is also potentially tricky so I wouldn’t recommend it.

I was a little hesitant to include the Lightning Lakes Canoe Route on this list since it is relatively short and the portages are quite overgrown. We have also found the water levels of Strike Lake to be a challenge in late summer. But it was the fun hike/canoe trip combination, with easy highway access that won me over!

Moose Valley Canoe Route

Overview: 12 small lakes in wetland area in Moose Valley Provincial Park
Where: South Cariboo, 30km west of 100 Mile House
Camping: 1 vehicle accessible campground, 2 rustic campsites (no facilities)
Fees/reservations: None, first come first serve
Launch: Marks Lake
Other things to do: Fishing
Dogs: Policy not specified
Suggested length of trip: 2-3 days
For more info: BC Parks guide

The Moose Valley Canoe Route winds through a maze of small, shallow lakes in a delicate wetland area. The pretty lakes are studded with intricate, reed fringed islands. Moose are a fairly common sighting here.

Although it’s possible to paddle this canoe route in a day, many choose to stay for a few nights to soak in the tranquility of the area. Facilities are limited but there are a couple of established marine sites on Long and Canoe Lakes.

Very close to Moose Valley (by BC standards anyway), is also the Flat Lake Canoe Route. There’s not much information about it available online, which is why I mention it within Moose Valley’s entry.

According to BC Parks, Flat Lake Provincial Park features a number of small lakes interconnected with short portages. It is suggested to be ideal for canoe trips up to three days. We plan to one day paddle both Moose Valley and Flat Lake on the same road trip.

Clearwater/Azure Lakes Canoe Route

Overview: 2 lakes connected by a portage in Wells Gray Provincial Park
Where: 65km north of Clearwater and Highway 5
Camping: 12 camping areas with outhouses and bear caches
Fees/reservations: $5/per camping night/per person
Launch: Southern end of Clearwater Lake
Rentals: Clearwater Lake Tours
Other things to do: Hiking opportunities, fishing, waterfalls
Dogs: Not recommended
Suggested length of trip: 5-8 days for both lakes (3-4 for Clearwater only)

Concrete boat launch ramp leads down to calm lake surface, with a powerboat passing by, forest lines the lake in the background
The boat launch at Clearwater Lake – time for an adventure!

Positioned at a right angle to each other, Clearwater Lake and Azure Lake are connected by a short portage.

With both of these glacial fed lakes being an impressive 22km long, it is possible to paddle for up to a week and still have the chance to see something new. This is my plan for my first trip to Clearwater and Azure in 2021!

Wells Gray Provincial Park is best known for its collection of spectacular waterfalls. This canoe route has one of its own to complement the others, the beautiful Rainbow Falls at the end of Azure Lake.

There are a total of twelve camping areas between both lakes, with most being on Clearwater Lake. Being further away from the launch point, Azure Lake is usually less busy. There is, however, a water taxi service that can pick up and drop off paddlers anywhere along the route.

Turner Lake Canoe Route

Overview: 7 lakes, 7 portage chain in Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park
Where: West Chilcotin region, 70km east of Bella Coola
Camping: 7 established marine campsites with outhouses and bear caches
Fees/reservations: $5/per camping night/per person, first come first serve
Launch: Turner Lake (fly-in or 16km hike)
Rentals: Tweedsmuir Air
Other things to do: Hiking opportunities (with alpine options), fishing, waterfall
Dogs: Not recommended
More info: BC Parks Guide
Suggested length of trip: 4-5 days

Paddler in red canoe on calm lake. lined by forest with snow topped mountains in background
Turner Lake, photo credit Destination BC/Kari Medig

One of the most remote BC canoe trips listed here, the Turner Lakes Canoe Route is a real wilderness adventure.

Those who make the effort to hike or fly-in will find a series of seven high elevation lakes, most of which have views of dramatic snow capped mountains. Another highlight is the chance to see Hunlen Falls, Canada’s third highest waterfall (401m).

While the portages are on the shorter side (less than 600m), they are not to be underestimated. The changeable weather can prove a challenge too.

Rather than attempt to hike or fly in their boat, most canoeists choose to arrange a canoe rental at Turner Lake. There are also two rustic cabins that can be booked.

The Turner Lake Canoe Route is definitely high on my bucket list of BC canoe trips. I plan to combine it with an alpine hiking adventure in the Ptarmigan Lakes area as this couple did, hopefully in 2021 or 2022.

Nazko Lakes Canoe Route

Overview: 7 lake, 6 portage chain with short creek/river sections in Nazko Lake Provincial Park
Where: Chilcotin region, 150km northwest of Williams Lake
Camping: 4 established campsites (no facilities)
Fees/reservations: No fees, first come first serve
Launch: Deerpelt Lake
Other things to do: Fishing
Dogs: Not recommended
Suggested length of trip: 1-3 days
For more info: BC Parks Guide

The Nazko Lakes Canoe Route takes in seven small but pretty lakes in the Chilcotin region. One of the lakes is so tiny that it does not have a name. The portages are apparently short and easy, all being less than 800m with little elevation gain.

The paddling distance adds up to 20km, with Tanilkul Lake being the longest lake at 5km. It is also cited as the most beautiful lake on the chain. Moose are a fairly common sight, with the endangered American White Pelican also in the area (the reason I most want to check it out!)

There are no camping facilities on this BC canoe route besides the vehicle accessible campground on the first lake (Deerpelt). There are, however, four established spots for camping, spaced out over four lakes.

Please note that this park was damaged in wildfires in 2017 and one of the camping areas is currently closed (Tanikul South Campsite). Check for updates on the BC Parks website.

Nanika-Kidprice Canoe Route

Overview: 4 lake, 3 portage chain, most of which is in Nenikëkh / Nanika-Kidprice Provincial Park
Where: Northern Interior, 75km southwest of Houston
Camping: 4 established campsites with outhouses and bear cache plus 4 ‘rustic’ sites (no facilities)
Fees/reservations: No fees, first come first serve
Launch: Lamprey Lake
Other things to do: Fishing, waterfall, hiking opportunities (unmaintained routes)
Dogs: Allowed on leash
Suggested length of trip: 3-5 days

This lesser visited canoe route lies in a valley between two mountain ranges in Northern British Columbia. Four high elevation lakes line up to offer 30km of paddling, accessed with the assistance of three portages. The longest is 2.2km but is mostly level.

In addition to excellent views of snow capped mountain peaks, the Nanika-Kidprice Canoe Route offers a number of beautiful beaches to camp and relax on. Powerful Nanika Falls (18m) can be found on the final lake of the chain, Kidprice Lake.

From reading trip reports, the fishing on the route sounds promising (particularly for rainbow trout). This combined with the scenery and relative obscurity of the route, makes the Nanika-Kidprice an very appealing BC canoe trip.

Nation Lakes Canoe Route

Overview: 4 lakes, 3 rivers chain, most of which is located in Nation Lakes Provincial Park
Where: North Central BC, northwest of Fort St James
Camping: 8 provincial park campsites plus Recreation Sites and wild camping
Fees/reservations: None, first come first serve
Launch: Four different access points, Tsayta Lake is popular for canoe route use
Other things to do: Fishing
Dogs: Permitted
Suggested length of trip: 7-10 days

With an epic total distance of 120km, the Nation Lakes Canoe Route is perfect for anyone wanting a long paddling adventure in pristine wilderness. Due to the remote location in Northern BC, you’re also unlikely to see anyone else outside of hunting season.

Besides the isolation, wide open views are one of the major attractions, alongside the high paddling to portage ratio. Unusually, the connections between the lakes are river sections so there are no formal portages. It may, however, be necessary to portage due to low water or logjams.

BC Parks doesn’t detail too much about this canoe route, so I’d suggest having a read of trip reports – examples here and here. A canoe rental and shuttle service is available via Chuchi Lake Fishing Lodge, the latter of which I will likely use myself.

Large lakes

British Columbia is characterised by its immense mountain ranges, rugged coastline and narrow valleys. The latter are often filled with long, narrow lakes.

Some are man-made (reservoirs) while others are fed by glaciers. Such large lakes lend themselves well to canoe tripping, though can be susceptible to high wind and waves.

Buttle Lake

Overview: 23km long reservoir lake set in picturesque valley
Where: Vancouver Island, 65km southwest of Campbell River
Camping: 4 established marine campsites with outhouses
Fees/reservations: $10/per camping night/per person, first come first serve
Launch: Multiple options, including official boat launches
Rentals: Strathcona Park Lodge
Other things to do: Hiking opportunities, fishing, waterfall
Dogs: Not recommended
Suggested length of trip: 2-4 days

Calm Buttle lake surrounded by steep mountains, with tree covered island
Buttle Lake

Buttle Lake is one of the most defining features of Strathcona Provincial Park. Mountains rise steeply from the edge of this narrow turquoise lake, creating impressive valley views. A large waterfall cascades directly into the lake at the southern end.

There are four marine campsites on the lake, with Rainbow Island being a favourite for families due to its convenient location. At Phillips Creek campsite, a 6.6km trail leads up into the subalpine Marble Meadows.

Please be aware that Buttle Lake can be exceptionally windy, especially on hot days, and some of the shoreline can be steep.

If desired, you an also paddle north into Upper Campbell Lake for a longer canoe trip – there is another provincial marine campsite here as well as some Recreation Sites and wild camping options.

Okanagan Lake

Overview: 135km long lake
Where: Okanagan Valley, adjacent Highway 97
Camping: 7 established marine campsites with picnic tables and outhouses
Fees/reservations: $13/per night/per camping party, first come first serve
Launch: Numerous options – Indian Rock near Naramata is our go-to
Rentals: Multiple local options
Other things to do: Hiking opportunities, fishing
Dogs: Not recommended
Suggested length of trip: 3-4 days

Set up tent in grassy area above calm Okanagan Lake, with sunset colours visible above distant mountains
Camping at Buchan Bay on Okanagan Lake

Stretching an impressive 135km from top to bottom, Okanagan Lake is one of the most impressive bodies of water in BC’s southern interior. It’s also very windy at times and very popular with boats in the summer (consider planning a trip for the shoulder seasons).

While there are a number of large communities and a highway located on the shores of the lake, a few areas have escaped development. One of these is Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park, which sits on the lake’s eastern shore between Kelowna and Penticton.

Most of the shoreline of the park is steep, rising into remarkably rugged mountains (watch for bighorn sheep!) The few flatter sections have been developed into marine campsites, which can be used to as overnight stopovers or for base camp use.

Whatever you do, make sure to take a trip to Rattlesnake Island, a scenic spot that was once the centre of an international incident involving hostages and a miniature golf course (the remains of which are still there).

Murtle Lake

Overview: Large lake in shape of backwards L, part of Wells Gray Provincial Park
Where: Between Clearwater and Valemount, close to Highway 5
Camping: 19 designated camping areas with 69 campsites, each with outhouses and bear caches
Fees/reservations: $5/per camping night/per person, first come first serve
Launch: Murtle Lagoon, after 2.5km portage
Rentals: Murtle Canoes
Other things to do: Hiking opportunities (with alpine options), fishing
Dogs: Not permitted
Suggested length of trip: 4-7 days
For more info: Complete paddling guide

Looking down from alpine ridge to Murlte Lake, a huge deep blue lake backdropped by snow capped mountains. Murtle Lake offers one of the best bc canoe trips
The North Arm of Murtle Lake seen from Wavy Ridge

Murtle Lake has the distinction of being North America’s largest canoe-only lake. Such peace and freedom offers opportunities for not just a peaceful BC canoe trip, but an adventurous one if desired.

The lake itself is divided in two by 15km West Arm (more campsites, busier) and a 20km North Arm (more dramatic views, quieter). The width varies but is never more than 3km.

Wide sandy beaches dot the shores, with intricate islands providing the perfect place to stop for a snack break. 2000m peaks provide amazing mirror lake reflections on calm days. Two lakeside trailheads offer access into the alpine itself, for a chance to see Murtle Lake from above too.

Located at an elevation of 1067m and fed by glacial river, Murtle Lake is noticeably cooler than most of the other BC canoe routes listed here. So be sure to bring extra warm layers (even in the height of summer) as well as your fishing rod.

Slocan Lake

Overview: 39km long lake, majority of which is part of Valhalla Provincial Park
Where: West Kootenay region, between Nelson and Revelstoke
Camping: 8 provincial marine campgrounds with outhouses, picnic tables and bear caches plus two Recreation Sites (Bannock Point, Wragge Beach)
Fees/reservations: No fees, first come first serve
Launch: 7+ options, we prefer Slocan village
Rentals: Smiling Otter
Other things to do: Hiking opportunities, fishing, historical artefacts
Dogs: Allowed on leash in marine campgrounds (and select trails)
Suggested length of trip: 3-5 days
For more info: Complete Valhalla Provincial Park guide

View of picnic table next to set up tent on sandy beach next to calm Slocan Lake, surrounded by forested mountains. The perfect destination on a BC canoe trip
Our camp at Ben Browns beach, Slocan Lake

Slocan Lake is our go-to destination for lazy summer canoe trips, when we much prefer the idea of swimming to portaging! This is the perfect place to sunbathe, fish, float and relax.

The western shoreline of this long lake features a string of dreamy beach campgrounds looking out onto the turquoise coloured water and mountains beyond. Our favourite campsites are Ben Browns and Cory’s Ranch.

This is the perfect place to swim, sunbathe, fish, float and relax. Highway 6 borders the lake on the other side but somehow seems a world away. Our favourite campsites are Ben Browns and Cory’s Ranch.

If you prefer a more adventurous BC canoe trip, Slocan still delivers in buckets. There are five hiking trailheads along the lake, offering the chance to explore beautiful waterfalls, old mining cabins and even venture into the alpine.

Christina Lake

Overview: 18km long lake adjacent to Gladstone Provincial Park
Where: West Kootenay region, easy access from Highway 3
Camping: 7 established marine campsites with picnic tables and outhouses
Fees/reservations: $13/per night/per camping party, first come first serve
Launch: Texas Creek Campground
Other things to do: Hiking opportunities, fishing
Dogs: Not permitted
Suggested length of trip: 2-3 days

Canoe view of sandy beach on Christina Lake, with clear lake water, backdropped by forested hills
Christina Lake has many sandy beaches plus super clear water

As well as being one of the warmest lakes in British Columbia, Christina Lake is also known for its amazingly clear water. The shore is lined by a number of fine sandy beaches, perfect for swimming and sunbathing in summer. It’s all backdropped by the Monashee Mountains.

Like Okanagan Lake, this BC canoe trip is best taken outside of summer if peace is a priority. The southern shores of Christina Lake are fringed with vacation homes.

The northern half of the lake is surrounded by Gladstone Provincial Park, but even then, some of the shoreline remains private and is dotted with more houses.

While Christina Lake isn’t my top pick for a wilderness trip, it’s still worth consideration for a short paddle adventure. We enjoyed tranquil mornings and evenings as well as the gorgeous views and productive fishing.

Sunset behind a calm lake with canoe resting on beach
Which BC canoe trip will you choose? This is Bowron Lakes

For more paddling inspiration:

9 Extraordinary Kayak and Canoe Trips You Must Try in Canada

7 Canadian Canoe Trips That Should Be On Your Bucket List

Canoeing Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Emerald Lake: Complete Guide and Comparison

Paddling Desolation Sound By Canoe, British Columbia

Wallace Island: An Idyllic Kayaking Destination in British Columbia

A Week in the Wilderness of Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia

Kayaking the 100 Wild Islands, Eastern Shore, Nova Scotia

Explore the BC's dramatic mountains and misty forests from a different perspective - the classic Canadian canoe. There's a large variety of incredible multi-day canoe trips in British Columbia, ranging from relaxing paddles on pristine glacier fed lakes to adventurous circuit expeditions with portages and river sections. Click here to discover 17 of the best canoe trips in BC - they need to go on your bucket list ASAP! offtracktravel.ca

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