With 4 days, there are a number of road trips to choose from to escape the city, whether you're looking to head into the mountains, explore the coastline, or enjoy the laid-back vibe and great breweries of small towns. All of these can be customized based on your interests, where each explores a different side of what British Columbia has to offer.
British Columbia Self-Drive Tours & Itineraries
Plan your ultimate British Columbia road trip
With 5 days, you'll want to focus on a specific region of British Columbia given the first and last days of your trip will likely be spent getting there and back again. You'll then have three full days to really enjoy the experience without feeling too rushed, whether your goal is to base yourself in one location or experience a new destination each day. Each of the following routes focuses on a different region and can be further customized to create the perfect adventure.
With six days, choose one region to explore so you don't feel rushed and have the time to seek out hidden gems and more remote highlights. We've put together a selection of routes, below, that can be customized to avoid the crowds while still taking in these popular destinations. All of these itineraries can be done by car or campervan, with a focus on staying in smaller towns and beautiful parks along the way.
British Columbia self-drive itineraries
A week-long 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. This route is relatively fast-paced and best suited for those who are short on time but want to cover the main highlights of the Coast Mountains and Okanagan.
Undertake a quick 5-day trip through the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia's premier wine region. A five-hour drive away from the dynamic west coast city of Vancouver, you'll weave your way alongside the Similkameen River and through the forested parkland's of the Crowsnest Highway to reach the "Napa of the North." You'll have one night in Kelowna, the perfect jumping-off point for the surrounding vineyards, restaurants, and outdoor adventures.
From craggy snow-capped peaks to icy-blue glacial lakes and rushing streams, this epic road trip features a trio of Canada's famed national parks—Banff, Yoho, and Revelstoke—that highlight the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Starting in Calgary, you'll pass through the mountain resort town of Banff and Lake Louise before venturing into the dramatic landscapes of the less explored (and equally stunning) national parks of the Kootenays. Then you'll trace British Columbia's southern border and spend time in Canada's only desert, Osoyoos—the perfect locale to drink wine and discover Okanagan wine country—before ending your trip in Vancouver.
Starting and ending in Vancouver, this road trip takes you to the rugged coastline of Pacific Rim National Park. Base yourself in a wilderness lodge or cozy B&B along the coast and spend three days exploring the beaches and rainforest around Tofino and Ucluelet as well as the remote islands of Clayoquot Sound. This trip is ideal for those looking to combine beautiful coastline with outdoor adventure.
With 8 days, explore the best of the Canadian Rockies stretching from Banff to Jasper. You'll drive one of the world's most iconic stretches of road in the Icefields Parkway and spend full days exploring the backcountry trails away from the crowds. This is the perfect amount of time to cover a lot of ground without feeling too rushed.
Immerse yourself in the wild and rugged beauty of British Columbia on this two-week road trip that covers the province's best natural highlights. Carving an "S" through the Canadian Rockies, Kootenays, and the fruit belt of the Okanagan, you'll begin in Calgary, drive through Banff, Yoho, and Mount Revelstoke national parks, and end your journey along the southern border sipping some of the best local wines.
In two weeks, explore the best of the Canadian Rockies from Banff to Jasper. This route is optimized for less time on the road and more time hiking in incredible alpine scenery away from the crowds, best done between May and September. You'll start and end in Calgary, and take in a couple of special, lesser-known regions such as Kananaskis Country.
With 10 days, you'll have enough time to explore all the highlights of the Canadian Rockies between Banff and Jasper. You'll also have time to get off the beaten path and away from the crowds, either on a multi-day hiking adventure, to a wilderness lodge, or into the lesser-known (but just a stunning) region of Kananaskis.
This two-week road trip takes you through some of the most beautiful landscapes of the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island. You'll base yourself in four main locations: Desolation Sound, Strathcona Park, the Pacific Rim, and Salt Spring Island. Activities range from sea kayaking to waterfalls hikes to exploring the galleries and farmers' markets of Salt Spring Island.
On this self-drive tour, you'll explore southwestern and central British Columbia, discovering alpine mountains, surprising deserts, and the famed Okanagan wine country in 10 days. The tour will take you from dynamic Vancouver through the snow-covered Coast Mountains to Whistler. The circuit continues east to the wooded hills and farmlands of Salmon Arm before leading you through the orchards and wineries of the Okanagan Valley and to the southern desert town of Osoyoos.
On this 11-day itinerary, you'll explore the alpine lakes and dramatic peaks of the Coastal Range, the old-growth rainforests of Vancouver Island, and the rough-and-tumble shoreline of the Pacific Rim. Start with two nights in Vancouver before dedicating a week to the outdoors on Vancouver Island where you can go whale watching, stroll driftwood-strewn beaches, and take in the Victorian-era architecture of the province's capital.
Visit two of British Columbia's most popular destinations on this 4-day road trip. In Vancouver, stroll the cobbled streets of historic Gastown and enjoy some of Canada's best restaurants. Then take the stunning Sea-to-Sky Highway to the mountains of Whistler where you can access numerous hiking trails to alpine lakes. En route, take time to stop at ocean viewpoints or walk the short trails to local waterfalls.
Spend a week combining the urban highlights of Vancouver and Victoria with the rugged wilderness of the Pacific Rim National Park. This itinerary takes you by car and ferry to the west coast of Vancouver Island, famous for its coastal rainforest, whale watching, and access to some of the most rugged and magical coastline in Canada. Relax in a lodge by the beach and choose from a wide range of adventures each day.
This road trip loops through British Columbia's Coastal Mountains to the Okanagan, taking in scenic mountain views, arid deserts, and vine-striped valleys. Beginning and ending in Vancouver, follow the Sea-to-Sky Highway north to Whistler, through Cariboo Country to the quaint lakeside community of Salmon Arm, and down through the Okanagan Valley to Osoyoos. Dine on east-meets-west cuisine in Vancouver, step back in time at Historic Hat Creek, and hike amid alpine meadows and lakes in E.C. Manning Provincial Park.
This packed 5-day itinerary is perfect for travelers with a thirst for adventure who are on a time crunch. Beginning and ending in dynamic Vancouver, discover British Columbia's rugged beauty beyond the city as you follow the spectacular Sea-to-Sky Highway to the year-round outdoor destination of Whistler. Explore the village, see the colorfully graffitied boxcars of historic Train Wreck, and hike the Garibaldi Lake Trail for some of the province's most rewarding views.
Follow this 12-day road trip through British Columbia's Coast Mountains and Vancouver Island. Starting with three days in Vancouver, you'll drive the iconic Sea-to-Sky Highway to Whistler before crossing the Strait of Georgia to Pacific Rim National Park. Look for whales off the coast of Tofino, surf at Chesterman Beach, and pick up a hiking trail through ancient rainforest to the wave-whipped Pacific Coast.
Starting and ending in Calgary, this route gets you outdoors on the best trails and routes through the Canadian Rockies. You'll have ample time to visit all the famous stops along the way as well as the lesser-known regions known just to locals. This route is optimized for those looking to get out into nature, beyond just the roadside stops and attractions.
This short road trip takes you off the beaten path to explore Vancouver Island's southern coastline, following former logging roads that have recently been paved. You'll have short drives each day so you can spend more time exploring nature—old-growth rainforests, remote beaches, hiking trails, as well as smaller historical communities.
Escape the city and hit the countless trails of the Coastal Mountains near Vancouver. You can choose from short day hikes that take you to waterfalls and scenic viewpoints or opt for longer treks to the alpine lakes in and around Whistler and Garibaldi Provincial Park. In the evening, enjoy the great restaurants, breweries, and spas in Squamish and Whistler.
Spend 11 days in the outdoors of the Canadian Rockies. Starting and ending in Calgary, you'll base yourself in four locations that allow for nearby access to the best trails and lesser-known regions around Banff and Jasper national parks. This route is best done between May and September and was called the "drive of a lifetime" by National Geographic.
This scenic road trip starts and ends in Vancouver and takes you through the Coastal Mountains to Shuswap Lake before turning south through the farms, orchards, and vineyards of the famed Okanagan Valley. Over eight days, you'll venture across southwestern and central British Columbia to explore exceptional landscapes from high alpine mountains to marshy lowlands and arid deserts in and around Osoyoos. Thread the weaving Gold Nugget Road, paddle a replica of a 30-foot voyageur canoe, and drink wine until your heart's content at world-class wineries in the Okanagan.
Experience the best of the Canadian Rockies on this epic road trip from Calgary to Vancouver. Start by exploring famous Banff National Park before crossing over into British Columbia and heading south through interior lake country and historic mining communities. Finally, you'll have a few days to unwind and relax at the end of your trip by visiting some of the country's best wineries in the Okanagan Valley, surrounded by Canada's only desert.
With 7 days, you'll have plenty of time to explore Vancouver and the Coast Mountains around Whistler. This trip is best suited for those looking to spend most of their time outdoors—there are countless day hikes, alpine lakes, and scenic vantage points to check out. In between adventures, you'll also get a taste of some of the best restaurants in Canada and have time to explore the downtown and cultural highlights of the city.
Starting in Calgary and ending in Vancouver, you'll cross the Canadian Rockies with ample time to explore beautiful Banff National Park. After the Rockies, wind your way south through historic mining towns and lake country to the province's famous wine region, the Okanagan Valley. Here, in Osoyoos, visit some of the best smaller local wineries that British Columbia has to offer before ending your trip with a day to explore Vancouver.
Follow the scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway on this quick road trip between Vancouver and Whistler. Enjoy the urban pleasures of the city before getting a taste of the mountains in the upscale, chalet-style village of Whistler. Whether you're looking for adventure or relaxation, there are a number of opportunities: half-day hikes to alpine lakes, panoramic road-side vistas, luxury spas, and gondola rides to mountain peaks.
Discover the best of the Canadian Rockies by basing yourself in a few key locations where you can stay for a few nights and explore the backcountry trails and lakes. You'll take in the main highlights of the Icefields Parkway as well as the lesser-known regions, such as the beautiful Kananaskis Country and Yoho National Park. This route focuses on less time driving and more time out on the trails.
This route focuses on getting you into the incredible mountain scenery of the Canadian Rockies, starting and ending in Calgary. You'll head north and south along the iconic Icefields Parkway while basing yourself in a few key locations along the way. As well, you'll explore beautiful Kananaskis Country, a region just south of Banff and Canmore that locals regard as their favorite hiking region (without the crowds of the more famous parks).
Experience the best of the city and coast mountains on this short road trip between Vancouver and Whistler. You'll have a day to explore cosmopolitan Vancouver before driving north along the iconic Sea-to-Sky Highway to the mountain resort town of Whistler. You'll then have two solid days devoted to exploring Whistler's bounty of alpine trails, glacial lakes, and great restaurants and breweries.
Explore the beauty of southern British Columbia, from the stunning peaks of the Rockies to the fertile valley of the Okanagan. This 8-day drive begins in Calgary and ends in Vancouver and offers the outdoor enthusiast numerous opportunities to get into the rugged wilderness as well as indulge in more refined cultural experiences. You'll visit the small communities of the Slocan Valley, see the impressive Takakkaw Falls in Yoho National Park, and hike through the old-growth forests around Revelstoke.
This route takes you through the best of the Canadian Rockies to the wine country of the Okanagan Valley, where you can relax and unwind after your adventures in the mountains. Along the way, you'll pass through historic communities and the natural hot springs around Nakusp, Kaslo, and Nelson. Finally, end with a couple of days to explore Vancouver's great dining scene and local neighborhoods.