Best time to travel to British Columbia

Salmon Run

Every four years, millions of sockeye salmon traverse thousands of kilometers of sea and freshwater to die for their babies—this is the severity of mother nature's laws

Salmon Run in British Columbia - Best Time
Photo by

© Michelle Lamberson

Sometimes it's hard to understand the rules of nature, but that's just how it is, whether you like it or not. Baby salmon are born in freshwater, mountainous rivers when their parents are already dead after the extremely gruelling upstream migration from the ocean up into the mountains.

Some salmons can't manage to achieve the final destination and die on the way. Only 4 out of 4,000 manage to reach their birthplace, and every female deposits 4,000 eggs. The young soon return to the ocean, but they are doomed to the same destiny. Their carefree life is unfortunately too short-lasting, and in four years they will face the same deadly challenge.

Sockeye Salmon Quadrennial Migration to the Adams River
Sockeye Salmon Quadrennial Migration to the Adams River

The best place to observe sockeye salmon are top waterbeds of Adams River, and Fraser River, as well as Shuswap Lake, and the season is approximately between mid-October and late December. The last peak of salmon in Canadian rivers was seen in 2014, and the following ones is expected in 2018 and 2022. During the other years, you might see only hundreds of salmons, not as spectacular.

Salmon Run Map & Location

Accommodations nearby

Check best times to visit
British Columbia