Beyond the sophisticated beauty and charm of its two major cities, Vancouver
and Victoria, lies the British Columbia that the world envisions: an untamed,
rugged, lake-strewn, river-fed, mountainous, forested province, where fish, deer, bear, moose
and elk forage, play and multiply.
Located on the westernmost side of Canada, the third largest province in the nation, BC, as it's
most often called, is bordered by Alaska, the Yukon and Northwest Territories on the north,
United States on the south, the Rocky Mountains on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west.
All but one quarter of the province is 3,000 feet above sea level, in fact, over half is 4,000 feet
Two important mountain ranges create this indomitable terrain: the Coast Mountains and the
The Coast Mountains rise from the Pacific Ocean almost the entire length of the south coast,
creating an inaccessible (except by vessel), 16,780 miles of meandering shoreline. Hundreds of
islands, including Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the Haida Gwaii, lie off shore, drawing
kayakers, fishers, boaters and sailors like floating magnets.
The other range, the magnificent Rockies, create a diagonally
jagged stone wall between British Columbia and the neighboring province of Alberta. The
Rockies are streaked with snow-covered ski runs in winter and heavily wooded wilderness trails
The province's few valleys and plateaus are less intimidating. The Okanagan region, located in
the south central area, is abundant with fruit-treed valleys, lush
vineyards and cool, clear lakes. The rambling cattle ranches in the rolling
plateaus of the central interior beckon to the cowboy, and the Peace Country
region lures and mesmerizes those who seek the wide-open spaces and pale
blue skies of wheat fields, grazing land and delicate birch and cottonwood forests.
Is it any wonder that what comes naturally is one of British Columbia's major attractions?