British Columbia Provincial Parks and National Historical Sites

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British Columbia Provincial Parks

British Columbia's provincial parks show-off the spectacular scenery found in the province. Each park is just a little different and they range is size from as small as a hectare (2.47 acres) to as large as 981,000 hectares (2.4 million acres), offering visitors a diversity that's hard to beat.

More than half of the provincial parks have camping facilities. Hook ups are not available. A campsite usually consists of a parking space, a tent or trailer area, a table and fireplace. A serviced campsite means there are toilets, water and firewood, some parks have flush toilets, showers and sani-stations. There are provincial parks that feature visitor centres, hiking trails, boat ramps and interpretive centres. A number of parks are for picnicking and day-use only.

The wilderness parks have very few facilities and are usually used by back packers and people who really want to get away from it all.

B.C. provincial parks are located throughout the province, and come in very handy when traveling in remote regions (western and northern B.C.) as they are located in places, where private campgrounds and sleeping accommodations are few and far between.

There is a fee to camp at a provincial park, the price depends on the facilities the park offers, and reservations are accepted at some. These parks are managed by the provincial government through the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks and are for all to enjoy. For camping reservations phone 1-800-689-9025 for the USA and Canada. In Greater Vancouver, phone (604) 689-9025.

Click here to Explore BC's Provincial Parks

National Parks

The six national parks within the boundaries of B.C. are under federal jurisdiction and administered by Parks Canada. Like provincial parks, national parks are located in some of British Columbia's most spectacular areas, that showcase the mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, forests and wildlife.

The six national parks are Glacier, Gwaii Haanas/South Moresby, Kootenay, Mount Revelstoke, Pacific Rim and Yoho, and the two parks in Alberta that border B.C. are Banff and Jasper.

All national parks in B.C., except Revelstoke feature camping facilities, with sewage disposal, fireplaces and firewood. Campground reservation service is available at Kootenay and Pacific Rim. The reservation fee is $6.00 a night, and GST. Campground reservations are only available by phoning the Campground Reservation service at 1-800-689-9025 from Canada and the USA, or (604) 689-9025 in the Greater Vancouver area.

Click here to Explore The National Parks of Western Canada

National Historic Sites
The province of B.C. has nine national historic sites within its boundaries. Each of these sites depicts a different era and all are of great historic importance to British Columbia and Canada. These national historic sites and locations are as follows:
  • Fort Langley National Historic Site, located on the Fraser River at Fort Langley, is a restored Hudson's Bay Company trading post, that was built in 1827.
  • Fort St. James National Historic Site, located in the central interior town of Fort. St. James, dates back too 1806, when Simon Fraser explored this region. The fort has been restored to the 1896 period and offers an authentic insight to this time and place. 
  • Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse, located on Esquimalt Harbour on Vancouver Island, features Canadian maritime and military artifacts and historic sites.
  • Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site, in Steveston, was built in 1894 as a salmon cannery and in later years used as a herring cannery.
  • Kitwanga National Historic Site, is located at Kitwanga, near the junction of Highways 16 & 37. This Gitwangak fort that was destroyed during a battle fought to defend their fishing sites and trade routes from other clans. There are seven panels, along the trail leading to Battle Hill, that tell the story.
  • North Pacific Cannery Museum, located at the mouth of the Skeena River, in Port Edward, just south of Prince Rupert, is Canada's oldest salmon cannery.
  • Point Atkinson Lighthouse National Historic Site is located in West Vancouver. The first lighthouse built on this spot was in 1874, this was replaced in 1912 by a hexagon concrete tower that still stands.
  • S.S. Moyie, now restored is open to public tours at Kaslo. The S.S. Moyie built in 1897 served up and down Kootenay Lake until her retirement in 1957.
  • St. Roch National Historic Site, is part of the Vancouver Maritime Museum located in Vanier Park. This Canadian Mounted Police Arctic patrol boat was built in 1928 and was the first ship to make it through the Northwest Passage from west to east and sail around the North American continent.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
British Columbia is fortunate to be home to three World Heritage Sites. They are:
  • The Haida village of Ninstints, on Anthony Island that's part of Gwaii Haanas/South Moresby Island, with the largest number of original totem poles in the world.
  • Burgess Shale, located in Yoho National Park, is a very important fossil site. This 530 million year old site contains the remains from an ancient sea and holds more than 140 different fossil species.
  • The Tatshenshini-Alsek watershed, located in the north western corner of British Columbia, is a pristine wildlife area filled with glaciers and grizzlies. The Tat is rated as one of the best white water rafting rivers in the world.



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British Columbia Provincial Parks and National Historical Sites