Home to some of the most dramatic, inspiring landscapes in the world, its wilderness mesmerises travellers. And the perfect way to experience it is to get amongst it.
But just because you’re going bush it doesn’t mean that you have to rough it. Glamping, defined by Urban Dictionary as; “going camping, but with glamour. A combination of the two words. It’s like regular camping, but with nicer things than usual, being warmer, and more comfortable.”
1. Sundance Lodges
Positioned in the front of the Canadian Rockies, the views from Sundance Lodges are as beautiful as the accomodation itself — authentic painted tipis and comfy trapper’s tents, all with wooden floors and plump beds and mattresses. Situated in the forest bordering the pristine Kananaskis River, it’s an incredible spot for outdoor adventures.
“We’re bordered by the glistening snow-fed Kananaskis River and located in a pristine area of wilderness,” Sheryl Green, owner, Sundance Lodges said. “Hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, fishing, whitewater rafting and canoeing are all available within the Valley.”
In the evening, relax by your campfire and roast marshmallows, or get your civilisation fix by driving two minutes to one of the pub food options in the village, including the Boundary Ranch and the Club House at Kananaskis Golf Course, which reopens next year.
2. Free Spirit Spheres
Treehouses evoke memories of long childhood summers, imaginary adventures and youthful abandon. The good news is, you can revisit those exhilarating emotions as an adult. On British Columbia’s Vancouver Island, you can sleep in one of three wooden spheres suspended in trees.
Part of Free Spirit Spheres eco-resort, the otherworldly structures may not have built-in bathrooms, but they do come with high tech sound systems and there’s a bath house and sauna back on ground.
“You can enjoy the beauty of our coast and beaches by foot, paddle board or kayak and then hike in an ancient forest or join a tour of an underground cave all in one day,” Tom Chudleigh, founder, Free Spirit Spheres said.
Drive an hour’s north and hike one of the trails in the the lush Cathedral Grove — a forest of 800 year-old giant Douglas Fir trees, which give a sense of what the west coast would have looked like before the arrival of European settlers.
Located on the shores of the world’s largest freshwater sand dune systems and in one of Canada’a newest and fastest growing certified wine growing regions, Prince Edward County, is Frontera — a unique glamping experience.
“Set out in our maple forest the luxury, log-framed tents come with an ensuite bathroom, king size bed, hot rainwater shower and a private outdoor kitchen featuring a charcoal grill,” Jens Burgen, experience creator, Frontera said.
Activity-wise, there’s salmon fishing, canoeing, yoga and meditation and the vineyards are a stone’s throw away. If you have time — and your personal al fresco kitchen loses its appeal — head to nearby Wellington where there’s plenty of great eateries, including East & Main Bistro and Soup Opera.
4. Entre Cimes Et Racines
Located in Quebec’s Eastern Townships region and set on 175-acres of forest is Entre Cimes et Racines eco-lodging.
There are 12 different eco-lodges to choose from, the most unique being “The Hobbit.” Designed to mimic the fictional Shire from the books and movie franchise, this is Quebec’s first underground dwelling.
“Customers expect to see deer, foxes, fishers, moose, hare, otters, lynx and other small animals here,” Michele Berger, marketing manager, Entre Cimes et Racines said. “And outside of our on-site food options, in nearby Eastman the cafe bistro Les Trois Graces is the place to go for breakfast and in the evening Le St Edouard is a great BYO option.”
5. Outpost Co, Ontario
So remote that most guests arrive via chartered seaplane, Outpost Co rests by a hidden lake in the provincial parks of Northern Ontario.
“Everything about the place recalls how the ultra rich travelled over a century ago,” Constantin von Flotow, owner, Outpost Co, said. “There’s no electricity and certainly no WiFi, but everything else is all about a pampered wilderness experience.”
Wildlife in the area includes black bears, bald eagles, moose, otters and beavers, plus the fishing is considered some of the best in the country. Tents are set on wood platform floors and covered with wall-to-wall carpeting, but the real indulgence is the food and drink offering.
“That’s our primary focus — we hire some of Canada’s best up-and-coming chefs,” von Flotor commented. “All of our food is locally sourced and prepared on site and is always paired with fantastic wines and spirits.”
6. Sky High Wilderness Ranch
With towering snowcapped mountain ranges and a wildlife population of bears and moose that outnumber humans, the Yukon is a magical destination — even more so if you’re staying in a traditional Mongolian Yurt.
Sky High Wilderness Ranches have three of these wooden roundhouse structures for rent on the shores of Fish Lake, just 25-minutes from downtown Whitehorse.
Wood-heated and with gravity fed showers, there’s no electricity and limited mobile reception, but that’s all part of the appeal. Plus, given its higher elevation, this is a go-to for viewing the famed Northern Lights. There can be few more awe-inspiring sights than an evening under the sky watching the stunning rippling green, and often multi-coloured, Aurora Borealis.
Extend your experience of Canada’s great outdoors by spending time in the solitude, peace and beauty of the Cariboo Mountains. Observe wildlife in their natural winter habitat and try out some of British Columbia’s most try the Adventure World’s Call of the Wild: Wilderness, Moose and Wolves tour. Explore this winter wonderland by snowshoe and keep watch for timber wolves, moose, caribou, cougar and deer.