Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort

Sample 6-day Itinerary—Canadian Cowboy Country

Curated exclusively for National Geographic

Saddle up to cowboy country during a six-day exploration of Canada’s Wild West. Channel your inner frontiersman as you explore British Columbia’s pristine Cariboo wilderness on horseback and foot, and try your hand at fly-fishing, skeet shooting, archery, and more.

Your experience at the lodge will be tailored to your interests. The sample itinerary below was designed for National Geographic travelers and can be customized as you wish.

Highlights

  • Ride horseback on a full-day trail excursion with a private guide, pausing to enjoy a lunch cooked over an open fire high atop a scenic mountain bluff. (National Geographic Exclusive)
  • Wade into crystalline waters and learn to cast your line for wild rainbow trout in stunning Crater Lake.
  • Swim in private Lake Siwash, and explore its far shores by kayak or stand-up paddleboard.
  • Learn survival skills at a hands-on primer on backwoods basics, practice aiming a bow and arrow across varied terrain, and try skeet shooting and hatchet throwing.

Day 1—Arrive Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort

Toast your arrival with a glass of champagne, followed by a private tour of the lodge. Set out to explore Lake Siwash by kayak, gliding across the shimmering blue waters and listening for the haunting loon’s call. Discover an old beaver lodge, rare breeds of wild ducks and geese, and—tucked away on the far shore—the original homesteader’s cabin. Meet other guests at happy hour before dinner by candlelight amid the hand-hewn log walls of the ranch house.

Day 2—Ride into the Wilderness

Wake up to fresh coffee and a basket of muffins delivered to your door, and head down to the ranch house for a hearty Canadian breakfast. Today, roam the rugged foothills of the Cariboo Mountains on horseback, starting with an orientation with a professional horse guide who will pair you with one of the lodge’s gentle, well-trained horses and then lead you on a private trail ride. Pass through golden grasslands and verdant valleys; breathe in the aroma of saddle leather mixed with wood smoke, wildflowers, and pine; and stop atop a scenic bluff for lunch cooked over an open fire. Later, enjoy hors d’oeuvres on the sun deck, followed by a three-course dinner. Wind down the evening listening to live music around a campfire.

Day 3—Fly-Fishing

After breakfast, learn the art of fly-fishing on a full-day guided excursion. Set out with your private angling guide to cast your line in one of the nearby rivers or lakes, soaking up the solitude as you wade into clear, cold waters to catch (and release) rainbow trout. Break for lunch along the water, then continue on to Crater Lake and its accompanying waterfalls. Try traditional spin casting from shore or fly-fish the falls. Later this afternoon, grab a mountain bike and helmet from the lodge’s rack and go for a spin on the dirt tracks, grassy paths, and backcountry gravel roads of Siwash’s 100-plus miles of trails. Dine on Chef Derek Bendig’s esteemed pasture-to-plate cuisine, starring homegrown ingredients from the ranch and foraged herbs and berries from the surrounding woodlands.

Day 4—Archery and Shooting

Enjoy a country-style breakfast in the ranch house, then spend the morning learning to accurately aim and shoot with a bow and arrow. Join expert guides as you tackle the varied terrain of the lodge’s cross-country archery course. After lunch, trade your bow and arrow for guns and hatchets. Work on your aim throwing hatchets at a wooden target in the forest and hone your marksmanship at the ranch’s private gun range, which has both skeet as well as fixed and animated target shooting. Later, after alfresco appetizers and dinner in the ranch house, master the two-step along with other guests during a country dance night in the open-air, timber-frame pavilion.

Day 5—Survival Skills

This morning, get a crash course in wilderness survival skills. Build a shelter in the forest using only the natural materials at hand, light a campfire with a bow drill, learn how to track animals and find water and food, and try your hand at other backwoods basics. Back at the lodge, enjoy lunch outside, then spend the afternoon at your leisure. Breathe in the sun-warmed pine at an outdoor yoga class, or indulge in a massage at the tented spa. Before dinner, head down to the dock and go for a dip in the half-mile-long private lake.

Day 6—Depart

Linger in your room over hot coffee and muffins before joining other guests at your final breakfast in the ranch house. Before packing up to leave, glide around the lake one last time on a stand-up paddleboard. Transfer to the airport for your flight home or on to your next destination.

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