British Columbia | Purcell Mountains | Adult Only
A backcountry luxury lodge, snugly seated in a high alpine meadow
6 days / 5 nights
Activity LevelActivity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.
British Columbia is a wild place where Mother Nature creates the boundaries. On this six-day adventure, you’ll meet a grizzly bear face-to-face, eat lunch on a mountaintop, and ooh and ahh over a spectacular waterfall. Mid-trip, helicopter in to a backcountry lodge in the midst of the Purcell Mountains where your toughest choices of the day will be “which direction should I hike” and “what time do I want to eat dinner?” You’re going to need a long list of superlatives to describe what you see on this trip: ‘amazing,’ ‘spectacular’ and ‘wow’ will only go so far. Discover Canada’s westernmost province to find a region of unforgettable adventure, dramatic scenery, and astounding natural beauty.
Leave your problems behind and journey into the secluded wildness of the Purcell Mountains. From budding naturalist to experience explorers, Austin Adventures’ six-day venture into British Columbia is a hiker’s paradise. Uncover one of Canada’s best gems and explore the secrets behind the area’s rich history, soaring peaks, towering waterfalls, and massive glaciers. Escape into the remote landscape with a perfect balance of luxury and adventure.
- Float above the clouds on a gondola ride that whisks you to the top of Kicking Horse Resort, giving you panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains
- Meet Boo the Bear at the world’s largest enclosed and protected mountainside grizzly bear habitat
- Experience the dream adventure of a lifetime when you helicopter in to a secluded backcountry lodge that places you smack dab amidst the alpine slopes of the northern Purcell Mountains
- Indulge in gourmet meals and on-the-go lunches prepared by the Purcell Mountain Lodge’s talented on-site chef
- Enjoy signature BC wine as you watch the sun sets over a postcard-perfect landscape from your three-story, timber-framed lodge
More reasons to discover British Columbia
Purcell Mountain Lodge: Accessible only by helicopter, this luxury backcountry lodge offers guests a truly unique mountain getaway.
The view: Dazzling lakes, towering waterfalls, fields of wildflowers, and massive trees dating back thousands of years. This jaw-dropping panoramic view is impossible to beat.
The seclusion: Unplug and recharge as you leave civilization behind and find a vast land of open wilderness and wildlife.
Calgary, Alberta YYC
Calgary, Alberta YYC
Calgary / Banff National Park / Yoho National Park / Golden
Pick-up in Calgary before we make our way to Banff National Park. After a welcome meeting, we stop off at Lake Louise to ooh and ahh over this world famous turquoise lake and its soaring mountainous backdrop, including the beautiful Victoria Glacier. This afternoon, we drive towards Golden, British Columbia, stopping off along the way to hike around the exquisite Emerald Lake area and to Takakkaw Falls. Dinner and overnight in Golden.
About Copper Horse Lodge
Copper Horse Lodge offers luxurious accommodation steps from the heart of Kicking Horse Resort. Eleven unique suites provide an intimate, relaxing environment, allying a traditional rustic charm and coziness, reminiscent of the Great National Park Lodges, with modern comforts.
Each of the 10 suites features spa-like bathrooms, deluxe European-style featherbeds, plush down duvets and room essentials such as robes and hairdryers to make you feel at home.
Copper Horse Lodge also features an unparalleled mountain dining experience at the Copper Horse Steakhouse. The carefully chosen, classically inspired menu is as refreshing and memorable as the stunning mountain backdrop.
Kicking Horse Mountain / Golden
We spend our entire day at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort located just above the town of Golden. Begin the morning with a tour of the Grizzly Bear Refuge, a natural mountainside habitat where Boo, the resort’s resident grizzly hunts, plays, forages and explores just like his wild cousins. Take a scenic gondola ride up to our mountaintop dining destination, the Eagle’s Eye Restaurant. Then set off on a ridgetop hike through the high-alpine with panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains and the Columbia River wetlands. Enjoy dinner with the group back in Golden before getting a good night’s sleep.
Golden / Purcell Mountains
Pack up your belongings as today we fly into our next location, Purcell Mountain Lodge, by helicopter! Our 15 minute helicopter ride whisks us away from society and into the northern Purcell Mountains where we’ll happen upon our backcountry luxury lodge perched at 7,200’. Located amidst the alpine slopes of Bald Mountain, we’ll spend the next several days exploring this rugged, alluring paradise surrounding our mountaintop nook. Settle into the lodge with an orientation, lunch and a short afternoon hike before calling it a night in your cozy room.
About Purcell Mountain Lodge
Operating for over 25 years, Purcell Mountain Lodge offers year round accommodations and all the comforts of home in the backcountry. The lodge is perched at 7,200’ amidst the alpine slopes of Bald Mountain in the northern Purcell Mountains. This backcountry luxury lodge is located near Golden, British Columbia and is accessible only by 15-minute helicopter ride. Over 3,000 acres of rolling alpine meadows, endless fields of wildflowers and countless peaks and ridges, set against a backdrop of tumbling glaciers and alpine vistas await your arrival.
Relax and unwind in the three story, timber framed lodge. You’ll find an open dining area, cozy living room with fireplace, quiet library, board games and puzzles. Ten private guest rooms are located on the upper floor and come with mountain views guaranteed to inspire and refresh. Each room has its own sink and vanity. Three private showers and three private bathrooms are across the hallway. A traditional wood burning sauna is steps away from the main lodge to help sooth tired muscles and joints.
The next two days are spent trekking through the alpine where the day’s agenda bends to the desires of the group. Take a leisurely walk amid endless meadows of eye-popping wildflowers or perhaps you’d enjoy a challenging trek to a nearby peak or a ridgeline hike with never-ending wilderness views. Surrounded by craggy peaks and with no sign of civilization for miles, you’ll quickly find yourself settling into the laid back rhythm of relaxed mountain life. All gourmet meals and on-the-go lunches are prepared by the lodge’s talented on-site chef. By night, sit back with a glass of signature BC wine in your three-story, timber-framed lodge, watching as the sun sets over a postcard-perfect landscape.
Wake to a gorgeous backcountry sunrise splashing color on the peaks surrounding the lodge and enjoy a hearty breakfast prepared by your chef. How you spend your day today is up to you. Your guides will offer several hikes in varying lengths that start directly from the doorstep of the lodge. Maybe you’d prefer an easygoing hike in the morning with a chance to read a book in the sunshine this afternoon. Or perhaps you’d rather challenge yourself with an epic hike traversing a nearby alpine ridge. However you spend your day, you’ll wind up back at the lodge with plenty of time to relax the afternoon away (traditional wood-burning sauna anyone?) This evening, your backcountry chef will prepare a gourmet feast at which you can toast to a few days well spent exploring paradise!
Purcell Mountains / Kootenay National Park / Calgary
This morning, we bid goodbye to our remote mountain lodge and fly back to civilization. Upon arrival to our heli-base, we depart for Calgary stopping along the way for one last hike in Kootenay National Park. Drop-offs in Calgary in the late afternoon.
Weather can be unpredictable in the mountains and therefore the helicopter out of Purcell will depart when weather patterns allow for the best flight conditions. This means you could be leaving Purcell Mountain Lodge early or late morning which puts you into Calgary any time around or after 4:00 PM. We recommend you book flights out of Calgary for Saturday so as not to miss your Friday flight home in case of a late helicopter departure out of the lodge.
**Trip itineraries are subject to change without notice due to road, weather and other factors outside of our control, for the safety and enjoyment of our guests, as deemed necessary and appropriate by Austin Adventures.
Arrival & Departure
Please plan on arriving at least one day prior to your trip departure. Day one of your itinerary starts in Calgary, Alberta at 7:30 or 7:50 am, depending on your hotel. Your trip ends with a drop-off at your Calgary hotel 4:00 PM or later. With the helicopter’s flight schedule out of Purcell Mountain Lodge on Day 6 being irregular due to weather, we recommend you spend an extra night in Calgary at trip’s end so you don’t miss your Friday night flight. Please book flights out of Calgary for Saturday.
Hiking: 1 to 5+ mile hikes, easy to strenuous terrain (a range of hiking options is available out of Purcell Mountain Lodge).
Austin Adventures guides are experienced facilitators and regional experts. They will take the time to explain the details of each activity, answer any questions, and demonstrate the use of all equipment. Each activity has been carefully planned to include options for all levels. Most importantly, your guides will help you select the distance that’s right for you.
British Columbia is a land of abundance where craggy mountains tower over a glittering Pacific, rainforests engulf cities and nature shapes culture. This land supports ten mountain ranges that fall west from The Rockies until they eventually land in the Pacific. You’ll find thousand year old trees that guard glacier-fed streams pouring through steep river valleys. Higher up, mountain passes link entire ecosystems and watersheds. It’s a wild place where Mother Nature makes the rules. And while she demands respect, her handiwork offers massive rewards for those who seek adventure. Float above the clouds on a gondola ride that whisks you to the top of Kicking Horse Resort, giving you panoramic Rocky Mountain views from 7,700 feet. Meet Boo the Bear at the world’s largest enclosed and protected mountainside grizzly bear habitat. Experience the dream adventure of a lifetime when you helicopter in to a secluded backcountry lodge that places you smack dab amidst the alpine slopes of the northern Purcell Mountains. Trek to your location of choice by day and return to your lodge by night to enjoy a glass of red on the porch. Discover beautiful British Columbia with the experts in adventure travel!
The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.
After receiving your reservation and deposit, we’ll send you a pre-trip planner with general information about the area you’ll be visiting, a packing list, exercise guidelines, a guest information questionnaire and a liability release agreement for you to sign and return within 10 days.
Included in the Trip Price
- Double occupancy rooms with private baths.
- All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments and receptions.
- Fully trained, first-aid certified professional guides and knowledgeable local partners.
- Any necessary equipment – all safe and well maintained.
- Vehicle support and land transportation during the trip.
- Austin Adventures T-shirt, water bottle, luggage tags and luggage service.
- Pre-departure and packing information.
- Incidental expenses such as taxes, dining and housekeeping gratuities, local partner and expert gratuities and national park entrance and permit fees.
Not Included in the Trip Price
- Gratuities to Austin Adventures guides.
- Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities.
- Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
- Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
- All types of personal insurance.
- Personal expenses.
- Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.1 Easy (1)
- Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.2 Moderately Easy (2)
Unsure if that adventure in that wild place is right for you? Austin Adventures guide Will Woods will assure you it is, but he’ll also tell you how that trip will change your life, how to prepare for it, and why you should never pass up an opportunity to see breathtaking scenery, do thrilling things, and meet new people. Born beneath the Canadian Rockies in Calgary, Alberta, Will turned his love of adventure into a profession and has spent nearly 20 years building and leading adventure trips for a variety of guests, who all seem to catch his passion for wild places.