Discover the Pacific Northwest: Best British Columbia Books

From informative travel resources and field guides to compelling narratives about the region’s wild places, this essential reading list dives deep into the history, natural environment and lure of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. If you’re planning a trip to this beautiful and rugged part of the world, you’ll want to put a few of these books on your must-read list.

An Introduction to British Columbia & the Pacific Northwest

Discover the Pacific Northwest: Best British Columbia Books

A Traveller’s History of Canada | By Robert Bothwell

An admirably concise march through Canadian history from prehistory to modern times, including a look at how it has become one of the most desirable places in the world to live.

Myths and Legends of the Pacific Northwest | By Katharine Berry Judson

First collected in 1910, these age-old stories and photographs include revealing myths and creation narratives alongside noted geographical features of the territory.

Burrard Inlet: A History | By Doreen Armitage

A short history of Burrard Inlet, the port surrounding Vancouver. It’s a story of the Native Americans, developers, businessmen, environmentalists and other influential figures that played a role in the rise of the greater Vancouver area.

The West Beyond the West: A History of British Columbia | By Jean Barman

This fascinating history of the Canadian province from the 18th century to the mid-1990s provides an overview of the people, events and cultural influences that have shaped the region.

The Island Within | By Richard Nelson

Drawn from the author’s journals, this account of the natural and cultural history of an unnamed island in the waters of Haida Strait, is a beautifully written tribute to the Pacific Northwest. It’s a book that inspires wonder.

Grass Beyond the Mountains: Discovering the Last Great Cattle Frontier on the North American Continent | By Richard Hobson

In this classic memoir, author Richard Hobson writes of his daring cross-country trek and pioneering days as a rancher in British Columbia’s undiscovered remote north.

Essential British Columbia Travel Guides

Best British Columbia Books: Discover the Pacific Northwest’s Wild Side

Moon British Columbia: Including the Alaska Highway | By Andrew Hempstead

This comprehensive guide stakes out the best sites throughout British Columbia, nicely balancing practical detail with a good overview of the region and its attractions.

Top 10 Vancouver & Victoria | By DK Publishing

This pocket-sized Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide guide features favorite attractions in Vancouver and Victoria, insider tips and easy to follow maps and itineraries that will make planning a trip to the region a breeze.

Field Guides & Natural History

Best British Columbia Books: Discover the Pacific Northwest’s Wild Side

National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest | By Peter Alden

A compact photographic guide to the wildflowers, trees, mosses, butterflies, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals of the Pacific Northwest.

Northern Rocky Mountain Wildflowers | By Wayne Phillips

Compiled by a former forest service ecologist and botany teacher at Yellowstone Institute, this handy guide features 300 species of wildflowers, expertly photographed, explained and organized by color and family for quick identification. It covers the Glacier, Waterton Lakes, Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, Mount Revelstoke, and Yoho regions.

Vancouver Birds: A Folding Guide to Familiar Species | By James Kavanagh

This pocket-sized reference for the bird enthusiast includes illustrations of more than 140 common species found throughout British Columbia and a map of local birdwatching hot spots.

Following the Last Wild Wolves | By Ian McAllister

For nearly 20 years, award-winning photographer and conservationist Ian McAllister followed two undisturbed wolf packs along the coast of British Columbia known as the Great Bear Rainforest. In this compelling read he shares about his experience and observations.

Other Recommended Reads

Bachelor Brothers' Bed and Breakfast | By Bill RichardsonLake Woebegone goes British Columbia in this humorous slip of a novel about an unconventional Vancouver B&B, which features twin bookworm brothers, a talking parrot and a motley crew of hotel guests.

Canada: Images of the Land | By J. Kraulis

From the country’s expansive prairies and forests to its magnificent coastline, the 200-plus images in this oversized photo book capture the sublime and staggeringly diverse landscape of Canada.

Bachelor Brothers’ Bed and Breakfast | By Bill Richardson

Lake Woebegone goes British Columbia in this humorous novel about an unconventional Vancouver B&B, which features twin bookworm brothers, a talking parrot and a motley crew of hotel guests.


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