August is late summer in British Columbia, and the weather is generally warm and pleasant, and the days are long. There's a lot of variation in the province's climate from north to south, coast to mountains. In summer, inland areas tend to be hotter than the coast, but inland also has mountains where you can retreat from the heat at higher altitudes.
Vancouver, on the southwestern coast, remains warm but moderate throughout the summer, with a minimum August temperature of 57°F (14°C) and a maximum of 72°F (22°C). On the other hand, inland areas can get quite a lot hotter, especially in the south. For example, Kelowna has a low of 53°F (12°C) and a high of 82°F (28°C). Northern areas experience a short summer, but temperatures can be quite pleasant. For example, Fort Nelson, in northeastern British Columbia and at roughly the same latitude as Juneau, Alaska, has a minimum of 48°F (9°C) and a maximum of 71°F (22°C).
Crowds & Costs
August is the peak summer season for travel to British Columbia. However, this means that a few favored destinations will be bustling, such as Whistler, Squamish, a few towns on Vancouver Island, and some access towns to popular national and provincial parks. At the same time, most of the large province will still be pretty quiet. Book transport and accommodation in advance if you want to spend time in popular regions, generally in the south, and a short journey from Vancouver.
Where to Go
Crowds at popular summer tourist spots make August a good month to explore British Columbia's more remote and less-visited areas. While Tofino and Victoria on Vancouver Island can get very busy in summer, other smaller towns on the island are more peaceful: Port Hardy, Nanaimo, and Ucluelet, are just a few. Farther north, the Haida Gwaii Archipelago (Queen Charlotte Islands) and the coastal Great Bear Rainforest are home to spectacular nature reserves waiting to be explored in summer. Experience unique ecosystems and plentiful wildlife without many other visitors around.
Travelers looking for a good mix of outdoor adventure, beautiful scenery, and fascinating First Nations culture should consider visiting the inland town of Kamloops this month for the Kamloopa Powwow, held over three days. It's one of the most significant First Nations festivals in western Canada and attracts thousands of visitors to celebrate the Secwepemc culture. Enjoy a variety of First Nations music, dance, arts and crafts, and other traditional celebrations.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
August is the perfect time to take a kayaking tour. The islands, inlets, and sounds between Vancouver Island and the mainland are sheltered and at their best in August. You can take short tours from Vancouver Island or longer, multiday tours that include camping. Look out for orcas, whales, and bears while paddling around Desolation Sound or Johnstone Strait, or head farther north to the coast off of the Great Bear Rainforest.
Fit, well-prepared travelers seeking a real adventure might consider doing the Mount Edziza Traverse. Located in the remote wilderness of northwestern British Columbia, this is often considered one of Canada's most beautiful and rewarding treks. Accessible only by floatplane, hike for five days across the alpine tundra against a backdrop of cinder cones, glaciers, and the mighty Coastal Range. Summer is short this far north, so August is the best time for this hike. While you can do this hike independently, it is very remote, and a trail marks only a small section. Going with a guide is preferable.
Events in August
Kamloopa Powwow, Kamloops. This midsummer festival in southern British Columbia celebrates First Nations cultures with song, dance, and traditional celebrations.
Abbotsford International Airshow, Abbotsford. The biggest airshow in Canada and one of the biggest in North America takes place over three days in August, southeast of Vancouver.
Edge of the World Music Festival, Haida Gwaii. Canadian and international musicians gather on the second weekend of August to play on the banks of the Tlell River.
Traveling to British Columbia in August? Check out these great itineraries
Outdoor Adventure along British Columbia's Coastline - 14 Days. This two-week road trip takes you through some of the most beautiful landscapes of the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island. You'll be based in four main locations: Desolation Sound, Strathcona Park, the Pacific Rim, and Salt Spring Island.
Mount Edziza Traverse in Northern British Columbia - 10 Days. This is one of Canada's most beautiful and rewarding treks in the remote wilderness of northwestern British Columbia. A sacred landscape for the Tahltan First Nation, visiting this plateau was both a rite of passage and a journey of purification.
British Columbia Circuit: Whistler, Shuswap & Okanagan Valley - 7 Days. A weeklong road trip featuring British Columbia's Coast Mountains and the wine region of the Okanagan. Starting and ending in Vancouver, you'll drive through Whistler, Sun Peaks, and then south through the Okanagan Valley to Kelowna and back to Vancouver.