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Know Before You Travel in British Columbia

British Columbia has many climate and vegetation zones ranging from the fast-running rivers, ocean coastlines to forested mountain ranges and dry desert areas. 

On this page you will find links to updates about wildfires, environmental hazards, driving updates and park/recreational resources to help you plan a fun and informed trip.

Travellers are encouraged to check in with the accommodation operators and the local Visitor Centre in the communities they will be visiting for real-time, on-the-ground updates.

TRAVEL NEWS

COVID-19 BORDER MEASURES END ON OCTOBER 1, 2022

Starting October 1, 2022, all COVID-19 border requirements, including vaccination, mandatory use of ArriveCAN, and any testing and quarantine/isolation requirements will END for all travellers entering Canada whether by land, air or sea.

For more information on current federal border measures and requirements, including crossing the border via car, please visit the Government of Canada website here.

COVID-19 Public Health and Travel Measures

MASKS: March 11, 2022 – The wearing of masks in public indoor settings in British Columbia is no longer required by public health. Wearing a mask is a personal choice. Masks are encouraged on public transit and BC Ferries, but not required.  Individual businesses and event organizers can choose to continue requiring masks on their premises. It’s important that we respect the choices of people, businesses and one another. For more details on the current public health measures, click here.

COVID 19 Tips For Travelling

BE TRAVEL AWARE

WILDFIRES:  Wildfires of Note – To report a wildfire (dial *5555 on a cell phone or call toll free 1-800-663-5555). During the summer, stretches of hot, dry weather can lead to increased wildfire risk throughout the province. Make sure you take the necessary steps to prevent and report wildfires. For more information on wildfire safety and prevention, click here.

CAMPFIRES: Check out the latest fire bans and restrictions.

EMERGENCY INFO: Please visit Emergency Info BC for updated details on current emergencies including evacuation orders and alerts.

HIGHWAY CLOSURES AND CONSTRUCTION: check Drive BC for an up-to-date list of the latest road closures, events and advisories.

  • The Alaska Highway is experiencing single lane alternating traffic 377 to 415 km north of Fort Nelson due to a washout. Follow pilot car and obey signs. Learn more at DriveBC.
  • Construction on the Highway #1 Kicking Horse Canyon Project has begun, and the anticipated completion date is in winter of 2024. View the full closures schedule here.
  • Closures remain along Highway #8 between Merritt and Spences Bridge.

FAQ TRAVEL HELPS

PLEASE CAMP RESPONSIBLY. FOLLOW THE CAMPER’S CODE

The Camper’s Code has 9 rules that are really easy to follow. When all campers follow them, these good things happen:

  • Camping continues to be enjoyable for all
  • Nature remains pristine and beautiful
  • People camping in the same area become friends
  • Animals stay wild and free

Camper’s Code take the pledge.

CHECK WEATHER CONDITIONS: British Columbia’s mountainous terrain means weather conditions can change rapidly within relatively short distances, and snowfall can happen any month in the higher-elevation mountain passes. Before heading out on the road, always check the current weather conditions and weather alerts along your planned journey. Drive for the conditions. If the weather is bad (i.e. snowfall warning along the Coquihalla), delay your drive until the weather and road conditions improve, or consider an alternate route or a different mode of transportation.

ADVENTURE SMART: Heading outdoors? Leave a trip plan. AdventureSmart is a national program dedicated to encouraging Canadians and visitors to Canada to ”Get informed and go outdoors”. AdventureSmart combines online and on-site awareness with targeted outreach in order to reduce the number and severity of Search and Rescue Incidents.

WINTER DRIVING: Winter tires are required on most designated highways in British Columbia from October 1 to March 31.  For select highways, including mountain passes and rural routes in high snowfall areas, the date is extended until April 30 to account for early spring snowfall. These highways are marked with regulatory signs.  ShiftintoWinter.ca

KEY TRAVEL RESOURCES

Check BC Wildfire Service for wildfires of note, fire bans and restrictions.

Check DriveBC.ca for major road events such as delays, closures, and suggested detours:

River Forecast Centre analyses snowpack, assesses seasonal water supply and flood risk, and predicts flows in British Columbia’s rivers and streams:

PARKS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATED CAMPGROUNDS

IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS

  • Report Wildfire or Irresponsible Behaviour 1-800-663-5555 or (*5555 from a cell phone)
  • Evacuees and Reception Centres call: Emergency Info BC at: 1-800-585-9559.
  • BC Wildfire Information Line 1-888-336-7378
  • ESS Evacuees Information 1-800-585-9559
  • Canadian Red Cross Evacuees Reunification 1-800-863-6582
  • Emergency Coordination Centre 1-800-663-3456

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO – TRAVEL RESOURCES

Camping Lodging

The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989