7 Winter Wonders in Campbell River
Here in Campbell River, there are so many reasons to love the winter months. So don’t let the darker days put a damper on your travel plans, find the joy instead! Here are seven winter wonders that’ll make you glad you aren’t hibernating.
1) Heli tours
If you struggle to appreciate winter, we recommend seeking a whole new perspective. The easiest and most scenic way is to hop on a tour by 49 North Helicopters. Let them take you to new heights and see the undeniable beauty of winter in this part of the world, and we promise you’ll start to like what we’ve got going on here.
2) Winter waterfalls
Back at ground level, get up close and personal with some wintery sights. Waterfalls are a well-known year-round attraction in Campbell River. In the colder months, they are transformed into otherwordly wonders, rushing with increased water flows and surrounded by icicles. There are numerous waterfalls within an hour’s drive from Campbell River, with the closest one being Elk Falls just 10 minutes from town.
When it’s chilly outside, it’s best to put one foot in front of the other, preferably while strapped in snowshoes. If you’ve never tried this classic winter activity before, don’t worry – snowshoeing is one of the most beginner-friendly outdoor activities there is! Just dress warmly, rent your gear from the Nordic Centre’s Raven Lodge, and head to the Forbidden Plateau trails of Mount Washington. Don’t let the name fool you, these family-friendly trails are a great introduction to snowshoeing.
Looking for more of a challenge? The 8.4 km Crest Mountain Trail in Strathcona Provincial Park will keep you kick-stepping for quite some time. We’ve written more about exploring Strathcona Provincial Park in the winter here.
Photo credit: Mount Washington Alpine Resort
4) Skiing and snowboarding
To level up the adventure, switch to downhill skiing or snowboarding. Luckily for you, Mount Washington is known to receive some of the biggest snowfalls in North America, with the annual average being 11 metres (36 feet)! On your way up the mountain, take in the vistas of snow-covered old-growth forests, and when you get back down, be sure to fuel up with a hearty meal at Mount Washington Alpine Resort.
Photo Credit: Destination Campbell River
5) Storm watching
Need a day just to chill and treat sore muscles? Then partake in a uniquely west coast activity: storm watching. It’s more relaxing than you’d think – you’ll be inside (unless you really want to be outside), maybe with a cup of hot chocolate in your hands, wrapped in a soft blanket, watching the dramatic skies and witnessing the fickle nature of the weather. Brown’s Bay Resort is the perfect place for this, with luxury cabins overlooking the Inside Passage and equipped with fireplaces.
6) Staying cozy
Let’s face it – sometimes winter is best appreciated from the inside. Campbell River offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy wintery views while staying perfectly warm and cozy. Anglers Restaurant at the Dolphin’s Resort has a great rustic, oceanfront setting for casual dining. For locally-made adult beverages and hearty meals, you’ll want to spend some time at Beach Fire Brewing. If you want to be near the ocean and take in the mountain views, then Riptide Marine Pub is your place to get tasty meals.
Photo Credit: Bluetree Photography
7) Santa, markets, and winter events
If you’re visiting around the holiday season, you get to enjoy the seasonal festivities and celebrate the season together with the local community. Whether it’s winter markets, Christmas carols, craft fairs or Santa Parade, you’ll find them all in our events calendar.
If you’re looking to step out of your comfort zone this winter, do a deep dive into the world of the cold water diving. Winter is the best time of year for water clarity, although, clarity is excellent all year round. Are you ready to take the plunge? Learn more here.