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Family-Friendly Backcountry Adventures in the Kootenays

Memories are made in the mountains. And there’s no better place to spend time with your family and make new memories than in one of the many backcountry lodges found the Kootenays, BC’s mountain playground.

Picture waking up to a hearty breakfast and freshly brewed coffee while glancing out across the still waters of an alpine tarn. Then lace up the hiking boots and follow your guide as you traverse across wildflower-filled meadows, over glacial creeks, and up onto mountain ridges. Stop for lunch on the shores of an emerald-green lake, then return to the hut to relax in the sauna as your chef prepares a 3-course dinner fit for royalty. These are memories that will last your family a lifetime.

The wildflowers (Indian Paintbrushes) blooming in August; photo courtesy of Purcell Mountain Lodge

Purcell Mountain Lodge sits on the edge of the Purcell and Selkirk Mountains just west of Golden, BC. The complete summer package includes 3, 4 or 7-night stays in their three-story timber-framed lodge overlooking the iconic Mt. Sir Donald.  Included in the package is your helicopter flight in, daily guided hikes, a sauna, and all meals.

Out exploring the terrain at Mistaya Lodge; photo courtesy of the Lodge

Heading across the Columbia River Valley, Mistaya Lodge straddles the continental divide of the Canadian Rockies.  This family-owned and operated lodge contains six spacious guest-rooms – enough for the whole extended family. Choose between the fully catered main building or opt for the do-it-yourself Wildcat Cabin if you prefer to do all the cooking.

One of the alpine lakes in Valhalla Provincial Park; photo courtesy of Ice Creek Lodge

Skip the flight in and tackle the 9-km hike into Ice Creek Lodge in Valhalla Provincial Park, where the 10-guest timber lodge awaits your family’s stay. Go with a non-catered experience (for a more economic vacation) or add on a professional chef and ACMG guide to give you more time to relax.

Stopping to take in the stunning views of the Valhallas; photo courtesy of Valkyr Adventures

For the experienced hiking family, take a hut-to-hut traverse with the experienced guides at Valkyr Adventures. Stroll over ridgelines and between alpine meadows as you roam between the Valkyr Lodge, Hilda Hut and the Outpost. Trips and packages are completely customizable to suit your group!


Know Before You Go – Plan ahead so you can travel safely and responsibly. Familiarize yourself with weather, road conditions, general alerts for travellers and provincial health orders & recommendations.

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Top/cover photo courtesy of Purcell Mountain Lodge (wildflowers in the high alpine).

Words by Mark Locki. Mark is a photographer and writer based in Kimberley, BC. An avid traveller throughout the Kootenays and abroad, he enjoys exploring the natural world, camera in hand, seeking out compelling stories. He’s often found deep in the backcountry, running, climbing or on skis, challenging himself to discover new scenes and viewpoints. 

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