Chilko Explorer Ride
British Columbia Canada: (GRBC01)
The remote wilderness lodge and base for this trip is located at the north end of Chilko Lake, British Columbia, the gateway to Ts'yl-os Park. This is the dividing point between the stunning Coast Mountain range and the Chilcotin Plateau, where the crystal clear Chilko River winds its way down to the coastal watersheds. The area offers excellent riding country and superb world class fly fishing.
Riding is a physical experience. It makes our senses come alive. It is the smell of a good horse, leather, the fresh scent of a pine or fir forest. It is the sound of cantering hooves, of crackling leaves, of horses snorting or a soft whinny. It is the seeing of new country and spectacular vistas unexplored. It is the feeling of a strong animal beneath you, of you own strength and ability, and although few words are spoken, lines of communication between horse & rider are shared and understood. It’s the freedom to just ride for miles!
The Chilko Explorer Ride was designed for the intermediate to advanced rider looking for an exciting riding adventure in breathtaking country while enjoying the comforts of a wilderness lodge at night. The daily rides from the lodge offer a variety of riding experiences - ride up Mount Tulin and enjoy some of the most superb views over Chilko Lake - then explore the Chilcotin Plateau with its open grasslands, rolling hills, numerous small lakes, adjacent mountain peaks with unmatched vistas and a couple hundred miles of riding trails. You will love it!
After an exhilarating day in the outdoors you can play volleyball or horse-shoes, relax in the whirlpool on the front porch overlooking the Chilko Valley; or just relax in front of the large wood-burning fireplace exchanging stories with your fellow riders. Exceptional meals and fine wines are served family style. On one day during the week you will take part in a float trip down Chilko River or sightseeing boat ride up Chilko Lake.
In late September and early October we are offering week long Grizzly Bear viewing and Photography classes in combination with a little time for riding through the fall landscape.
There is no more pure symbol of the Canadian wilderness than the grizzly bear and to see it in its natural habitat is an awe-inspiring experience. Our guided grizzly bear viewing vacations take advantage of the peak fall season when the bears are drawn to the Chilko River to feast on the bountiful salmon that fill its waters.The Chilko Valley has one of the largest concentrations of grizzly bears during the peak season in the fall. It is not uncommon to see many large boar grizzly bears as well as many sow and cub combinations. It is exhilarating to see a mother grizzly passing her fishing knowledge down to her cubs and witnessing their first catch. Watching these wonderful bears playing and fishing in their natural environment is an experience you will never forget.
For this trip you will be staying at one lodge for the week and returning each day after riding to a wonderful evening meal, cold drinks, time spent by the fireplace and a relaxing hot tub under the stars. It is also a great trip to be combined with our Mountain Pack Trip, which takes you far out into the back country of Chilko Lake and the surrounding mountains.
Up to 16 guests are accommodated in individual rooms and log cabins (riding groups are kept to 6 to 8 riders max). All of the rooms and cabins have private bathrooms with showers. The main lodge and dining area has a large stone fireplace, comfortable couches, a hot tub on the front porch and of course a stunning view of the mountains and Chilko River. Many evenings are spent sharing the daily adventures around the fireplace with a cocktail, soaking in the hot tub looking at the stars or playing horseshoes along the river.
The accommodations are rustic, but very comfortable. There is daily maid service to ensure that your room or cabin is kept comfortable for your stay at the lodge.
Life at the lodge is focused around the great outdoors. The gathering of everyone for meals is a special time of the day. We serve all meals at the lodge "family style."
Wonderful Canadian breakfasts as well as fresh fruits, cereals, yogurts, and juices are served before you active day on the river, lake or trail.
Lunch is spent streamside, on top of a mountain, or wherever your wanderings have taken you, giving you total freedom throughout the day.
The evening meal is especially nice...after a great day, everyone can relax with a good dinner, a glass of wine and great company, sharing stories from their adventures. Wonderful meat dishes, breads, salads, pastas, vegetables, delicious desserts and table wines are served. This is all "no guilt" eating, as your active day ahead needs the energy!
This trip includes
some wine with dinner
and can accommodate special dietary requests.
The guides love the outdoors, riding and are experienced horse people. They can help you make the transition from English riding to the Western riding style. If you have never ridden with Western tack or saddle, do not worry. Your guide will show you the proper horse cues and show you how to tack your horse up. The guides can ensure that you are matched with the right horse for your riding ability and personality. Our equipment and tack are well maintained and fitted to the individual horses.
We normally keep around 35 horses. The herd is a mixture of different breeds, sizes and colours. You will be amazed at how well they do their job! They are chosen and bred for their disposition, endurance, and strength. Most are ranch raised and are all very comfortable on the trail and in the mountains. They will be a big part of your trip and deserve all the extra love that they can get!
Riding is a physical experience. It makes our senses come alive. It is the smell of a good horse, of leather, the fresh scent of a pine or fir forest, it is the sound of cantering hooves, of crackling leaves, of horses snorting or a soft whinny. It is the seeing of new country and spectacular vistas unexplored. It is the feeling of a strong animal beneath you, of you own strength and ability, and although few words are spoken, lines of communication between horse & rider are shared and understood. It's the freedom to just ride for miles!
Our daily rides from the lodge offer a variety of excellent riding experiences. Explore the Chilcotin Plateau, which offers open grasslands, rolling hills, numerous small lakes, adjacent mountain peaks with unmatched vistas and a couple of hundred miles of riding trails. You will love it!
All riding groups are kept small. Guests are usually intermediate riders allowing us to enjoy great canters through the forests or across open meadows. All riders should be able to canter and be comfortable in the saddle for the Lodge Riding. Many of the guests do not ride regularly, and need a few rides or lessons before their vacation to feel comfortable in the saddle again. It will make your trip all that much better!
Tree riding is a big part of your week. We like to take some of our exciting windy trails at a fast trot or slow canter; we even named one of our rides as the "roller coaster". It is great for stretching your ability and improving your confidence. It is a lot of fun and we know that you will love it!
Sunday: A 9:30 a.m. charter flight takes you from Vancouver across the magnificent glaciers of the coastal mountains to Chilko Lake, where Karen McLean will greet you at the private landing strip of the ranch. After lunch and a short introduction you get a chance to test your horse on an afternoon ride.
Monday: After breakfast we ride through fir forests to Green Lake. Along the way we stop for a picnic at the lake. In the afternoon there are some wonderful opportunities to canter on soft forest trails.
Tuesday: We ride up the steep trails of Mount Tullin. The ride takes us through magnificent fir forests to the timberline. From the summit it takes a 20-minute hike to reach the top of the mountain. Soak in the panorama of the Coast Mountains and 55 mile long Chilko Lake with its turquoise waters and the breathtaking beauty of Tsylos Park.
Wednesday: One day during your stay the riders will head up beautiful Chilko Lake. Pristine Chilko Lake is the largest natural high mountain lake in North America. Surrounded by glaciers, rugged towering peaks, roaring creeks and rivers, waterfalls, and of course the wildlife. Due to the glacial silt, Chilko Lake has a gorgeous turquoise coloring. The views, whether looking down on her or up from her, are unbelievable. You might have a chance to visit the old mining cabin at Franklin Arm and hike up to the waterfalls, or spend some time at a creek, fishing for Dolly Varden. This is a day that you will not want to miss! Optionally you will take part in a river float trip down Chilko River instead.
Thursday: We enjoy many brisk canters across the Chilcotin plateau and along the Chilko river. Advanced riders will enjoy the "rollercoaster" rides on narrow, windy forest trails. Due to the fast pace of these rides you have to be able to develop a good feeling and communicate well with your horse. It is excellent for stretching your riding abilities and building your confidence. Both the horse and rider find it fun and challenging. But not to worry, the horses are well trained and easily controllable. We stop for a nice picnic by the river with its fast flowing waters.
Friday: A long day-ride across the plateau to Choelquoit Lake with the opportunity to take a dip in the cool water. Enjoy a picnic at the sandy beach with awesome views of Niut, Chilko & Tsuniah mountains.
Saturday: A brisk ride takes you along the Chilko river to Henry's crossing. Enjoy a well deserved lunch break on the only bridge that spans the river. In September you can watch natives fishing for salmon here. In the afternoon we canter along the east side of the river to Canoe Crossing always with the whole mountain range in clear view. The horses swim across the river and freely gallop home while a boat ride takes you back to the ranch. In the evening a fabulous farewell dinner with barbecue awaits you.
Sunday: Return flight after breakfast or start of another wilderness ride.
The Fall Grizzly Viewing, Photography packages include fully guided early morning late afternoon excursions by boat to get a good look at these magnificent animals. Limited riding time.
Subject to changes due to weather etc.
Rates and Dates for Chilko Explorer Ride
Accommodation, all meaals, wine with dinner, 5.5 riding days, 1 day excursion up Chilko Lake or down the river
GST (VAT): 6% (12% for Canadian Resident)
GST (VAT) 6% (12% for Canadian Resident)
Transfer and Other Options:
Transfer - charter flight from Vancouver (not optional)
Rates do not include:
Charter flight Vancouver-Chilko-Vancouver (not optional)
No riding helmets provided!
Meeting: Chilko Lake
Airport: Vancouver International
Transfer: Vancouver 9:30 AM (check in 45 min prior) South Terminal Esso Avitat
The months of May, June and September are usually warm during the daytime, but can get cool in the evenings. During July and August you can expect temperatures in the low 70's to mid 90's Fahrenheit (18 to 30 °C).
What To Bring:
Spring – A fresh start
Spring is a burst of new energy and the warmth of the sun. It is new vibrant colours from the first blade of green grass, to the budding of a new leaf, crisp blue skies, and snowcapped peaks. With the spring the river gains in size and large migrations of Sockeye Salmon fry and smolt take place. With a billion one-year old Sockeye heading to the Pacific Ocean and billions of minute fry hatching and making their way to Chilko Lake, the Rainbow Trout and Bull Trout congregate in the river for a feast. Steelhead are spotted spawning in the shallows and leaping out of the Chilko River to have a look around. Wild roses and Sunflowers are starting to bloom on the side hills, giving the land more and more colour.
Summer – Warmth and Beauty
Summertime means big hatches, blue skies, warm days, alpine trips and wildflowers. Dry fly fishing on the river starts and the laughter can be heard from trail where the riders are cantering through the trees along the water. Life does not get any better than this!
Indian Summer – "When the river turns red"
Indian Summer in September and October is a very special time of year at Chilko. It is an explosion of autumn colours, an abundance of wildlife, and an orchestra of sounds. With the changing seasons the Sockeye & Chinook salmon return in vast numbers, spawning on the river and lake. The water wiggles with red spawning fish, bringing down the Grizzly Bear, Black Bear, Bald Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, Herons, Ducks, Ospreys, and other wildlife to feast on the dead salmon that have already laid their eggs for the cycle to begin all over. This is a wonderful time to visit Tsylos Park Lodge!
Winter – A time to rest
Soft falling snowflakes bury the earth and silence falls within our valley. The Trumpeter Swans move into Chilko and add their grace and beauty to the splendor of the frozen land. Only the running water of Chilko River reminds us of earlier times, and the seasons to come.
|This list is only a guideline for you|
|Travel documents and Voucher|
|Visa (check with your consulate)|
|RIDING GEAR |
|Two pairs of riding pants - Jeans or Jodhpurs|
|Cowboy boots or ankle boots and full or half chaps|
|Riding helmet (recommended for all trips)|
|Cowboy or wide brimmed hat (with chin strip) for sun protection|
|Raincoat & Windbreaker|
|PERSONAL CLOTHING |
|Warm jacket and sweater |
|Underwear and socks|
|Bag for dirty clothes|
|Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes|
|Swimsuit (hot tub)|
|ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING |
|Personal Toiletries Bio-degradable soap, shampoo & toothpaste |
|Sore cream (for an emergency)|
|Hair Dryer if needed|
|Camera, Film & Batteries|
|Sun glasses with strap|
|Sun tan lotion and lip balm |
|Flashlight, extra batteries|