Interior BC: far from the crowd
between the Purcells and the Rocky Mountains
With the perfect mix of accommodations from the rustic charm of our Barn in Invermere to a backcountry camping extravaganza in the Brisco range to the luxurious charm of our East Kootenay dwelling, this trip offers a great balance of rawness and sophistication. Challenging and less-traveled the hikes on this trip have been handpicked to offer a unique variety of environments to discover. Whether it’s hiking, canoeing or even driving this trip is a non-stop take your breath away affair. A special itinerary that we can’t wait to share with all of those looking for a little extra when visiting the Rockies
- The majestic beauty of the Purcell Mountains, Colombia wetlands and Glacier National Park
- Locally owned and incredibly unique accommodations
- An exclusive slower paced itinerary that explores the best and most challenging hikes of the area
- A chance to experience the lesser known mountains of Interior BC
- The diversity of the observable wildlife: from tiny pikas to massive grizzlies without forgetting the elks and rams, in the forest and the abundant avian life in the wetlands
- ACMG certified hiking guide to assist you throughout your trip
Cozy rustic-chic Barn
300 km – 3.5 h
This morning you meet up with your certified guide and fellow travelers that will accompany you throughout this journey. Leaving Calgary along the bow river valley we quickly reach the Foothills of the Canadian Rockies. Continuing deeper into Banff National Park we navigate an ocean of mountains at the feet of giants like Mount Rundle, Cascade, Pilot and Castle Mountain. Arriving in Invermere in the late afternoon we’ll take the time to explore the Wilmer wetlands trail. A short, fairly flat 3 km stroll that will give us a first look of the impressive variety of avian life found here. Returning to the barn we’re we’ll be able to prepare our meals together, relax in the spa and enjoy the cozy charm of this unique accommodation.
Cozy rustic-chic Barn
55 km – 1 h 15 one-way
B, L, D
Today, we have a bit of a drive to do over potentially bumpy forest roads in order to reach the trail head of Lake of Hanging Glacier trail. Two footbridges allow us to cross Hell Roaring Creek before reaching a powder-blue lake framed by ice-stacked mountains. The trail passes many cascading waterfalls and offers great views of the surrounding mountains. A steady climb takes you over avalanche slopes before you get your breath taken away, as you get your first glimpse of the steep granite headwall with Jumbo Glacier spilling over top, groaning and grumbling and occasionally splashing down into the blue lake below. Returning to our accommodation in time to watch the sun dipping low behind the mountains and prepare our dinner in great company.
Cozy rustic-chic Barn
45 km – 55 min one-way
B, L, D
We are off today on another bumpy forest road to reach the trailhead of the Jumbo Pass Hike. This trail begins in a logged area and switchbacks up through sub-alpine forest to a pass at 2300m. You will break out of the forest and hike below the impressive ramparts of Bastille Mountain to the south. Continue on towards the pass and you'll soon forget all about Bastille Mountain once you get to Jumbo Pass and stare over at Jumbo and Karnak Mountains to the east, and the massive Horseshoe Glacier draping off the side of Cauldron Mountain to the southwest The trail culminates on a beautiful alpine ridge studded with larch and surrounded by massive peaks and glaciers. Back to the barn for another great evening.
70 km - 1 h 15
B, L, D
Leaving Invermere we head North to reach the start of the trail that will take us to the heart of the Purcell mountain range where is nestled this quaint little teahouse on the shores of an alpine tarn. It is here, in this surreal setting, that we will set up our basecamp for the next 2 nights at the foot of The Judge mountain. The trail is offering some of the most breathtaking scenery in BC. To reach our base camp, we travel the 5.7 km that separate us from the Lodge and teahouse where we’ll enjoy our dinner as a group tonight. This hike is a testament to the impressive strength of the avalanches that left behind an impressive quantity of debris in 2017 after a winter season of heavy snowfall. All you have to do is pack your sleeping bag as all camping equipment and meals will be provided on location. It might be remote but you’ll have access to a clean and comfortable outhouse and a hot shower. There is even a canoe and few rods kicking around to try out a bit of fishing at the end of the day.
B, L, D
We tackle one of the most beautiful hikes of this trip. At 2752 m, The Judge is the highest mountain in the area and offers incredible views of Mt. Assiniboine, the Beaverfoot range and Kootenay River valley. From our campsite we head southeast to reach the ridge line that ends with a moderate scramble for the last couple hundred meters to the peak. A well worth effort rewarded by the views on the emerald lakes and and the mirage created by the superposition of all these mountain ranges on the horizon. We return to our campground to relax, gaze at the mountains we’ve just explored and enjoy the starlit sky.
160 km - 2 h
B, L, D
After a hearty brunch breakfast, we grab some snacks before heading back down to our vehicule. It’s never easy to leave such an enchanting place but the finale should comfort you. After returning to the vehicle, we stop to paddle the Columbia River. We will have to cross a system of suspension bridges to reach our canoes and enter, one of the longest undisturbed wetland ecosystems in North America. This protected area is a sanctuary to more than 216 animal species including birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. We’ll get to discover it all on a lazy paddle down the river. In the late afternoon we make our way to the homely hideaway in the rawness of the Kootenay Rockies that will be our base for the next 3 nights. With its rustic-chic décor and just-right amount of mountain luxury the lodge not only offers life-changing views, as they say, but also phenomenal cuisine that we will have the pleasure of sampling. But perhaps one of the best things about the lodge is that it’s a stonethrow away from Glacier National Park, the birthplace of mountain climbing in North America that is ours to explore for the next 2 days.
Hike & Paddle
30 km - 30 min one way
B, L, D
Today we take on one of the most challenging hikes of the trip. An ambitious ascent that our legs, trained by all the summits of the last days, will allow us to climb. We first warm up our muscles on a moderate slope until we cross Vaux Creek and climb the mountain steeply. All the little stops along the way to catch our breath and rest our legs will let us to admire the Sir Donald and Perley rock cirque. The trail ends at a viewpoint overlooking the vast and otherworldly expanse of the Illecillewaet Icefield. Return to our lodge for an outdoor barbecue dinner and some well deserved rest
30 km - 30 min one way
B, L, D
For our last hike we have chosen one of the park’s signature trail. The Asulkan Valley Trail, is another one of glacier’s steep and strenuous hike but glacier views, mountain scenery, waterfalls and a pleasant valley walk through forests and across avalanche paths combine to make the Asulkan valley trail a MUST when in the area. The trail runs alongside Asulkan Brook before bridging it high on a slope. After the bridge, the ascent steepens as it climbs the narrow crest of a moraine. The trail finishes on a ridgetop bearing the hut. The trail ends at Asulkan Hut where we can stop to enjoy a lunch before returning to our lodge for a final gourmet meal at the end of an exceptional adventure.
315 km - 3.5 h
After the last breakfast, we make our way back to Calgary for the return flights or post-tour accommodations.
Dates & prices
8 August - 17 August 2022 3099 $CA Guided in french available
30 August - 8 September 2022 3099 $CA Guided in english available
All our prices are on double occupancy basis. Please contact us regarding the single, triple or quadruple rates.Privatize this trip write to us
- Accommodation: 3 nights rustic barn, 2 nights backcountry camping, 3 nights luxury mountain lodge
- Meals: 8 breakfast, 8 lunches, 8 dinners
- National and provincial park entrance fees
- Transportation in a minivan with cargo trailer from 8 travelers
- Certified ACMG hiking guide
- First aid kit and emergency communication device
- Group from 6 to 12 travelers
- FICAV contribution (compensation fund for customers of travel agents – 0 $ / 1000 $)
- Camping and cooking equipment
- Personal insurance (medical and repatriation)
- Air transportation
- Meet & greet and airport transfer
- Pre & post night
- Meals not mentioned in the included section
- Optional activities
- Goods and Services Tax (5%)
- Sleeping bag, pillow and towel
Information about your trip
The group will have to adapt to the weather conditions sometimes requiring the cancellation or modification of one or more days of activities. Our guide will make the decisions on site to ensure the safety of the group.
Hikes are mainly mountainous with a few near lakes. This trip consists of a series of hikes to the peaks of the Canadian Rockies. A variety of terrain is explored, from forest trails to scrambles over rocky ridges. There are 2 nights backcountry camping where you will have to carry your sleeping bag and your personal effects to and from campsite
We suggest you have a healthy lifestyle and are in good physical shape to join this trip. You should be able to walk for 4 to 9 hours with an average 400 to 950m elevation gain each day. The hikes are at varying altitudes, from about 1000 to 2650m.
For the Rockies, you will mostly experience mountain climate. In the summer days are pleasant, sometimes hot, but the nights are cool. In early summer and fall, nightfall can bring rain and snow, and even freezing temperatures. In the summer, the days are long, and the sun does not set until about 21h00/9:00pm.
Hut: There is a large semi-divided room on one side with two double beds and the other with a long sleeping platform and futon.
Hotel: Double room basis
Basic Lodge: 4 beds per dormitory, sink inside room & shared bathroom
From the Calgary airport you may hop on a hotel shuttle, stopping at various hotels including the Ramada Downtown. The cost is 15$CAD/person. To be paid locally. You may also take a taxi (approximate cost: 50$ CAD)
The Wild Side of the Rockies
- The majestic beauty of the Rocky Mountains
- Hiking some of the National Park’s signature trails
- An exclusive itinerary through the less traveled parts of the Rockies
West Coast Trekking
- The variety of landscapes: from the rocky inlets of the north pacific to some of the most stunning alpine hiking BC has to offer
- Hiking the wilder and less traveled trails of western Canada
- Hiking through some of the last old growth forest of Vancouver Island