The Cariboo wilderness is British Columbia’s cowboy country, a rugged plateau of rolling grasslands and coniferous forests bound by the peaks of the Rockies and the Pacific Coast Ranges. Resting within one of the Cariboo’s countless lake-dotted meadows is Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort, a lodge that survived a embodies the adventurous spirit of the Gold Rush settlers who came to the region more than 150 years ago. Along with the palpable pioneering spirit here, a deep communion with nature infuses every aspect of the experience. The log-built ranch house seems hewn from the surrounding forest; in the canvas cabins, morning sunlight filters through the walls and the sounds of the forest lull you to sleep. Ingredients for your meals are harvested from the working farm and gardens. The horse is the preferred mode of transportation.
Venturing out into the 10,000 acres of surrounding wilderness can instantly feel like an expedition into a bygone era. The landscapes are at times so remote, it’s easy to imagine that you’re the first person to have ever set foot—or hoof—within a secluded grove or hidden river canyon. Spend your days channeling your inner frontiersman, roaming the many miles of trail on horseback or foot. Or stay close to the ranch, soaking in the serenity of Lake Siwash and immersing yourself in the unspoiled scenery of Canada’s Wild West.
The owners of Siwash are avid naturalists, and fourth-generation ranchers and equestrians. They saved the heart of the operation from a destructive wildfire in 2017 and have since brought a theme of renewal to the lodge experience. They value a harmonious relationship between people and nature, and have applied this principle to nearly every element of the lodge’s operation. Experiences—ranging from wildlife walks and fire ecology to catch-and-release fly-fishing—are geared toward full immersion in the pristine beauty of the land, as well as participation in its thoughtful preservation. At Siwash, guests find themselves completely off the grid, free from the distractions of modern technologies, and in tune with the rhythms of nature. Environmental awareness and sustainability are also the ultimate goals behind Siwash’s signature horseback-riding program. Highly tailored riding instruction fosters the unique bond between rider and horse, eventually giving guests the agency to explore their surroundings on horseback, leaving a minimal carbon footprint. All guests—from brand new beginners to expert equestrians—can have the quintessential cowboy experience in the British Columbia wilderness after spending just a few hours in the riding arena with Siwash experts.
Each of our lodges has created a special complimentary experience offered exclusively to guests who visit through a National Geographic Expedition. At Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort, National Geographic guests are invited to choose one of the following private excursions: Forage for true morel mushrooms in the area's post-wildfire ecosystem with a wilderness guide, learning about the regeneration following the wildfire. Practice fly casting with an angling expert and enjoy your fresh catch prepared by the lodge Chef. Or ride horseback on a full-day trail excursion with a private guide, pausing to enjoy a lunch cooked over an open fire.
The original concept behind the construction of Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort was to craft an eco-lodge that existed in complete harmony with the surrounding environment, and this philosophy continues to drive the lodge’s practices today. Following a 2017 wildfire, the lodge owners incorporated The Wildland Private Nature Reserve, a non-profit and eco-tourism society that protects, studies, and showcases climate change and the sensitive ecosystems created by wildfires. The lodge has 14 land-stewardship initiatives in place to maintain and protect its wilderness areas, including the monitoring of invasive species and other ecological threats, and ensuring the retention of high water levels in surrounding wetlands. The lodge’s green practices also reflect a strong commitment to conservation: solar panels provide renewable energy; recycling is routine; biodegradable products are used whenever possible; organic produce and meats are sourced from the onsite farm and gardens; and food waste is composted or fed to ranch animals.
Want to plan the trip of your dreams? Create a custom trip around this lodge.
SHARE THIS WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY