Category Archives: Adventure

Week in Review at the Lodge

WOW!  What a busy week we had here at Strathcona Park Lodge.

  • Guided Rock Climbing at Crest Creek Crags
  • Sea Kayakers returned after 8 days of paddling in Nootka Sound
  • Families participated in on site daily adventures such as zip lining, high ropes, boat rentals, bog walks and more
  • WYLD summer campers returned from their 12 day Backcountry Classic hiking trip.  Click on the image below to view more photos of their trip.
  • Group photo of the WYLD backcountry campers up at Marble Meadows.

    Group photo of the WYLD backcountry campers up at Marble Meadows.

  • Victoria International brought students from Japan to experience the wilderness of the Lodge.
  • A couple enjoyed a day paddle to Burman River to watch the Salmon Migration.
  • Grand parents and their grandkids enjoyed a week of zip lining, rock climbing, bog walks and more
  • Unloading after taking a ride on the Lakeside zip line.

    Unloading after taking a ride on the Lakeside zip line.

  • The Canadian Outdoor Leadership Training (COLT) fall group experienced their first trip into the mountains hiking up Mt. Myra.  They are canoeing today and tomorrow they leave for Squamish to go rock climbing.
  • Finally we would like to give a big congratulations to Kareen and Russel who are getting married at the Lodge today!

 

Kayak Soccer

Kayak soccer was a great time last night!  We had over 25 boats in the water playing two games of kayak soccer.  The more serious kayakers were fortunate enough to play with nets that were brought out to the Lodge by local kayakers in Campbell River.

Kayak soccer was a great time last night! We had over 25 boats in the water playing two games of kayak soccer. The more serious kayakers were fortunate enough to play with nets that were brought out to the Lodge by local kayakers in Campbell River.

Hiking Strathcona’s Alpine

Backpack to an alpine tarn and then explore summits, ridges and meadows on day trips. 6 Days/5 Nights $1365

100 years ago pioneers imagined turning Strathcona Provincial Park into the next Yosemite or Banff with guides leading tourists into the Island Mountains.

The dream never materialized, but the raw material is still here. The glaciated peaks of Strathcona Park remain an undiscovered gem. On this guided trip you will uncover one of the most spectacular areas of the park.

Hike up to Bedwell Lake, an ideal base camp, where several valleys and ridges converge, providing easy access into hanging valleys, blue-green lakes and high summits. The campground at the lake is  easily accessed on a parks-grade trail and the lakes are great for a post hike swim.

Objectives range from glaciated Mount Tom Taylor, to secluded Cream Lake at the foot of Mount Septimus and the wild Bedwell Valley. Expect to knock off two or three of these objectives over the five day trip.

Hikers should be in good shape, capable of hiking for six to eight hours in rough terrain with significant elevation gain. The first and last day of hiking is with a full backpack.

$1365 6 Days/5 Nights
And dates possible for 2 or more people
(first night and last nights at SPL, 3 nights camping)

Sample Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive at Strathcona Park Lodge between 4:00-5:00 pm. Relax, settle into your room… go for a refreshing swim in the lake. At 5:00, meet your instructor and group. After dinner receive pack, provisions, and instruction for the trek.

Day 2 After breakfast, depart for the trailhead in a Lodge vehicle. Hike up the engineering marvel that is the Bedwell Trail to Baby Bedwell and then the established Bedwell Lake campsite beyond. This will be your base camp for the trip.

Day 3 Following a decent trail the group will hike to Cream Lake, a glacier fed pond at the foot of Mount Septimus. It’s an impressive view to enjoy over lunch. From here you should also see Della Falls, the highest waterfall in Canada, and Nine Peaks, a craggy, glaciated summit. Return to Bedwell Lake for a swim before dinner.

Day 4 The group with input from the guide can choose between following a rough trail into the scenic and wild Bedwell Valley or a long day to the summit of Mt Tom Taylor. Both are worthy objectives. Either way, return the Bedwell Lake for the night.

Day 5 Depart Bedwell Lake and hike out to the trailhead and drive back to the Lodge.

Day 6 Hearty breakfast and depart by 11:00 am.

Includes: accommodation (double occupancy), meals and out-trip food (from dinner on arrival day through breakfast on departure day), tents (2 person), transportation within the package, instruction and guiding services of an experienced outdoor leader(s). Group size is a maximum of 10. Clients will be sent an equipment list and medical/liability form prior to arrival.

All prices are in Canadian dollars, per person (based on double occupancy), and subject to applicable taxes.

Hiking Nootka Island

Hiking Nootka Island:

A worthy successor to the West Coast Trail, rainforest, exposed coast, wildlife, First Nation artifacts and stunning scenery. 8 Days/7 Nights $2140

The Nootka Trail is what the West Coast Trail was before it became famous.

The Nootka Trail will inspire you with it’s long beaches and tidal flats, rocky headlands, rainforest trails, creek crossings, stunning coves and incredible views along the rugged coast.

The challenging backpack route along Nootka Island’s west coast is 40 kilometres long and begins with a magnificent float plane flight. Leaving from the harbour at Gold River, enjoy aerial views of Nootka Island and the sound, preview the hiking trail and watch the waves break against the shore, before being dropped at the trailhead.

From here one of Strathcona Park Lodge’s guides will lead you through long sections of beach and old growth rainforest. Keep an eye peeled for beach booty treasures, black bears, wolves, whales and sea otters. Enjoy the beautiful waterfall at Crawfish campsite and the amazing viewpoint from Maquinna Point. The tiny community of Yuquot, dots the shoreline with it’s 200 year old white church.

Daily hiking distances on the Nootka Trail are 5 to 15 kilometres with a 20 to 30 pound pack. The route ranges from flat sand to boulders to rough trail; high cut hiking boots are a must.

$2040 8 Days/7 Nights
Any dates possible for 2 or more people; please note this trip must start on a Sunday or Tuesday to coincide with the MV Uchuck schedule.
(first and last night at SPL, 5 nights camping)

Float Plane

Picture 1 of 48

Day 1 Arrive at Strathcona Park Lodge between 4:00-5:00 pm. Relax, settle into your room… go for a refreshing swim in the lake. At 5:00, meet your instructor and group. After dinner receive pack, provisions, and instruction for the trek.

Day 2 Breakfast at 7:30. Depart by Lodge transport to Gold River where you will be flown by Air Nootka’s seaplane to Starfish Lagoon at the north end of Nootka Island. Hike to your first camp located on an open Pacific Ocean beach. (Approximately 1 hour)

Day 3 Hike the beach to where the beautiful Calvin Creek tumbles into the ocean. Swim above and below the waterfall or play in the ocean waves. (Approximately 6.5 hours hiking)

Day 4 Today’s destination is Bajo Reef, a perfect place to examine the rich sea life amongst the kelp in pristine tidal pools. Watch for the colony of sea otters playing in the kelp. Flocks of sandpipers and oyster catchers (birds) roam the shoreline for their dinners. (Approximately 2 hours hiking)

Day 5 Our camping spot is close to Beano Creek where you will be rewarded with a refreshing dip. The smooth pebbles are not only comfortable to sleep on, but provide hours of sorting entertainment. (Approximately 4 hours hiking)

Day 6 The most strenuous day as you traverse the rugged headlands of Maquinna Point and camp near there at a tidal lagoon 1.5 hrs west of Yuquot (Friendly Cove). (Approximately 8 hours hiking)

Day 7 Enjoy a short, pleasant hike to Yuquot (Friendly Cove – about 1.5 hrs), the historic landing site where Chief Maquinna and the Nu-chah-nulth people welcomed the first Europeans, including Captain Cook. Visit the restored Spanish Church where there are artifacts of First Nations and European history.

The adjacent lighthouse is one of the few remaining manned lighthouses and one of the most stunning on the B.C. coast. The keepers are most receptive and hospitable people.
Walk the beautiful polished pebble beaches, swim in the small fresh water lake, and chat with the First Nations peoples about plans to restore the village to its former historic grandeur.

Board the working vessel M.V.Uchuck III for the voyage to Gold River. After pick up by Lodge vehicle arrive back at SPL by 5:00 pm, in time for a hot shower, and maybe a swim and sauna before dinner.

Day 8 Hearty breakfast and depart by 11:00 am.

Includes: accommodation (double occupancy), meals and out-trip food (from dinner on arrival day through breakfast on departure day), tents (two-person), transportation within the package, instruction and guiding services of an experienced outdoor leader(s).

Group size is a maximum of eight. Clients will be sent an equipment list and a medical/liability form prior to arrival.

All prices are in Canadian dollars, per person (based on double occupancy), and subject to applicable taxes.

Sea Kayak Nootka Sound

Sea Kayak Nootka Sound:

History, remote coastlines, secluded beaches, sea otters and humpback whales. 8 Days/7 Nights $1935

Nootka Sound is the Vancouver Island sea kayaking destination no one knows about. We don’t know why and we’re not complaining.

Our guides have watched sea lions coral salmon in a cove only to have one of the resident humpback whales steal their meal. Sea otters are routinely spotted and tidal pools team with life. The beaches are secluded and pristine. Wolves howl and bear tracks meander down the beach.

And then there is the history: Nootka Sound is where Captain James Cook first came ashore when he discovered British Columbia. Later Spain and England almost went to war here fighting over the sea otter fur trade.

The south end of the sound offers a long white sand beach protected from the open Pacific where you can explore sea caves, secret gardens and pristine water falls. You’ll need good weather to get here, but when our guides see a window you’ll be rewarded with one of the best campsites on the west coast. You’ll also visit Friendly Cove, an ancient First Nation village and home to a small Spanish Church, a toppled totem pole and a lighthouse.

Campsites are rustic, beachside affairs with driftwood campfires and wholesome meals. We usually have the islands and beaches to ourselves.

Expect to paddle for four or five hours a day. The water ranges from lake flat to rolling ocean swells and exposed coastline. No prior sea kayaking experience is necessary but you should be fit enough to paddle for two hours without getting out of your kayak. Give us a call if you have any questions about your fitness.

$1935 8 Days/7 Nights
Any dates possible for 2 or more people
(first and last night at SPL, 5 nights camping)

Sample itinerary

Sea Kayak Nootka Sound

Picture 1 of 23

Day 1 Arrive at Strathcona Park Lodge between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. Relax, settle into your room and swim in the lake. At 5:00, meet your instructor and group. Dinner. After dinner jump into the kayaks to practice your skills (strokes, rescue techniques and safety procedures) in the sheltered waters of Upper Campbell Lake. Complete out-trip preparations.

Day 2 & 3 Depart by SPL transport to Tuta Marina on Muchalat Inlet. Load the kayaks for an easy paddle to a secluded campsite on Bligh Island (named after the infamous captain of the Bounty). Explore a variety of rocky coves, pebble beaches and the tide pools of the Pantoja Island all within Bligh Island Marine Park. (Paddling time is approximately 3-4hrs)

Day 4 & 5  In favourable weather, paddlers continue to the south end of the sound to the beautiful pebbled beach at Burdwood Bay. Swim and play in the surf and explore the isolated area with its incredible beaches, sea caves and secret garden. Camp amongst the driftwood, with an uninterrupted view of the sound. (Paddling time is approximately 5hrs)

Day 6 Early morning will see the group off to Friendly Cove to explore this First Nations site where Chief Maquinna of the Nu-chah-nulth people welcomed Captain Cook. Ample time will be allotted to hike the beaches, swim, and visit the lighthouse and historical Spanish church and graveyard. Paddle to the Spanish Pilot Islands to camp for the night. (Paddling time is approximately 4-5hrs)

Day 7 Paddle to Tuta Marina and return to SPL by 4 p.m. (Paddling time is approximately 3hrs)

Includes: accommodation (double occupancy), meals and out-trip food (from dinner on arrival day through breakfast on departure day), all group equipment including single or double kayaks, PFDs, tents (two-person), transportation within the package, instruction and guiding services of an experienced outdoor leader(s).

Group size is a maximum of ten. Clients will be sent an equipment list and a medical/liability form prior to arrival. Paddling itineraries and destinations are weather and water condition dependent.

All prices are in Canadian dollars, per person (based on double occupancy), and subject to applicable taxes.

Wild Life Tracking

Jimmy Martinello presents Mt. Bute: The Climb and the Jump

Biking Across Canada

Best of luck to Richard Dugas and Amy Heath who started their bike across Canada last week.  This will be the third time for Richard as he has done it East to West and West to East.  Starting in St. Johns they will be making their way back to Strathcona Park Lodge & Outdoor Education Centre in August!

Richard showing how it's done.

Banff Mountain Film Festival

The Banff Mountain Film Festival is coming to Campbell River November 25 at the Tide Mark theater.  More information can be found by clicking here.  We will be having a table at this event.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Top 9 National Parks by a guest blogger

9 Best Parks for the Outdoor Lover

For most people, the closest you get to the outdoors on a day-to-day basis is your backyard patio or the grass where you let your dog do his business. You might wander to the city park every once in a while, but for the most part, we lead indoor lives. For nature lovers, however, these small glimpses of the wilderness just aren’t enough when the whole earth is waiting to be discovered. If you want to get away and escape city living, these are the nine best parks in the world for exploring, roughing it, and pretending you were raised by wolves.

  1. Denali National Park, Alaska

    The fact that there’s an Old Spice deodorant scent named after Denali speaks volumes. Denali National Park in the middle of Alaska sees 400,000 visitors each year, most drawn by the gorgeous views and the highest peak in North America, Mount McKinley. The park includes forest at the lower levels and glaciers and snow as you get higher, and you’ll find glassy reflections of the peaks in the lakes and streams that have formed as ice melts and runs down the mountains. If you plan a trip in the summer, you’ll have 20 hours of sunlight to explore the land; during the winter, your chances of seeing the Northern Lights are greater. Take flight seeing tours, backpack, or go dog sledding for big adventures.

  2. Iguazu National Park, Argentina and Brazil

    The spectacular waterfalls at Iguazu National Park (or Iguaçu National Park on the Brazil side of the river) are the kind of drops that haunt the nightmares of kayakers and rafters. Almost 2 miles wide and 262 feet high (about 100 feet taller than Niagara Falls), Iguazu Falls make up part of the border between Brazil and Argentina, and both countries claim the falls as part of their national parks, allowing guests access from either nation. The surrounding rainforests provide excellent hiking, with a train on the Argentina side that takes visitors to different trails and a bus system and a trail along the canyon in Brazil.

  3. Galapagos National Park, Galapagos Islands

    The giant tortoises of the Galapagos Islands aren’t the only beautiful and unique sight to see. Over 90% of the islands were dedicated in 1959 to become a national park and have since been preserved for research and some tourism. Though you won’t be allowed to explore the islands on your own for fear that too much human interference will deplete the natural resources, you can walk trails and take boat tours with a park guide. You won’t find Galapagos wildlife anywhere else in the world, including many kinds of reptiles and birds, and the marine life is a favorite of divers. Don’t expect the animals to be scared of you, though; one of the draws of the island is the way the creatures interact freely with humans.

  4. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

    This famous landscape was the first national park in the world, paving the way (not literally, since paving over a national park kind of defeats the point) for about 100,000 nationally preserved parks to pop up around the world. It’s located mostly in Wyoming, but also reaches into Idaho and Montana. Everyone has undoubtedly heard of Old Faithful, the geyser that erupts about every 90 minutes, but there are many other gushers to be seen since Yellowstone is home to 60% of the world’s geysers. The forests provide great opportunities for hiking, camping, and fishing, and the perfect habitat to spot large animals. Herds of bison and elk, packs of wolves, and grizzly bears roam the terrain, so keep an eye on your picnics.

  5. Khao Sok National Park, Thailand

    Khao Sok National Park has it all: vertical limestone cliffs, glistening lakes, and the oldest evergreen rainforest on the planet. Whether you choose to trek through the jungle by foot or drift down the rivers in a canoe, you’ll see animals unlike those you’d see on any other continent. You could even find wildlife as exotic as leopards, tapirs, and tigers. The park also offers the chance to feed and groom some of Thailand’s domestic elephants and stay in floating huts for the night — just don’t be surprised if your alarm clock in the morning is the sound of one of the endangered gibbon monkeys.

  6. Banff National Park, Canada

    Canada is known for its abundance of pristine, stretching land, so it’s no surprise that the country’s first national park is a beautiful expanse of forests and mountains. Banff National Park is situated in the Rocky Mountains in Alberta and offers staggering views of icy peaks and dense forests. Drive along the Icefields Parkway and you have the chance to hike around and touch a prehistoric icefield. With a guide, you can walk on the glacier; without a guide, you can fall through thin ice and die from the fall or freezing temperatures. Depending on the time of year, you can hike, bike, ski, or canoe in the park, all with the stunning Rockies in the background.

  7. Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

    The steep fjords of Fiordland National Park, carved by glaciers 100,000 years ago, have made this area of New Zealand difficult to settle, leaving it unspoiled by development. To grasp the enormity of the cliffs, you can take a helicopter tour of the park, or you can hike one of the three popular trails. Milford Track, the most famous, allows visitors to travel 33 miles among lakes, mountains, and waterfalls, not to mention native plants and animals. For the serious hiker and camper (or trampers, as they call them in New Zealand), this park offers challenging landscape because there are few trails and many who like to really rough it choose to follow deer trails. The park is also a favorite among alpine climbers.

  8. Kruger National Park, South Africa

    This park isn’t ideal if you’re an outdoor lover who wants to face the wilderness on your own or move about as you please because the wilderness here will probably try to eat you. Kruger National Park is one of the biggest game reserves on the African continent and allows visitors to see local beasts ranging from lions to elephants to crocodiles all in their natural habitat. In fact, the viral YouTube video where a herd of African buffalo squares off against a group of lions and a couple of crocodiles was shot by guests at Kruger. There are walking and self-drive safaris for those who prefer a little independence in the bush, but visitors staying overnight in the park stay at a rest camp or private lodging that’s protected from the animals.

  9. Yosemite National Park, California

    This California park has a little bit of everything. You can meander across meadows, marvel at giant Sequoias, and hike to various rock formations, waterfalls, and lakes. There are activities for every kind of outdoor lover, whether you want to enjoy the scenery from a bus or get out there to rock climb, bike, or backpack. Even the most energetic sportsmen will find plenty to do and see since the climate and geography changes as you get farther into the park. Make sure to give yourself enough time to see everything. And if you feel like being productive with your visit, you can volunteer a couple hours of your time to help restore habitats for endangered plant and wildlife so you can leave a positive mark on the park.

Thank you Rose over at http://www.bestonlinecolleges.com/ for the guest blog posting.