BRITISH COLUMBIA

Best Floating Lodges In B.C. (PHOTOS)

08/11/2013 12:31 EDT
Nimmo Bay Resort

For adventure seekers and avid anglers, the draw to B.C.’s floating lodges can prove irresistible.

Floating lodges are exactly that: accommodations saddled on top of water, anchored to nearby land. They can range in scale from small to huge, and in style from luxurious to rural man-cave charm.

Many are only accessible by float plane, allowing anglers to avoid over-fished areas. Though historically float lodges have been perceived as boys' clubs, some now offer spas and children's activities in order to attract more women and families.

King Pacific Lodge is one of the more popular floating wilderness lodges in B.C. Located in Barnard Harbour just south of Kitimat, the 17-room luxury resort has received a string of awards including a Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice award for Top Resort in Canada 2011.

For those who prefer raw wildlife thrills over luxury, Paddler’s Inn in Simoom Sound is the place for kayakers and paddling enthusiasts. The emphasis here is on wildlife tours and hiking more than fishing. Don’t forget to pack your bear spray.

Check out pictures of five breathtaking B.C. floating lodges here:

Best Floating Lodges In B.C.

King Pacific Lodge, Princess Royal Island

Nestled within Barnard Harbour in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest, King Pacific Lodge (KPL) is a fly-in resort accessible only by float plane. Located 90 kilometres south of Prince Rupert near the southern tip of the Alaska panhandle, KPL is as remote as you can get without letting go of the comforts – and gourmet food – of a luxury hotel.

Activities at the 17-room, family-friendly “luxury adventure hotel” include heli-hiking, wilderness kayaking and whale watching. Ocean fishing, similar to the other lodges on this list, is the main attraction. Patient anglers can test their luck hooking salmon, lingcod, halibut and rockfish in KPL’s surrounding waters.

Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort, Nimmo Bay

Accessible only by air or water, Nimmo Bay is a family-owned and operated wilderness resort built on the water by the edge of the Great Bear Rainforest on the northern coast of Vancouver Island. With a 5,000 ft. onsite waterfall that provides the resort’s green-hydro power and drinking water, guests don’t have to venture far from their private cabins to enjoy the area’s breathtaking charm.

No Internet service here, you’ll have to settle with finding satisfaction among a broad selection of activities that include paddle boarding, bear watching, rock climbing, snorkeling, yoga, and boat picknicing. Yes, boat picknicing.

Paddler’s Inn, Simoom Sound

Located in a part of British Columbia where neighbours are more likely to trade radio frequencies than cell phone numbers, Paddler’s Inn is a “must visit” destination for beginner and experienced kayakers. From Telegraph Cove on Vancouver Island, the trek to Paddler’s Inn takes about 2-3 days by kayak, 2 hours by boat and 20 minutes via float plane. Along the way, you may cross paths with eagles, sea otters, dolphins, and orcas.

Guests have the choice to book accommodations in the common lodge or private floating cabins. Kayaks are available to rent. Pets are also allowed.

Great Bear Lodge, Port Hardy

A floating lodge built to shelter grizzly bear and eagle watchers is as epic as it sounds. Located 80 miles from Port Hardy at the northeastern end of Vancouver Island, Great Bear Lodge is open from May to October. A typical day includes two grizzly viewing tours led by biologists, wilderness meals, and boat trips along the untamed edges of the rainforest.

Nootka Sound Resort, Nootka Sound

Billed as a “first-class salmon fishing lodge, fun family vacation resort and corporate retreat,” Nootka Sound Resort (NSR) is an attractive destination to escape to if you want to try your line at tidal fishing in generous waters. Located 10 minutes away from its land-based sister resort at Moutcha Bay, NSR is a 22-bedroom floating lodge with outdoor firepits perfect for swapping stories with fellow anglers. Guests can drive to Moutcha Bay and be picked up via boat to NSR.

The fishing in this area has been described as “spectacular,” according to recent guests who've reeled in large numbers of Conuma spring salmon.