Secluded Timber Lodge Near Canada's Glacier National Park
Extending for little more than 500 square miles (1,300 sq. km), British Columbia's Glacier National Park is still no slouch when compared to the much larger U.S. park of the same name. Bordered by the Selkirk and Purcell Mountain ranges, the park is home to cedar and hemlock forests, several glaciers, and a 3.7-mile (6 km) network of sinuous passages and caverns known as the Nakimu Caves. Steps from the east entrance to the park's expansive wilderness, you'll find the Heather Mountain Lodge, a rustic chalet that recalls bygone days when Glacier National Park was a rugged outpost for adventurous mountaineers.
The lodge's fir and larch timber frame is set amid quiet grounds frequented by ducks and chickens. Although the Trans-Canada Highway is nearby, civilization is still refreshingly far-off. The closest restaurant (aside from the hotel's eatery) is about an hour away.
In the lodge's great room, a natural-stone fireplace crackles beneath exposed wooden beams, and you can play pool at the billiards table. Up in the two-queen mountain-view rooms, woodsy brown tones complement velvety comforters and original artwork. Windows look out on dramatic views of the Columbia Mountains. The onsite restaurant uses herbs and vegetables grown in the lodge's own garden. There's also an outdoor fishpond and sprawling fields of wildflowers. You can hike the nearby trails with the help of a complimentary guidebook or take a soothing soak in the outdoor hot tub.
Golden, British Columbia: Small-Town Charm Surrounded by Breathtaking Geography
National parks and forest preserves surround the small town of Golden on almost every side. One of the most well-known—located about an hour from downtown—is Glacier National Park, whose rivers and snow-capped mountains are ideal for recreation year-round. The park is home to native wildlife that runs the gamut from mountain goats to grizzly bears.
The Trans-Canada Highway takes you through the Selkirk Mountains via Rogers Pass. Locomotives still chug along vintage black bridges built into the mountainside by the Canadian Pacific Railway. Every winter, Rogers Pass is blanketed with heavy snowfall, but in June, the trails open to hikers and mountain climbers eager to explore the forests. Trestle Trail is a relatively easy hike, and there's an outdoor theater near the trailhead. Families will want to visit Rogers Pass Centre to check out indoor and outdoor exhibits celebrating the area's railroad history.