A Resort Destination that Anglers and Wranglers will Love!
By Jane & Brent Cassie
Contributors to Travelink Publishing
"Home, home on the range," we jokingly sang out, while roaming the dusty roads of Douglas Lake Ranch terrain
Dotted with stands of timber the 500,000 picturesque acres of rolling hills is, in fact, home to a number of families who help maintain this largest working Canadian cattle ranch. Red-roof tops depict their ‘company town’ and the general store emanates historical charm from its well-preserved 1884 foundation.
Wide spread accommodation options are available to ‘get away from it all’ whether in need of a family holiday, a business retreat, or as in our case, a little rest and relaxation. Many other guests are lured to this destination for an alternate form of R&R as well reels and rods! Lakes teaming with Kamloops rainbow trout have created this world-class fly fishing resort from April to November, and although you can’t take your dinner home with you, the ‘catch and release’ doesn’t deter the anglers!
Embraced by ponderosa pines and nestled onto the tranquil shores of Stoney Lake was our getaway destination. Just four years young, this adult-oriented Stoney Lake Lodge accommodates up to thirty-two guests that have the privilege of enjoying its fine amenities and exquisite cuisine. Decorated in a classic Canadiana theme, we were impressed with the lobby’s post and beam interior that reflected onto Navajo fabrics, rich fir floors and lush carpeted areas. A grouping of soft leather furniture warmed by the sensational floor to ceiling creek rock fireplace was an inviting spot where we later challenged each other to a game of Scrabble. While enjoying the surrounding serenity, the fronting windowed wall showed-off the peaceful lake vista and rolling hills beyond.
Lake views extend from all eight spacious guest-rooms. Here, appropriate western-style motif flows throughout, where two comfy queens provide inviting sleeping quarters and coffee makers promise early risers a pot of fresh brew.
Lodge Manager, Jennifer Lake, greeted guests upon arrival and was also found assisting with meal-time management and organizing activities to suit guest’s varying needs. In combination with recreation opportunities, three exquisitely prepared, and personally served meals are included with each daily stay.
A delectable farm-fresh creation, including strips of crispy bacon, Spanish-style scramblers and complimenting tasty ‘taters’ started off our day, and provided us with more than enough energy to explore the miles of surrounding terrain on the lodge’s mountain bikes. Clearly marked back-road paths, boasting a colourful array of lupins, buttercup and fire-weeds, magically transform to x-country ski trails when the winter weather arrives.
Picnic lunches can be requested to permit entire day outings, or for those who prefer, a sensational hot entree is served in the dining room.
Although not into angling, we did enjoy a relaxing row around part of the lake, followed by a ride on the range. Directed by Wendy, the skilled and knowledgeable wrangler, we loped through fields of alfalfa in hopes of spotting a little wildlife. Cougar, coyote, badgers, and bear are just a few that roam these parts. Unfortunately all we spotted were a few timid chipmunks and a couple of resident pooches.
Joining others later, we mingled over happy hour while sharing the day’s angling and wrangling experiences. Thanks to Vince the Chef, dinner as no surprise, was superb. Saffron-seasoned scallops, and spinach salad starters were followed by roasted duck divinely complimented with wild rice pilaf.
The pulsating hot-tub jets later soothed sensitive saddle sores and from its idyllic lodge deck location, we were mesmerized by the glow of the golden setting sun. In just a few months, the lake before us would freeze over, providing excellent opportunities for skating and cross-country skiing. Snow shoes would replace sandals and from this ‘massaging hot spot’ would be a vista of rolling hills blanketed with snow. Although the scenery may vary, if in need of a little R&R, whether it be for rest, relaxation, recreation, or romance, it doesn’t get much better than this, whatever time of year you visit.
If You Go:
Douglas Lake Ranch
Douglas Lake, BC V0E 1S0
Phone: toll free: 1-800-63-4838 or 250-350-3344
Web site: www.douglaslake.com
From the city of Vancouver BC:
Highway #1 to Coquihalla Highway to Merrit BC
For our State-side neighbours:
Through Sumas, take Highway #1 to Coquihalla Highway to Merrit BC
From Merrit, take the 290 exit to 5A take 5A north
Follow specific pre-assigned directions once on ranch property
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