The Chilko Experience

"Experiential. Adventure. Luxury."

Website: https://thechilkoexperience.com/

About

The Chilko Experience is the luxury of pursuing adventures in a pristine wilderness setting where horizon is defined by tree tops, direction by the rising and setting sun and night by galaxies clinging to the fringes of a dark sky. Home base is 25-acre private estate surrounded by five million acres of pine-clad wilderness.  The geographic features of this area are dominated by Chilko Lake and its out flowing Chilko river.  The lake is the largest alpine lake (+1,000M) in BC and the river known for its world class white water rafting and fly fishing.

Thanks to a very low population density, this high plateau known as the Chilcotin has retained an environmental integrity that includes 17 unique ecosystems.  The abundant water supplies are all based on glacier and snow melt and potable.  At Chilko there is no upstream which accounts for the water purity. 

Says resident host and estate owner Phil Huston: “It began in 1977 when I was working for a company that had some financial difficulties and I thought it would be a good time for a walk about. I traveled the western US when a cousin told me I had to see Europe before I went back to work. In Europe I met a Kiwi who said Alaska was the most beautiful place he had ever been and it was a must see before returning to the grind. I crossed BC twice on that resulting Alaskan journey and on the return leg I picked up a hitch hiker north of Prince George and he claimed the Chilcotin was fabulous and the Dean River, the best fishing ever. I bought $20 worth of groceries and headed west into the Chilcotin. After ten days of touring, fishing and visiting, I had found a new home.”

After that adventure Phil returned to Nebraska and “got married, had five kids and did not travel anywhere for 22 years”.  But he never forgot the Chilcotin and in 2000, returned with wife Anne and purchased an old guest ranch at Chilko Lake.  Two summers there with the family confirmed the location and idea were correct.  A luxury facility to connect family and friends to nature at the highest possible level was the goal. In 2002, a five-year building program began that included 14 buildings of which seven were log or timber frame homes. 

Key to this effort was Phil’s friendship with fishing buddy Bryan Reid, owner of Pioneer Log Homes of British Columbia who was the key contractor.  Pioneer is to log homes as Faberge is to eggs says Huston. There are no better log builders anywhere and to have them located in one’s backyard was a blessing.  They are log artisans and HGTV saw the potential interest of their work.  They became reality TV stars via HGTV’s Timber Kings series which has aired in over 160 countries.  

The Staff

Staff on premise serving the estate for the season number up to ten, including veteran guides who make sure that on a daily basis each guest fulfills a dream activity.

Accommodations

Accommodations are boutique and all-inclusive in nature.  A total of twelve guests is the standard maximum occupancy but up to 22 guests can be accommodated for extended family bookings.  Six custom log and timber frame homes (one and two bedrooms) are available for guest use.  Each home is unique but common features are oversized windows for maximum natural light, stone floors, hand beveled denim (blue toned) ceiling, steel roofs and tastefully furnished with antiques.  Owner Anne Huston has been an antique dealer for 40 years and her collection is extensive. See: https://thechilkoexperience.com/log-homes/

Main House was built in 2004 of repurposed Douglas fir timbers from a 1904 Kamloops grain elevator. A library, large-screen TV and movie collection vie for interest with the WiFi connection. Here 4,000 square feet of stunning architecture becomes the social and dining hub.

Dining

Dining here is a culinary celebration with Allan Schafer, a chef from Victoria, BC, who runs the show solo for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfasts are hearty enough to satisfy lumberjacks; boxed lunches are enjoyed in the wilderness or on the water; and three-course dinners follow drinks and appetizers that begin at 6:30. Guests can access an open bar. Later out on the deck in the summer twilight that lingers well into the night, guests often enjoy an 18-year-old single malt or a local brew beer served in a 20-ounce frozen mug – raising a toast to the snow-capped mountains that surround. Several times weekly bonfires and s’mores challenge the storytellers among the group. When taking reservations guests are asked about food preferences and dietary restrictions. There’s no running to the corner grocery here. It’s three hours away. The estate supports local farmers and ranchers in the region.

The Chilko Experience serves only BC based wines from local vintners.  The Okanagan Valley in BC is center stage in the wine world as the new star to watch.  Production began in the 1950’s with four wineries.  There are now over 300 wineries in the region, many of them award-winning.

Our Guests

Typical guests are extended families spanning several generations as well as couples and groups. Activities are tailored to cater to a wide range of ages and abilities.

Rates

Rates per person are based on the number of nights.  Children ages 6 and under lodge free. Ages 7 to12 visit at the half-adult rate. Singles are accommodated in the Main House with no additional single supplement charge. See: https://thechilkoexperience.com/rates/

True All Inclusive

The Chilko Experience defies the trend by being an all-inclusive boutique offering. "I know why most operations are line items based,” says Huston. “It pays better. We have chosen not to follow that model for two reasons. The first is I do not wish to be an accountant. That is not why we built what we did where we did. A guest will never get a bar bill at the Chilko Experience. The second reason is more important. If a guest declines to do an activity because of the extra cost involved they have a lesser experience than what is possible and we have a lesser product. We both lose. Why let that be a concern?"

Getting Here

Access is via private charter flight originating in Vancouver.  Flight time is one hour.  Guests can also fly commercially to Williams Lake and then drive three hours to the estate. From Vancouver it’s a 10-hour drive.

Adventures

Adventures (up to 10 complimentary guided activities per person, per weeklong visit) are conducted directly from the estate. Says host Phil Huston, “My passion is introducing people to nature at the very highest level. I have caught (and released) 10,000 fish. But it’s a lot more fun to take a 10-year old out and introduce the youngster to fishing, hiking and horseback riding. The wilderness starts at the end of our driveway, where we begin to connect nature and families.”

Adventures include:

  • Lake Kayaking and Canoeing
  • Lake Cruises – aboard 22’ cabin cruiser  
  • Lake Fishing – practiced here by the vast majority of guests.
  • Swimming in a private, on-premise, 10-acre pond
  • Standup Paddle Boarding
  • Horseback Riding with Alex Bracewell of Bracewell’s Alpine Wilderness Adventures introduces guests to third-generation pioneers who settled a nearby valley. Guests ride from the 3,000’ valley floor to a 7,000’ mountain ridge and a fossil sea bed dating back four million years. (Tip: There’s a cabin here stocked with wines.)
  • Hiking – alpine and lakeshore
  • ATV (four wheel) off-roading tours explore mile after mile of wilderness.
  • Axe throwing on a Viking axe range using Viking replica axes.
  • Blacksmithing (with a local resident) shows young guests how to create tools, bracelets and artifacts with a hammer and forge.
  • Photography is assisted by staff who know the prime vistas and times of day when the light is best. 
  • Wildlife Viewing showcases resident bears, wolves and bald eagles in abundance. From mid-September through October runs of some two million salmon attract as many as   100 grizzly bear and thousands of eagles. A mama grizzly, weighing upwards of 400 pounds, often has her cubs with her in the fall.  Male grizzlies of 650+ pounds roam and feed nearby.
  • On-Site Masseuse – Wendy Cohen (who hails from Scotland by way of Colorado) helps relax sore muscles after active days.
  • Work Outs at the on-premise, fully appointed Fitness Center may include a scramble up the climbing wall.
  • Other activities are available for an additional fee.
  • Fly Fishing for two people - $400 per private boat and guide in a catch-and-release section of a world-renowned trout fishing river. Rainbow trout and Dolly Varden up to 10 pounds are taken each year in the Chilko River.
  • Whitewater rafting (July and August) embraces scenic sections as well as a famous 18 mile stretch of continuous Class IV and V waters (the longest such course in North America) of the Chilko River. This adventure is between $250 and $300 per person, with a minimum number of participants required. Guests in wet suits and helmets practice on the water before lunch; later everyone works as a team to navigate an oar-raft with paddle assist down Lava Canyon. The local outfitter is ROAM.

See: https://thechilkoexperience.com/adventures/

Amenities

Amenitites, including copy and print services for guests who can’t leave business behind, include:

  • Complimentary WiFi
  • All meals, snacks and beverages
  • Hot tub
  • 200+ channels cable TV
  • Pet friendly accommodations
  • Service dog friendly
  • Fitness Center – 860 sq. ft.
  • Open bar
  • Complimentary laundry
  • Housekeeping service daily
  • Childcare services available upon request
  • Mobility accessible rooms
  • Complimentary worldwide calling

Chilko Lake

Located two miles from the property, the lake is the highest (above 1,000 m) and largest (50 miles long) fresh water lake in British Columbia.  The lake is in the southern Coast Mountains (Coast Range) that stretch north into Yukon territory and southerly, morphing into the Cascade Range from British Columbia into Washington and Oregon.

Sustainability

Energy sustainability is achieved by a 48-panel, 12 K solar system generating 98 percent of the estate’s energy needs; a greenhouse; a 140-foot freshwater well and recycling are also utilized.

Affiliations

  • Charter member of The Austin Collection
  • Mantis Collection
  • Villas of Distinction
  • Chilko Operators Association

Contact Information

Phil Huston, Owner/Director

Address            The Chilko Experience
                        PO Box 148
                        Tatla Lake, BC
                        Canada V0L 1V0

Phone              1.888.865.7136

Email                This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website            https://thechilkoexperience.com/

Follow The Chilko Experience on Social Media

Media Contact

Widness & Wiggins PR

Sara Widness / 802-234-6704 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dave Wiggins / 720-301-3822 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Come Fall, British Columbia Brown Bears Treat Guests to The Greatest Show on Earth at The Chilko Experience

TATLA LAKE, BC – July 10, 2018– The end of summer heralds one of nature’s most enjoyable spectator sports – brown bear watching in British Columbia.

From mid-September and into October, the Chilko River hosts one of the region’s most dramatic salmon runs that in turn attracts furry visitors who wander in to dine on a veritable feast of spawning Sockeye.

Meet the Chilko Lake grizzly bear (Ursus arctos ssp.), a large subspecies of the North American Brown Bear. Adult female grizzlies weigh around 290–400 lbs., and adult males about 400–790 lbs. with an average length of 6.50 ft.

The congregation of hungry bears can number up to 100 or so, providing a visual feast for human visitors to this remote region who are hungry to see one of Nature’s annual spectacles.

Proprietors and owners of The Chilko Experience, Phil and Anne Huston, satisfy guest appetites with friendly hospitality, complete privacy and wholesome fun in the wilderness on their private estate. Plus, they ferry their guests onto the river in boats that are positioned to witness the feeding frenzy -- but at a safe distance.

These bears are concentrated on a three-mile river segment beginning at the river's mouth and extending downstream, an area where in some years the salmon numbers exceed one million. The result is that the Chilko River has some of the finest bear viewing anywhere in North America. The reason for this concentration is that the river is located deep within the BC interior and is the only salmon-feeding option for bears within a 200-mile radius. While there may be more bears located along the coast, with the many feeding options that exist, they are more dispersed and harder to observe.

Phil Huston explains that most viewing is done by low-draft river boats with experienced guides who know to stay at least 50 meters away from the bears in order not to stress them.

“Of particular interest are the mother bears and cubs. Two cubs are common but families of three are seen also. Photographers from around the world come to Chilko to seek the perfect brown bear photo,” he says.

While the bear get to feast, fishing for salmon on the Chilko River is restricted to all but those of First Nations decent. “However, the salmon spawn draws large rainbow trout populations that challenge and reward both the novice and experienced angler,” Huston notes.

Only 12 guests a week (up to 22 if they’re extended friends and family) have the privilege of lodging on the estate in the six custom log and timber frame homes that took center stage on HGTV’s Timber Kings a few years back.Today these one and two-bedroom, artisan-crafted dwellings continue to delight visitors whom their hosts welcome like family to their exclusive estate. Each unique home shares common features: oversized windows for maximum natural light, stone floors, hand-beveled denim (blue toned pine) ceilings, steel roofs, all tastefully furnished with antiques. Anne Huston, a long-time antique dealer, has adorned these classic homes with many of her collectibles. See: https://thechilkoexperience.com/log-homes/

This season (June 1 through Oct. 21), it’s fun as usual fly and spin cast fishing, canoeing, lake cruising, horseback riding and four-wheeling in the never-ending (five million acres) forests of native pine, splashed by the world-famous Chilko River and Chilko Lake. Complimentary guided activities are conducted directly from the estate. Optional river rafting and guided fly-fishing outings come with an extra fee.

Ratesper person for this boutique and all-inclusive hospitality are based on the number of nights. Children ages 6 and under lodge free. Ages 7 to12 visit at the half-adult rate. Singles are accommodated in the Main House with no additional single supplement charge. A per person three-night stay is $2,950 and a six-night stay $5,950. See: https://thechilkoexperience.com/rates/

Most guests access the Chilko valley via private charter flights originating in Vancouver, BC. The flight time is one hour. Guests can also fly commercially to Williams Lake and then drive three hours to the estate. From Vancouver it’s a 10-hour drive.

For additional details please see https://thechilkoexperience.com/. Call toll free 1.888.865.7136 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About The Chilko Experience

The estate is a charter member of The Austin Collection and a member of the Mantis Collection, Villas of Distinction and the Chilko Operators Association. The staff practice sustainability, including recycling, at every level. A 48-panel, 12 K solar system generates 98 percent of the estate’s energy needs. On premise are a greenhouse and a 140-foot freshwater well. The abundant water supplies are all based on glacier and snow melt, so pure that residents can drink right from the lakes and streams. 

# # #

PR Contact for Information, Photos, Press Visits: Widness and Wiggins PR

Sara Widness / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / Ph: 802-234-6704

Dave Wiggins / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / Ph: 720-301-3822

Follow The Chilko Experience on Social Media:

Facebook                  https://www.facebook.com/chilkoexperience/

Instagram                  https://www.instagram.com/chilko.experience/

Twitter:                       #ChilkoExperience

 

Five Million Acres of BC Wilderness Secures the Luxury of Privacy Throughout The Chilko Experience

TATLA LAKE, BC -- June 11, 2018– Looking for the ultimate luxury of privacy this summer?

How about a stay at a family-owned, private estate situated in a recreationally rich wilderness region of British Columbia?

This is The Chilko Experience where for 12 years Phil and Anne Huston have received families and couples who are hungry for friendly hospitality, complete privacy and wholesome fun in the wilderness.

Only 12 guests a week (up to 22 if they’re extended friends and family) have the privilege of lodging in the six custom log and timber frame homes that took center stage on HGTV’s Timber Kings a few years back.Today these one and two-bedroom, artisan-crafted dwellings continue to delight visitors whom their hosts welcome like family to their exclusive estate. Each unique home shares common features: oversized windows for maximum natural light, stone floors, hand-beveled denim (blue toned pine) ceilings, steel roofs, all tastefully furnished with antiques.  Anne Huston, a long-time antique dealer, has adorned these classic homes with many of her collectibles. See: https://thechilkoexperience.com/log-homes/

This season (June 1 through Oct. 21) it’s fun as usual fly fishing, canoeing, river rafting, horseback riding and four-wheeling in the never-ending (five million acres) forests of pine, splashed by the world-famous Chilko River and Chilko Lake. Added to this summer’s mix are axe throwing on a Viking axe range using Viking replica axes. Also new will be blacksmithing with a local resident who shows young guests how to create tools, bracelets and artifacts with a hammer and forge. Up to 10 complimentary guided activities per person per weeklong visit are conducted directly from the estate. River rafting and guided fly-fishing outings come with an extra fee.

Says Phil Huston, “My passion is introducing people to nature at the very highest level. I have caught (and released) 10,000 fish. But it’s a lot more fun to take a 10-year old out and introduce the youngster to fishing, hiking and horseback riding. The wilderness starts at the end of our driveway, where we begin to connect nature and families.

Staff on premise serving the estate for the season number up to 10. These include veteran guides who make sure that on a daily basis each guest fulfills a dream activity. For the first time this season a professional masseuse will be in residence.

Dining is a culinary celebration with Allan Schafer, a chef from Victoria, BC, who runs the show solo for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfasts are hearty enough to satisfy lumberjacks; boxed lunches are enjoyed in the wilderness or on the water; and three-course dinners follow drinks and appetizers that begin at 6:30. Guests can access an open bar. Later out on the deck in the summer twilight that lingers well into the night, guests often enjoy an 18-year-old single malt or a local brew beer served in a 20-ounce frozen mug – raising a toast to the snow-capped mountains that surround. Several times weekly bonfires and s’mores challenge the storytellers among the group. When taking reservations guests are asked about food preferences and dietary restrictions. There’s no running to the corner grocery here. It’s three hours away. The estate supports local farmers and ranchers in the region and maintains an organic garden.

The Chilko Experience serves only BC-based wines, many sourced from BC’s Okanagan Valley vintners. Taking center stage in the world of wines, Okanagan is the new star to watch.  Many of its over 300 wineries have won international awards.

The geographic features of the wilderness surrounding The Chilko Experience are dominated by Chilko Lake and its out flowing Chilko River.  The lake is the largest alpine lake in BC and the river is known for its world-class white water rafting and fly fishing. The lake is in the southern Coast Mountains (Coast Range) that stretch north into Yukon territory and southerly, morphing into the Cascade Range from British Columbia into Washington and Oregon. Bears, wolves and bald eagles are abundant here, especially from mid-September through October when runs of some two million salmon attract as many as 100 grizzly bear and thousands of eagles.

Ratesper person for this boutique and all-inclusive hospitality are based on the number of nights.  Children ages 6 and under lodge free. Ages 7 to12 visit at the half-adult rate. Singles are accommodated in the Main House with no additional single supplement charge. A per person three-night stay is $2,950 and a six-night stay $5,950. See: https://thechilkoexperience.com/rates/

Most guests access the Chilko valley via private charter flights originating in Vancouver, BC.  The flight time is one hour.  Guests can also fly commercially to Williams Lake and then drive three hours to the estate. From Vancouver it’s a 10-hour drive.

For additional details please see https://thechilkoexperience.com/. Call toll free 1.888.865.7136 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About The Chilko Experience

The estate is a charter member of The Austin Collection and a member of the Mantis Collection, Villas of Distinction and the Chilko Operators Association. The staff practice sustainability, including recycling, at every level. A 48-panel, 12 K solar system generates 98 percent of the estate’s energy needs. On premise are a greenhouse and a 140-foot freshwater well. The abundant water supplies are all based on glacier and snow melt, so pure that residents can drink right from the lakes and streams. 

# # #

PR Contact for Information, Photos, Press Visits: Widness and Wiggins PR

Sara Widness / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / Ph: 802-234-6704

Dave Wiggins / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / Ph: 720-301-3822

Follow The Chilko Experience on Social Media:

Facebook                  https://www.facebook.com/chilkoexperience/

Instagram                  https://www.instagram.com/chilko.experience/

Twitter:                       #ChilkoExperience