Hidden valleys, secret snow stashes and gorgeous structures lay patiently waiting to be explored just on the outskirts of Whistler. All it takes to find them is a little clue to realize what’s available outside of the main village. While we know it’s not a proper trip to Whistler without stopping by the village, we also think it’s pretty cool to have your own Whistler experience deep in the mountains that surround it. Our backyard is scattered with places just waiting to be discovered, and we can’t wait to share this one with you! Most recently the Gibbons crew headed to Callaghan Country’s Journeyman Lodge, a place that most definitely should be on your radar, even if it’s not on most maps! Trust me when I say that you’ll want to do more than just hear about this place, you’ll want to experience it. The closest we can get you to that experience is our video, so check it out, let the FOMO set in and book your trip to a gorgeous part of our backyard that is rarely seen!
Our monthly video series is all about showcasing our backyard in ways that you haven’t seen it before. We want you to make Whistler your own when you visit. From exploring the wildest waterfalls to remote heli biking locations to snow powered adventures for all, we want you to leave this place with a set of memories that are without a doubt uniquely your own! And maybe a few blurry ones for après on one of our patios.
Getting to Journeyman Lodge
The lodge itself sits 12 km from the nearest road, which is the parking lot at Callaghan Country Cross Country Ski Trails nestled next to the famous Alexander Falls. To reach the lodge, there are a few options depending on your preferred method of travel. The most common way to access to the lodge is on cross-country skis. Rentals are available at the Callaghan Country base. The freshly groomed trails make it a smooth glide to the lodge. Snowshoes are also a great way to reach Journeyman. If you’re like us in this video and backcountry skiing makes you tick, you’ll most likely enjoy a ride in a snowcat to Callaghan Lake where you begin your tour and then make a powder filled descent down the slopes of Morning Glory right to the lodge. All you’ll need with you is your daypack – water, snacks, safety gear, and extra warm layers – your overnight packs will be shuttled up to the lodge for you! In the video we took a snowmobile up, but note that this isn’t a normal method of transportation for arriving at the lodge. For the love of our camera gear, we had special treatment.
When you arrive at the lodge, you’ll feel instantly at home as the incredible staff welcome you to their backcountry palace! Take off those cold and possibly sweaty layers, slip on some cozy slippers and prepare to relax. Some say Mountain Time isn’t a time zone it’s a lifestyle and here that proves to be true! Fireplaces crackle throughout the 5000 square foot, three-storey lodge. Running water means you can warm up with a hot shower and enjoy the simple pleasure of flush toilets in the backcountry – a serious treat! Each sleeping quarter is unique, some with full private suites for couples, other large family or group suites as well as individual sleeping quarters with shared washrooms. There is a price point and sleeping option for everyone at Journeyman Lodge.
Meals are something you’ll really look forward to here! Warm coffee, tea, freshly made cookies and fruit are always out and available. The warm, hearty and flavorful dinners are fit for a backcountry King or Queen! With that said, try not to fill up on the scrumptious appetizers served fireside before dinner. Homemade granola, fresh fruit and yoghurt keep breakfast simple and a bit lighter for recovering from a big dinner without sacrificing an ounce of flavour. Lunches can be served to go if you’re headed out for a big day of backcountry skiing or a long cross-country ski. Otherwise, soup and sandwiches will be waiting for your lunchtime arrival.
One of our favourite parts of visiting Journeyman Lodge wasn’t even in the lodge; it was a handcrafted sauna just a short walk away sitting on the water’s edge. The lodge crew gets the fire blazing just in time for your arrival back to the lodge so you can warm up properly and maybe even embrace a polar dip!
Experiencing the Area
The library, pool table, dartboard, sauna, fireplaces and comfortable lounge chairs could keep you happy inside all day at the lodge, and while extremely tempting to do, we recommend that you get outside! Exploring begins at the doorstep of Journeyman Lodge each morning, and it’s never the same. The massive network of trails wind to and past multiple lakes, rivers and viewpoints. Touring objectives can take you into pillow fields, gladded trees, tight couloirs, glacier-capped peaks and alpine ridges. It’s a guarantee that these experiences will take your breath away with their beauty.
While it seems wild to think that Journeyman Lodge is not the only hidden treasure of this calibre around Whistler that most haven’t heard of, we can promise it’s the only lodge of this size and scale with so many backcountry activities to offer! We love the possibility of seeing something new, exploring a new area and always returning to what we know and love, the heart of Whistler.
For more inspiration on making Whistler your own, check out these other posts as part of our video series:
- The Return of Summer – teasing you with everything that is great about summer in Whistler
- Adventure is Waiting: Beautiful BC – detailing how you can create your own Whistler adventures
- The Canadian Beach Party – showcasing epic Whistler alpine activities
- Alpine Adventures – featuring an amazing day of Whistler heli biking and boarding
- Changing of Seasons – showing off all that Whistler in the fall has to offer
- The Backcountry Sauna – inspiring you to build a DIY outdoor sauna in the backcountry
- The Return of Winter – embracing winter through snow activities and all things cozy