Chilko Lake Pack Trip

British Columbia Canada: (RTBC01)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/bc_chilko_wilderness_pack.aspx

Introduction
British Columbia Canada
A very special pack trip and wilderness ride inside the beautiful Tsylos Provincial Park of British Columbia, Canada. The park underlies very strict environmental rules, making it a perfect setting for a wilderness trail-ride and camping trip deep into the  refreshing Canadian backcountry away from all civilization.

Here we are out with Mother Nature, sleeping in tents or if weather permits, under the open star filled sky. No roads, no phones; just pristine wilderness, clean mountain air, crystal blue water, open meadows, and spectacular views!

Start your trip with a breathtaking flight over the Coast Mountains with its glacier topped peaks and reflective mountain lakes and as you are delivered to the "door step" of the lodge at Chilko Lake.  You will spend your first afternoon going on a short introductory ride to get to know the horses. Then everyone will get together to go over preparation for the trip and how to pack properly. An excellent dinner & glass of wine is waiting for you at the main lodge to welcome you in style and you will sleep well in your tent that night as you look forward to what the next day brings! Tomorrow we are off and will ride deep into the mountains where there is no road access, so all food and equipment is transported by pack horses. Weather and nature conditions will determine the route we will take, but no matter which way we take you - you will have a wilderness experience of a lifetime in and around the majestic Tsylos Provincial Park, the traditional grounds of the Chilcotin Native tribe who have roamed these mountains for generations.

Accomodation


Accommodations

This is a pack trip, so nights will be spent camping in tents.

Description
The first and last night of the trip, you are accommodated in our very comfortable tent camp near the lodge, or if available, we will give you one of the lodge cabins. The remaining 5 nights are spent camping in the wilderness.

You will be sleeping in 2-person dome tents on a comfortable sleeping mat, which will be provided for you. You can also choose to lie beside the fire and watch the stars. Please remember to bring your own sleeping bag! You will experience authentic camping, meaning lakes and creeks for showering and shovels to dig a hole for washrooms. Camp chores, such as fire building, chopping wood, getting water, staking out horses, making lunches and salads, washing dishes, and setting up and breaking down camp are a group effort; we encourage everyone to lend a helping hand when needed.

Room Occupancy
No single supplement based on sharing a tent. Single tents can be requested, but we are limited to 2, so please let us know in advance.



Meals
All meals are included from lunch on Day 1 to breakfast on your last day.

Our campfire gourmet meals are prepared over an open fire and are delicious and plentiful.
The morning’s meal is a hearty Canadian breakfast of bacon, sausage, eggs, pancakes, eggs benedict, or our famous Chilko scramble, all cooked over a camp fire.
Lunch is packed in your saddle bags and is made up of sandwiches along with an apple or orange and a candy bar.
 inner is a fresh salad, vegetable, meat, pasta, rice or potato.
Everything is packed with us on our steady pack horses.

We also take a mini bar which is chosen prior to leaving the lodge. It is beautiful to get to camp after a gorgeous ride for the day, get your home away from home set up, the horses staked out, and enjoy a glass of wine while dinner sizzles over the campfire.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to vegetarians with prior notice.

This trip includes some wine with dinner and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding


Riding Experience

All riders must be physically fit, able to mount and dismount both sides of a horse, walk, trot, canter, and saddle up.

Wild Potato Range
This trip requires intermediate to advanced riding skills. The riding is primarily walking due to the terrain, but for the last two days the camp is transported by vehicle which offers the riders some opportunities to trot and canter depending on the group. On one day during the trip, you will hike down a steep mountain leading your horse for about 45 minutes. Rides each day are from 4.5- 6.5 hours per day.

Goat Camp Wilderness
This trip requires low intermediate to advanced riding skills. The majority of the trip is spent walking your horse, due to the rough terrain, except the last day back to the Lodge where there is some trotting and cantering. Rides range from 9-10 hours the first day and 4-6 hours daily the rest of the trip.

Horses
Our horses are well trained and excellent traveling companions in the mountains. Born and raised in the Chilcotin, they are connected with the terrain and are confident, sure footed and dependable. We are proud of our horses and can easily say that they are some of the most accomplished mountain horses anywhere. You will love them. They are personable, trustworthy, and know how to do their job. The horses are a mixture of many different breeds (Quarter, Arab, Draft, Appaloosa, Paints, Morgan) and they have been chosen for their disposition, willingness and agreeable personalities.

We match you up with a horse that suits your personality and riding ability. Each horse comes with two saddle blankets, Western saddle, bridle, halter, lead rope and a set of saddle bags for you to carry light-weight items needed during the day. Your horse will take good care of you on your journey and, in turn, you will help take of your horse. Your horse will appreciate a good brushing in the morning and at the end of the day when you pull off your saddle. You are going to find that you will quickly bond with your horse. We all work together to ensure that the horses have plenty of sweet mountain grasses to eat and cold spring water to drink. Your horse trail guide will stake, hobble or free range the horses in the evening on meadows of excellent alpine grasses.

Pack Horses
We use pack horses to carry our food and supplies into the mountains. Each pack horse has a special pack saddle and we use the traditional “sawbuck pack saddle”.  Each horse carries a set of pack boxes which hold the food and cooking gear, plus two tents and three duffel bags. To secure the load and keep the packs dry, we cover the load with a tarp and secure it using the “Michigan Hitch”, a tried and true method of keeping the pack nice and tight. Usually three to five pack horses accompany us on a trip. Of course, this depends on the size of the group.

Guides
Two trail guides will be accompanying you on your horse journey through the mountains.  Both guides are skilled horsemen, as well as experienced in horse riding in the mountains and wilderness. They love the outdoors and have absolute commitment to safety and attention to detail to give you peace of mind and a rewarding adventure. Each guide brings different skills and talents to the trip. One guide is in charge of the group, horses, horse packing, wood, water, fire, and grass, while the other guide is in charge of the camp, food preparation, packing of the cook boxes, and the care, organization, and cleanliness of the camp.  Each horse trail guide can step into the others position and help you or each other during the trip. 
 

Itinerary


Sample Itinerary - Goat Mountain Range- subject to changes
Jagged peaks and raw beauty abound, experience horseback riding into the pristine wilderness of Chilko Lake. 

Day 1: Sunday
A 9:30am charter flight takes you from Vancouver across the magnificent glaciers of the coastal mountains to Chilko Lake, where our host 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 a 2-hour ride. Upon return some cool drinks on the porch and then a delicious dinner with fine wines await you. Overnight in tents near to the Lodge.
Riding: ~ 2 hours

Day 2: Monday
In the morning of day two you start your pack trip which will eventually be returning in the afternoon of day seven after spending 6 days in pristine wilderness. The ride goes high up into Goat Country. It is rugged, wild and absolutely beautiful! You ride along Chilko Lake for the day spending the first night at Moose Lagoon.
Riding: ~ 9-10 hours

Day 3 - 6: Tuesday to Friday
Then you cut up into the Goat Valley where you spend four unforgettable days riding over mountain tops and through breathtaking valleys. Towering 11,000 foot peaks surround the base camp with three large glaciers rising out of the valley floor at the south end. No roads, no phones, the perfect get-away and a chance to get back to the essentials of life. The abundance of alpine flowers throughout the valleys and surrounding mountains is overwhelming. The whistle of the plentiful marmots accompany you on each day to new mountain peaks and wild valleys. Goat Camp is named after the majestic Mountain Goats that call this area home. Often wild deer visit you in camp to nibble on the grain. We use a pioneer tent with cook stove, table and benches for a warm, relaxing evening dinner. We might tell some tales while sitting by a roaring bonfire watching the many stars or the Northern Lights. This trip offers plenty of time to relax, hike, photograph wildflowers or wildlife.
Riding: ~ 4-6 hours per day

Day 7: Saturday
If the group so desires, the last day offers an optional fast return ride to the lodge on Saturday. Overnight and farewell dinner at the lodge/ tents outside the lodge depending on availability.
Riding: ~ 4-6 hours

Day 8: Sunday
Morning flight back to Vancouver - arriving early afternoon. Do not book a flight out before 3:30pm!

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Sample Itinerary - Wild Potato Mountain Range- subject to changes
Ride through high alpine plateaus, hidden valleys, deep mountain passes, and open sandy beaches. Enjoy the splendid views, the immense variety of wildflowers, ancient fossil beds, and the companionship of your fellow riders.

Day 1: Sunday
A 9:30am charter flight takes you from Vancouver across the magnificent glaciers of the coastal mountains to Chilko Lake, where our host will greet you at the private landing strip of the ranch. After lunch, we will brief on  the trip and gear (saddlebags, duffle bags, sleeping mats and tents). Later meet the horses and have a short introductory ride. After dinner time, to repack your duffle bags for the trail ahead. Overnight in tents near to the Lodge.

Day 2: Monday
Head out from the ranch, climbing about 4,000 feet to the high alpine, with views of Chilko Lake and the Coast Mountains. Camp is by a small lake hidden in the valley, where you can swim or fish for small trout.
Riding: ~ 5.5 hours

Day 3: Tuesday
From Fish Lake you continue climbing to higher alpine plateaus and cross over to Echo Lake.  The camp is situated on the shores of small lake and overlooks the Echo Valley.  The lake is cold, but great for swimming. Stay here for two nights. 
Riding: ~ 4 -5 hours

Day 4: Wednesday
This is a free day and you can choose to spend the day in camp relaxing, hiking, or join the ride and explore the neighboring mountains. Take a nap on the side of an alpine meadow surrounded by majestic mountains and alpine wildflowers. If conditions are good, there may be a small amount of cantering on the ride.
Riding: ~ 4.5- 6.5 hours

Day 5: Thursday
Pack up camp and head north with Stunning views and changing scenery. The countryside changes from mountain valleys to softer slopes, and descends about 4,000 feet into Tatlayoko Valley.  At the steepest part of the descent you will be asked to hike down the mountain for about 30 minutes to assist your horse. Camp is located adjacent to Tatlayoko Lake, ideal for swimming. Tatlayoko Lake and valley is a small ranching community.  On Thursday the trip meets the truck, and all gear is transported by vehicle from here. This means there may be possibilities for some canters on the last two days.  
Riding: ~ 6 hours

Day 6: Friday
Camp is packed by vehicle and you ride through Lincoln pass to Choelquote Lake.  If conditions allow there may be some canters where trail conditions allow. Choelquote Lake is a warmer mountain lake and offers beautiful sunsets and open grasslands along the eastern part of the lake.
Riding: ~ 6 hours

Day 7: Saturday
Camp is packed and taken by vehicle to the lodge whilst you saddle up and ride along Choelquote Lake, crossing the Chilko River by bridge. Travel along the Chilko River which, if conditions allow, offers nice canters throughout the ride. Arrive back at the lodge where camp has been set up for you. Time for a hot shower, soak in the Jacuzzi and a cold beer or drink on the decks prior to the barbecue.
Riding: ~ 5.5 hours

Day 8: Sunday
After an early morning breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Vancouver, or join us at the lodge for another week of a seven night lodge riding vacation, or fly fishing trip. Do not book a flight out before 3:30pm!


Rates and Dates for Chilko Lake Pack Trip

Rates include:

Accommodations: 5 nights wilderness camping & 2 nights camping at the base, all meals, 6.5 days riding: 4 - 6 hours per day, tent, sleep pad, duffel bag
The itinerary can either be "Goat Mountain Range" or "Wild Potato Mountain Range"

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    A
    20198 day Trip, AP Wild Potato Range$2345
  • B
    20198 day Trip, AP Goat Camp Wilderness$2345

GST (VAT): 6% (12% for Canadian Resident)

Rates Note:

If a trip has to be cancelled due to not enough persons or nature, guests will be accommodated at the lodge.

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy
    GST (VAT) 6% (12% for Canadian Resident)

Rates Note:

If a trip has to be cancelled due to not enough persons or nature, guests will be accommodated at the lodge.


Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionUS$
2019 No single supplement based on sharing a tent $0
2019 Xeni Gwetin First Nations User Fee and charter flights from/to Vancouver (not optional) $650

Dates Note: Dates can be added for custom groups

Rates do not include:

Sleeping bag (rated to -5 or 10F), gratuities, beverages from the bar at the lodge or on trip, charter flight to lodge (mandatory), fishing or fishing licenses, 5 % GST tax
No riding helmets provided!

Other Info
Meeting: Chilko Lake
Airport: Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
Transfer: South Terminal Signature Building

Climate:
                                            Alexis Creek area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

25

33

47

56

65

71

75

76

67

52

34

23

Average Low Temperature (°F)

9

12

21

28

36

43

46

45

37

28

18

7

Average High Temperature (°C)

-4

1

8

13

18

21

24

24

19

11

1

-5

Average Low Temperature (°C)

-13

-11

-6

-2

2

6

8

7

3

-2

-8

-14

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

4

2

2

3

6

9

8

7

5

5

5

5

Source: NOAA


Seasons

The months during which we operate our trips (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).

Spring
Spring is a burst of new energy and the warmth of the sun. It is new vibrant colors 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. Steelheads 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 color.

Summer
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
Indian Summer in September and October is a very special time of year at Chilko. It is an explosion of autumn colors, 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!

Winter
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.

What To Bring:
This is a pack trip with very limited or no vehicle support. All equipment and food will be transported by pack horses, so pack light! Weight restriction for your luggage is 35lbs. Please pack in soft-sided luggage. Tents, sleep pads, duffel bags, and saddle bags are provided. Extra items can be left at the lodge during your ride.

Our weather can be hot, cold, or wet, appropriate attire for the great outdoors and changing weather conditions is a must. Dressing in layers that you can add on or take off is best. All riders are part of a team and need to be able to depend on each other. Everybody helps out and is in charge of his/her own horse and gear.

Riding
- Riding gloves
- Waterproof riding boots with heel
- Wide brimmed hat or helmet (we do not have any to borrow)
- Full rain gear
- Bandana
- Riding chaps
- Long underwear (both shirt and pants)
- Warm socks
- Fleece jacket or warm sweater for under jacket
- Comfortable riding pants

Around the Camp
- Sleeping bag rated to -5 C or 10 F
- Water bottle
- Camera, film, batteries
- Flashlight
- Sunscreen
- Insect repellent
- Lip balm
- Camp towel
- Swimsuit
- Toiletries
- Special medications
- Comfortable pair of runners and sleepwear for the tent and around camp