Let Me Introduce You to Glamping…With Grizzly Bears

Feb 24, 2014

Let Me Introduce You to Glamping…With Grizzly Bears

The average American receives 16 days of paid vacation per year. 16 days. That’s only 4 percent of the year for road-tripping to the coast, sunbathing on the beach, waiting in line at Disney World (not my first pick) or whitewater rafting (yes, please). The options are endless for how to spend these precious vacation days, and for many, camping wouldn’t be the leading choice. Unless…

Cue segue to glamping.

Glamping is the combination of camping and luxury. It’s the idea of making sleeping in a tent, well, glamorous. Glamping is comfort. Glamping is delicious food. Glamping is microbrews and fine wines. Glamping is still camping in the outdoors. But with style.

I know, I know, there are those of us out there (myself included) who are content to sleep under the stars with just a pad separating us from the earth and a sleeping bag from the sky. Much as we’re not alone, we’re not the majority. But, it’s my belief that people who experience the outdoors will be more likely to want to preserve our wilderness. So, if that means glamping, then I’m all for it.

Chilko Lake, BC

Bear Camp at Chilko Lake is glamping at its finest. Located deep in the wilderness of British Columbia, a scenic charter flight transports you over the coastal range and into south central British Columbia, presenting an unforgettable 360-degree view of Chilko Lake before you land. As the only resort next to Ts’yl-os Provincial Park, the options for guided hiking, fly-fishing, rafting, kayaking and SUP boarding surround you, and you have them almost completely to yourself.

Brian McCutcheon from ROAM (Rivers, Oceans & Mountains) and his crew worked tirelessly last season to build Bear Camp at Chilko Lake, a feat in logistical prowess for such a remote location. What is this mysterious Bear Camp you ask? Simply put, it is an intricate tree house for adults.

Built 14 feet off the ground on lakefront property, six safari-style tents are connected via wooden walkways that weave through tall, thick trees, keeping these quarters accessible, yet secluded. Each 28’ x 20’ unit is fashioned with sleep inducing beds, down comforters and handmade teak furniture. The best feature of the tents? The view.

A large communal tent is top choice for cocktail hour and sunsets, and is at times used for massage therapy, yoga classes, meditation and the occasional dance party.

Bear Camp at Chilko Lake, BC

Although the height of the wooden structure provides excellent wildlife watching and sunset viewing during the summer months, it’s really in the fall when this place lives up to its name. Grizzly bears gather at the lake to feast on the sockeye salmon run, and there’s no better seat in the house than high up on the walkway within safe distance of the wild animals.

This, my friends, is what glamping is all about—outdoor adventures in distant locations, experienced within the coziness of a bed, the warmth of a hot shower, and the satisfaction of a gourmet meal. This is a whole new kind of camping.

Photos: Brian McCutcheon

 

Related Articles:

British Columbia Rafting: 7 Reasons to Go Now

Where Not to Go if You’re Out of Shape

The Ultimate Camping Experience

 

Joslin Fritz
Joslin is a river guide, international tour leader and freelance writer. When not on the river or leading a tour abroad, she enjoys playing the ukulele, stand up paddleboarding and perfecting her Moscow Mule recipe. But not all at the same time. She lives (for now) in Seattle. You can learn more about Joslin here.