What is Heli-Hiking?  

In Summer

Photo: Roko Koell | CMH Bugaboos

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WORDS BY ALISON JONES | FEBRUARY 3, 2018

Two words, one unbelievable experience.
But what is heli-hiking exactly?

Photo: Katie Goldie | CMH Cariboos | What is heli-hiking?
Photo: Katie Goldie | CMH Cariboos

Lifting off from the helipad on arrival day, the heli points its nose to the deep bliss of backcountry British Columbia, and flies. Busy roads are replaced with an endless swathe of deep green trees that blanket the valley floor, only releasing their grip on the land to the towering peaks bursting through the Earth to touch the sky. Threaded through the valley below are silver ribbons of streams playfully glinting in the warm summer sun, each carrying icy cold water from the massive glaciers above. After 15minutes, you spot it. Nestled within the wild is the lodge. Your home where you’ll relax in true off the grid wilderness. But this isn’t slumming it. Say hello to gourmet food, big views, and flying to remote locations where you’ll explore this very landscape with your highly-qualified guide.

Here’s the daily itinerary for your luxury adventure vacation.

Photo: Patch Bennett | CMH Bobbie Burns | What is heli-hiking?
Photo: Patch Bennett | CMH Bobbie Burns

Morning
Rise and shine! Join the morning stretch class first thing in the well-equipped exercise room of the lodge, or choose to sleep in a little longer. A hearty breakfast is served at 8am.

On a morning, the guides will post a list of the different hiking groups on the notice board. It’s here that you find who you’re teamed with for the day based on your preferred fitness ability. We want to ensure that you’re happy with the pace of the group (fast or slow) so that you can enjoy your trip.

The first heli leaves at 9am. You’ll take-off from the lodge and fly to a location that will blow your mind. Your guide takes the lead setting a comfortable pace, and you’ll roam among the mountains, taking photos and breathing in the big scenery. During the day, the heli may move each group to three or four different areas giving you a chance to experience a variety of spectacular settings and terrain.

The mileage covered per day varies from approximately 1km (1/2 mile) to 15km (9 miles) – guests hike as much or as little as they desire.

Photo: Taylor Burk | CMH Bugaboos | What is heli-hiking?
Photo: Taylor Burk | CMH Bugaboos

Lunch
Served picnic-style out in the field, you’ll pack your lunch first thing on a morning from a great selection of food freshly crafted by the chef. This is also the time that you can choose to return to the lodge for massages and bevvies, or you can continue hiking.

Photo: Toby Harriman | CMH Cariboos | What is heli-hiking?
Photo: Toby Harriman | CMH Cariboos

Afternoon
More exploring, more incredible views, more memories.
By late afternoon, we fly back to the lodge for tea, drinks, hot tub time and a gourmet dinner.

Photo: John Entwistle | CMH Bugaboos | What is heli-hiking?
Photo: John Entwistle | CMH Bugaboos

Evening
A three-course dinner is served at 7pm. But don’t feel like you have to dress up, this is backcountry luxury, where slippers are welcome and story swapping is encouraged. The rest of your evening can be spent chatting at the bar, playing in the games room, walking around the grounds or sinking into plush couches in the lounge.

Photo: Lyle Grisedale | CMH Bugaboos | What is heli-hiking?
Photo: Lyle Grisedale | CMH Bugaboos

This summer, you can choose from 2, 3, 5 or 7-day Heli-Hiking trips in British Columbia to the Bugaboos, Bobbie Burns or Cariboos. Trips options also include via ferrata climbing, an opportunity to embark on the best family vacation possible, or to join an award winning photographer on a workshop in the best classroom in the world. Read more about a luxury summer adventure vacation in British Columbia >>