Strathcona Park Lodge sits on the edge of a vast lake system in the shadow of Vancouver Island’s highest mountains. The Discovery Expedition brings in the best of both worlds – campers will paddle down fjord-like Buttle Lake with snowcapped mountains all around and hike deep into Strathcona Provincial Park to visit one of its hidden jewels, Landslide Lake.
After arriving at Strathcona Park Lodge you’ll meet your fellow Expedition members and your instructors. The instructors will show you around the Lodge and will play some fun games so everyone can get to know each other. You’ll also begin planning your Expedition. Dinner is in the Whale Room, our dining hall, and the first night is spent at the Lodge.
To the High Ropes Course you’ll go. Suspended 40-feet in the air this exciting challenge is a fun introduction to your Expedition. After lunch at the Whale Room you’ll pack canoes and set off for a three day canoe trip. The trip starts on Upper Campbell Lake with its intricate shoreline full of bays and sandy beaches before passing through the narrows into Buttle Lake, and Strathcona Park.
Exploring coves, bays and river mouths you’ll paddle down Buttle Lake under the towering massifs of snow capped mountains. The scenery is spectacular looking down this long and narrow lake. In camp you’ll work as a team to set up shelter and make meals. You’ll learn about no trace camping, canoe strokes and more. If the wind blows you’ll hoist a sail and relax before returning to Strathcona Park Lodge before lunch on day 4. After lunch you’ll be able to test your climbing skills on one of the rock climbing bluffs and then move onto the bouldering wall where you’ll learn about technique. You’ll then head to a rock cliff near the lodge and you’ll learn rock climbing etiquette, proper harnessing, climbing, belaying and the rappelling technique. After your climb, enjoy a meal in the Whale Room and a night at the Lodge.
An after-breakfast shuttle will land the group at the Elk River Trail in Strathcona Park – this will be the start of a three day hike. This excellent hike climbs through old growth forest to Landslide Lake, one of the most scenic lakes on Vancouver Island, surrounded by the towering walls of Mount Colonel Foster. This is your group’s opportunity to use everything you have learned to fully manage the navigation, campsite selection and set-up, and meal planning and preparation. Upon completion of your hike, head back for a celebratory feast in the Whale Room and your final night camping together at the Lodge.
After packing up, enjoy a final morning of fun and games before traveling home.