Exploring the Chilcotins by Horseback

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On most days, Tiffany Soper can be found balancing tight deadlines and competing demands from her busy office in central Vancouver. As co-owner of a successful public relations agency, Tiffany appreciates the excitement and energy that can be found with urban living – but when she needs some downtime, she’s happiest exploring quiet trails and open spaces with her horse, Holly and dog, Monte.

Tiffany on Horseback in the Chilcotin Region. Photo: Geoff Moore

Tiffany on Horseback in the Chilcotin Region. Photo: Geoff Moore

Tiffany’s recent visit to British Columbia’s Chilcotin region gave her the chance to truly slow down and explore, by horseback, an area with a personal connection to her own family: her grandfather was once a bush pilot in the region, exploring and fishing some of the area’s many lakes. In some ways, not much has changed since her grandfather’s time.  The vast area still has many remote areas inaccessible by road and the expansive terrain is ideal for exploring by small plane, like those operated by Tweedsmuir Air.

Tweedsmuir Air provides access to remote lakes and valleys of the Chilcotin region. Photo: Geoff Moore

Tweedsmuir Air provides access to remote lakes and valleys of the Chilcotin region. Photo: Geoff Moore

Tiffany’s love of horses runs deep: “I definitely feel relaxed when I’m around horses,” says Tiffany, “I feel happy, peaceful and relaxed. When I walk into the barn, I let go of any stress and I’m in the moment, spending time with the horses.” Her equestrian skills are appreciated in this region, long settled by ranchers, and her guides are the indomitable Bracewell family who have operated multiday packhorse trips through their company Bracewell’s Alpine Wilderness Adventures for generations. “I immediately felt at home,” says Tiffany, “The people who live here very much represent what this place is about, and seeing it through their eyes is special. It’s hard work – they’re up with the sunrise, taking care of the animals. It’s important to maintain ranching traditions and I respect this lifestyle – to have such an authentic experience is amazing.”

Bracewell’s Wilderness Adventure Resort in BC’s Chilcotin Region. Photo: Geoff Moore

Bracewell’s Wilderness Adventure Resort in BC’s Chilcotin Region. Photo: Geoff Moore

Bracewell’s Wilderness Adventure Resort in BC’s Chilcotin Region. Photo: Geoff Moore

Bracewell’s Wilderness Adventure Resort in BC’s Chilcotin Region. Photo: Geoff Moore

Leaving city life for the wilderness of British Columbia’s mountains and forests is welcomed by Tiffany. The area she visited is known as the ‘Chilcotin Ark,’ a vast wilderness area featuring grasslands, lakes, mountains and waterfalls. “This is the ultimate experience for me: to be on a ranch in the middle of the wilderness – it’s very special,”she says. “I appreciate having time in nature to think and reflect, and consider what’s important in my life.”

Tiffany on horseback in the Chilcotin grasslands. Photo: Geoff Moore

Tiffany on horseback in the Chilcotin grasslands. Photo: Geoff Moore

Tiffany looks forward to exploring the region even further, and knows her next trip isn’t far away, “ I love to travel and experience new things,” says Tiffany. And the pull of her home province runs deep; “BC has so much to offer, and that’s why I love it so much. It has everything; great city life, the mountains, the ocean, lake country… and then remote places like this, that are just breathtaking  – I don’t think I’d want to live anywhere else.”

View from Bracewell’s Wilderness Adventure Resort, overlooking the Chilcotin Ark. Photo: Geoff Moore

View from Bracewell’s Wilderness Adventure Resort, overlooking the Chilcotin Ark. Photo: Geoff Moore

See the video of Tiffany’s trip to the Chilcotin region:

Plan your own horseback and guest ranch adventure in the Chilcotin on HelloBC.com.