Great Summer Outdoor Activities
The best outdoor experiences from across Canada you should try this summer (Part 1)
SUPing on Vancouver Island
With calm waters, stunning coastal views and mild temperatures, Vancouver Island is the perfect place to try stand-up paddle boarding. Head to the wild west coast of Tofino to cruise just off the shore at Long Beach (or ride some small waves if you’re a more experienced SUP’er), or hit the waters in the downtown Victoria’s Inner Harbour for a more gentle paddle. There are several places to rent stand-up paddle boards and take lessons on Vancouver Island, including Tofino Paddle Surf in Tofino and SUP Victoria in downtown Victoria.
Mountain biking at Whistler Blackcomb
Although the 2010 Winter Olympics mountain town is world famous for its ski hills and winter terrain parks, Whistler, BC is also known for its epic mountain bike trails. The Whistler Bike Park features about 70 well-maintained trails that are spread throughout four distinct mountain zones, offering a variety of terrain for all levels of rider. Newbie riders can take a mountain biking lesson from a bike park guide and try descending some easier trails, while expert riders can tackle the more technical routes and jump trails. Aside from mountain bike lessons, the Whistler Bike Park also offers summer mountain bike camps and gear and bike rentals.
Sightseeing in the Lake Louise Gondola
When you think “summer” in Alberta, it’s hard not to imagine the turquoise blue of Lake Louise in Banff National Park against a backdrop of evergreen trees and blue sky. That’s why visiting the park and taking a ride in the Lake Louise Sightseeing gondola is a summertime must-do activity in Alberta. Watch wildlife and take in incredible views of the Rocky Mountains and Lake Louise as you glide up 2,088 metres (6,850 feet) in an open chair or enclosed gondola. When you get to the top, take a spin through the Nature Interpretation Centre and hike to the summit of Mt. Whitehorn for even more incredible views.
Canoeing or kayaking the Yukon River
If you want to combine wildlife viewing, a bit of Canadian history and gentle exercise with your summer outdoor experience in the Yukon, rent yourself a canoe or kayak and paddle down one of the many mellow rivers in the province, including the fabled Yukon River that flows from Atlin Lake in BC through major cities in the Yukon before emptying into the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska. For a more immersive wilderness paddling experience, book a guided canoeing trip that offers transport to and from the river, canoe and gear rentals and even overnight stays in lakeside cabins.
Photo: Harry Powell / Shutterstock.com">Harry Powell / Shutterstock.com