Taming the wilderness
Author: Katrina Lobley
It takes effort to reach Canada's wild places. But those who venture beyond the cities to explore remote corners of the Yukon, Northwest Territories and British Columbia will be rewarded with extraordinary experiences.
The Yukon has attracted adventurers ever since gold was discovered there in the 19th century. Not every prospector struck it lucky during the Klondike gold rush but even those who missed out often stuck around - unable to bid the Yukon goodbye.
South-east of Whitehorse, tucked alongside a lake just north of the British Columbia border, is Tagish Wilderness Lodge - a place so remote it can be reached only by boat, floatplane, ski-plane or dog sled. Adventures vary according to season: in warmer months, fish for lake trout and northern pike, search for moose, bears and caribou, or head out on a kayak with a picnic lunch. In winter, stay up late to watch the northern lights or run a team of huskies across the frozen lake.
Inconnu Lodge, near the Northwest Territories border, boasts
some of the best fishing in Canada's north. Anglers and outdoor
enthusiasts can add side adventures such as taking a helicopter
flight to lunch in the Cirque of the Unclimbables - a cluster of
peaks so steep that they represent the ultimate mountaineering
challenge. Back at the lodge, dine on four-course gourmet dinners
and wake to the aroma of fresh-baked bread.
Want to watch the spectacular cosmic light show known as the northern lights? Take a 25-minute bush-plane flight from Yellowknife to Blachford Lake Lodge, one of the darkest places on the planet thanks to the lack of light pollution. Stay in the main lodge or your own log cabin. See the sky from one of the viewing decks or the outdoor hot tub. In winter stroll onto the frozen lake for a front-row view of the overhead action.
Yellow Dog Lodge offers a one-of-a-kind adventure. While it's
possible to bunk down in the main lodge or cabins, those who want
to go off-grid can spend the night in a floating tent camp. Known
as the Dog House, this tent boat can be moved around Duncan Lake at
whim. Fish from the deck, barbecue your catch and listen to the
loons calling at night. Aurora viewing is best here in late
British Columbia's moss-draped Great Bear Rainforest is known as
"the Amazon of the North". Find out why with a stay at Great Bear
Lodge, reached via a floatplane from Vancouver Island. The
mainland floating lodge, tucked into a remote inlet, is your base
for forays into the forest where bears roam, snacking on berries
and swiping salmon from the streams.
The most glamorous way to see the Bugaboos, a set of gothic
granite spires in far eastern British Columbia, is to sign up for a
heli-hiking or heli-skiing holiday (depending on the season).
Guests spend their days being dropped onto remote mountain-tops and
glaciers before heading back to Bugaboo or Bobbie Burns Lodge for
convivial family-style dinners.
Presented by Destination Canada.