Tranquil Hideaways: Discover Canada’s Top Wilderness Retreats

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Canada's wilderness lodges

This feature has been brought to you by National Geographic Traveller (UK).

  1. Haida House, British Columbia

Located along the Tlell River amidst the ancient woodland of the isolated Haida Gwaii islands in Western Canada, the community-owned Haida House is a hub for indigenous expeditions. Choose to stay in the main lodge or one of 12 double-bed ocean-facing cabins. Guided tours are available by foot, kayak, Zodiac, or 4×4, traversing the ‘Galápagos of the North’, which is renowned for its handcrafted totem poles on untouched shores. Among the ten unique land mammal subspecies in the archipelago, six are exclusive to the area, including the largest black bear in North America. A staggering twenty species of whales and dolphins have been observed in the surrounding waters, and over 1.5 million seabirds breed along the coastline. Prices start from C$955 (£570) for bed and breakfast, with a minimum stay of three nights.

  1. Chic-Chocs Mountain Lodge, Quebec

Experience the serene seclusion of Gaspésie, where the population of moose surpasses that of humans. Perched 610 metres above the Gulf of St Lawrence, this 18-room lodge boasts breathtaking panoramas. During winter, the Chic-Chocs Mountains become a paradise for serious skiers who seek lesser-known slopes. Named shick-shock (‘impassable’) in the indigenous Mi’kmaq language, the surrounding dense forests offer a plethora of outdoor activities for hikers, including kayaking on tranquil lakes and relaxing in the lodge’s on-site sauna and hot tub. After a sociable dinner served on shared tables overlooking the mountains, take advantage of the lodge’s telescope for some stargazing. Prices start from C$270 (£160) for a two-night minimum stay.

  1. Fogo Island INN, Newfoundland & Labrador

Marking its 10th anniversary, this architectural marvel sits on an island off Newfoundland, perched above a craggy outcrop. The brainchild of Newfoundland-born, Norway-based architect, Todd Saunders, the inn houses 29 guestrooms equipped with floor-to-ceiling windows. The food served is locally sourced, the saunas are heated by wood, and the rooftop hot tubs provide a perfect relaxation spot. With a strong commitment to supporting local communities, the inn reinvests its operating profits into island businesses, including heritage boat building initiatives. Guests can explore extensive trails along steep cliffs, where caribou, puffins and pods of whales are common sightings. Rates start from C$2,875 (£1,715) per night, inclusive of excursions but excluding alcohol.

  1. Sky High Wilderness Lodge, Yukon

Nestled in Canada’s untamed northwestern territory, the Yukon is a sprawling landscape ideal for wilderness exploration, and the lake-bound Sky High Wilderness Lodge, surrounded by peaks, offers a front-row seat to adventure. Summer activities include horseback riding and kayaking, while husky-sleds become the preferred means of transportation in winter. Year-round camping expeditions, mindful of leaving no trace, guide guests from their off-grid timber cabins into the frontier lands to uncover Gold Rush history under the aurora-lit skies. The lodge’s friendly huskies are a major attraction, with sled teams switched out on multi-day journeys and top-notch care for the dogs. Tours to learn mushing skills are also available. Rates start from C$125 (£75) per night, self-catering; two-night minimum stay.

This feature was included in the June 2023 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK).

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Canada’s wilderness lodges

What are some of the best wilderness lodges in Canada?

Some of the top wilderness lodges in Canada include the Haida House in British Columbia, the Chic-Chocs Mountain Lodge in Quebec, the Fogo Island Inn in Newfoundland & Labrador, and the Sky High Wilderness Lodge in Yukon.

Where is the Haida House located?

Haida House is located along the Tlell River in the ancient forest of the remote Haida Gwaii islands in Western Canada.

What unique features does the Chic-Chocs Mountain Lodge offer?

Chic-Chocs Mountain Lodge, located in a remote corner of Gaspésie, offers breathtaking scenery and a variety of outdoor activities. The lodge also provides an on-site sauna and hot tub.

What is special about the Fogo Island Inn?

Fogo Island Inn is an architectural statement, designed by Newfoundland-born, Norway-based architect Todd Saunders. It provides hyper-local food, wood-fired saunas, and rooftop hot tubs. Moreover, it’s dedicated to supporting the local community.

What activities are available at the Sky High Wilderness Lodge in Yukon?

At the Sky High Wilderness Lodge, guests can explore the vast terrain on horseback or by kayak in summer, or by husky-sled in winter. The lodge also offers camping expeditions and the opportunity to learn mushing skills.

More about Canada’s wilderness lodges

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Emily Stinson June 29, 2023 - 11:10 am

great article but the prices r a bit steep for me. Still, gotta add them to the bucket list, eh?

Dave Hartford June 29, 2023 - 11:20 pm

those places must be so beautiful, especially in winter… would be cool to try mushing at the Sky High Wilderness lodge.

Robert Lancaster June 30, 2023 - 2:30 am

Wow, staying in a place where moose outnumber people, thats a dream. chic chocs here i come. thanks for the article.

John McDougall June 30, 2023 - 5:50 am

Wow, these lodges sound absolutely amazing. Love the sound of Fogo Island Inn. staying on an island off an island? Count me in!

Amanda Trent June 30, 2023 - 7:54 am

haida house seems awesome. love to see more about the indigenous adventures. neat that they’re locally owned too.


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