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Hiking Hut to Hut in British Columbia

Destination: Wells Gray Park, British Columbia, Canada

Rarely is it possible to combine hiking a wilderness that is so remote we are unlikely to see other people for the entire time, yet enjoy a warm and comfortable hut at the end of the day. But on this trip, you can have it all! If you want days full of hiking in beautiful wild Canadian mountains, experiencing all the joy of true wilderness and solitude, and love the idea of a warm place with a soft mattress to sleep at night, please join us as we spend six days roaming this remote area of lush meadows full of wildflowers, beautiful peaks, pristine lakes, and streams that are so clean you can drink directly from them. Maximum group size: 10.

Highlights

  • Being surrounded by the beauty of mountains, lakes, and wildflowers
  • Hiking in the BC mountains at the height of wildflower season
  • Paddling canoes for a day on a pristine wild lake
  • Not seeing anyone else for 5 days and sleeping in cozy rustic huts in the middle of nowhere
  • Gazing at incredibly bright stars untouched by city light pollution
  • Swimming in crystal clear mountain lakes and drinking water that doesn't need to be filtered

Departures and Prices

August 16 to August 23, 2020
$2395.00 - Available
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Inclusions

  • A local guide and an AGC guide (If there are fewer than 7 on the trip, there will not be an AGC guide)
  • Three nights motel lodging and four nights in huts
  • All meals from dinner Day 1 through breakfast on Day 8
  • Round trip transportation from Kamloops, BC to Clearwater
  • Round trip transportation from Clearwater to the trailhead
Excluded: Transportation to/from Kamloops, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities, and travel insurance.

Details

This trip is rated as a 4 because it combines hiking in mountain terrain with a pack that will weigh 15 - 20 pounds (you will be carrying your clothes for the trip and approximately 5 pounds of group food, but no camping gear) for possibly up to 8 hours on 2 days. It requires being in very good physical condition. Please do not be mislead by the apparently low mileage - our experience is that many women find the hiking more challenging than they expected. While no paddling experience is required, previous hiking experience is strongly recommended. Prior to beginning the trip, participants should be engaged in aerobic conditioning for at least 40-50 minutes 4-5 times a week. Additional endurance exercise (e.g. going for a 2 hour hike once a week) and/or strength training is usually required. Rating: 1 2 3 [4] 5.

After a day of canoeing on a pristine lake, we spend the rest of the week hiking into a remote mountain wilderness area; we will not see any other people and there is no cellphone reception. While most of the hiking is on established trails, there is some off-trail hiking and crossing boulder fields. There is also the opportunity to swim (or at least dip) in mountain lakes.

We'll spend the first two nights and the last night in a basic and clean motel. In between we'll spend four nights in two different rustic huts. The huts are comfortable, well heated, fully equipped, and we will have each hut all to ourselves. Both are two stories with the lower story for cooking and eating, and the second story for sleeping. The first hut has individual sleeping compartments; the second hut has mattresses in a loft. There is no running water or indoor plumbing; there are composting toilets and a room for washing yourself off.

Please note:Food options at the huts are limited (since all the food is packed in) and women with specific dietary preferences or issues may need to supplement their food.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

DAY 1
Our trip begins at the Kamloops airport at 2 p.m. on Sunday or at 5 p.m. at our lodging in Clearwater, British Columbia. After introducing ourselves and starting (or continuing) to get to know each other, we'll go out for a welcome dinner. D
DAY 2
Today we'll go for a paddle on Clearwater Lake, one of the most pristine bodies of water in the world. We'll start with some instructions in paddling and then set off for a paddle. We'll stop for lunch and if you're so inclined, you can dip your drinking water directly from the lake. We'll for sure see a wide variety of birds and, with the abundance of wildlife around the lake, maybe even deer and moose! This is a huge lake and our paddle will give you a taste of what wilderness paddling is all about. On the way back to our lodging, we'll visit Helmcken Falls, the largest and probably the most photographed waterfall in the park. That night after dinner we'll review the plans for the trip and make a final clothing check, tossing everything that might be nice to have but that you will be happy you left behind after the first two hours of hiking. B, L, D
DAY 3
After breakfast we’ll load up the van for the hour or so drive to the trailhead and the trekking adventure begins! Along the way we'll learn about the ecology of the area. Stepping off the road and onto the track, we leave civilization behind as we hike through mature forests and lush meadows while gaining 1700 feet elevation. Although the mileage appears low on this hike, it is fairly continuous, at times steep, uphill hiking. But we take our time, stopping to gaze at the view, pick blueberries and huckleberries, or relax in the sun. Our destination today is Trophy Mountain Chalet at 7000 ft, and it will take 2.5 to 3.5 hours to get there. After having lunch and settling-in to the hut we may have time for another shorter (and optional) hike to see more of the area. About 7pm we'll enjoy the first of many delicious and hearty dinners, complete with a glass of wine if you choose! That night we can go outside and see a sky more filled with stars than many of us have ever seen. The stillness of the night is broken only by occasional night sounds and the peacefulness of the mountain night gradually soaks in. Hiking: 3 miles to cabin, 1.5-2 miles optional after reaching cabin; 1700ft elev gain B, L, D
DAY 4
Today is a layover day, meaning no packing up and carrying only what we need for the day in our packs. After a hearty breakfast we will set out on a longer day hike, possibly climbing two or three peaks, walking along open ridges, and, for the brave and the foolish, maybe even taking a refreshing dip in the numerous alpine lakes. We return to our hut for another relaxing evening of laughing, talking, eating, and hot drinks and popcorn. Hiking: 6 miles; 1200ft elev gain B, L, D
DAY 5
Leaving the hut after breakfast, we hike about 7 miles through alpine meadows, dropping down to the Valley of the Lakes for a lunch break and perhaps another a refreshing dip in a crystal clear lake, before crossing Eagle Pass at 6700 ft. The 6 to 8 hour hike includes crossing a field of boulders and some steep up and downhill trail. While 7 miles doesn't sound far, the terrain is guaranteed to make it seem further. But our destination, Discovery Cabin, makes all the effort worth it. Set in a remote and wild valley surrounded by mountains, there is even a greater feeling of being in the middle of nowhere. Hiking: 8 miles; 2000ft elev gain B, L, D
DAY 6
We are delighted to have our second layover day, a leisurely breakfast being much appreciated after the length of yesterday's hike. Our option today is hiking into remote lakes and to the top of Table Mountain. Or you might choose just to stay at the cabin and relax, it is such a beautiful setting and a lovely place to hang out. And after all, this is your vacation! More exercise, more rest- whichever you need more, you can choose it. Hiking: 5 miles; 1000ft elev gain B, L, D
DAY 7
Our final hiking day includes travel off-trail down a ridge of Table Mountain, with spectacular views of Moul Lake and the Phillip Lakes. We descend into the forest and follow a steep downhill trail for our final 3-hour hike back to the van. The entire hike will take anywhere from 6 to 8 hours and although largely downhill, will leave everyone feeling accomplished. In late afternoon we return to our lodging in Clearwater and revel in the feeling of hot showers. With clean bodies and clothes, we rejoin the group for our farewell dinner. Hiking: 6 miles; 1500ft elev gain B, L, D
DAY 8
It's hard to leave this quiet place and return to the land of cell phones and noise, but at least we are relaxed, refreshed, and, hopefully, recharged. If you drove on your own you are welcome to leave anytime this morning. If you flew into Kamloops, we'll have you back to the airport by 11 a.m. B

*These are the unfiltered reviews of women who have been on this trip in answer to the question "Did this trip meet your expectations?". We take reviews very seriously and often tweak itineraries based on feedback. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you have.

The trip exceeded my expectations! It was amazing and I am so incredibly happy I decided to do it.

Hiking Hut to Hut in British Columbia 8/4/2019-8/11/2019


Tay was an exceptional guide. The trip leadership would have been a disaster without her.

Hiking Hut to Hut in British Columbia 8/4/2019-8/11/2019


The highlights were the wilderness, Tay, the huts, flowers, solitude, scenery, great hikes...

Hiking Hut to Hut in British Columbia 8/4/2019-8/11/2019


The total wilderness experience. The amazing views.

Hiking Hut to Hut in British Columbia 8/4/2019-8/11/2019


Highlights included being in true wilderness, with lots of ponds to dip into. The BC guide's knowledge and love of the area was great.

Hiking Hut to Hut in British Columbia 8/4/2019-8/11/2019


The other women, the guides and the scenery!

Hiking Hut to Hut in British Columbia 8/5/2018-8/12/2018


The highlights were the flowers and lakes at high altitude. On the east coast, you would not see this.

Hiking Hut to Hut in British Columbia 8/5/2018-8/12/2018


I knew this would be physically demanding, but it was more demanding than I expected. I (and others) think this trip should have ratings of "4" and "5" to cover the days when heavier packs were carried and the ascents and descents were extremely steep.

Hiking Hut to Hut in British Columbia 8/5/2018-8/12/2018


I really appreciated the professionalism of the guiding team, and the approach to minimal impact in the backcountry. And of course, the flowers and terrain. It was a little late in the year for great birding. I was initial leery of group travel but it turned out great, hence the exceeding expectations.

Hiking Hut to Hut in British Columbia 8/5/2018-8/12/2018


The scenery, the remoteness, the company

Hiking Hut to Hut in British Columbia 8/5/2018-8/12/2018


Guides were amazing- very organized and accommodating. The scenery was spectacular!

Hiking Hut to Hut in British Columbia 8/5/2018-8/12/2018


The location was beautiful and offered some interesting hiking. We hit a great time of year for the wild flowers. The lakes were surprisingly warm for swimming. I would have liked more challenging hiking situations. The day we couldn't summit due to Liz's family emergency was unfortunate but things happen. It was disappointing to have the pace limited by the slowest person. There were times we had to be so close together, I felt like one of a string of kindergartners that has to hold hands while crossing the street. On the last day at hut #2, it felt liberating to be allowed to linger at the final lake and walk back to the hut unsupervised.

Hiking Hut to Hut in British Columbia 8/6/2017-8/13/2017


Highlights: Unspoiled beauty and grandeur of Wells Gray Provincial Park / Local provisioner Wells Gray Adventures / knowledgeable local guide Christine Issues: 1 participant was totally unprepared for a level 4 trip, therefore all hikes and activities were geared down to her pace and capacity. She claimed she was "encouraged" by AGC personnel to come, in spite of her health issues. If true, I place responsibility on AGC. AGC Guide, Brenda Porter, inserted an emphasis of "women's feel-good-about-ourselves" rather than "women's adventure challenge". Completely different from my Grand Canyon experience in 2016. Brenda is completely kind and sincere, but AGC needs to decide what it wants to be, then promote that honestly and have all AGC guides in agreement. The accomodations in the huts in Wells Gray were extremely rustic. Be more accurate in your descriptions: No showers. Close sleeping quarters.

Hiking Hut to Hut in British Columbia 8/6/2017-8/13/2017


Trip was amazing! Highlight was the magnificent scenery, especially wildflowers at their peak. Brenda and Christine were great guides, hut accomodations were actually nicer than I expected, food was decent, and congenial companions. Only disappointment was some lingering smoke from BC fires that obscured some distant views.

Hiking Hut to Hut in British Columbia 8/6/2017-8/13/2017


The scenery was spectacular despite the smoke obscuring distant views and causing some respiratory discomfort. We had a group that meshed well- which we all know can be the difference between a fair and great experience. The trip leaders took a few days to understand each others' roles - I was surprised they hadn't discussed beforehand. It might have been a better use of their talents to schedule activities that each would be leading. (eg. Tuesday night map reading- which we never got to do- Wednesday 7am Yoga,etc) It would be nice to have known the options too.

Hiking Hut to Hut in British Columbia 8/6/2017-8/13/2017


It was a beautiful trip. It was disappointing that the smoke was a factor, but obviously out of your control. Sure would have liked to have seen those stars! :-) The wildflowers were a definite highlight. Spectacular!

Hiking Hut to Hut in British Columbia 8/6/2017-8/13/2017


Yes , laying outside at 2 am on a tarp,to watch shooting stars! Mountain views Hiking in the rain......knowing that I would not have to put my tent up and then try to keep dry the rest of the night and.... Make my dinner, first making a fire with wet wood....and on and on Hiking with ladies who after lunch could sit back and sit ....but well let's climb up that mountain and see what we can see. Oh, Let's not kill the mouse. Who is so cute. (I hate mice) But decides to eat his stash p, e stole from us, eatting it by my by new friends head... But at My feet (because I insisted upon sleeping opposite...just so I could hit my head every nite on the ceiling) Yes we had a good time

Hiking Hut to Hut in British Columbia 8/7/2016-8/14/2016


It was great to meet up with friends I made on Machu Picchu trip. The scenery was outstanding. What a great group of gals...we always had fun!

Hiking Hut to Hut in British Columbia 8/7/2016-8/14/2016


Loved being able to hike every day in an alpine wilderness area! Both leaders were fantastic as well as the group of women on this trip.

Hiking Hut to Hut in British Columbia 8/7/2016-8/14/2016


Seeing the wildflowers in full bloom was the highlight. When participants use a trip as a reunion they tend to form a clique and others feel left out. Most of those who had gone to Peru together did not make a big issue of it, but Stephanie brought it up a lot. That was tiresome.

Hiking Hut to Hut in British Columbia 8/7/2016-8/14/2016


the group the leaders the area

Hiking Hut to Hut in British Columbia 8/7/2016-8/14/2016


The hut to hut trip was fantastic. The scenery was amazing; the hiking was difficult but manageable; the huts were well stocked and comfortable and the guides were fantastic.

Hiking Hut to Hut in British Columbia 8/7/2016-8/14/2016


  1. Where do we eat?

    In town you will be eating in restaurants where you can order off the menu. In the huts the guides will be cooking all the breakfasts and dinners. Before you leave in the morning the guides will put out lunch 'fixings' and you'll take a packed lunch.
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    Food options at the huts are limited (since all the food is packed in) and women with specific dietary preferences or issues will need to supplement their food, such as bring gluten-free energy bars or additional protein bars.
  3. I will be coming by myself. Do I need to pay a single supplement?

    No, in fact there aren't any singles available on the trip. On our other trips you only need to pay a single supplement if you want to guarantee you have your own room. Otherwise we’ll pair you up with someone and then switch roommates every time we switch lodging.
  4. Is it true that we won't see other people and be completely away from wifi and cell towers?

    Yes! This trip offers the remoteness of wilderness camping with the comfort of a bed and a warm place to sleep!
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