Expeditions

Alpine to Ocean Adventures

Hiking Nootka Island

Strathcona Park Lodge offers all inclusive and guided wilderness expeditions to world class destinations on Vancouver Island: including Nootka Island, Nootka Sound and Strathcona Provincial Park

Strathcona Park Lodge’s multi-day expeditions are best described as world class. From the glacier carved peaks of Strathcona Provincial Park to the Pacific Ocean swells of Nootka Island, enjoy the abundant sea life of the sound and become captivated on a mountain summit. We have been guiding alpine to ocean trips longer than anyone else on Vancouver Island.

We’ve carefully chosen these destinations for the isolated beauty, scenery, wildlife and environment.

We take care of all the logistics, from shuttles to float plane flights, food and camping gear. All you need to do is show up ready to explore a wilderness destination on beautiful Vancouver Island.


2014 Adventures & Prices:

Explore Nootka Sound by Land and Sea

Combine sea kayaking and hiking in one of Canada’s hidden jewels, Nootka Sound. Fly by float plane with Air Nootka to the north end of Nootka Island to begin your hike on the Nootka Trail. Six  days later meet the MV Uchuck III in Yuquot (Friendly Cove) where you switch your hiking boots for a paddle and begin your exploration of Nootka Sound be sea kayak. This 14 day expedition will expand your skills in the outdoors and the scenery will leave you ‘ah’ inspired.

Explore Nootka Sound by Land and Sea Itinerary

Sample Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive at Strathcona Park Lodge between 4:00 and 5:00 pm. Relax, settle into your room, enjoy a swim in the lake. At 5:30 pm, meet your instructor and group. Enjoy a sumptuous dinner in the whale room.

Day 2 – Review your equipment and gear, jump into a kayak and practice your skills (strokes, rescue techniques and safety procedures) in the sheltered waters of Upper Campbell Lake. Complete your  out-trip preparations.

Day 3 – After an early breakfast, depart by Lodge transport to Gold River where you will be flown by Air Nootka to Starfish Lagoon at the north end of Nootka Island. Hike to your first campsite located on an open Pacific Ocean beach. (Approximately 1 hour)

Days 4 – 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)

Days 5 – 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)

Days 6 – 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)

Days 7 – The most strenuous day as you traverse the rugged headlands of Maquinna Point and camp at a tidal lagoon 1.5 hrs west of Yuquot (Friendly Cove). (Approximately 8 hours hiking)

Day 8 – Enjoy a short, pleasant hike to Yuquot (approximately 1.5 hours), 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 and view the 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; enjoy a chat with the lighthouse keepers. Walk the beautiful polished pebble beaches, swim in the small fresh water lake, observe a Master Carver at work,  chat with the First Nations peoples about plans to restore the village to its former historic grandeur.

Yuquot is where you will meet the M.V.Uchuck III and trade your hiking gear for your sea kayaking gear.  When packing is complete enjoy a short paddle from the beach at Yuquot to your first sea kayaking campsite in the Spanish Pilot Group of islands.

Day 9, 10 and 11 – Sea Kayak Nootka Sound – In favourable seas, paddle in and around the islands toward the south end of the sound to the beautiful pebbly beach at Burdwood Point. Swim and play in the surf and explore the isolated area of Burdwood Bay with its incredible white sandy beaches, sea caves and secret garden. Camp amongst the driftwood, with an uninterrupted view of the sound. (Daily paddling time is approximately 3-5hrs)

Day 12 – Begin your journey back to Gold River by way of  Zuciarte Channel and the Muchalat Inlet. Camp at McCurdy Creek and experience first hand the ever changing landscape of the area.

Day 13 – Enjoy a short paddle to the Gold River docks to complete your expedition and where you will meet SPL staff waiting to transport you back to the comforts of the Lodge. Relax and rejuvenate with a massage or enjoy a healing lakeside sauna.

Day 14 – Reflect on your journey and all you have accomplished over the past two weeks. Complete your stay with a hearty breakfast and depart Strathcona Park Lodge by 11:00am, with the satisfaction of  having experienced a truly special hidden jewel of the West Coast.

Explore Nootka-Recovered

Nootka Sound is rich in history, amazing scenery and plenty of opportunity to view wildlife.

Includes: 3 nights  lodge 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.


Sea Kayak Nootka Sound:

History, remote coastlines, secluded beaches, sea otters and humpback whales.
8 Days/7 Nights $1995 (per person). Available any dates with two or more people.

Sea Kayak Nootka Sound Description and Itinerary

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.

$1995 8 Days/7 Nights
Any dates possible for 2 or more people
(first and last night at SPL, 5 nights camping)

Sample itinerary

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)

This is a sea kayaking destination guided by no other company. Nootka Sound has whales, sea otters, First Nation culture and totem poles and European history. Paddling destinations include pristine white sand beaches, secluded coves and remote islands.

This is a sea kayaking destination guided by no other company. Nootka Sound has whales, sea otters, First Nation culture and totem poles and European history. Paddling destinations include pristine white sand beaches, secluded coves and remote islands.

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.


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 $2195 (per person).  Available any dates with two or more people.

Hike Nootka Island Description & Itinerary

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

A guided hike backpacking the Nootka Trail along the west coast of Nootka Island. Long sand beaches, crashing surf, sea otters, whales, bears and wolves. Old growth rainforest and pebble beaches and First Nations culture.

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.

$2195 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)

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.

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 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.

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.


Hiking Strathcona’s Alpine:

Backpack to an alpine tarn and then explore summits, ridges and meadows on day trips.
6 Days/5 Nights $1395 (per person).  Available any dates with two or more people.

Hiking Strathcona's Alpine Description & Itinerary

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

Backpack into the secluded island mountains of Strathcona Provincial Park with a professional Strathcona Park Lodge guide leading the way. Hike to Bedwell Lake campground and then day trip to Cream Lake, the summit of Mount Tom Taylor, the Bedwell Valley, and Big Interior.

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.

$1395 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.

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.

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.

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.


Packages for Two – Day Trips and Overnight Adventures

Rock Climbing at Crest Creek – $335

  • Climbing day trip for two at the local crags; meet your guide at 8:30am
  • Included in package: packed lunch, all safety and climbing gear
  • Not included in package: transport to the climbing crags

Whitewater Paddling on the Campbell or the Gold – $445

  • Paddling day trip for two on a local river; meet your guide at 8:30am
  • Included in package: packed lunch, kayaks, all safety gear
  • Not included in package: transport to the river

Overnight Canoe or Kayak Adventure – $595

  • Overnight canoeing or kayaking adventure for two in the park; additional guests $60 per person
  • Meet your guide at 9am for an orientation and to practice paddling skills, depart after lunch, overnight at a marine campsite in the park, return the next day by 5pm
  • Included in package: three out-trip meals, canoe or kayak, all safety gear, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad
  • Not included in package: on-site meals

Overnight Hiking Adventure – $595

  • Overnight hiking trip for two in the park, additional guests $60 per person
  • Meet your guide at 8am for an orientation and depart for the trailhead, overnight at a backcountry campsite in the park, return the next day by 5pm
  • Included in package: four out-trip meals, all safety gear, backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad
  • Not included in package: transport to the trailhead

Multi-day Custom Adventures – Custom Pricing

  • $300 per guide per day
  • Maximum number of participants & guide ratios  are activity dependant
  • Safety gear, group gear, some personal gear included in the guide rate
  • Specialized gear, meals and transport not included in the guide rate, additional charges may apply

Custom trips

Do you have something else in mind? Contact us and we’ll create a custom adventure for you with the same features as our other Alpine to Ocean Adventures: professional guides, modern equipment, extensive knowledge and great food.

Contact us by phone, 250-286-3122, or email.

Also consider:

WYLD Summer Camps: multi-sport wilderness summer camps for teenagers.

COLT: a three month semester program for adults looking for a break from routine or to become a wilderness leader.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

For full details, please contact SPL for a comprehensive pre-trip package including a registration form, itinerary, equipment list, medical form and waiver. Any dates available for two or more people.

Instructor/Guides: Our outdoor leaders have an intimate knowledge of the region. Most are graduates of the Canadian Outdoor Leadership Training semester program, and all carry Wilderness First Aid certification. Their enthusiasm and willingness to share their knowledge and love of the outdoors will ensure that your trip is unforgettable!

Arrivals and Departures
Check in time for accommodation is after 4:00 p.m.
Check out time is prior to 11:00 a.m.

Reservations and Cancellations
A 25% non-refundable deposit is required on all accommodation and packages to confirm space, with the balance due 30 days before arrival. In the event of a cancellation, or if a client arrives late or leaves early for any reason there will be NO refund. All payments may be made in cash or MASTERCARD or VISA, or, if time permits, by cheque or money order. All rates are subject to applicable taxes. All prices shown are in Canadian funds.

Medical
Please check your medical coverage before arrival to make sure it is up to date and adequate. Participants in outdoor activities will be required to complete a medical form and sign a liability waiver.

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