Mt. Revelstoke, Glacier, and Yoho National Parks, British Columbia
This is Part 1 of 2 road tripping Canada from Victoria to Jasper. Part 2 here.
One of the most gorgeous road trips you can do in your lifetime is cross-Canada, from Vancouver Island in the Pacific Ocean, through the temperate rainforests of Western British Columbia, through the dry wine country of Eastern BC, and through the sheer granite mountains of Alberta's Rocky Mountains. Canada's Highway 1 takes you through more protected National and Provincial Parks than you'll have time for in a single trip, and more than I could count!
The Canadian Parks system is top notch. Provincial Parks (PP), too, are often hidden gems, like Goldstream PP on Vancouver Island and Stawamus Chief PP in Squamish, and shouldn't be overlooked. Campgrounds are generously laid out, often with showers, and hiking trails are well-maintained. Two thumbs-up for government regulation, and in 2017, for the Canadian Parks' 150th anniversary, all national parks were free.
Mount Revelstoke National Park
Mt Revelstoke is literally 100m off Canada's Highway 1. At 260km^2, it's a relatively small park, but the 26km switchback-style Mountains in the Sky drive takes you from 470m to 1800m elevation. It's one of the few inland temperate rainforests that gives way to alpine forests and amazing wildflowers in the spring.
Hiking trails and lookouts are littered along the drive--or you can brave the 10km straight-uphill hike from the bottom to the top! While most of the lower elevation and shorter summit hikes are safe, you're in grizzly and black bear territory, and the more adventurous alpine hikes require groups of 4 to hike.
Glacier National Park
Just 50km along your drive on Canadian Highway 1 is Glacier National Park. There's glaciers to see, but the heart of the park is Rogers Pass, the highest point along Highway 1. To our surprise, (and I'm not a history buff), it's rich with railway and alpine mountaineering history.
Yoho National Park
Yoho's part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site, comprised of 4 contiguous national parks (including Jasper and Banff) and 3 provincial parks, spanning the BC-AB border. It's in the heart of the Canadian Rockies with 28 peaks over 3000m high. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site for being "one of the world's most significant fossil sites," where Burgess Shale is unique in preserving the soft parts fossils.
Sights Along the Highway 1 Drive
Some of the most drastically changing landscapes you'll see in a single drive: