Secluded Timber Lodge near Canada's Glacier National Park
Extending for little more than 500 square miles (1,295 sq. km), British Columbia's Glacier National Park is no slouch even when compared to the much larger US park of the same name. Bordered by the Selkirk and Purcell Mountain ranges, the park encompasses 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 park’s east entrance, you'll find Heather Mountain Lodge, a timber chalet set on quiet grounds frequented by ducks and chickens.
Although the Trans-Canada Highway is nearby, civilization is still refreshingly far-off; the closest offsite restaurant is about an hour away. Fortunately, Heather Mountain Lodge has its own restaurant, where gregarious head chef Dan Bracko uses herbs and vegetables grown in the lodge's own garden to perfect each dish. There's also an outdoor fishpond and sprawling fields of wildflowers. For an active afternoon, hike the nearby trails with a provided guidebook and bagged lunch, or feel free to relax with a soothing soak in the outdoor hot tub.
In the lodge's great room, you can get in a quick game of pool near the natural-stone fireplace underneath exposed wooden beams. Up in the two-queen mountain-view rooms, you’ll be welcomed with woodsy brown tones, velvety comforters, and original artwork. Windows look out on dramatic views of the Columbia Mountains.
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. A one-hour drive takes you to Glacier National Park, where rivers and snow-capped mountains create a stunning backdrop for year-round recreation. Explore the park on foot by hiking through gentle trails, or by biking through the mountain-lined valleys. Those visiting could see mountain goats, grizzly bears, and mountain caribou.
Hop on the Trans-Canada Highway—one of the world’s longest roads—to drive through the Selkirk Mountains via Rogers Pass. Here, 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 the trails open in June to hikers and mountain climbers eager to explore the forests. Families will want to visit Rogers Pass Discovery Centre to check out indoor and outdoor exhibits celebrating the area's railroad history.