Description: The journeyman lodge is a luxury backcountry accommodation nestled in the mountains. You have the option of booking a sleeping room only (shared bathroom) or a more expensive room with its own bathroom. The lodge has a big lounge with a pool table (that can be converted for table tennis as well), board games, books, a fireplace, and lots of giant comfy sofas and chairs. Après ski snacks are provided at 5:00 pm and a four-course dinner at 7:00. The evening food is original, high-end, and incredibly delicious. Dinner is served at a single long table for all lodge guests, and the après ski snacks are brought into the lounge.
The trek in to Journeyman is about 13.5 kilometers/8.4 miles, and can be done on cross-country skis, snowshoes, or regular hiking boots (depending on conditions). It’s mostly uphill (560 meter/1,837 feet gain in altitude). If you don’t want to ski/snowshoe/hike, you can pay for a very expensive snowmobile ride (approximately $120 at the time of this writing).
Cost: This will vary based on the type of room you book and the season (prices range from $119 to $214 at the time of this writing – see the Journeyman Lodge Suites & Rooms page for details). You’ll also need to purchase passes if you’re skiing or snowshoeing (anywhere from $5 to $19 depending on your age, the day of the week, activity preference, and group size).
Time: This will also vary significantly depending on how you’re traveling and your proficiency on skis or snowshoes. Really good skiers can expect to do it in 2.5 hours or less, whereas others should allow 3 to 5. We hiked in for the first few kilometers as there wasn’t much snow lower down due to unseasonably warm temperatures. At around the 3-kilometer mark, we put on the cross-country skis. The trek overall (including both hiking and skiing) took about 4.5 hours with stops for snacks and photos. Two of us were brand new to cross-country skiing, which slowed things down. Hiking out for the return trip at a very brisk pace took about 2.5 hours with brief photo stops.
Difficulty: There weren’t many steep hills, and the steepest ones tended to be pretty short. However, the journey to the lodge is nearly all uphill, so it’s a good workout (expect to burn 3,000 to 4,000 calories, according to the Journeyman Lodge website).
Required Equipment: In addition to whatever you’ll be putting on your feet (skis, snowshoes, hiking boots), you should have gloves, warm socks, both thinner and warmer layers (conditions can be quite variable and temperatures drop as you get higher up), plenty of food and water for a strenuous day, sunglasses, sunscreen on bright days (we managed to get a little sunburned doing this hike at the end of February, though it was pretty warm this year), and bandages or moleskin for blisters (we also a thermos full of hot chocolate, which I highly recommend)
- The trek in provides a great workout, and you get some fantastic mountain views along the way on a clear day.
- They’ll take your extra luggage up by snowmobile, so you don’t have to haul all your stuff.
- The lodge is large, yet cozy, clean, and well-maintained, and it’s surrounded by beautiful snowy forest and mountain scenery.
- The beds are very comfy, with big soft quilts.
- There is a sauna nearby (though you have to walk five minutes through the snow and climb a bunch of stairs to get to it).
- The staff are friendly and helpful.
- They have tea, coffee, and hot chocolate ready to go most of the time.
- The après ski snacks and four-course dinner were amazing.
- There was plenty of hot water for showers.
- They shut off the generator from 10:00 pm to 7:00 am. There are oil lamps you can use if you’d like to stay up later, but you only get one toilet flush during the downtime, so use it wisely.
- Breakfast was decent, though not gourmet like the evening meal, and they ran out of a lot of the good stuff relatively early (fruit, multigrain bagels, hard-boiled eggs), so later risers were stuck with cereal and bread.
- On a warm year like this one, skiers and snowshoers have to carry their gear for several kilometers uphill before they can put it on because the snow is so patchy lower down.
- You can rent gear (cross country skis, snowshoes, etc.) at the base of the trail (renting climbing skins is also an option to make the uphill slog in skis much easier).
- Bring your own bathroom stuff (including soap or shower gel) – the lodge provides towels, but that’s it.
- You can’t purchase alcoholic beverages at Journeyman, but you’re allowed to bring your own.
- The lodge offers guided adventure packages.
- You can’t just show up – you need to make a reservation. See the Journeyman Lodge website for details.
- For more information about the trek in, see the Journeyman Lodge Self-Propelled Access page.
For more activities in BC and beyond, see the main Activities page.
* Conditions and prices may have changed since the time of this writing (last updated 16 March 2015).