heli-hiking chopper extreme bugaboos british columbia helicopter Bugaboo Provincial Park
Step up your next trek by adding a chopper to the mix in BC’s Bugaboos
Want to go heli-hiking in British Columbia? Leave the gear at home but bring your sense of adventure, writes Katrina Lobley.
Heli-hiking the stunning Canadian Rockies
Hike with all the wonder, but none of the effort aboard a helicopter. Seemingly insurmountable monuments to nature’s beauty, the furthest reaches of the Canadian Rockies were once off-limits to all but the boldest of adventurers.   But now there’s an easier way to ascend and experience all this natural beauty up close: by helicopter. [caption id="attachment_20645" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Taking stock atop a Canadian mountain.[/caption] In summer and spring, world-class hotspots such as Lake Louise, Jasper and Mount Charles Stewart, represent fantastic opportunities to experience Canada’s wilderness in comfort.   You’ll see waterfalls, mountain flowers and you might even catch a glimpse of an eagle. Mountain-top picnics, ice fishing, zip lines and rock climbing are all available. Get going: [caption id="attachment_20646" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Helicopter hiking is great fun.[/caption] Sightseeing helicopter tours run year-round, but hiking-specific tours generally run mid-June to late September. Fly and hike with Canadian Mountain Holidays (canadianmountainholidays.com). Location: Take heli-hiking tours from Banff, Canmore, Lake Louise and Calgary. Trips can be as short as a few hours or up to six days, with expert guides and overnight stays in mountain lodges. [caption id="attachment_20648" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Heli hiking in Banff National Park, Alberta.[/caption] “Hiking just got sexy.” – Rob McFarland   <<Previous | Next >>  Return to the ‘100 Things to do in Canada Before You Die’ countdown var axel = Math.random() + """"; var a = axel * 10000000000000; document.write('');
Moraine Lake near Banff, Alberta.
Travel Diary: Travelling solo in Canada
When life gives you lemons, have yourself a solo adventure across Canada, lemonade spritzer in hand, says Alissa Jenkins.
Bear Cave Mountain Yukon Canada Wilderness Bears adventure
Teepees and eco-lodges: the best of First Nation accommodation
There are 634 different First Nations in Canada and one of the best ways to learn more about them is with a cultural stay in Aboriginal-owned accommodation. By Nikki Bayley Spirit Bear, British Columbia It’s all about the three bears: spirit, grizzly and black at the world’s only Kitasoo Spirit Bear Conservancy on the pristine ancestral lands of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation. [caption id="attachment_26206" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Although not a spirit bear, this bathing grizzly is one of the bears that can be spotted on a guided tour with Spirit Bear Lodge in British Columbia (photo: Spirit Bear Lodge).[/caption] Sleep in style after a day exploring the Great Bear Rainforest, in the traditional longhouse-inspired lodge with king-size beds and en-suite bathrooms for each room.   Need to know: Spirit Bear Lodge is located on the north of Vancouver Island, accessible by seaplane and water taxi, and children over the age of 12 are welcome. Guests should be physically active, since good mobility is essential for travel on the trails and for getting in and out of boats. Also check out our Search for the elusive Canadian Spirit Bear. Bear Cave Mountain, Yukon This extraordinary partnership between the Vuntut Gwitchin Nation and nature tour company Nakina Adventures opens up a secret world of grizzly bears, moose, caribou and wolverines for intrepid travellers to discover. [caption id="attachment_26199" align="alignnone" width="1000"] The wildlife gets very close and personal; a bear roams outside the cabins of Bear Cave Mountain, Yukon (photo: Bear Cave Mountain Eco-Adventures).[/caption] Perfect for photographers, artists and nature-lovers, you’ll benefit from the years of knowledge of on-site guides and learn about the eco-system of the Ni’Inlii Njik Wilderness Preserve along the Arctic Circle.   Need to know: You’ll helicopter over some of North America’s most wild and remote wilderness to reach camp, just under two hours from Dawson City. Cabins are heated, and there are hot showers. Bear Cave Mountain Camp Manawan, Quebec [caption id="attachment_26203" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Celebrating that big catch, a guide can teach you how to fish the traditional way with nets in Manawan, Quebec (photo: Sebastien Desnoyers).[/caption] Leave the modern world behind and join the Atikamekw nation for an authentic back-to-basics cultural teepee camp in the vast wilderness of Kempt Lake.   In camp you’ll spend time with your guide and discover more about the Atikamekw’s history and living culture.   In winter this is a frozen wonderland to enjoy snowshoeing, snowmobiling and traditional ice fishing with nets. In summer, learn to paddle the large ‘rabaska’ traditional canoe and enjoy dinner by the campfire.   Need to know: Pick up is from Montreal, a three-hour drive from Manawan. The teepees are on an island that’s only accessible by boat in summer or snowmobile in winter. voyageamerindiens.com Buffalo Rock Tipi Camp, Alberta [caption id="attachment_26200" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Sleep under the stars in a traditional teepee at Buffalo Rock Tipi Camp, Alberta.[/caption] Dive into the world of the Blackfoot/Plains People at this rustic site in south-western Alberta.   Choose your own adventure: head into the wilderness with a First Nations guide to learn about Old Man River Valley and its wildlife and medicinal herbs, learn to play traditional games with songs and hand-drumming, or experience a spiritual sweat lodge guided by a Blackfoot elder.   Need to know: This is basic camping in a teepee, so visitors need to bring their own bedding. There are non-flush toilets on site and camp showers. The campsite runs on solar power. buffalorocktipicamp.com Shakat Tun Adventures, Yukon [caption id="attachment_26205" align="alignnone" width="667"] Shakat Tun host, James Allen will teach you how to tan a moose hide amongst other traditional skills in the Yukon wilderness (photo: Shakat Tun Adventures).[/caption] Get back to the land staying off-grid in cosy wooden cabins hand-built by James Allen, former chief of the Champagne Ashihik band and owner of Shakat Tun Adventures.   Join a small group of adventurers and learn traditional skills such as moose hide tanning, toolmaking, fishing with nets and drying and smoking your catch. Hear stories by the campfire in breathtaking Yukon wilderness.   Need to know: This is basic, rustic accommodation with outhouse facilities and battery-operated lighting. Pick up from Whitehorse, the camp is around three hours’ drive away. Haida House, BC [caption id="attachment_26202" align="alignnone" width="667"] Soak in the lakeside view of Haida House, cosy rooms and a gourmet restaurant means you can enjoy the wilderness in luxury (photo: Haida Gwaii Tourism).[/caption] Make your pilgrimage to Haida Gwaii, the Galapagos of the North, to discover an age-old culture.   Be dazzled by soaring old-growth forests, ancient Haida villages, the thriving contemporary Haida art scene and its beautiful wildlife from black bears and eagles to grey and humpback whales.   One of the most celebrated Aboriginal places to stay, your accommodation is in luxury at Haida House, near to Tlell village, with its gourmet restaurant, and cosy rooms.   Explore the archipelago with a Haida House cultural ambassador to hear traditional stories and uncover the secrets of the islands.   Need to Know: The 10-room Haida House lodge offers free wi-fi, and all rooms have a private bathroom. Moose Factory Cree Eco Village, Ontario [caption id="attachment_26204" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Not a lot of lodges can boast about an almost 100-per-cent eco-friendly interior, but Moose Factory Cree Eco Village lodge in Ontario can.[/caption] Soak up the contemporary culture of the Cree Eeyou Nation in environmentally-friendly luxury on Moose Factory, an isolated island at the mouth of the Moose River just south of Hudson Bay.   Head out on a boat trip to spot beluga whales, pelicans, eagles and – if you’re lucky – bears fishing for their lunch.   Accommodation-wise, the lodge boasts an almost 100-per-cent eco-friendly interior complete with nail-free furniture, clay-tiled floors and earth toilets. creevillage.com   Feast on First Nations-inspired food in the cedar and pine ‘shaapuhtuwaan’ – a modern take on the traditional Cree dining hall – before snuggling under an all-wool Cree-designed blanket at night.   Need to Know: Travel on the Polar Bear Express train from Cochrane to Moosonee after taking the bus from Toronto and spending the night in Cochrane, and enjoy the impressive views over the vast Abitibi River, or fly Air Creebec from Timmins or Montreal. ontarionorthland.ca Great Spirit Circle Trail, Ontario [caption id="attachment_26201" align="alignnone" width="1000"] There's no need to go without creature comforts while exploring the Great Spirit Circle Trail in Ontario, this teepee comes with 500-thread-count sheets (photo: Aboriginal Tourism Ontario).[/caption] Find an Aboriginal-inspired adventure to suit everyone on the Great Spirit Circle Trail on Manitoulin Island, the world’s largest freshwater-lake island.   Delve into native plants on a culinary and medicinal foraging experience, learn traditional tea blending, paddle a canoe on the lake, or learn how to make and play a traditional drum.   From serious eco-adventure to shopping for crafts from Anishinaabe artists, the Great Spirit Circle Trail has you covered.   Need to know: Go glamping with 500-thread-count sheets in Spirit Island Adventure’s teepees, or stay at the band-owned and operated Mantoulin Inn and Conference Centre for an indoors stay with First Nations-inspired decor and dining. Wanuskewin, Saskatchewan Experience life as it was lived for 6000 years on the Prairies with the Northern Plains First Nations.   Step back in time at Canada’s longest ongoing archeological excavation, discover the thrill of the bison hunt by learning how to shoot with a bow and arrows, and to use the traditional atlatl spear.   Hear the story of the Ojibway People’s dreamcatchers then make your own, then sleep soundly in a traditional teepee.   Need to know: Teepee camping is rough sleeping on the ground, although with notice, bespoke breaks with camp beds, bedding and a First Nations-inspired traditional ‘Three Sisters’ dinner with bison on the menu can be arranged. There are no showers on site, but bathrooms are in the park building. wanuskewin.com Interested in Canada?   We've got an amazing amount of information on Canada, don't forget to check it out.
Tiptoeing across Canada’s ancient Columbian Icefields
Ice is nice on the wonderful journey onto a centuries-old glacier.
Why you should make time for Banff’s Moraine Lake
Spend some time on a lake whose scenery is on the money.