Wells Gray Park, in B.C's Cariboo Mountains, is a vast protected wilderness of 1.4 million acres (540,000 hectares). Lush flower meadows, beautiful peaks, pristine lakes, untamed rivers and incredible wildlife make Wells Gray Park one of the premier wilderness destinations in Canada. Early in the season, we can expect avalanche lilies, spring beauties, pasque flowers, marsh marigolds, arnica and valerian. Mid-season brings the rare mountain avens, indian paintbrush, lupine, and golden scenicio. August is characterized by fragrant heathers and rein orchids and, as the first frost hits in September, the flowers make way for a more subtle palette of rich russets, golds and reds as the sedges, grasses and small shrubs take their turn on the mountain stage. On this adventure we stay in exclusive alpine huts, accessible only with our highly-experienced guide, which have fully-equipped kitchens, bedding, and are stocked with non-perishable food items. So, although we are carrying 'full packs', we need only carry our personal items and a share of the group's fresh food, allowing us to enjoy the Canadian back country with a much lighter load. With luck, we may see some of the shy animals who live in this demanding environment - woodland caribou, grizzly bears, martins, marmots, pikas, and golden eagles to name a few.
Make your way to the joining hotel in Clearwater, BC.
After breakfast, we will pick you up in our private vehicle and drive one hour up a dirt road to the trailhead at 1630m. The trail goes up through mature forest and into lush meadows of alpine flowers. It is pure alpine from here to the Trophy Mountain Chalet which sits at 2153m. The view from the chalet is superb, and the area has great hiking with small peaks, lakes, and flower meadows everywhere. The hike from the road gains 523m in elevation over 4km and should take about 2.5hrs. After lunch, we will take a short day hike to start and explore the Trophy Mountains.
On this day, we undertake a long day hike in the surrounding Trophy Mountains, climb a few peaks in the range, and swim in the numerous lakes. You will be treated to fantastic views all day and the incredible feeling that comes from being in true wilderness. If you take a longer lunch, there is very little elevation gain - perhaps 125m. If you join the group for a hike to the top of Ptarmigan Peak, the elevation gain for the day is about 250m and total distance travelled about 7km.
Today, we hike north to Discover Cabin. The route is unmarked in many places and a guide with a map, compass, and good knowledge of the area is needed. Although the distance is not overly long, at times we are walking without a wee-defined trail requiring a bit of extra attention and time. After a couple of hours in the alpine, you drop down into mature forest and lose altitude until you come into the Valley of the Lakes. We enjoy lunch here and then continue into alpine meadows until we cross Eagle Pass at 2061m. From the top of the pass to the cabin is only 45 minutes of gentle downhill through glades. The cabin is in a very remote and wild valley. The hike today includes about 310m in elevation gain over 11km and takes 6-7 hours including a refreshing swim!
Today you may choose a more relaxing day at Discover Cabin or you can join the group for a day hike into remote lakes and along mountain ridges. you will gain approximately 300m in 5 hours of hiking over 6km.
This morning, we continue northward up and over Table Mountain. Today, a good trail takes us through some of the finest flower meadows in the world. The trail leads up the ridge of Table Mountain and then descends into the forest to the Philip Lakes. Now we have a three-hour downhill hike to the top of a small dirt track where a shuttle awaits. On the way back to Clearwater, your guide will drive you to see the world-famous waterfalls of Wells Gray Park, a spectacular and truly unforgettable sight. Total hiking today is approximately 12km with 250m elevation loss and should take 5-6 hours. Accommodation is not included tonight - Please ask your reservations consultant if you would like assistance booking a hotel.
*Note: You will usually reach the trailhead by early to mid afternoon. This of course is subject to many things, and we normally recommend staying in the area this evening. If you must absolutely be back by a certain time, make sure to discuss it with the reservation agent before hand so they can arrange the logistics if possible.
Per Person, Twin Share