Length: Six days (five nights)
Difficulty LevelModerate
Available to suit participant


Example Itinerary

Day 1: At 8:00am, we will meet at the Cross River Wilderness Centre main lodge for introductions and breakfast together. After breakfast, we will finish up any last-minute packing details, then head out for a two-night backpacking base camp adventure. At the trailhead, we will have an on-location safety talk, and begin the hike with a slow pace, up to a high subalpine mountain pass and ridgeline. We follow a river through dense forest, avalanche slopes, and subalpine marsh and meadow eco-systems. Once up to the pass, we will set up our base camp adjacent to a nearby river or lake. We will have free time in the evening to visit and settle in to our new surroundings.

Day 2: Today presents us with one of the benefits of base camping—out-trip choices. After breakfast, we will pack up some small day packs and head out to probably one of two places. Depending on group circumstances, we can either continue along the ridgeline, to another subalpine lake, which will also allow us to reach above treeline, with moderate physical or mental exertion; or we can challenge ourselves with a somewhat steep climb up a scree slope, well above treeline, to a high alpine mountain shoulder overlooking the entire region. There is no wrong choice; both offer great views and experiences, as well as possible opportunities for wildlife viewing and nature-based activities. Lunch will be taken on the trail and we aim to be back at base camp by around 4:30 p.m.

Day 3: After breakfast and our pack-up, we enjoy a morning stroll and exploration around the surrounding alpine ridges. We will aim to return to the trailhead by 3:00 p.m. at the very latest so that we have time to wash-up before a delicious, home-cooked, dinner back at CrossRiver. The evening is yours to relax at the Wilderness Centre, whether alone with a book, around the campfire, or in the outdoor wood-fired hot tub.

Day 4: After an early breakfast, we spend today on a full-day river rafting trip on the Kootenay River. Depending on time of year, the waters may range from Class 2 to 3+, with some short sections of low Class 4 rapids in June. The surrounding cliffs, characteristic waterfalls, and good stories along the way make this trip a fun and unique way to enjoy the mountains. We aim to be back at CrossRiver by 5:00 pm, just in time to wash up before dinner.

Day 5-6: On these two days we spend our time around the Wilderness Centre, or the surrounding landscape, participating in various inter-cultural sharing experiences with a North American First Nations elder. Possible experiences could include: various nature or medicine walks; nature awareness or inter-cultural sharing activities based on traditional teachings; earth and wilderness skills; and campfire gatherings with camaraderie, stories, and music. All experiences will introduce you to an important nature and community-based way of life. The days evolve out of the relationships that occur in a traditional way, so there is no set schedule, and the experiences themselves end up being different for each person. On Day 6, the activities will come to a close in the afternoon with enough time for you to clean up and repack before parting ways to continue on with your holiday.

NOTE: Two extra nights accommodation at CrossRiver Wilderness Centre can be conveniently arranged for an extra charge to bookend your cultural experience with a little more comfort and time for reflection.

BASE FEE (not including donation): Contact us for prices

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Base fee includes: certified guides and experienced non-elder facilitators; all meals; all non-traditional activity costs; group gear and supplies; PFDs; wet/rain gear for the river; all necessary permits; three nights cabin accommodation, based on double occupancy; and river and trailhead transportation. Group and family discounts are available.

Note: 12% taxes are extra.

: All traditional activities with an elder are by offering or donation only, and are not included in the listed base fee (see more about offerings and donations here).

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