Geography of B.C.

Last reviewed: March 20, 2024

British Columbia is the most western province in Canada. It is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Rocky Mountains and the Alberta border on the east. The south of B.C. shares a border with the United States, and the province extends north to the borders of Yukon and the Northwest Territories.  

The province has very diverse geography. B.C.’s landscapes include rocky coastlines, sandy beaches, forests, lakes, mountains, inland deserts and grassy plains.

The Fraser Valley in the Mainland/Southwest region has rich agricultural land that produces fruit and vegetables. The Okanagan area of Thompson-Okanagan grows grapes that make B.C.’s award-winning wine, as well as other produce. And the Peace River Valley in the Northeast region grows 90 per cent of the province’s grain crops of wheat, barley and oats.

Most of B.C. is rugged and wild, with few towns and roads. About half of the population of B.C. lives in the southern part of the province.

Did you know:

  • B.C. is 1,200 kilometres from north to south and 1,050 kilometres from east to west – the size of France, Germany and the Netherlands combined.
  • Parks, conservation areas, ecological reserves and recreation areas make up 14 per cent of the province. B.C. has more protected areas than any other province.
  • Mountains cover 75 per cent of British Columbia.
  • There are 40,000 islands throughout B.C.
  • The government owns 90 per cent of the land in B.C. These lands are home to more than two-thirds of Canada’s bird species and land mammals.

Learn more:

  • Visit the HelloBC website to find out more about British Columbia’s diverse regions, cities, climates and culture.
  • You can explore B.C.’s stunning landscapes by visiting the province’s nearly 1,000 provincial parks and protected areas.