Purcell Mountain Lodge
|Location||On top of a mountain! View Google Maps|
About Purcell Mountain Lodge
Purcell Mountain Lodge is a fly-in-fly-out-only back country mountain top resort located atop the stunning alpine slopes of Bald Mountain, in the northern Purcell Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. Located a short, but thoroughly majestic 15 minute Alpine Helicopter ride west of Golden, BC, we enjoyed our stay the Purcell Mountain Lodge during the summer, but it’s open all year long and offers all kinds of ski, snowshoe, and hiking adventures for every skill level from tiny tyke to supreme adventurer. Avalanche Safety Training courses are also offered as well as geology tours, and packages that involve other lodges! They even do weddings and photo shoots! There’s an adventure out there and its waiting for you.
- The lodge is fly-in, fly-out only via helicopter
- It sits at 2200m (that’s 7200 feet!!) elevation
- Open all year with summer and winter activities
- They also host weddings, anniversaries, corporate retreats
This secluded luxury lodge has only one way in and out: a helicopter ride from the picturesque town of Golden, British Columbia. Well, you could definitely hike up and down (13km hike each way) but the incredible helicopter flights in and out are something that shouldn’t be missed AND your flights are included in your booking fee!
It’s recommended you stay in Golden the night before, so you can arrive at the hangar for your early morning flight. Purcell Mountain Lodge has partnered with local Golden hotels to offer a great rate for it’s guests. We chose the Prestige Inn for our overnight stay, with Mini and I enjoying a King size room with a super comfy bed and sitting area. Bonus points for the bathroom TV and the well-stocked mini fridge, the pool & fitness area, and the yummy Cantina located on the property. It was a short drive from the hotel to the hangar, so we arrived at Alpine Helicopters with plenty of time to spare for our 8:00am flight. Once there, we filled out our waivers, were weighed as a group (we took a few helicopters up because of our group size), and handed over our gear and luggage to make sure we didn’t go over the weight limit (25 lbs / person). Gotta pack light, which is something I totally excel at! (Look for a travel section coming soon with all of our best packing and travel hacks.)
Taking a helicopter over the The Rocky Mountains is absolutely breathtaking.
What To Expect At The Lodge
There are a few different options for accommodations at Purcell Mountain Lodge, depending on your preference and how many people are in your group. We stayed in the main lodge, with the staff, where we enjoyed the use of 6 rooms with a variety of bed combinations to fit any sleeping arrangement! We had a bunkbed with a double on the bottom and a twin on top, a sink, and a lovely little balcony where we took in incredible sunsets every night.
The main lodge is so big that even with us taking up six rooms, there was still more than enough space for the 6 staff members that were there during our trip!
There is also a guest house beside the sauna for a more private experience where you can cook your own meals and enjoy your time with your group. It’s also a great option for private guides wanting to bring small groups into the lodge. There’s a small bar area, living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom and coat room on the main floor. The basement houses the staff rooms and storage. The top floor small library, lots of rooms, bathrooms and showers, and each floor has a massive wraparound veranda with Adirondack chairs. We spent loads on time sipping tea and watching the hummingbirds at the many feeder, and the ground squirrels scurrying about.
When You Arrive
Your helicopter will land just outside the lodge, on their own little helipad , where the staff will greet you and your gear will be offloaded while you head inside to partake in a continental breakfast spread that has been laid out along with coffee and tea at the ready! Once the helicopters have brought everyone and all the gear is inside, the staff will introduce themselves, assign your rooms to you, and you will be free to take your bags and unpack. After everyone is settled in and unpacked, lunch orders are filled out for the week by all the guests and given to Chef to prepare. Soon it will be time for the staff to explain the day and the options for hikes, while finding out everyone’s skill level.
Food And Drinks
When we were getting ready to board our helicopter to the lodge, the departing guests that had just landed called out to us “Better loosen your belts! You’re going to be eating like royalty the whole time!” They weren’t kidding! Every morning there was pans of eggs, bacon, fruit, granola, yogurt, pastries and juices, and of course all the tea and coffee you can drink, Lunch was according to what you chose, a sandwich/wrap, fruit/veggies, and a cookie.
After hike snacks consisted of things like flatbreads, charcuteries, and other appetizers. Dinner was always a three course meal consisting of salad, crackers or rolls, a meat or pasta main, and a dessert. We enjoyed fish, bison, pappardelle, mousse, cake, pavlova and so much more during our stay. For being at such a remote location, they sure do have a lot of food.
Things To Do At The Lodge
Your day is up to you and staff are available to lead hikes of all skill levels, or you can hike on your own for the day (with proper communication & safety equipment, of course), or even hang out at the lodge and enjoy yoga on the wraparound deck, have a steam in the wood burning sauna, play board games, curl up with a good book in the main lodge, or nap away in front of the fireplace!
We had hikers of every skill level with our group so we had an easy hike, a harder hike, and two pairs that hiked on their own. We also had a few times where one of us would hang back at the lodge for the day. Everyone had a fantastic time, regardless of what they did over the four days we were there.
Everyone returns to the lodge by about 4:00 PM where Chef had gourmet appetizers ready for everyone before sauna and showers were had, followed by hanging out in the living room for reading, games, and chat until Chef rang the dinner bell at 7:00 PM. A three course meal awaited us every night, even catering to our sauce hating mini and a pescatarian relative.
After dinner everyone would usually shower if they hadn’t already, and enjoy quiet time on the deck to watch the sunset with a cup of tea or nightcap before bed.
If you enjoy hiking, this is the resort for you. Hikes generally last about 6 hours or so, with breaks as needed for photos, gazing at the scenic vistas, snacks and water breaks, and a stop to enjoy your gourmet bagged lunch. Our guides were super knowledgeable about the wildlife, flora & fauna, peaks, and everything in between. There was all kinds of wildlife to photograph and learn about (even a bear) and the guides made sure to keep in contact with each other and the lodge to make sure we were always safe on the trails.
The views experienced are unreal. I still am in awe of the things I experienced on our trip. These pictures hardly do them justice.
When It’s Time To Leave
On your last day you will get up early for breakfast and to tag your luggage, strip your beds and bundle your linens, and helicopter out in groups as you did on the morning you arrived. There is merchandise you can purchase at the mini gift shop while you say your goodbyes and exchange emails so staff can send you pictures from the hikes. Alpine Helicopters will pick you and your luggage up at the lodge and fly you back to their hangar where your car will be waiting for you.
Purcell Mountain Lodge is simply breathtaking. Every step is surrounded by picturesque moments you can’t find anywhere else in the world. If you get an opportunity to visit, you’ll never forget it. We came, we saw, we loved!
Crackmacs are a team of Calgary based bloggers, writing about and sharing food, drinks, things to do, events, contests, charities, travel/tourism, parenting, politics, lifestyle and all kinds of other content.