Our Favourite Summer Memories Exploring In British Columbia

Golden Ears Provincial Park

This summer was a 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 cancelled in British Columbia. It was different, but incredible to explore our own province. We always want to jetset off to far away 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 asking me: “Mommy, can we go camp-in’?” (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, it really is hard to narrow it down.

The highlights are:

Wells Gray Provincial Park

Helmcken Falls at Wells Gray Provincial Park
Helmcken Falls

We love waterfall chasing, and Wells Gray is a waterfall chasing paradise. 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.

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 just felt like summer. They were the perfect summer days and were days that really made us appreciate being able to explore beautiful British Columbia this summer.

The Adventure Domes

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

We love unique accomodations, 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.

Paddleboarding

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

We have been wanting to try paddle boarding for SO long. We finally were able to try it this summer in New Denver. We were immediately addicted and cannot wait to get back on the water again. I was surprised how easy it was to paddleboard; I had thought it would take a bit more learning!

A TON Of Hiking

Views from The Bluffs on Galiano Island
Views from The Bluffs on Galiano Island
Jug Island in Belcarra Regional Park
One of our favourite hikes with the kids where we found endless amounts of starfish!
Mountain views at Lindeman Lake
Lindeman Lake

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 suprisingly beautiful for being located in Chilliwack! 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!

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 sisters trip to a new island off the mainland of Vancouver. It is always so wonderful to have some quiet (away from the kids and Darcy haha), get a solid night sleep and have that one-on-one time with my twin. Galiano was a great getway, and included a rustic cabin in the woods, incredible hiking rewards, and a red-legged frog that shared our outdoor shower.

Camping

Family all wearing tie dye shirts camping
We made awesome tie-dye shirts before all our adventures started. We brought them along on our camping adventures because we are corny like that!
Four kids enjoying the views from sitting on a log together at Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park
Sibling moments camping at Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park – I take an updated photo like this every year to compare as they grow.
Roasting hot dogs over the fire at Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park
Food cooked outside just tastes better — amiright?

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

Pemberton Sunflowers

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

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 our 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 favourite summer memories.

Whistler

Rafting in Whistler
Rafting with TAG Whistler is a fun thrill

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. Whistler is an outdoor lovers paradise and there is always something fun to discover. There is still SO MUCH left that we want to do and see there. One of our favourite 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.

The Night Sky

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.

The starry night sky while camping

Simple Beach Days

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

Kids having a beach day at White Rock beach
Digging in the sand at White Rock
Aerial view of the pier at White Rock beach
White Rock – the pier
Aerial views from White Rock beach
White Rock – The beach sure looks different from above!
Girls playing with Golden Retriever on the beach
Comet is a great adventure buddy and is so fantastic with the kids. We really do not include him enough in photos. The girls were giving him a “mud mask” while he dug his heart out in the sand at White Rock beach.
Girl flying a kite at Crescent Beach
“Lets go fly a kite…” at Crescent beach
Kids playing on the beach walking along a log
Crescent beach fun

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 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 favourite nearby lakes to go to. The weather was amazing. It was the perfect way to end summer break off on a high note!

Alouette Lake at Golden Ears Provincial Park

Mountain and Alouette Lake views at Golden Ears Provincial Park

Kids on pizza floatie at Alouette Lake

Our Own Backyard… Literally

While everything shut down in BC 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. Take a look:

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.

What are some of your favourite memories from this summer?