The 5 Best Off-Roading Trails in British Columbia

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The 5 Best Off-Roading Trails in British Columbia

Oh, beautiful British Columbia. 

The catchy license plate tagline isn’t an exaggeration: BC is the real deal when it comes to outdoor adventures. 

This is especially true for off-roading. BC’s forest service roads offer a world of opportunity for those looking to explore some lesser-travelled regions - and the reward is often stunning, natural vistas, far from crowds and city noise. With the right lighting gear, you can enjoy some of these trails day or night-- even in the winter months.

Here are our top 5 best off-roading trails in British Columbia. Can you claim to have driven them all?

Sts’ailes Forest Service Road: Lakeside Cruising

This area is a Vancouver favourite, located just over 100 km from the downtown core near the popular Harrison Hot Springs Resort. 

The route is better known for its sights than its technicality - the well-travelled road tracks the west side of Harrison Lake past waterfalls and camping spots, with panoramic mountain views the entire way. 

Be warned that the road is prone to landslides and washouts. Stay updated with the Chilliwack District Road Safety Information website while planning your trip.

dirt road going into wooded area with sun shining in background

Chute Lake: Fun in the Sun

Located near Penticton in the arid Okanagan Valley, Chute Lake is the most beginner-friendly trail on this list. Measuring in at a hair under 40km with plenty of side trails, Chute Lake is accessible yet varied.

For drivers who like a reward at the end of their journey, the North-to-South route finishes right in the vineyards of Naramata Wine Country.

Be aware that with more traffic comes washouts and rougher roads than expected. Check the most recent reports on AllTrails before planning your trip.

two jeeps 4x4 through deep water on dirt road

Whipsaw Trail: BC’s Off-Roading Mecca

Princeton, BC sits in the majestic Similkameen region, home to a wide range of outdoor activities and the renowned Whipsaw Trail.

While the main route is considered intermediate, optional off-shoots are more challenging with steep hills, technical water crossings, and mud pits galore.

Along the way, you will experience great mountain scenery alongside retired mine sites and aging cabins, more reasons why this trail is consistently ranked as one of North America’s best. 

Finally, if you are a winter off-roader looking for a challenge, the trail is open year-round, just don’t forget to prepare for the conditions with a heated LED bar.

jeep in muddy trail water on sunny day

North Copper Logging Road: The Best of the North

It’s time to move on to Northern Light Bars’ backyard for the next addition to our list. The North Copper Logging Road is found near the community of Thornhill, and in typical Northern BC fashion,  it is not for the faint of heart.

This 43km route traverses lush forests and some serious altitude changes. Steep hills and loose rocks abound all the way to the disused Zymontez mine.

Experienced off-roaders are encouraged to give it a try (even in the winter months), as long as they are confident in their kit and driving skills. 

washed out logging road with snow on sides of road

Stave Lake: A Mudder’s Paradise

Some off-roaders have an affinity for getting dirty. If coming home from a trip with a clean Jeep doesn’t appeal to you, then Mission’s Stave Lake is likely the best place to add to your wish list.

The Stave Lake mud flats feature water crossings, log obstacles, and other features that the diehard followers of the local “Dirt Church” have set up for their enjoyment. 

While mudding in the area is regarded as some of the best in the province, plan to stay away from the water itself - or you could find yourself paying off a hefty fine.

map of stave lake in lower mainland british columbia

Explore BC’s Wildest Off-Road Trails

We hope you have enough off-road inspiration to make this season your best yet.

Even if you live far from the trails that we mentioned here, there are plenty of world-class offroading destinations located throughout BC. We recommend learning more about them on AllTrails or WikiLoc - the offroading community always helps out its members with useful trip reports and advice on how to avoid getting into a bad situation.

Before you hit the road, make sure that your vehicle is ready for anything you might face along the way. Check out our newest collections of LED light bars and accessories, and read our guides on the Northern Light Bars blog for how to get the most out of your off-roading this season.