10 natural wonders in BC you must put on your bucket list

Mar 28 2023, 11:05 am

British Columbians seeking outdoor adventures don’t have to travel beyond their own backyard.

Those who live in the province are in on a little secret that others may not be aware of: the region is home to some of the most awe-inspiring natural wonders you can find in the world.

Below is a list of places in the province that will spark your wanderlust — from a spotted lake that changes colour with the seasons to sandstone caves carved out by Mother Nature.

Giant Cleft, Okanagan

The Okanagan is known for many things other than just being BC’s wine country. And Cathedral Provincial Park is just one of them.

The sprawling 33,000 hectare natural area features azure lakes and alpine meadows, as well as this natural phenomenon. The Giant Cleft rock formation was formed when softer basalt rocks eroded, which then left a split in the granite.

Hole in the Wall, Port Alberni


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A hike to the scenic Hole in the Wall near Port Alberni has become a popular pastime for locals and tourists alike. The hole is all that remains of a decades old water line.

The trail to the attraction is a short 1.3 km trek with minimal elevation gain that takes about half an hour to complete. Take in the natural wonder by sitting back and just listening to the rushing waters of the creek. Visitors are often left mesmerized by the size and sheer volume of the water.

Spotted Lake, Osoyoos

Also known as Kliluk, Spotted Lake is a natural formation in the beautiful area of Osoyoos. The small lake is rich in a variety of minerals, including calcium, sodium sulphates and magnesium sulphate.

When the warm summer months roll in, much of the water evaporates, leaving behind concentrations of the minerals that form spots across the lake. The spots can change in size and colour from blue to green and yellow, as minerals within each spot alter with further evaporation.

Botanical Beach, Port Renfrew

Explore this serene beach that is part of the bucket list worthy Juan de Fuca Provincial Park. It’s best known for its fascinating tide pools and incredible geological features.

There is plenty of marine life to discover in the tide pools, including sea stars, blue mussel shells, sea urchins, white gooseneck barnacles and sea cucumbers. Keep in mind that the tide pools must be explored at very low tide.

Sandstone Caves, Galiano Island


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If you’ve never been to Galiano Island, you’re missing out on one of the most impressive natural formations our province has to offer. The shorelines are filled with a network of sandstone sea caves, that make for the ultimate photo-op.

Caused by eroding over the course of centuries, the unique sandstone formations are a true testament to the beauty Mother Nature can create.

Sombrio Beach, Port Renfrew

Find the stunning Sombrio Beach nestled along the scenic Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. This gem is no ordinary beach. It features a hidden waterfall tucked away inside a cave, drawing visitors from both near and far.

Walk along the shoreline of the beach until you find a creek. Then turn left and walk up the creek and it will lead you to the stunning falls.

Cathedral Grove, Parksville


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Practice the Japanese art of forest bathing at the lush Cathedral Grove natural area in MacMillan Provincial Park near Parksville. It has some of the oldest and tallest trees in Canada.

The old-growth forest will make you feel tiny as you wander through the towering Douglas fir trees and there’s even a tree with a hollowed out section where visitors can stand inside.

Hot Springs Cove, Tofino


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There’s no better way to soak in the natural beauty than by soaking in some hot springs. This remote and rustic spot is an idyllic day trip from Tofino.

Travel to Maquinna Provincial Park on a 20 minute seaplane (or a 1.5 hour boat ride) to find a boardwalk trail leading to seven natural geothermal rock pools overlooking the ocean.

Helmcken Falls, Clearwater

When chasing waterfalls, this one has got to be on your list. The magnificent waterfall stands 463 feet tall and can be found on the Murtle River in Wells Gray Provincial Park.

Believe it or not, wintertime is actually the best time to see the falls as the cold weather freezes it into place.

Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park, Qualicum Beach

Get underground and explore all that Horne Lake Caves has to offer. Located near Qualicum Beach, the area features some of the best caving opportunities in the country.

There are more than 1,000 caves to discover. Adventure seekers ranging from beginner to expert can tour the caves and get a glimpse of the many fossils and crystal formations inside.

Meagan GillMeagan Gill

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