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British Columbia: Canada's Newest Preserve

National Geographic Adventure picks the 25 best new outfitted trips.
Text by Bonnie Tsui   Photograph by Pacific Northwest Expeditions
Photo: Paddling with orcas
Paddling with orcas off the coast of British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest

WHAT'S NEW: Last February about three million acres (1,214,057 hectares) of British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest became North America's newest protected area—the result of a protracted struggle to save the region's old-growth forests from excess logging. Part of the largest coastal temperate rain forest in the world, the Great Bear extends along 250 miles (402 kilometers) of rugged shoreline, making ship-based, or mother-ship, sea kayaking one of the best ways to access it all.

ON THE GROUND: Local outfitter Pacific Northwest Expeditions has been leading summer paddling trips in the area since 1998. Its 2007 departures will feature keynote guests—scientists and ecologists—who can speak to the changing character of the preserve and the need for saving threatened species such as the white-furred Kermode bear, or spirit bear, a variant of the black bear. You'll cruise between kayaking sites in a retrofitted 95-foot (29-meters) World War II-era wooden ship, the MV Songhee, which has six staterooms, a hot tub on deck, and a chef to fry up your fresh catch of the day.

Vitals

Outfitter:
Pacific Northwest Expeditions (www.seakayakbc.com)

Length:
Four to six days

Price:
$1,700 to $2,360

Difficulty:
Moderate

Departs:
July through September


Cover: Adventure magazine

Our November 2006 issue features the best new adventure travel trips; an exclusive look inside Iran; a Greenland global warming report; backcountry spas; digital cameras; travel Web sites; weekend getaways; and more.

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