An aMAYzing month in British Columbia: Spring BC Roadtrip
- Day 1-2: Ski Blackcomb Mountain until May 23rd or later!
- Day 3-4: Explore Squamish – Climbing, Hiking, Snowshoeing, Biking
- Day 5-7: Vancouver Island from Nanaimo to Victoria
An epic spring BC road trip
Having trouble deciding between a summer or ski trip in BC? Overwhelmed by the costs of accommodations in peak seasons? Like staying away from summer crowds?
May is an aMAYzing month for you to visit British Columbia.
This spring BC road trip offers an unparalleled combination of activities. In one trip, you’l be treated to everything from wintery alpine skiing, to hiking, to warm days on the water.
If you’re looking to explore Vancouver Island exclusively, head right on over to our Rugged North and Island Paradise tours. The snow melts earlier on the island, and it’s 100% open for summer activities in the spring. US News & World Report ranks March-May as one of the best times for an island adventure.
If you’re looking to experience a bit of everything on your spring BC adventure, let’s dive into the ultimate week-long itinerary!
Days 1-2: Ski Blackcomb Mountain until May 23rd or later!
You read that right. Ski season isn’t over in BC in May. While Whistler mountain closes in mid-April to allow the mountain biking park to open, Blackcomb stays open until Victoria Day weekend. In heavy snow years, we’ve seen the mountain stay open as late as mid-June.
It’s also one of the least expensive month to ski on Blackcomb. Once Whistler closes, lift tickets drop from their $240 peak price to $120-$130 for spring skiing. In 2022 prices got as low as $90!
The conditions don’t suffer! You’ll be treated to blue skies on most of your May ski days. We’ve also consistently seen fresh snow falling in the alpine right up until closing weekend. Banger May bluebird pow days are practically a Blackcomb tradition. The snow rarely has spring-like conditions in the highest parts of the alpine, staying dry and powdery right up until closing. The lower mountain is closed by this time of year, so you start your day taking the Blackcomb Gondola up to midstation. From midmountain and up, it’s a winter wonderland!
The other treat of spring skiing is that it’ll be more than warm enough in the Whistler valley to camp. Once you’re done your day on the slopes, head straight over to spend the night at Cal-Cheak Campground. This first-come first-serve campground typically fills its sites to the brim all summer, but you’ll have the place to yourself in May!
Could there possibly be a better way to end an ski day than firing up a grill along side an mountain river, and slamming a few beers?
Days 3-5: Explore Squamish – Climbing, Hiking, Snowshoeing, Biking
The outdoor recreation capital of Canada is in full swing in May and June! You have a mix of awesome winter and summer activities to choose from. Here are a few of our favourites for an epic spring BC trip.
Rock Climbing: For avid rock climbers, it’s a great time to start roping up and exploring the Stwamaus Chief, one of the best rock climbing walls in the world. Not a big climber? Try Via Feretta (iron path), a guided rock climb up ladders and built in iron rungs.
Coastal Hiking: There’s also a variety of lower-elevation hikes that are accessible this early in the season. A few of our favourite spots for May and June include the hike up the Stwamanus Chief, Murrin Provincial Park, and Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver. All of these hikes offer amazing views coastal views. When you get up to the highest points on some of the hikes, the views of the nearby glaciated mountains will be especially jaw-dropping due to heavy snow coverage.
Biking: Mountain biking season will also be in full swing. In Squamish, some of the best spots include Diamond Head, Valley Cliff, and Alice Lake. The Whistler Mountain bike park is a good spot for later in the spring, opening on May 19th.
Snowshoeing: Looking to get up to the high alpine? Many of the favourite alpine hikes on our Sea to Sky tour, linked here, are accessible this time of year. You’ll probably be able to hike about halfway up before strapping on your snowshoes.
When you finish up the day’s adventuring, head on over to Mamquam River Campground in the Squamish Valley! Much like with the Whistler sites, it’ll be a lot less crowded than it is in the summer.
Days 5-7: Vancouver Island from Nanaimo to Victoria
After a few days on the mainland, it’s time to head off to the island. You’ll drive down to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal for a scenic ferry ride over to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Be sure to grab a Nanaimo bar once you land, it’s a local specialty!
Spring is one of the best times to come to the island, summer activities are in full swing from late March on! For those looking to explore Vancouver Island exclusively, we highly recommend checking our Rugged North and Vancouver Island Nature Paradise itineraries. Either of them will be a blast in the spring!
If you’re doing our May highlights tour, here’s a few stops that you’ll make as you after taking a ferry from the mainland over to Nanaimo.
Comox Valley: On your first day on the island, you’ll drive an hour north of Nanaimo and explore nearby Comox Valley! The beautiful beaches nearby offer an amazing variety of activities: kayaking, paddleboarding, mountain biking, and more. The views of Mt Washington to the west will be especially spectacular this time of year, as it’ll still have a bunch of snow up top.
Goldstream Provincial Park: Waterfall central! You’ll walk through a beautiful Douglas Fir and Spruce forest, and soak up amazing views of the park’s numerous waterfalls
Malahat Skywalk: This popular attraction near Victoria gives you amazing views of the surrounding islands. Highly accessible, and a great option for a rest day.
Whale-Watching: Peak season for whale watching begins in May. You can expect to see orcas and humpback whales on your day at sea There’s a bunch of tours leaving from Victoria, so it’ll be a great way to spend your last day
Does this spring adventure sound like your type of trip? We’re here to help you plan your your dream vacation. Book a call with one of our team members here for more information.