Our Favourite Summer Memories Exploring In British Columbia

Golden Ears Provincial Park

Last Updated on June 20, 2022

This summer was drastically different for us than what we had originally planned, just as it was very different for all of you. When everything Covid started to take a serious turn, though we were healthy and safe, it still stung a bit with all of the adventures we had planned that we had to cancel. Would summer pale in comparison to what we had planned? Would we make summer memories that we would want to remember? 

I’m happy to say that we are so blessed that summer was not canceled in British Columbia. It was different but incredible to explore our own province. We always want to jet set off to faraway places (granted, trips like our 10-year anniversary vow renewal in Hawaii, Europe exploration, and running around Disneyland like a little kid would have been phenomenal), but staying close to home really wasn’t such a hardship. We have had some truly magnificent experiences road tripping and camping around beautiful British Columbia. It has made us even more appreciative of what we have in our own backyard and the strongest kind of proof that there really is adventure anywhere.

British Columbia, we really cannot get enough of your magnificent beauty!

Plus, our kids had the best summer of their lives. According to Madison the other day: “Mommy, this summer may not have been what you wanted… but I LOVED IT!” At least the kids are easy to please.

Our summer adventures had come to a close, or so I thought until Jacob kept waking up several mornings in a row asking me: “Mommy, can we go camp-innn’?” (in the cutest three-year-old voice ever), so I obliged and booked camping for the last few days of ‘summer’– getting home the night before school started. I LOVE how much my kids love to explore and be outdoors!

We made so many great summer memories, that it really is hard to narrow it down.

The highlights are:

Wells Gray Provincial Park

Helmcken Falls

We love waterfall chasing, and Wells Gray is a waterfall chasing paradise. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to chase waterfalls and hike through the stunning landscape of Wells Gray Provincial Park. The park is home to one of the tallest waterfalls in Canada, as well as one of the most easily accessible alpine meadows in British Columbia. There are plenty of trails to explore, ranging from easy walks to more challenging hikes. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even go for a swim in the cold Clearwater Lake. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day trip or a week-long adventure, Wells Gray Provincial Park is sure to disappoint.

At Moul Falls you can walk behind the waterfall, and cascading 141m to the canyon below, Helmcken Falls is the fourth largest waterfall in Canada. Wells Gray Provincial Park is such a gem to discover.

Pack your hiking boots and head on up!

Clearwater Lake

Summer memories of jumping off a dock into the lake at Clearwater Lake
All the summer vibes

We had some of the best summer days at Clearwater Lake when we were camping and waterfall chasing in Wells Gray Provincial Park. Days at the lake like these just felt like summer and really made us appreciate being able to explore beautiful British Columbia this summer.

Clearwater Lake is dreamy with its dramatic scenery. The lake is nearly 22km long and it’s surrounded by mountains.

Clearwater Lake is located right at the end of the Clearwater Valley Road – the main road accessing the park.

It is a popular destination for kayakers and canoeists as the calm waters are perfect for exploring, and there are plenty of places to stop and swim. Our kids were living their best lives as they jumped off the boat launch into the water.

If you’re looking for a breathtaking place to relax and enjoy nature, Wells Gray is definitely worth a visit.

The Adventure Domes

Summer memories made at the Adventure Domes in New Denver BC
The Adventure Domes is such a fun place to stay

Nowadays, there are all sorts of unique accommodations available when you travel. You can stay in a traditional hotel room, but beyond simply providing a place to sleep, unique accommodations can also add a lot of fun and excitement to your trip.

We love unique accommodations, so staying in the adventure domes felt straight out of a storybook. It was also a great home base for our adventures. The kids were so excited to stay here and woke up each morning ready for more adventure. This unique accommodation sure gave them some fun summer memories — they have been talking about staying here all summer long.

If you’re sick of the same old hotels, why not try something new and see how much more enjoyable your trip can be?


Stand up paddleboarding on Slocan Lake In New Denver
Paddleboarding on Slocan Lake was sure relaxing!

We had been wanting to try paddleboarding for SO long. In New Denver, we were finally able to try it. We were immediately addicted and cannot wait to get back on the water again. I was surprised by how easy it was to paddleboard; I had thought it would take a bit more learning!

If you’re looking for a great way to enjoy the water, paddle boarding is a great option. Paddle boarding is a popular activity that allows you to move around on the water while standing on a board. You can paddle in any direction, and you can also use your paddle to stop and turn. Paddle boarding is a great workout, and it’s also a lot of fun. There are many different types of paddle boards available, so you can find one that’s right for you.

If you’re just getting started, it’s a good idea to rent a board before you buy one. That way, you can get a feel for the equipment and make sure that you’re comfortable with it. Once you’ve decided that paddle boarding is right for you, there are many different places to paddle.

A TON Of Hiking

Mountain views at Lindeman Lake
Lindeman Lake

British Columbia is known for its incredible scenery and hiking options. The Coast Mountains and the Rocky Mountains both run through the province, providing endless opportunities for hiking and outdoor activities. Whether you’re looking for an easy day hike or a challenging backpacking trip, British Columbia has something to offer everyone.

We spent a lot of time hiking around Vancouver and beyond. We found a few great gems. The popular hikes on Galiano, such as  The Bluffs, Mount Galiano, and Bodega Ridge have spectacular scenery. Lindeman Lake was also surprisingly beautiful with dreamy turquoise waters. The Jug Island hike was also a great one to do with the kids — they loved the reward of finding all those endless starfish when we reached the Jug Island view!

Related Story – Making Summer Memories Camping At Alouette Lake

Galiano Island

A rustic cabin in the woods at Galiano Island

My sister does a lot of traveling with us. If Darcy isn’t able to come along, you can bet that she will jump at the chance to come on an adventure. Last year after visiting Mayne Island, we decided that each year we had to fit in a sister’s trip to a new island off the mainland of Vancouver. It is always so wonderful to have some peace, get a solid night’s sleep, and have that one-on-one time with my twin. We were absolutely charmed by Galiano Island and our stay included a rustic cabin in the woods, incredible hiking, and a red-legged frog that shared our outdoor shower.

If you’re looking for a great getaway from Vancouver, consider spending a few days on Galiano Island. This beautiful island is located just a short ferry ride away from Vancouver, and it offers a wide variety of activities to enjoy. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, go for a hike in the forests, or explore the island’s many quaint shops and cafes, you’re sure to find plenty to keep you busy on Galiano Island. And at the end of the day, you can unwind while enjoying the stunning sunset over Active Pass. So if you’re looking for a peaceful place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, be sure to add Galiano Island to your list of places to visit.


Sibling moments camping at Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park – I take an updated photo like this every year to compare as they grow.

Spending time outdoors is a great way to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. For many families, camping is the perfect way to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Camping trips can be a great opportunity to bond with loved ones, create lasting memories, and appreciate the simple things in life.  Once you have found the perfect spot, set up your tents and campfire, and get ready to explore.

Camping as a family makes some fantastic memories. Our kids asked to go camping, again and again, this summer. Jacob asked me so many times, morning after morning that it made me book one more weekend away camping at the Gold Creek campsite at Alouette lake. We had been camping at Alouette Lake a couple of times before, but always at the main campsite.

Related Story – Camping For Beginners – Tips To Enjoy Camping This Summer

Pemberton Sunflowers

Sunflowers at the Pemberton Sunflower Maze
The Pemberton Sunflower maze was MAGIC!

There’s something about sunflowers that just makes people happy. Maybe it’s their bright yellow color or their cheery faces.  So, it’s no surprise that one of the latest trends is sunflower fields. These beautiful labyrinths are made up of rows of tall sunflowers, providing visitors with a unique way to enjoy the flowers. Walking through a sunflower maze is like stepping into a different world. The towering plants create a peaceful oasis. And, as you wander through the twists and turns, you can’t help but feel the magic of the sunflowers. If you’re looking for a fun and unique activity, be sure to check out a sunflower maze the next time they are in bloom!

We heard of a sunflower maze in Pemberton and hoped it would be worth the drive. On a Monday morning, bright and early soon after opening, we had the maze all to ourselves for an hour. It was pure magic.

I told the kids that they had to find their way out of the maze and if they were able to, they would get a double scoop ice cream cone each. They found our way out and we had ice cream cones all around. The kids say this is one of their favorite summer memories.


Rafting in Whistler
Rafting with TAG Whistler is a fun thrill

Whistler, British Columbia is an outdoor paradise. The combination of the Coast Mountains, the Pacific Ocean and the temperate rainforest create a playground for outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. Whistler is never a trip that I will turn down. There are very few places we will go to over and over again when there are so many great places to still discover in the world, but Whistler makes our exception list every time. There is still SO MUCH left that we want to do and see there.

One of our favorite summer memories from Whistler was taking a couple of our nieces and a nephew to have some fun on the rapids, Whitewater Rafting with TAG Whistler. It was the perfect rafting introduction for them and they had the best time. We cannot wiat until our kids are old enough to get on some rapids!

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of whitewater rafting. Whether you’re shooting through rapids or simply floating downstream, the experience is both exhilarating and refreshing. And there’s no better way to enjoy the wilderness than from the comfort of a raft. For those who crave adventure, whitewater rafting is the perfect way to get outside and have some fun. The best part is that there’s no experience necessary. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned pro, whitewater rafting is an activity that everyone can enjoy.

The Night Sky

I love waking up in the middle of the night and looking out at the stars. There’s something about the silence of the night that makes the stars seem brighter and more beautiful. When we are camping, I love to wait up or wake up in the middle of the night to take in the beauty of the night sky. On a clear night, the sky is spectacular and really makes you realize just how small we are in this big world of ours.

I could lay there for hours, just gazing up at the sky. I enjoy listening to the silence and feeling the peace of the night.

The starry night sky while camping

Simple Beach Days

There’s something about a day at the beach that just begs for lazy lounging and simple enjoyment. Maybe it’s the sound of the waves crashing against the shore, or the way the sun sparkles on the water. Whatever the reason, beach days are perfect for kicking back and savoring life’s simple pleasures. When it comes to making memories, sometimes the best days are the ones that are unplanned and spontaneous.

We are lucky to live within a half-hour drive to a couple of great PNW beaches. We love spending time, just as Darcy and I did as kids, making memories at Crescent and White Rock beaches.

If you’re looking for a beautiful beach to enjoy in Surrey, BC, you can’t go wrong with Crescent Beach or White Rock Beach. Crescent Beach is a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking, and is one of the best places near Vancouver yto find starfish at low tide. White Rock Beach, meanwhile, is perfect for those who love to people watch, as it’s often crowded with locals and tourists alike taking a stroll down Canada’s longest pier. And of course, both beaches offer stunning views of the water. So whether you’re looking to relax or to have some fun in the sun, be sure to check out Crescent Beach and White Rock Beach during your next visit down the coast.

Aerial views from White Rock beach
White Rock – The beach sure looks different from above!
Aerial view of the pier at White Rock beach
White Rock – the pier

One Last Summer Hurrah

Camping was a hot ticket item this summer, with so many people staying close to home. When I noticed a couple of open nights at Golden Ears Provincial Park, I snapped those up fast. We have been camping a few times in Golden Ears before, so we switched up the campground this time, staying at the Gold Creek campground.

The kids loved the final summer hurrah swimming in Alouette Lake — one of their favorite nearby lakes to go to. The weather was amazing. It was the perfect way to end summer break off on a high note!

Mountain and Alouette Lake views at Golden Ears Provincial Park

Our Own Backyard… Literally

While everything shut down in British Columbia and we were not able to leave home for more than essentials, I really enjoyed making our stay at home as fun as it could be. We got up to so much fun adventure in our own backyard.

There’s no need to travel far to have a good time – your backyard is the perfect place to have some fun! Get the family together and set up a game of badminton or croquet, or have a water balloon fight on a hot summer day. If you’re feeling creative, put on a play or host a talent show. And don’t forget about beloved backyard staples like barbecues and bonfires – there’s nothing like gathering around a cozy fire with friends and marshmallows in hand.

No matter what you choose to do, you’re sure to create lasting memories in your own backyard. So go ahead and make the most of it!

Backyard camping with tic tac toe and jiffy pop popcorn
Camping in the backyard with JiffyPop!
Kids having a fairytale tea party
I told the kids to get dressed up and to meet me in the backyard. They were so thrilled with this tea party — their conversations were precious!
A hawaiian Luau at home
Since we had to cancel our Hawaii trip, I brought a little bit of Hawaii to us. I put together a pretend luau, complete with pretend Hula skirts and leis. And yes, the Hawaiian pizza really isn’t Hawaiian, but we have kids.. mmmkay?
A paper mache volcano erupting with the kids having fun expressions
Also with our Hawaii fun — learning about volcanoes. We made a massive paper mache volcano and erupted it again and again with baking soda and vinegar.

Summertime is when we really let our hair down and have some fun. We pack our days full of adventure, whether it’s hiking in the mountains, picnicking in the park, or simply exploring our own backyards. There’s something about the long days and warm weather that just makes us want to get out there and enjoy life. And we all know that summer is the best time for making memories with those we love.

We hope to carry this excitement for life into Vancouver’s rainy winter season and find ways to make the most of every moment and create some unforgettable memories together.

What are some of your favorite memories from this summer?


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