April 07, 2009 | Tips from Travellers >
Find more information about Squamish - Snowshoeing
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If you’re relatively fit and have your own backcountry camping gear, the Elfin Lakes Route in Garibaldi Provincial Park makes for a scenic overnight snowshoeing trip within easy reach from Vancouver.
In mid-February, I joined six other friends for a snowshoeing adventure weekend. Our plan was to stay overnight in the hiker's cabin at Elfin Lakes, but when we got there, we discovered that someone had constructed three igloos just a short walk from the cabin. A closer look revealed that they were all vacant, so three of us decided that this was an opportunity we couldn't pass up! We definitely made the right choice... even though the temperature was below freezing and my boots had turned into blocks of ice by morning, we had a better sleep than the rest of our group who opted for the crowded (albeit toasty-warm) cabin.
The route to Elfin Lakes is 11 km (7 mi) one-way and is well marked. However, be sure to bring tire chains during the winter months for the sometimes icy drive to the trailhead. And if your heart is set on staying overnight, come prepared to camp outside, as the cabin fills up quickly on weekends.
December 04, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Lillooet, Historic & Heritage Sites
Find more information about Lillooet - Historic & Heritage Sites
Last month, my friends and I were invited to sample a set of three new cultural mini-tours that are being developed by the St’at’imc Nation in Lillooet
. The St'át'imc are the original inhabitants of the territory that includes Lillooet and ten other communities in the surrounding area.
If you’ve never been to this part of BC before, it’s an area of stark contrasts – particularly if you approach it along Highway 99 from Vancouver as we did. In a matter of just four hours, the highway traverses coastline, rainforests, mountain valleys, mountain passes, and glaciers before descending into an arid and dramatically scenic land of rugged canyons, mountains and plateaus that surround Lillooet and the mighty Fraser River.
As I pass through these varying landscapes, I’m always mindful of the fact that there was a time when the inhabitants of this land thrived without such things as automobiles, electricity and other modern-day conveniences… they thrived by learning to live harmoniously with the land. Fortunately, much of this wisdom has been passed from generation to generation. And in 2007, when the St’at’imc cultural tours become available to the public, visitors will be invited to gain some fascinating insight into these traditions.
The sample day-tour that we were invited to participate in consisted of three segments. The first was a narrated walk around the Lower Seton River Spawning Channel, situated just outside of town. Our guide Jennifer enthusiastically shared her wealth of knowledge on the history of the channel and explained some the many uses of the area’s local plants.
After the spawning channel tour, we made our way over to the Julianne Hall for a wonderful theatrical performance that included traditional singing and dancing. This was accompanied by a lunch feast of such treats as Smoked Salmon Pate or Herb-Roasted Venison on Fresh Baked Bannock, Venison - Barley Soup, and White Cake w
December 14, 2005 | Tips from Us >
Whistler, Festivals & Events
From December 17th to the 30th, Whistler’s
community centre for arts, culture and inspiration -Maurice Young Millennium Place- will be completely transformed into a winter wonderland for the inaugural North Pole Central festival
. This family-oriented festival is sure to get you into the Christmas spirit.
At noon on December 17th, the festival kicks off
with Santa arriving in Whistler on the Fire Rescue Service’s No.1 fire engine. Live music, street performers, children’s activities and hot chocolate will round off the day’s festivities.
Over the following two weeks visitors can get involved in a variety of fun events. There will be daytime activities on Whistler Blackcomb, indoor craft workshops, seasonal sing-alongs, holiday films, and headline music and comedy shows.
Kids will want to visit Santa’s workshop to deliver their letters and get their photo taken with the big guy himself. Be sure to stop by the festive holiday beverage bar to satisfy your hot chocolate and eggnog cravings.
Maurice Young Millennium Place is located on Blackcomb Way near Village North.
September 19, 2005 | Tips from Us >
New Denver, Festivals & Events
Those words are proudly displayed on my souvenir t-shirt. The event, which has become so popular, they've moved it from the village of Hills to the larger community of New Denver, was definitely a highlight on my recent five day road trip in the West Kootenays
. Venders from all over BC were there selling a wide variety of home-grown organic garlic. Prices averaged $6 to $9 a pound. If you've never had organic garlic before, I can tell you it's well worth it. A single clove has the same potency as four or five cloves of non-organic grocery store garlic... and the flavour and aroma is incomparable. I ended up with four pounds of garlic, a jar of organic garlic powder and, of course, the official t-shirt. The Garlic Festival was more than just garlic. There was musical entertainment, arts and crafts for sale, and plenty of food venders selling everything from garlic-buttered popcorn to borscht and organic buffalo chilli.
August 10, 2005 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Squamish - Hiking
A friend and I recently hiked the Elfin Lakes Trail in the Diamond Head Area of Garibaldi Provincial Park
. If you're reasonably fit and haven't done this one yet, add it to your 'must-do' list. From the trailhead, an 11 km (6.8 mi) gradual uphill grade will lead you to a pair of pristine ridge-top lakes and an overnight shelter. Be warned: if you forgot your camera, the 360 degrees of mountains and glaciers will taunt you. Swimming is allowed in one of the lakes, and the water at the moment is surprisingly warmer than bone-chilling. My friend went for a dip and was amazed by the lake's clarity! he said he could see his feet as clearly as if he were standing on dry land! The Elfin Lakes Trail sees a lot of use on summer weekends, but on a weekday you'll likely share it with only a dozen people or so. A tip: suntan lotion and insect repellent strongly recommended. For additional hiking suggestions see the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Hiking page