February is midwinter in British Columbia and one of the coldest months of the year, although it's slightly warmer than the previous month on average. British Columbia is a massive province, so there's a lot of variation in climate from north to south and from the coast to the mountains. The north, inland, and mountainous areas are typically colder than coastal areas, with coastal regions wetter. While the southern coast is cool and damp, and the northern and higher elevations are subzero.
Vancouver, on the southwestern coast, is relatively mild in winter, with a minimum February temperature of 37°F (3°C) and a maximum of 46°F (8°C). The further inland you travel, the colder the temperatures: for example, Kelowna, in inland southern British Columbia, has a low of 26°F (-3°C) and a high of 39°F (4°C). Meanwhile, the northern parts of the province are very cold in winter. For instance, Fort Nelson, in northeastern British Columbia and at roughly the same latitude as Juneau, Alaska, has a minimum of -2°F (-19°C) and a maximum of 17°F (-8°C).
Crowds & Costs
February is the peak season for skiing and other snow sports in resort towns in the mountains of southern and southeastern British Columbia, particularly the Rocky Mountains and Kootenay Rockies, and in the Vancouver area. In popular resorts—Whistler, Revelstoke, and Kicking Horse—it's essential to book accommodation in advance, especially if you're traveling on a weekend. However, February tends not to be as busy as January, as many people are back at work and school after the winter break. Therefore, you're more likely to find a midweek deal on accommodation.
Beyond popular mountain resorts, February is considered the low season for travel to British Columbia. As a big city with a milder climate, Vancouver will have a few visitors, and you may find a low-season deal on accommodation. Smaller towns inland and up the coast likely will have limited off-season facilities; for example, information centers at provincial parks will likely be closed.
Where to Go
The Vancouver area is a good choice for winter travel in British Columbia, including in February. The climate is milder than most other parts of the province, so you can get around the city, between museums and restaurants, in relative comfort. The Vancouver Museum of Art and the Museum of Anthropology are must-visit destinations to learn more about Canadian art, history, and local First Nations people. The city is also one of Canada's most ethnically diverse and has an exciting dining scene, which is ideal for midwinter travel.
Vancouver is also an excellent destination for travelers who want to participate in snow sports as it's a short drive from many top-notch ski resorts in the mountains. Spend a few days in Vancouver and then head north or east to the snow. Popular resorts Whistler, Grouse Mountain, Cypress Mountain, and Squamish offer excellent skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing adventures in February.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
As well as the "regular" snow sports, you can try something different, especially if you're not keen on downhill skiing. Try snowshoeing or tubing instead. Northwest of Vancouver, Howe Sound is home to the Sea to Sky Gondola. Ride the gondola for beautiful fjord and mountain views, and then head out on snowshoes on some of the deepest snow in North America. Alternatively, rent an inflated inner tube at Tube Park and enjoy sliding down the hill.
February is the perfect time to observe the northern lights as the nights are long, and many parts of British Columbia are far from sources of light pollution. The farther north you go, the better your chances of seeing an impressive light show. Consider venturing to remote locations like Muncho Lake Provincial Park, in northern British Columbia and along the Alaska Highway, and Hudson's Hope, on the shore of the Peace River in the northeast, to see the lights. Somewhat closer to Vancouver, head to Sakinaw Lake, northeast of Sechelt and on the Sunshine Coast Highway, or Porteau Cove Provincial Park, between Vancouver and Squamish.
Events in February
Chinese/Lunar New Year, especially Vancouver. Given the large ethnic Chinese population in Vancouver and nearby Richmond, this is a huge celebration with a massive parade, street festivals, and food events. Chinese New Year can fall in January or February.
Victoria Film Festival, Victoria. British Columbia's capital on Vancouver Island hosts a roughly 10-day festival showcasing international and local films.
Vernon Winter Carnival, Vernon. This town in the Okanagan region hosts many events as part of the winter carnival, including a parade, snow sculpture competitions, sleigh rides, ice sculptures, and more.
Traveling to British Columbia in February? Check out this great itinerary
Kootenay Rockies: Hot Springs Circle Route - 10 Days. Discover the best of the Kootenays and the Canadian Rockies on this 10-day circuit. You'll have time to explore the mountains or paddle the lakes and rivers as you pass through some of British Columbia's most spectacular parks. In the evenings, head to the local hot springs and enjoy the peaceful vibe of the smaller lakeshore communities. This route is perfect for those looking to combine both adventure and relaxation.