Valentines Day – Cross country Skiing, Delicious Breakfasts, off season rates

Valentines Day

Enjoy a world class getaway this Valentines Day weekend. Stay at Valley Hideaway Guest House in Clearwater, BC. Enjoy our low off season rates. Savour our delicious breakfast menu.

Your suite includes a comfortable master bedroom with a queen sized bed. An attached sitting room overlooks the backyard and into the forest beyond. You have exclusive use of the spacious comfortable living room with a wood burning fireplace. Your dining area has plenty of complementary delights, including a variety of coffees and teas, snacks and more.

Candle Creek Cross Country Ski Trails

Bring your cross country skis. Guests during the Valentines Day weekend will receive free passes to the Candle Creek Ski area. Enjoy miles of groomed trails. You may also want to take some time to do a self guided winter waterfall tour,

 

Helmcken Falls is a must on your self guided winter waterfall tour this Valentines Day weekend

Helmcken Falls

 

or nordic ski in Wells Gray Provincial Park.

Valley Hideaway Guest House is ideal for that romantic Valentines Day weekend retreat, or grab some friends and come as a foursome. The guest area also includes a second bedroom with two twin beds which can be combined into a larger bed on request.

Make Clearwater BC, Wells Gray Park and Valley Hideaway Guest House your destination for this  weekend. Space is limited so book now.

 

 

Book Your Stay with us

 

Cannabis Free Zone - Valley Hideaway Guest HouseNo Smoking inside the guest house or on the premises

 

Winter Summer Spring and Fall

It takes all year to do it all

In Clearwater

 

Valley Hideaway Guest House is open year round.

Nordic Skiing Special

Nordic Skiing

Come and ski Clearwater/Wells Gray because we have some of the best nordic skiing (cross country skiing ) trails  found anywhere. If well groomed trails are your thing … we have them. Tens of thousands of kilometres of wilderness await if you prefer to break trail.

Candle Creek

Ski approximately 30 km of woodland nordic skiing trails just minutes from town. The Candle Creek Nordic Ski Trails are maintained by the local Wells Gray Outdoor Club.  Trails are regularly groomed and track-set. Be certain to take time after skiing to warm up in the warming cabin and enjoy a visit with locals .

You can bring your dog and/or your snowshoes because a number of the trails are canine friendly and/or snowshoe friendly!

 

Candle Creek Ski Trail Map

The Birchleg

Looking to enjoy a special event? Check out the Birchleg on Feb 1, 2020. Dress up and ski in costume.

 

Birchleg Participants -Candle Creek Nordic Skiing

Birchleg Participants – Photo courtesy of Wells Gray Outdoor Club

The Legend

The Birchleg is a fun nordic skiing event in early February renenacting a cross country ski trip made by two Viking warriors in the 13th Century. Rivals murdered King Haakon of Norway in 1204 during a time of civil war and his infant son was in immediate peril of the same fate. The baby was carried to safety in Trondheim by two Viking warriors  loyal to the dead king and his heir.  Their flight was in midwinter, skiing 55 kilometres across the mountains. Armed with a battle-axe and spears the warriors held the infant safely behind their shields. Eventually, young Haakon Haakonson grew to adulthood and returned to Norway to claim his father’s throne.

Access

Follow Highway 5, about 1 km northeast of the Wells Gray Info Centre. Turn left onto Candle Creek Road and follow it for roughly 2 km, then turn right on Barber Road. The parking lot is at the end of this road.

Nordic Skiing Special

Stay at Valley Hideaway Guest House in January or February and receive a free one day ski pass to the Candle Creek Trails. Bring your own skis because rentals are not available in town, but the skiing truly is world class.

 

Book Your Stay with us

 

Cannabis Free Zone - Valley Hideaway Guest HouseNo Smoking inside the guest house or on the premises

 

 

Edmonton to Vancouver Pro Tip

Edmonton to Vancouver Pro Tips

Since long distance driving is a fact of life for many people, allow me to share a pro tip or two to keep you safe and make your driving time more enjoyable and safer. The Edmonton to Vancouver (or Vancouver to Edmonton) trip is a regular haul for many.

 

Rest

Get plenty of rest before you head out, don’t wait until fatigue hits. Stop and stretch every hour or so. The few minutes it adds to the trip will be worth the extra comfort and safety.

If you start to feel tired, pull over and get some fresh air. If you can do so safely, take a brief nap.

Pre Trip Checklist

Make sure you do a visual inspection of your vehicle before heading out. Do all the lights work properly? Are you fluid levels topped up? Do you have extra windshield washer? How are you’re wipers? Tire pressure okay?

Have you loaded everything you needed to take? Bags, sunglasses, wallet? GPS or map?

Did you lock the house door? Turn off the water? Let someone know when you expect to arrive (and return)?

Have you booked your overnight rest stop in Clearwater?

Fuel Up

Keep your vehicle at least half full all the time. Travelling mountain roads may have extended delays at times.

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can sneak up on you and impair your reaction time. Keep plenty of water in the vehicle and don’t wait until you are noticeably thirsty before having a drink of it.

Listen Up

Many experts recommend listening to audio books or comedy shows. They can keep your brain active without distracting you. Music can be good as well, but some songs can tend to make your foot a little heavy on the gas … you know them.

Avoid Distractions

Put away your cell phone and other distracting devices. Not only can they be dangerous distractions, the use of them can bring hefty fines. Few things ruin a trip quicker than an expensive traffic ticket.

Watch the Speed Limit

Speed limits are in place for a reason. Even if you are an “excellent” or “professional” driver who can handle your vehicle at higher speeds, remember you are not the only driver on the road. Police radar can’t tell the difference between you and a poor driver. In the same vein … passing lanes are there for a reason, as are no passing zones. Respect them. Stay safe out there.

Much of the highway between Edmonton and Vancouver is also a wildlife corridor. Keeping an eye out for critters by the road combines with sticking to the speed limit will reduce your chances of a dangerous encounter.

Emergency kits

Keep a seasonally appropriate emergency kit in your vehicle at all times. Maybe you will never have to use it, but if you need it and don’t have it …  well, you know what they say about that.  A quick online search can give you a list of what to pack, or your local Motoring Association and many retailers carry ready to go kits.

Roundabout as you enter Clearwater from the north

Pro Tip – Stop in Clearwater BC

Clearwater is an ideal spot for a stop, either for a short rest and stretch or an overnight (or even longer stay). A number of hotels are available, or better yet spend a restful night at one of our world class B&B’s. There are lots of options to choose from.

There are two service stations to keep your car fueled up (one on Highway 5 and another on the Old North Thompson Highway), a variety of restaurants (on and off the highway) and more.

Many people pass right through without any idea about the local amenities. Take a break and have a picnic at Dutch Lake Park. Explore nearby Wells Gray Park with its pristine rivers, waterfalls, lakes and forests (Spahats Falls, one of Canada’s most beautiful is only about 12 minutes off the main highway). The Park is beautiful year round and plenty of recreation activities of all types are available

Forgot something at home? A variety of stores in town will likely have what you need.

Pro Tip – nearing Metro Vancouver

When driving to Vancouver (or heading west from there) fuel up in Abbotsford, fuel prices are 10-15 cents/litre less than metro Vancouver.

Where to stay?

So you have decided to stop and stay in Clearwater, where should you stay? I’ll confess to some bias here. There are numerous excellent B&B’s in the area and some good hotels and motels as well.  My personal favourite is Valley Hideaway Guest House, on Sunshine Valley Rd, right in Clearwater.

Valley Hideaway is open year round.

Book with us

Plan on spending at least couple of days at least in the area. There is lots to do and plenty to see.  Valley Hideaway Guest House is open year round to meet your Clearwater and area accommodation needs.

Winter, Summer, Spring and Fall .. it takes all year to do it all … in Clearwater

 

Book your stay with us

 

No Smoking inside the guest house or on the premisesCannabis Free Zone - Valley Hideaway Guest House

Fish Clearwater and area

Fish Clearwater and area.

Calling all anglers – come fish Clearwater and area. Clearwater BC is a great destination for a holiday/fishing trip year round, but particularly in the autumn. More than 50 lakes are within an hours drive of town, with great fishing for rainbow trout, brook trout and kokanee. There are a number of easily accessible small lakes in Wells Gray Park and surrounding area. Dutch Lake, located right in the town of Clearwater is home to rainbows and kokanee. Fish the Clearwater and North Thompson rivers. The North Thompson hosts more than a dozen species of game fish, including various salmon in season.

Enjoy a first class breakfast in our B&B, then hop on out to one of the nearby lakes or streams, fish to your hearts content then come back, enjoy supper at one of the great local restaurants  and relax in your spacious suite.

What gear do you need? You can fly fish Clearwater and area or you can use spinning gear. On some of the larger lakes you can troll for bigger fish. Want to know where to go? Check with your local host, hire a guide or check out the map at the Clearwater Hatchery.

A valid BC angler’s licence is required for those 16 and older. A license can be obtained at numerous local retailers or purchased online. All anglers are encouraged to be current on and follow BC Fishing Regulations (copies available online or where you purchase your licence).

A Recent Trip

My wife and I were out one hot day earlier in August at one of the small local lakes located about a 40 minute drive away. On the drive we saw plenty of wildlife including a young mule deer buck, four black bears, a pair of yearling bull moose and plenty of small game and birds. There was only one other boat at the lake.

We fished for several hours during the heat of the day (far from an ideal fishing time) and landed 20 rainbow and brook trout, keeping two fat rainbows for supper. We were spin casting but plenty of fish were feeding at the surface so I am sure a fly fisherman would have a lot of action. For every fish we landed we lost 2 or 3.  A few minutes to load up, a short drive and back home for supper. A great way to spend the day.

Teach Your Kids to Fish

The Clearwater Trout Hatchery, located right in town has a community  stocked trout pond. There is even equipment on site to borrow. The fishing is catch and release, but it is free (and children under 16 don’t need a licence). It is a fun place to watch the fish with good odds of catching them as well.

Valley Hideaway Guest House

Make us your first choice for accommodation in Clearwater BC. We are ideally located for visitors to Wells Gray Provincial Park or travellers between Vancouver and Edmonton.

Book with us

Plan on spending a couple of days at least in the area. There is lots to do and plenty to see in addition to the first class fishing.  Valley Hideaway Guest House is open year round to meet your Clearwater and area accommodation needs.

Winter, Summer, Spring and Fall .. it takes all year to do it all … in Clearwater

 

Book your stay with us

 

No Smoking inside the guest house or on the premisesCannabis Free Zone - Valley Hideaway Guest House

 

Explore Wells Gray Park – Over, Under, Down the Middle

Over, Under, Down the Middle – Explore Wells Gray Park

The Park

On a short visit to explore Wells Gray Park, how can you make the most of what world take a lifetime of exploring? You canu go over, under or down the middle. Wells Gray Park is a world class jewel of near pristine wilderness. Covering over 5200 sq. km there are mountains, glaciers, forests, rivers, waterfalls, lakes and more. There is wildlife to see. It is impossible to see it all in one trip … or even one lifetime. (so come often and come in different seasons, every day is different).

This is the Canada you imagined. However you plan to explore be sure to check in at our Wells Gray Information Centre and talk to your local hosts for insights you won’t find online.

Over

Take a scenic flight with Wells Gray Air and explore Wells Gray Park in a way most people never get to.. There are a number of flights daily.

Helmcken Falls From the Air – Photo courtesy Wells Gray Air

Under

Okay, under is a little tricky because at this point there isn’t really a way to get under (in the future, with the discovery of what is possibly Canada’s largest cave that may change). You can travel down the Clearwater River getting views far below those seen by the average waterfall viewer. There are three first class whitewater rafting/ rafting companies locally to make sure you see the sights, pump your adrenalin and maybe get you wet.

Down the Middle

You can take a self guided driving tour and see some of the wildest waterfalls anywhere, including Helmcken (Canada’s fourth highest falls). There are plenty of hiking trails ranging from a few minutes long to days travelling hut to hut. You can hire a guide to give you insights into the geography and biology of this area. 

There are cross-country (Nordic) ski trails and snowshoeing trails for the winter visitor. For the adventurous there are some wild rides on the mountain bike trails.

Perhaps you are more of a horseback enthusiast. A number of ranches offer tours for everyone from total novices to very experienced riders.

Where to stay?

Whether you go over, under or down the middle you will need a place to stay at the end of the day’s adventures. Where should you stay? I’ll confess to some bias here. There are numerous excellent B&B’s in the area and some good hotels and motels as well. There are also a number of nice campgrounds. My personal favourite is Valley Hideaway Guest House, on Sunshine Valley Rd, right in Clearwater. Wherever you choose to stay, book well in advance.

Valley Hideaway is open year round.

Book with us

Plan on spending at least couple of days at least in the area. There is lots to do and plenty to see.  Valley Hideaway Guest House is open year round to meet your Clearwater and area accommodation needs.

Winter, Summer, Spring and Fall .. it takes all year to do it all … in Clearwater

 

Book your stay with us

 

No Smoking inside the guest house or on the premises

Cannabis Free Zone - Valley Hideaway Guest House

Autumn Delights – Wells Grey and Area

AUTUMN DELIGHTS

Visit Clearwater in September and October and experience the Autumn Delights. The autumn season is less busy that the peak season and the wilderness has a beauty all its own.The water flow over our many falls is lower than the spring but they are still awe inspiring. Catch them on an early foggy morning for a surreal view you will remember forever.

The leaves are changing bringing new colour to the deciduous trees. The reds and yellows flash against the deep green of the coniferous trees.

Clearwater River in Autumn

Birds heading south for the winter will be passing through giving extra opportunities for adding to your life lists.

The cooler weather makes it ideal to try your hand at trail riding on horseback. Several local area ranches are available to guide you.

Fall weather is typically a little cooler than the summer but is ideal for hiking. In addition, the animals (particularly the Park’s black and Grizzly bears) are preparing for winter and moving around more, so wildlife, viewing opportunities are good. Remember though that these are wild animals so stay safe and don’t get too close. The deer, moose, wolves and more in the park are around all year.

Autumn at the Lake

 

Autumn is a great time to fish for trout and Kokanee in the many local lakes. Remember that a valid BC Angler’s Licence is required. There is even a local trout pond loaded with rainbows for free catch and release fishing. They have gear for you to borrow.

Need still one more reason? Off season rates are typically lower so you still get to enjoy the pristine wilderness but for less. Bonus!

Valley Hideaway Guest House

Make us your first choice for accommodation in Clearwater BC. We are ideally located for visitors to Wells Gray Provincial Park or travellers between Vancouver and Edmonton.

Book with us

Plan on spending a couple of days at least in the area. There is lots to do and plenty to see.  Valley Hideaway Guest House is open year round to meet your Clearwater and area accommodation needs.

Winter, Summer, Spring and Fall .. it takes all year to do it all … in Clearwater

 

Book your stay with us

 

No Smoking inside the guest house or on the premisesCannabis Free Zone - Valley Hideaway Guest House

New Farmer’s Market

Upper Clearwater’s New Farmer’s Market

Last week marked the successful launch of the Upper Clearwater New Farmer’s Market. There were plenty of fresh baked goodies and farm fresh produce on hand. There were hand made sweaters, walking sticks and a yard sale. A raffle with great prizes was being held raising funds for the Upper Clearwater Fire Department. We took home some baking, some fresh corn and a few books. We also got to visit with some friendly local vendors.

While the launch was small, we expect it to grow as the weeks pass. The location is great for those coming and going from Wells Gray Park. Plenty of free parking is available.

In talking with the vendors we were impressed with their community spirit. Not only did the want to bless Upper Clearwater and its visitors, they set the time and day for the market to not conflict with our in town Saturday market.

Support your local farmer’s market. Quality local products and fair pricing.

Make a day of it, enjoy the world class scenery of Wells Gray Park and make a stop at the Farmer’s Market on your way back into town.

Upper Clearwater’s New Farmer’s Market

 

Location of Farmer’s Market

Upper Clearwater Community Hall

5276 Clearwater Valley Road
Clearwater, British Columbia

(about 25 km up the Park road) between Moule Falls and Dawson Falls.

Days and Times

Thursdays 3:00-7:00 PM (Summer season)

Valley Hideaway Guest House

Make us your first choice for accommodation in Clearwater BC. We are ideally located for visitors to Wells Gray Provincial Park or travellers between Vancouver and Edmonton.

Book with us

Plan on spending a couple of days at least in the area. There is lots to do and plenty to see.  Valley Hideaway Guest House is open year round to meet your Clearwater and area accommodation needs.

Winter, Summer, Spring and Fall .. it takes all year to do it all … in Clearwater

 

Book your stay with us

 

No Smoking inside the guest house or on the premisesCannabis Free Zone - Valley Hideaway Guest House

 

 

Delicious Treats

Delicious Treats

Yesterday afternoon, Kathy and I took a road trip and stopped at some new places for delicious treats. The drive was a familiar one, up Clearwater Valley Road towards Helmcken Falls in Wells Gray Park. While the drive is familiar, it is never the same twice, the scenery varies from day to day, hour to hour year round and we never get tired of seeing it. There are some new snack stops in the first 30km, that we want to introduce you to.

Helmcken Chocolates and Waffles

Conveniently located in the parking area of Spahats Falls this is a great stop. Hot Dogs or sausages on a bun, Belgian Fries, Belgian waffles, and of course delicious locally made chocolates are a tasty, delicious treat.

Delicious hot dogs, waffles and Belgian fries

Grouse Creek General Store

Grouse Creek General Store  is your stop for fresh baking, local produce, cold drinks and souvenirs. They are located about half way to Helmcken Falls.

Their giant ginger snap cookie is the best I have ever had (I confess I ate it before thinking to take a picture). Delicious muffins, cupcakes, tarts and more await you. The selection varies daily.

 

Delicious looking tarts (photo courtesy of Grouse Creek General Store)

On Thursdays from 3-7 PM, you will find them at the Upper Clearwater Farmer’s Market (more about that another day)

Murphy Mountain Ice Cream – More Delicious Treats

At about the 30 Km mark you will fine a delightful little vintage travel trailer, home to Murphy Mountain Ice Cream. Easy access, ample parking. picnic tables and a wide lawn, combined with delicious ice cream and friendly service make this a summer afternoon must stop. open afternoon, weather dependant.

A must stop for a midafternoon summer treat.

Valley Hideaway Guest House

Make us your first choice for accommodation in Clearwater BC. We are ideally located for visitors to Wells Gray Provincial Park or travellers between Vancouver and Edmonton.

Book with us

Plan on spending a couple of days at least in the area. There is lots to do and plenty to see.  Valley Hideaway Guest House is open year round to meet your Clearwater and area accommodation needs.

Winter, Summer, Spring and Fall .. it takes all year to do it all … in Clearwater

 

Book your stay with us

 

No Smoking inside the guest house or on the premisesCannabis Free Zone - Valley Hideaway Guest House

 

Wild Flour Cafe

Wild Flour Cafe

Two new dining establishments, the “Wild Flour Cafe and Bakery” and the “Kettle Cafe” have opened in Clearwater BC over the past couple of weeks. We have enjoyed them both.

The Wild Flour specializes in lunch with homemade baking and organic ingredients. The owner Chris Olson is well known in the area for her specialty organic, artisan, breads. Locals have enjoyed her artisan breads for a number of years through preorder and at summer Farmer’s markets.

Wild Flour serves organically grown, fair trade Oso Negro coffee, fresh ground in nearby Nelson, BC.

Menu of the day

We popped in for lunch last Sunday after church, and were tempted by the creamy dill pickle soup. None of us had ever eaten dill pickle soup, so soup it was all round. The soup was served with a slice of home made bread and was delicious. While we only tried the one dish, the meals being served to other diners looked equally delicious.

The cafe is small but comfortable. It is conveniently located across the street from Wells Gray Tourism Information and nearby our local mall.

Cafe – Interior

Inside the Wild Flour

 

Location

343 Clearwater Valley Rd

Clearwater BC

 

Valley Hideaway Guest House

Make us your first choice for accommodation In Clearwater BC. We are ideally located for visitors to Wells Gray Provincial Park or travellers between Vancouver and Edmonton.

Book with us

Plan on spending a couple of days at least in the area. There is lots to do and plenty to see.  Valley Hideaway Guest House is open year round to meet your Clearwater and area accommodation needs.

Winter, Summer, Spring and Fall .. it takes all year to do it all … in Clearwater

 

Book your stay with us

 

No Smoking inside the guest house or on the premisesCannabis Free Zone - Valley Hideaway Guest House

 

And the Winner is

Coffee and Chocolates

And the winner of the coffee and chocolates is …Me, moi, Kevin Corbin of Valley Hideaway Guest House. Okay, perhaps I am a little excited, but I don’t usually win. The mug didn’t come filled with coffee, but it will be as soon as we finish eating the chocolates in it.

Photo of "And the winner is" - Kevin Corbin - obtaining his prize of a coffee mg and HElmcken Chocolates from the owners of teh Kettle Cafe

Being presented my prize

The Details

Alain and Evelyn Bouckaert, owners of the Kettle Cafe in Clearwater BC, did a random draw to promote visitors to their newly opened eatery. The prize was a coffee mug filled with delicious locally made Belgian chocolates from Helmcken Chocates. The chocolates were every bit as delicious as the food the kettle sells and can be purchased at the Red Umbrella. Kathy and I have been there several times since they opened. Here is our review  The Kettle Cafe – A Clearwater Classic Reopens

The Red Umbrella, is a local gallery/emporium that features the works of local artists, artisans and craftspeople. It is located just across the street from the Kettle Cafe. It’s a great place to find unique items of decor and giftware. The talent of our local people is astounding.

 

Coffee (mug) and Chocolates Prize

Valley Hideaway Guest House

When staying in Clearwater BC, whether visiting magnificent Wells Gray Provincial Park, or travelling between Edmonton and Vancouver, stay with us. We are open Year Round. Valley Hideaway is a short drive from the entrance to the park and bot the Kettle and the Red Umbrella are within walking distance.

There is lots to do and plenty to see, in the area. The biggest regret of visitors to the area is that they didn’t book enough time here.

 

Winter, Summer, Spring and Fall .. it takes all year to do it all … in Clearwater

 

Book your stay with us

 

No Smoking inside the guest house or on the premisesCannabis Free Zone - Valley Hideaway Guest House