Province/Territory: British Columbia

Connect to West Coast wildlife in a deeper way

  • 100-year-old provincial park, BC’s oldest
  • 250,000 hectares blissfully bare of crowds
  • 50+ years of existence as an outdoor learning centre

Immersed in dense old growth forest, you come upon the fresh tracks of elk, bears and other wild animals. Here, in a hidden and pristine corner of British Columbia’s oldest park, you’re connecting to wildlife in a deeper way as you follow game trails and wildlife corridors.
Learn the basics of animal tracking, honing your wilderness detective skills. See like an owl, hear like a deer, smell like a bear, touch like a raccoon, and manoeuvre like a wolf. Walk softly and be awed by the beauty of the quiet forest as you enter a sacred window into the lives of animals.
After a full-on day in the wild, unwind in the wood-fired sauna on the beach. Then settle into one of Strathcona's rustic lakeside restaurants to dine on gourmet fare like ubiquitous wild salmon, vegetarian stuffed peppers, barbecued tofu and huckleberry salad.  Watch the sun set over the hills, go for a swim or play a round of after-dinner kayak soccer before retiring to your water's edge cabin and a bonfire.

Why you should visit

• Experience the wilderness through the life of Vancouver Island’s Roosevelt elk while on a wildlife tracking trek.
• Think summer camp, but with cozy lakeside cabins and gourmet cafeteria fare.
• Enjoy a misty morning of paddling on the largest lake on Vancouver Island, Buttle Lake.
• Start a fire the traditional way with sticks and a bow. Or create sparks with an old-fashioned flint and steel tool.
• Hone other wilderness skills like building an A-frame using branches, with moss for the roof and floor.
• Back at the lodge, zip-line through the trees, lounge on the beach, explore the lake by canoe, kayak or sailboat, or sweat in the sauna.
• Dine on delicacies like local caught, wild salmon, tomatillos and arugula grown in the lodge’s own gardens.
• Almost every room has a deck, the perfect spot to watch the sun set across Upper Campbell Lake and behind snow-capped peaks.

Weather

• From June through September, Vancouver Island is typically sunny and mild.
• Summer in Strathcona is usually pleasantly warm, with average temperatures ranging from the low-to-mid 20°C's. Summer evenings, as elsewhere in the coastal regions of BC, can be cool and rain can be expected at any time of the year.
• Snow remains all year on the mountain peaks and may linger into July even at moderate elevations.
• Discover local weather information.  Research local weather patterns at Environment Canada's Canadian Climate Website.

Visitor information

• Lodge accommodation and expedition reservations can be booked online.
•  Gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free and vegetarian are always available. The kitchen is nut free.

When to go

• Most lodge activities take place during the months of July and August.

Need to know

• Included in the 3 day/2 night Wildlife Tracking experience are two nights at the Lodge (lake view chalet room), a day trip into the Tlools Valley, chef’s table meals and all equipment.
• The lodge offers lakefront cottages and hotel rooms, two restaurants, wedding and group facilities to accommodate more than 125 people.
• Most rooms have a lake view and most cottages are waterfront. There are no TVs or telephones within the rooms and all rooms are non smoking.
• Cottages are available year round. Individual rooms in the chalets are available from March until November, when the dining room is open.
• The nearby communities of Campbell River, the Comox Valley, Gold River, Tofino and Port Alberni offer a full range of visitor services.
• All guides have an intimate knowledge of the region. Most are graduates of the Canadian Outdoor Leadership Training semester program, and all carry Wilderness First Aid certification.
• Participants in outdoor activities are required to complete a medical form and sign a liability waiver.

Getting Here

• Strathcona Park Lodge is located in central Vancouver Island  just outside the north-eastern tip of Strathcona Provincial Park on Upper Campbell Lake. It's a 40-minute drive from Campbell River, which is  (serviced from Vancouver and Victoria by Air Canada, WestJet and Pacific Coastal.