Leave the heavy backpacks behind!

As much as we love sleeping under the stars, it’s not always fun having to carry a heavy pack full of gear to the campsite. Which is why we went to local hiking expert Stephen Hui to get the scoop on the overnight trails you can access by car. Read on for his notes on five scenic day hikes that pair well with car camping trips in B.C., from his new book 105 Hikes In and Around Southwestern British Columbia.

Reminder: Check conditions, tell someone where you’ll be and never leave anything behind: “Pack it in, pack it out.”

Boulder fields abound on the Mount Currie Trail.

1. Mount Currie Trail

Round trip 13 km

Difficulty Difficult

Nearby campground Nairn Falls Provincial Park (south of Pemberton)

Imposing Mount Currie towers above the Pemberton. Therefore, tackling the Mount Currie Trail might impress your friends, even though the hike to the Pemberton Valley Lookout gets you only halfway to the summit. Be prepared for lots of switchbacks and boulder fields, and carry sufficient water. Old fire lookout in Brohm Lake Interpretive Forest

2. Tantalus View Lookout

Round trip 3.5 km

Difficulty Easy

Nearby campground Alice Lake Provincial Park (Squamish)

A walk in the very pleasant woods of Brohm Lake Interpretive Forest can earn you fine views of the imposing peaks and glaciers of the Tantalus Range. Enjoy the lovely Cheakamus Loop Trail and Tantalus View Trail during a clockwise circuit around the lake. A historic fire lookout crowns the day’s high point. Angel wings near Lake Beautiful.

3. Alouette Mountain

Round trip 22 km

Difficulty Moderate

Nearby campgrounds Golden Ears Provincial Park (north of Maple Ridge)

The million-dollar views from Alouette Mountain’s stadium-sized summit plateau are a revelation. For the classic approach, follow its long, mellow south ridge. On the way back, take the side loop to Lake Beautiful to walk among old-growth trees and colourful fungi.

Mount Agassiz is the home of the Harrison Grind.

4. Campbell Lake

Round trip 10 km

Difficulty Moderate

Nearby campgrounds Sasquatch Provincial Park (northeast of Harrison Hot Springs)

The Campbell Lake Trail is Harrison Hot Spring’s version of the Grouse Grind. A rooty, muddy path ascends slopes littered with moss-covered boulders and deadfall en route to the lookout that’s the scenic crescendo of this outing. Cross a boulder-filled gully and follow an old, puddly road to the east shore of Campbell Lake. Red paintbrush in bloom along the Skyline II Trail.

5. Snow Camp Mountain

Round trip 17 km

Difficulty Moderate

Nearby campgrounds Manning Provincial Park (southeast of Hope)

With its sharp towers, Hozomeen Mountain in Washington’s North Cascades is an unmistakable landmark for hikers across the border in Manning Provincial Park. Venturing onto the Skyline Trail means getting an eyeful of the double peak. From Strawberry Flats, ascend the Skyline I Trail, drop to aptly named Despair Pass on Skyline II, and rise up to the colourful wildflowers of Snow Camp Mountain.

Originally published June 5, 2018