March 15, 2018
If you’re craving a Mother Nature reconnect, you’ll find it in the mountains of British Columbia—a quick flight or scenic drive from the American West….
By Margo Pfeiff October 27, 2017 #php comments_number('0 Comment', '1 Comment', '% Comments'); ?> #php echo wpb_get_post_views(get_the_ID()); ?>
Everyone’s idea of a once-in-a lifetime trip is different. It’s personal. After all, you’re opening your wallet wider than usual so you want pampering and a highly memorable experience based on your passions. These sort of BC vacations come by the plenty. For some, bliss is watching wildlife up close or luxury small-craft cruising around mystical rainforest islands. Action seekers might crave helicopter skiing or heli-hiking amid towering peaks. And what’s not to love about riding the rails, sipping bubbly amid spectacular scenery—diverse British Columbia offers so many choices. Here’s a few more to add to your champagne bucket list.
Cruising Northern BC’s islands of Haida Gwaii is one of the peak experiences along the province’s 25,725 kilometres (15,984 miles) of coastline that teems with whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, and seabirds. Cultural as well as natural, Bluewater Adventures’ 70′ yacht expeditions explore lush rainforest where rare Haida mortuary poles stand among abandoned village sites. Maple Leaf Adventures’ visit Haida Gwaii with a leisurely sailing ship or a restored 1912 tugboat. Kayak into coves, hike to historical ruins, tour the First Nations sites with local Haida Watchmen while your on-board chef prepares freshly caught shellfish and seafood for dinner.
Wolves. Grizzly, black and rare white spirit bears. Orcas and humpbacks. Moss-carpeted, primeval and remote, the biologically diverse Great Bear Rainforest is the world’s biggest intact temperate rainforest. Most resorts work with knowledgeable local First Nations to enhance the experience. Many luxury eco-lodges “float” alongside the shore—an exotic experience—and are accessible by boat, helicopter, or float plane.
Great Bear Tours on Vancouver Island is an intimate 10-guest resort nestled at the mouth of a pristine salmon river. Knight Inlet Lodge is a premier grizzly bear viewing hideaway with a backdrop of snow-capped peaks. Their scenic Knight Inlet cruise visits remote waterfalls plummeting from cliff faces where ancient glaciers have carved dramatic paths. Farewell Harbour Lodge is a West Coast-inspired luxury waterfront retreat in Broughton Archipelago, BC’s largest marine park reknowned for its orca population.
Iconic, family-owned Nimmo Bay lodge —which has a waterfall running through the resort—began offering heli-fishing for enthusiastic fishers. Fly-fishers are swooped into remote fishing holes teeming with salmon. It’s also a luxury wilderness adventure base renowned for spoiling its guests.
Swooping up amid jagged peaks and granite spires by helicopter to ski virgin powder was a BC-based invention by the founder of CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures, which has several far-flung, decadent winter heli-skiing and summer heli-hiking retreats in mountainous southeastern BC. Some, like the comfortably casual-luxury Cariboos Lodge even offer Family Adventure packages so that kids too can learn to make turns in champagne powder while mum and dad head off to tackle gnarlier slopes. New for 2018, the Cariboos Lodge will begin offering summer experiences.
At the head of a fjord on central BC’s coast just an hour’s flight north of Vancouver, Tweedsmuir Park Lodge and Bella Coola Heli Sports is vast, easy-access heli-skiing terrain. Stay in private timber chalet luxury near two wild rivers amid the Great Bear Rainforest near Bella Coola. There’s even summer heli-skiing on nearby glaciers—carve turns in the morning and reel in a salmon in the afternoon.
Winding on several routes across BC past waterfalls and over towering bridges towards the breathtaking Rockies, the Rocky Mountaineer is rolling rail luxury with glass-ceiling dome cars, white linen local gourmet cuisine, and BC wines en route to Jasper and Lake-Louise/Banff.
Or, pull out all the stops and charter an entire train for a Rocky Mountain circuit on board the vintage Royal Canadian Pacific. With a fleet of vintage, beautifully restored 1920s business cars that once transported Winston Churchill, King George VI, and US President Roosevelt, you and a group of friends can re-live the rare, ultimate luxury of early train travel.
British Columbia can make your wildest once-in-a-lifetime trip dreams come true.
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