National Parks of British Columbia, Canada
The origin of Canadian National Parks lies in Western Canada. Therefore it is quite usual, that some of the first Canadian National Parks are located in British Columbia. Yoho and Glacier National Parks were among the first to be established.
Later, Mount Revelstoke (1914) and the Kootenay National Park (1920) were founded. Today, the province of British Columbia features six National Parks in total.
British Columbia's National Parks also gained internationally recognition, when parts of Yoho National Parks and Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve became an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The complete area of Yoho, Jasper, Banff and Kootenay National Parks, with Mount Robson, Mount Assiniboine and the Hamber Provincial Parks together build the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site.
Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park occupies an area of 1349.3 square kilometres in south-eastern British Columbia. The park is bisected by the Trans-Canada Highway. The park was carved from the rugged Selkirk and Purcell Mountains by glaciers. Today you will find steep mountains, narrow valleys, icefields and glaciers. Many avalanche slopes, caused by heavy snowfall can be seen. There is an unique cave system, including the Nakimu Cave, which is listed in Canada’s top 10 largest cave systems.
Gwaii Haanas National Park
Gwaii Haanas National Park is located on the southern Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia and has a size of 1495 square kilometer. Gwaii Haanas is a word of the Haida language and means "Islands of wonder and beauty". This wilderness archipelago consists out of 138 islands situated 640 kilometres north of Vancouver. The park not only protects the legacy of Haida culture, but features also some species of plants and animals not found anywhere else in the world.
Kootenay National Park
The Kootenay National Park is located on the Banff/Windermere Highway, which as a matter of fact bisects it into two eight kilometre strips of land. Bounded by the Banff Provincial Park to the east and the Yoho National Park to the north, Kootenay National Park covers an area of 1406.4 square kilometres. The vegetation is spectacularly varied. There are cactus in the south and glaciers in the north. Wildlife is abundant, with mountain goat, bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, black and grizzly bear.
Mount Revelstoke National Park
Mount Revelstoke National Park is located near the community of Revelstoke, bounded by the Trans Canada Highway to the southeast and Highway 23 to the west. The contrasting landscape reaches from dense rain forests and lush alpine meadows to rocky ridges and glaciers. Red cedars, more than 1,000 years of age can be discovered on the Giant Cedars hiking trail.
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
Pacific Rim National Park is located on the West Coast of Vancouver Island and consists out of three sections: Long Beach, the Broken Island Group, and the West Coast Trail. Each unit is different and has its own characteristic. The park sees mild temperatures and heavy rains year round and is home to a dense coastal rain forest.
Yoho National Park
Yoho National Park is located in the Rocky Mountains, with Banff and Kootenay National Park building its eastern and southern boundaries. The park has a size of 1313.1 square kilometres and contains 28 mountain peaks with more than 3,000 metres. The park was named after a Cree word meaning "awe", which refers to the towering rocky walls, once carved by glaciers, thundering waterfalls and a spectacular alpine landscape.
More National Parks of other provinces
Further information can also be obtained in our Provincial Travel Guides