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  • Hiking the West Coast Trail: Hiking the entire length of the rugged 69km (43-mile) West Coast Trail, from Port Renfrew to Bamfield on Vancouver Island, takes 5 to 7 days, but it's truly the hike of a lifetime. This wilderness coastline, edged with old-growth forest and lined with cliffs, is utterly spectacular, and can be reached only on foot. If you're not up for it, consider an 11km (6 3/4-mile) day trip on the more easily accessible stretch just south of Bamfield.
  • Scuba Diving off Vancouver Island: According to no less an authority than Jacques Cousteau, the waters off Vancouver Island offered some of the best diving in the world. And they still do. Nanaimo and Port Hardy are popular departure points, with outfitters ready to drop you into the briny world of the wolf eel, yellow-edged cadlina, and giant Pacific octopus.
  • Kayaking Clayoquot Sound: Paddle a kayak for 4 or 5 days through the waters of Clayoquot Sound on Vancouver Island's wilderness west coast, from the funky former fishing village of Tofino to a natural hot-springs bath near an ancient Native village. Along the way, you'll see thousand-year-old trees and glaciers, whales, and bald eagles.
  • Salmon Fishing from Campbell River: Even though salmon fishing is not what it once was, Campbell River is still the "Salmon-Fishing Capital of the World." Join a day trip with an outfitter and fish the waters of Discovery Passage. Get ready to hook the big one! Even if your trophy salmon gets away (or you're required to release it), you'll see plenty of wildlife: bald eagles, seals, even orcas and porpoises.
  • Rafting the Chilcotin and Fraser Rivers: This 3-day white-water extravaganza flushes you from the slopes of the glaciered Coast Range down through shadowy canyons to the roiling waters of the mighty Fraser River, second in North America only to the Columbia River in power and size. A number of outfitters in Williams Lake offer river options ranging from half-day thrill rides to multiday trips with catered camping.
  • Canoeing Bowron Lakes Provincial Park: Every summer, canoeists and kayakers set out to navigate a perfect 120km (75-mile) circle of six alpine lakes, with minimal portages in between. There are no roads or other signs of civilization beyond the launch point, except some well-placed cabins, campsites, and shelters. The full circuit is a 7-day trip, but the memories will last a lifetime.
  • Mountain Biking the Kettle Valley Rail Trail: This rails-to-trails hiking and biking route travels from Okanagan Lake up and over Okanagan Mountain and Myra Canyon, crossing 17 trestles and traversing two tunnels on its 175km (109-mile) route. The entire circuit, which takes from 3 to 5 days, provides lots of challenging grades and excellent scenery.
  • Heli-Skiing near Golden: Helicopters lift adventurous skiers to the tops of the Selkirk and Purcell mountains that rise just west of Golden, accessing acres of virgin powder far from the lift lines and crowds of traditional ski resorts. CMH Heli-Skiing (tel. 800/661-0252) offers a variety of holidays, most based out of its private high-country lodges and reached only by helicopter.
  • Cross-Country Skiing at Canmore: The 1988 Olympic cross-country skiing events were held at Canmore, on the edge of Banff National Park. The routes at the Canmore Nordic Centre (tel. 403/678-2400) are now open to the public and offer 70km (43 miles) of world-class skiing.
  • Lodge-to-Lodge Trail Riding in Banff National Park: See the park's backcountry without getting blisters on your feet. Instead, get saddle-sore as you ride horseback on a 3-day excursion, spending the nights in remote but comfortable mountain lodges. Warner Guiding and Outfitting (tel. 800/661-8352) provides all meals and lodging, plus oats for Silver.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.