The Backcountry Lodges of British Columbia Association is joining communities, cities and regions around British Columbia to recognize National Tourism Week—May 28 to June 3, 2017.
Dave Birnie, owner of Mistaya Lodge in the Canadian Rockies near the British Columbia/Alberta border north of Yoho National Park, discusses his passion for the remote wilderness.
BC is place where raw wilderness thrives, and culture is shaped by nature. It’s time to share these stories. Over 4 months, our crew captured stunning scenery and local narratives from across the province. Nearly 1,000 km were trekked, to add wilderness terrain to Google Maps Street View, and to highlight BC’s expansive and pristine nature. Through video profiles, 360˚ footage and Google Street View technology, we want travellers to discover the diverse landscapes and intimate stories of BC locals. Explore at http://www.bcexplorer.com/journeys.
Ever wondered why every single backcountry lodge has a special feel to it? I’ve visited many of them and am trying to get to more because they are always carefully placed by people who understand a human desire for wilderness.
4 Ways to Experience BC’s Backcountry Lodges in Summer
Explore BC blog
March 8, 2017
It’s been an incredible winter season in BC, and before long, the snow will melt and thoughts will shift from winter to summer. That doesn’t mean BC’s backcountry lodges should be forgotten. There are plenty of other ways to experience these alpine retreats in summer.
1. Mountain Bike From Your Doorstep
Nestled in the Monashee Mountains, 2.5 hours south of Revelstoke, there is a growing network of alpine single-track trails right out the door of Sol Mountain Lodge. Primarily operating as a ski touring lodge since 2005, Sol has expanded its summer offerings. There are 20 kilometres (12 miles) of flowy, single-track trails that run through meadows and forests, along alpine ridges, and over rock slabs that wind in and out of Monashee Provincial Park. The lodge opens in August for mountain biking, with options to book an overnight stay or just a day trip. Access to the lodge and terrain is via the 1.9-kilometre (1.1-mile) “Park N Ride” trail from the parking lot.
Another lodge just outside Revelstoke is also offering mountain biking this summer. Marty Schaffer, owner and guide at Blanket Glacier Chalet, explored the terrain surrounding the lodge last summer and found a biking paradise. Plans are in the works to offer 3- and 4-day mountain biking trips with access by helicopter. Keep an eye on the Blanket Glacier Chalet website for upcoming details on new summer operations.
2. Standup Paddleboard on Alpine Lakes
A family-run lodge sits above the treeline in the Valhalla Range of the Selkirk Mountains, just outside Nelson. Ice Creek Lodge is accessed via the eight-km (five-mile) Ice Creek Trail, or by 20-km (12-mi) Drinnon Pass through Valhalla Provincial Park. Standup paddleboard packages are available in summer, where guided, self-guided, and “choose your own adventure” options cater to all abilities and interests. These alpine paddleboard excursions offer full use of the main lodge and sauna, and can include paddleboard rentals so you don’t have to lug your own. Porter and guiding services are available to deliver gear and lead guests around this alpine paradise.
3. Take a Hike and Stretch it Out
Many of BC’s backcountry lodges offer hiking adventures in the summer months. Experiences can range from fully guided and catered multi-day trips, to self-guided and self-catered excursions. These give flexibility to groups of friends, families, or couples to choose how they experience the lodges and backcountry hiking opportunities in BC. Custom packages include themed getaways focusing on wildlife viewing, family experiences, artist retreats, and hut-to-hut adventures.
After all that hiking, stretching is a must. A few backcountry lodges in BC are beginning to offer special yoga retreats. At Sol Mountain Lodge, daily hiking, yoga classes, vegetarian meals, and interactive workshops are all offered over four days this August. The program is hosted by Beth Purser, an ACMG (Association of Certified Mountain Guides) guide, natural health practitioner, and registered yoga instructor. Beth is also hosting a yoga retreat at Purcell Mountain Lodge, which will include a helicopter transfer to the lodge, accommodation, and meals. More details on that experience to follow on the lodge’s website.
4. Sneak In One More Ski Trip
By the time late March and April roll around, most of us are thinking about summer. But this also happens to be a great time to book a backcountry ski trip. Many of the lodges in BC still have availability come spring, so you can take a few more turns in the sunshine before packing in the gear for the season.
Learn more about BC’s backcountry lodges and find the an alpine retreat that offers your favourite summer and winter activities.
Article written by Destination British Columbia with collaboration from the BLBCA.
More from the BLBCA:
The backcountry community is buzzing after some interesting events in a search and rescue effort at Sun Peaks this past week. For the first time in BC, a drone was used to assist in locating missing skiers and snowboarders.
Lifetime backcountry guides Evan Stevens (IFMGA) and Jasmin Caton (ACMG) have learned a lot about what makes or breaks a good backcountry ski experience at Valhalla Mountain Touring. They each enjoy the daily lessons they get from a day in the mountains and enjoy sharing it with skiers who join them along the way.
Join BLBCA and True Outdoors for a FREE Backcountry 101 clinic!
Whether you’ve already spent long days carving turns in backcountry powder, or you’re just considering venturing out for the first time, Backcountry 101 will have something for everyone.
We’re at the Banff Mountain Film Festival from Friday, Nov. 4th to Sunday, Nov. 6th.
Stop by our booth in the Mountain Marketplace to learn more about our backcountry network, ask a question about avalanche awareness or just to say hi!
We’ll also have a sweet contest running for your chance to win great backcountry prizing from True Outdoors!
It was another gorgeous summer at Purcell Mountain Lodge, filled with long hikes and stunning backcountry. There’s over 3,000 acres of rolling alpine meadows, endless fields of wildflowers and countless peaks and ridges, set against a backdrop of tumbling glaciers and alpine vistas.
Take a peek at the past summer season
It was a beauty-filled summer in the backcountry at Valhalla Mountain Touring.
In summer, guests can stroll on paths and trails to access flower filled ridges with big mountain views, peaks and alpine lakes. It’s perfect for hikers, photographers, wildlife and wildflower viewing.
The backcountry beckons! Perhaps your guests are rock climbing, upgrading skills in a course or hiking the Alpine. As a backcountry enthusiast they’re prepared and probably have several back up plans. Those plans should include travel medical insurance and evacuation coverage.
Mountain history is alive and well at Assiniboine Lodge. Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park is a place of pristine wilderness with its shimmering lakes, glacier clad mountains and flower-filled alpine meadows.
Summer is always a beautiful time of year at Selkirk Mountain Experience.
Featuring amazing hikes, wildlife, swimming, beautiful sunsets and more, there’s something for everyone.
Riding BC’s alpine singletrack is the coveted jewel of all mountain riding – but its not great all of the time.
The fine folks at Talus Lodge have been busy this spring and summer.
Gain insight into the story of Canadian Adventure Company in this great look at Mallard Mountain Lodge.
Wildflowers are in full bloom at Sorcerer Lodge!
A great look at Ice Creek Lodge in this clip from The Powder Highway.
It’s been an epic winter in the backcountry and we’ve compiled a look at just how awesome it’s been so far, with this collection of images and info from some of our member lodges.
Purcell Mountain Lodge was recently featured in Mountain Flyer Magazine.
Assiniboine is a place of soaring glacier clad peaks, alpine meadows, powder snow, turquoise lakes and remote wilderness. For generations the area was the center of trade routes and often battles among indigenous peoples.
Some trees just deserve respect. We all know them. They lodge themselves in our memories like markers of special times and places.
Whitecap Alpine is celebrating a diamond anniversary!
Below is snippet from their look back on 10 great years:
“2005 was the birth of Whitecap. Oh, we had run commercial trips since the lodge was built in 1972, but this was the first season we ran (or attempted) to run back to back trips the entire winter.
The saying that a day in the mountains isn’t counted on your life’s timeline must be true because where did the time go?
Up at Valkyr Adventures, they have had some great hiking trips so far this summer, and they are not done yet.
Mount Carlyle Lodge has been doing a lot of work at this summer!
They’ve been busy putting the finishing touches on their remote campsites. Beautiful cedar tent platforms and outdoor-kitchen platforms, plus more trail building (over 15km so far this year). Whew! Just wait until you see what they have planned next!
Our friends at Selkirk Lodge have been doing some amazing climbing this summer.
First they climbed the amazing summit of Mt. Moloch via its South Face – East Ridge route last week. During the climb they observed a huge rock slide, more likely from June 2015, that covered the entire Moloch Glacier below the failed Mt. Moloch East Face. Start zone 2850 m. elev, lowest point of avalanche deposit 1900 m. elev, distance ran 2.6 km, width of avalanche deposit 650 m. (entire glacier).
As a prominent El Niño trend continues to gain steam in the Pacific Ocean, climatologists at the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center claimed Thursday that every one of their computer models are predicting a El Niño to reach peak intensity during the late fall/early winter months. Read the complete article.
Summer 2015 has been spectacular so far at Canadian Adventure Company’s Mallard Mountain Lodge. The scenery has been dazzling for guests.
A few beautiful images of the recent summertime at Mistaya Lodge.
Update to original post:
Trail Update — Monashee Provincial Park – New Alpine Singletrack
Deep in the Monashee Mountains, south of Revelstoke, BC sits one of the fastest growing alpine singletrack hotspots in North America.
Discover summer hiking around Mistaya Lodge in the Rocky Mountains by Golden, BC.
My first real test with my Glidecam out backcountry hiking at Mistaya Lodge in the Rocky Mountains by Golden, BC. Shot on a Canon EOS 650D (Rebel T4i), with a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 USM L-series lens, mounted on a Glidecam XR-1000.
Summer is in full swing and the folks at Sorcerer Lodge are taking full advantage of the breathtakingly rugged Selkirk Mountains.
If you’re a strong mountaineer or hiker looking for a unique lodge-based adventure this is the place for you.
The history behind the mountaineer’s mountain.
A BBC documentary which explores the history of climbing K2, the mountaineers mountain, from the early days to the summit with historical footage photographs & re-enactments.
Ice Creek Lodge on Facebook
Ice Creek Lodge just completed their first annual ladies-only SUP expedition through Valhalla Provincial Park!