Outdoor enthusiast Lucas Hansen grew up at the West Coast Wilderness Lodge, located on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast.
His parents, Paul and Patti Hansen, established the lodge in 1997 as a wilderness retreat which offered schoolchildren and corporate groups the opportunity to learn about and enjoy the beautiful B.C. outdoors.
“My Dad is a big believer in the outdoors and getting people outside,” Hansen says.
Since its beginning, Hansen has witnessed a number of changes that have transformed the lodge into a world-class tourist destination.
In 2003, the existing facilities were remodelled and additional services were added to include an improved restaurant, front desk and an Adventure Centre that caters to in-house guests and other visitors in the area.
The rooms were enlarged and upgraded to deluxe accommodations, and in 2006 and 2007, they were remodeled once again with large bathrooms and an addition of a private balcony for each room.
The Hansens made the strategic decision to locate the lodge in Egmont for its close proximity to Vancouver and its spectacular scenery, including sites such as Chatterbox Falls, Freil Falls and the Skookumchuck Rapids.
When visitors come to the West Coast Wilderness Lodge, not only are they staying in comfort, they’re able to explore the best of the Sunshine Coast with day trips for all levels of wilderness experience.
Here, Hansen recommends three of the best day trips to take from the West Coast Wilderness Lodge:
Princess Louisa Inlet
“Coming here and not visiting Princess Louise Inlet would be like going to Egypt and not going to see the Pyramids,” Hansen says.
West Coast Wilderness offers an incredible 130 km boat or float plane tour of the stunning rainforest Fjords of Princess Louisa Inlet.
Carved out by glaciers over a millenia ago, the granite walled forge of Princess Louisa Inlet features mountain peaks of over 7,000 feet topped with snow.
West Coast Wilderness Lodge offers a signature tour that gives guests the opportunity to witness the spectacular natural wonder by air and by sea. Enjoy one leg of your journey by floatplane, and the other by boat to give you a chance to experience both a bird’s eye and up close and intimate view of the stunning landscape.
Twenty minutes away by boat ride through scenic Jervis Inlet, Hotham Sound is not only one of the deepest waterways on the B.C. coast, but also one of its warmest. Because of its sheltered location and the amount of sun it receives, the water in the sound can be as warm as 23 degrees in July and August.
“We’ve had guests go into the incredibly warm water and when they come out they ask us if we’re sure this is still the Pacific,” Hansen says.
Hotham Sounds also features the stunning Freil Falls, which at 1,400 feet tall is considered to be the longest free-standing waterfall between the Sunshine Coast and Alaska.
Hansen recommends for guests who are new to kayaking or want something that requires less physical exertion to take advantage of the resort’s jet skis. While we’re used to seeing people whipping around at high-speeds on jet-skis, they can also be driven slowly and safely as a great way to get around on the water and go for long distances.
“It’s about being able to see what you want, but being extremely comfortable and safe,” Hansen says.
Village of Egmont
The Lodge offers an exciting hour-long zodiac tour that allows guests to experience the power of the currents of the Skookumchuk Raipds and visit a colony of friendly seals on Lone Tree Island.
“When you’re on this huge boat and get pushed around by mother nature, it gives you way more perspective than you can see by land,” Hansen says.
“It also gives you a thrill and gets that adrenaline going.”
To learn more about West Coast Wilderness Lodge and the packages offered, visit wcwl.com.