A destination 4 season Wilderness adventure tourism Business, which was established in 1880. This business includes Mountain Accommodations dispersed over 1.5 million acres of the spectacular South Chilcotin Mountains. The product is the actual experience that is derived from a range of wilderness trips (products). These products vary from Wilderness Guide Training to Grizzly viewing research, and from a Guest Ranch Adventure for novices, to a Level III wildlife study Horse Pack Trip for advanced.
The location is at the heart of the sunny South Chilcotin Mountains, roughly 60 miles North of Whistler Ski Resort and 120 miles North of Vancouver, British Columbia. Access by road is 2 hours from Whistler, and 4 ½ hours from Vancouver. It is 1 hour by plane from Vancouver International Airport and a ½ hour from Whistler by helicopter or plane.
The Business Overview
The Chilcotin Mountain Provincial Park is referred to as British Columbia's flagship Park (the Serengeti of North America).
Located on the lee side of the Coast Mountains, this “Rainshadow” is recognized as an ideal climate for wilderness tourism activities: sunny skies, low rainfall, no bugs, mild temperatures, distinct seasons and some of the highest bio-diversity rating found anywhere in the province. The mountains are glaciated, so they are friendly and accessible with rounded tops. Valleys are U-shaped, with lush alpine basins. The bio-diversity is concentrated because of the convergence of 4 climate zones ranging from alpine tundra to old growth fir.
This creates diverse and abundant wildlife species and plant species (a paradise for naturalists). This area has hosted international guests for over 135 years and the lure is stronger now than ever before. The product is the natural resources found in the Chilcotin Mountains, and the operator has the unique ability to turn this product into an experience that is not available anywhere else in the world. Through trained wilderness guides, proven trip products, and perfectly situated facilities, this will be one of North America's finest wilderness experience destinations.
The property has 1.5 million acres (just over 6,000 sq. km) of tenured wilderness operating area in composing British Columbia's Flagship 50,000 acre South Chilcotin Mountain Park. Add this to a perfect climate, the bio- diversity, the infrastructure, the trail systems, the strategic location of the facilities and the product base, and it is all in place. The area truly deserves being called the 'Flagship Park of British Columbia – the Serengeti of North America'.
The region has a mild four-season climate nestled on the lee side of the Coast Range Mountains in the Chilcotin Mountain Ranges. These are unique glaciated mountains rising to 9,500' elevation, and averaging 7,500'. These are hospitable mountains, with easy access. Tree line Is approximately 6,500'. The alpine is the most valued area with over 1,000 Alpine Basins, each carpeted in lush wildflowers and each with its own big-game species. These mountain ranges are referred to as the “Rainbows” because of the mineralization that produces more colors than that of the rainbow.
Trading routes through mountain passes were created centuries ago, and we follow these today. The prospectors and the Guides Outfitters developed the area and much of the Operator activities are a repeat of history. We travel the same trails, camp in the same meadows, and view Grizzlies feeding on the same white park pine nuts on the same mountain.
The region has access to 2 main highways – Whistler and Vancouver to the south, and Lillooet leading to the interior of British Columbia and on to Calgary, Alberta to the east.
This business can be operated from any place in the area. Floatplane access to a dozen lakes in the area. Wheel plane access near Gold Bridge can accommodate 12 passenger planes.
The region has 4 distinct small communities of less than 50 inhabitants each. Bralorne, historic mining town. Gold Bridge is the service center for the area. Gun lake is a summer home area for Vancouver residents. Tyax and Gun Creek Roads are also summer home areas, and Gun Creek Road is located at the southern edge of the South Chilcotin Mountain Park.
The business works closely with related tourism associations (including sector, regional and provincial) and provincial agencies that legislate and manage wilderness tourism operators. The Associations include the Wilderness Tourism Association, the Council of Tourism Associations, the BC Guest Ranch Association, the BC Fresh Water Fishing, Resorts, and Outfitters Association, Cariboo Tourism Association, and many more
The business of providing wilderness experiences in this area has existed for over 135 years. The systems are well entrenched. The business of providing accommodation in the wilderness has existed for over 135 years.
Each Mountain facility accommodates the maximum number of people most suited to be that specific area at a time. Each Mountain Accommodation is fully self-contained and operated independently. All the supplies and clients are shuttled to the Mountain Accommodation.
Intensive use sites within the Parks that are currently used as wilderness accommodation remain “as is” and are used as wilderness accommodation for the new mountain accommodation that is proposed for development outside of the Park on the Leased sites – much the same as they have been used as wilderness accommodation in the past
Experience a Wilderness Product
The Wilderness experience product is actively conducted and promoted at present to an international client base and established agents wholesalers and receptive operators. The current wilderness experience products meet the demands of a diverse mix of clients in terms of price, a length of stay, trip type, and level of adventure. The minimum stay is 4 days, and there are also 7, 10 and 13 days.
Combinations of these (ie. 4 plus 7) are common, as are lengths of stay that exceed two weeks. It takes a minimum of 4 days to adjust to the wilderness experience. Seven days is the preferred length of stay. Small groups of between 8-10 are preferred, and groups of 6-8 are ideal. Groups of 4-6 are ideal for specialty trips such as predator viewing. Utilizing a large operating area at a low level of use to ensure the long-term sustainability of the natural resources and high quality of the wilderness experience.
Full-service packages that include accommodation, guides, meals, and all the associated activities are fundamental to these types of quality wilderness experiences.
Gold Bridge, British Columbia, Canada