Covid-19 Update – Closure

Covid-19 Update – Closure

The covid-19 virus (novel corona virus, Wuhan flu) has been in the news non stop. Countries are closing down travel, people are self isolating. It is a time of transition and change. Now is certainly a time to be prudent but not to panic.

The Province of British Columbia Health Authorities are calling for people to self-isolate and restrict travel to emergencies and essential services only. They are recommending people not travel to the province as tourists at this time.

Accordingly, effective immediately, we regretfully announce that Valley Hideaway Guest House will be closed effective 11 AM March 23, 2020. We will advise of the anticipated reopening date as developments occur. Existing Reservations will still be honoured as Covid-19 protocols allow

We look forward to once again being your Clearwater hosts as life normalizes again.


Covid-19 Update

Covid-19 Update

The covid-19 virus (novel corona virus, Wuhan flu) has been in the news non stop. Countries are closing down travel, people are self isolating. It is a time of transition and change. Now is certainly a time to be prudent but not to panic.

We thought this would be a good time to remind people that Valley Hideaway Guest House will remain open for the time being. Valley Hideaway is keeping current with and following guidelines as laid forth by the Province of British Columbia Health authorities.  We also want to inform  you about the precautions we are taking to protect our guests and to slow the spread of the virus.

  1. We only book one party at a time, that means your group has exclusive use of the entire guest suite for the duration of the stay.
  2. After every guest checks out we do a complete clean of the suite from top to bottom. Our cleanliness standards are very high.
  3. All surfaces that guests may touch, e.g. door latches, remote controls, light switches etc in the suite are cleaned and disinfected.
  4. Area rugs are vacuumed and bare floors are washed. Surfaces are dusted.
  5. The bathroom area is thoroughly disinfected.
  6. All guest used dishes are sanitized in the dishwasher.
  7. All guest linens are thoroughly washed between guests.

Local restaurants are monitoring the situation and some remain open at this time. Others are open but only for takeout or drive through orders. We still provide breakfast. Local grocery stores remain open at this time.

The guest suite has a microwave, coffee maker, kettle, fridge and other basic amenities.

What if you have been in contact with Covid-19 or have contracted the virus?

Firstly follow all  applicable medical advice, including self quarantine.

Secondly, if you cancel your reservation prior to 24 hours before your arrival and you let us know it is because of the virus we will not charge a cancellation fee.


The situation is fluid and updates will be posted if things change.

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.

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.


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


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

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




River Safari – Experience an inland temperate rainforest


The words “river safari” brings to mind exotic rainforest locations. It’s true in this case too, but not the way you might think. In the heart of the planet’s largest inland temperate rainforest (that’s a topic for another day), just about an hour from Valley Hideaway Guest House, you will find Blue River Safaris.

Tour lake and river by jet boat, eco friendly Haida catamarans, or  go off road by jeep into some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. Kathy and I took a tour with them last week and were delighted with the knowledge, professionalism and friendliness of the staff. Even though we live in the heart of Wells Gray country we were blown away by some of the scenery we saw on the tour.

Experience Mud Glacier or take in …. Parberry Falls.

At the base of Parberry Falls

While we didn’t see any of the abundant wildlife, we saw plenty of birdlife and the sights were worth the trip. You can easily imagine that there is no one else in the world except your group. Seeing the bears would have been a bonus. There are no guarantees that you will see bears or other wildlife, but this is phenomenal bear habitat and during the season sights are common. The solitude and natural beauty make the trip a joy.

Black Bear


Blue River Safaris offers a variety of tour packages (please confirm with them for current pricing etc)


Eco Safari – Catamaran

This one hour plus tour starts out on one of the 40 foot catamarans and finishes up on a jet boat. Experience beautiful tranquil lakes and time on the river. Time? 1 hour plus.


For great sightseeing and photo ops enjoy a quiet and stable trip on one of the 40′ Haida made catamarans. A tranquil experience with good chances of seeing bears and other wildlifeTime? 1 hour plus.


Off road up Parberry Mountain in a 4X4 Jeep to experience the temperate rainforest in a different way. Get a great overview of the area. Time? 1.5 hours plus.


Combine the Eco Safari and boat safari. See a little of both worlds. Time? 2.5 Hours plus.


Do it all by river boat eco-friendly Haida Catamaran and Jeep.  Time? 2.5 hours plus.

How To Get There

Blue Rive Safaris is conveniently located about an hour east of Clearwater BC on Highway 5, just outside the village of Blue River. It is a great spot to stop when travelling between Clearwater and Jasper. It is well signed.


The safari base has a gift shop and boasts a great little restaurant on the water. The Forest Table restaurant lives up to its name with live edge giant tables and solid wood carved seating serves first class food and beverages. Check out their menu.


Forest Edge Restaurant



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



Spring Time in Wells Gray Country

Spring time in Wells Gray Country

It is nearly Spring Time in Wells Gray Country. The weather is warming, the snow is beginning to melt (although we could still have a bit more yet). The gardeners have their seed catalogues out and are busy planning for warmer weather. Visions of fresh fruits and vegetables and beautiful flowers have them counting the days until we are frost free.

The first bear was sighted a week or so outside of town. Although bears are not true hibernators, that one was defiantly early. It won’t be long though before bear sightings in the area are a regular occurrence. Late April through early June will see lots of bears out and about. They are common sights in the Park and along any of the back roads. It is not uncommon to see several during a days drive in the area. The most Kathy and I have personally seen was 21 bear in 21 km, but that included cubs and was assuredly not the norm.


Black bear

Despite the name, black bears are not just black. They come in browns and cinnamons. Sometimes they even have large white spots on their chest or side.

A biologist told me that there are more black bears here than anyplace else in North America. I don’t know if that is total number or per square kilometre, I just know bears are not rare. At higher altitudes and in more remote areas, you will sometimes see grizzly bears.

Black bear with cub

There are plenty of opportunities to see other forms of wildlife as well. Whitetail and mule deer are common. You may be fortunate enough to see moose. Wolves; foxes; coyotes; lynx and cougar are around. That doesn’t count the many species of smaller mammals.

It’s a birder’s paradise here with more than 200 species recorded in the park. You might check off a few from your life list while visiting.


The spring time in Wells Gray Country is also the best time to see our many spectacular waterfalls. While they never fail to disappoint, at any time, spring our spring time waterfalls a special magic. With the snow melt off the mountains, the sheer volume of water rushing over the falls is absolutely breathtaking.

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 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

Yellowhead From Edmonton to Vancouver

Yellowhead From Edmonton to Vancouver

Winter driving the Yellowhead from Edmonton to Vancouver (or Vancouver to Edmonton) is spectacularly beautiful but can be tiring. Winter weather can change quickly especially in  mountainous areas, daylight driving hours are less and driving in the winter can be more tiring. Fatigue is a major cause of accidents when winter driving.

To make your trip more pleasant, and safer, consider a stopover in Clearwater, BC. We are located approximately half way between Vancouver and Edmonton on the Yellowhead Route. At Valley Hideaway Guest House we are open year round to meet your accommodation needs and even offer reduced rates in January and February. A good night’s rest and a great breakfast will make your trip both safer and more enjoyable.

If you can spare the time take an extra day or two to enjoy the natural beauty of our area.


Highway 5 - Yellowhead BC signage - Edmonton to Vancouver

Yellowhead Highway - travel Edmonton to Vancouver

What To Do In Clearwater in the Winter

Many of our world famous waterfalls are accessible in the winter. They have a beauty all their own this time of year. Both Spahats Falls and Helmcken Falls can be driven to with a 5 minute walk from the parking area to the viewing platforms. You drive right over the Mushbowl enrolee to Helmcken. Dawson Falls is but a short hike.

Snowshoe into Moul Falls. Or enjoy one of many miles of groomed cross country ski trails. The confluence of the North Thompson and Clearwater Rivers is a short hike from town. When there is sufficient snow, the local downhill ski slope is a lot of fun. Its an inexpensive way to spend the day.

Fish for Kokanee and Rainbow trout through the ice, right in town, at Dutch Lake. appropriate BC angler’s licence is required.

Sit back, relax, enjoy a good book in front of our cozy fireplace.

Winter Driving Tips From BCAA


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

Book your stay with us.


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

Retreat … Rest… Restore… Explore



Sarlaac Pit

Sarlaac Pit – Newly Discovered Cave

We are excited to learn of the discovery of a previously unknown cave system, tentatively named the Sarlaac Pit (a formal name will be given after consultation with appropriate stakeholders including local first Nations people). This deep cave is located in a very remote part of Wells Gray Park.

The exact location of the newly discovered cave/cavern is being kept under close wraps until such time as it can be explored properly. It is protected by its location (in Wells Gray Provincial Park) and the remoteness of the terrain.

It is believed to be one of the largest caves in Canada and may have never been seem by human eyes before. Informal surveys of long time residents reveal no knowledge of the cave, nor is their any mention in the journals of explorers in the area.`Geoscientist Catherine Hickson, part of the initial exploration team said the team believes no one has explored it previously, and that it may also be unknown to local First Nations due to the fact that it was likely covered by snow year-round until some point in the last 20-50 years.



Sarlaac Pit – newly discovered cave in Wells Gray Park


How Big is It?

It’s humungous … the cave is 100 metres by 60 metres — virtually the same dimensions of a Canadian football field. It’s also extremely deep, extending more than 100 metres underground, with the first 80 metres of that being a straight vertical drop.

Geologist Catherine Hickson said it was luck that the aerial crew happened to fly over the cave when it wasn’t covered in snow. Hickson and a team that included cave experts John Pollack and Lee Hollis spent months studying satellite imagery and preparing to visit the site, before flying into the rugged alpine on Sept. 9 to confirm the cave’s significance.

A huge volume of water flows into the cave from area snow melt, making the lower water flow of  September the prime time for exploration. A more in depth exploration trip is likely in September 2020.

“My immediate reaction was that there can’t be a cave there, it’s impossible,” geoscientist Catherine Hickson, who conducted an expedition to the site in September, told Global News. “It is huge. It is enormous. When you first see it, you just gasp because it’s just this huge hole in the ground.”

Can we Visit it?

The cave is not likely to be readily accessible for tourists because of it remoteness and difficulty of access. The remoteness means that even helicopter flights into the area require special permits. A hike would be a massive undertaking to be done only by people with advanced technical mountain climbing skills.

It does serve as a wonderful reminder though that we are located in one of the few areas of the world that still contains unexplored wilderness. Even some of our world famous waterfalls are relatively recent discoveries. Helmcken Falls was only seen the first time just over 100 years ago. Canim Falls and Mahood Falls were not known until into the 20th century, except for a few First Nations People.


Other Things to See and Do

This is the Canada you come hoping to see. Wild, untamed and unspoiled. We are surrounded by pristine and near pristine wilderness. Experience our clear rivers, our many fishable lakes. Stand under waterfalls. Be awed by the height and width of the falls (more than 40 named falls in Wells Gray Park). See the remnants of more forms of volcanic activity than anywhere else in the world.

Raft raging white waters. Ride horseback in the forest. Canoe. Kayak. Ride miles of mountain bike trails. Snowshoe and cross country ski in the winter. Paraglide. Fly over Wells Gray Park. Take in the Farmers Market and local arts and craft vendors.

Soak up the sun and swim at spring fed Dutch Lake beach. It’s conveniently located right in Clearwater. Or try Dunn Lake for a more rugged swim. It’s just a 20 minute drive.

In season see one of the largest subalpine wildflower meadows in the world when you hike the Trophy Mountain Trail.

Fish … more than 50 lakes within an hours drive (appropriate licences required).

Be amazed by the depth of  our local history when you visit the Aboriginal Centre.


Are extreme sports your thing?   There are mountains still to be climbed.  In winter there are waterfalls to climb (not to be undertaken by the novice)


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

Book your stay with us.


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

Retreat … Rest… Restore… Explore





Mountains, Mounties, Moose and Maple Syrup

The 4 M’s – Mountains, Mounties, Moose and Maple Syrup

If you are a tourist coming to Canada, you are likely expecting Mountains, Mounties, Moose and Maple Syrup. The good news is that we have all of them.


Now, Canada is admittedly more than mountains. Still the mountains range from rolling hills in Quebec and Ontario (the northern part of the Appalachian Mountains) to the stunning heights of the Rockies out west.

Three oceans lap at our borders. The prairie provinces stretch out in plains further than they eye can see … to the horizon and beyond. Our lakes are beyond counting, estimates say there are more lakes in Canada than the rest of the world combined. Forests of many types. Rivers than run from raging torrents in the wilderness to great seaways.

Deserts? We have them too. Tundra? Polar ice? You bet. Volcanos? We have them. In fact, Wells Grey Park (Clearwater BC) has move types of volcanic formations than any other place in the world. A lifetime isn’t long enough to see it all.


Mountains, Mounties, Moose and Maple Syrup. Mount Robson, Canada's highest free standing peak

Mount Robson, Canada’s highest free standing peak


You might hope to catch a glimpse of the iconic mountie or member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The mounties still patrol most communities but the red serge uniform you likely envision is for ceremonial purposes not daily duty wear. Still in almost every community you will find a member or detachment of the RCMP.


Moose? Yes we have moose. We also have deer; antelope; caribou; elk; bison; mountain sheep and mountain goats. There are bears (black, grizzly, polar) and lions (okay, mountain lions or cougars but still lions). 195 species of Mammals, ranging from tiny shrews to polar bears and grizzly bears call Canada home.

There are also more than 600 species of birds, 1000+ species of bird, over 150 reptiles and amphibians. If you want to count insects, molluscs, sponges and other assorted critters there are more than 20,000 species. Whatever kind of wildlife viewing you want to do, we have something for you to see.

Mountains, Mounties, Moose and Maple Syrup. Bull Moose

Bull Moose

Maple Syrup

Cooked down from the sap of ample trees, Maple syrup is a delight. It is used as a condiment on pancakes, waffles, French toast (pain perdu) and more. It is used to flavour cookies, make fudge and other delightfully sweet foods.

Canada produces about 90% of the world’s supply (about 70% comes from the Province of Quebec). Maple syrup can be found in most grocery stores in a variety of grades.

If you are fortunate you may also find birch syrup (syrup from sap of the white birch). Light than maple syrup it adds its own unique flavour to cooking.

Mountains, Mounties, Moose and Maple Syrup. Unlabelled jar of maple syrup

Unlabelled Maple Syrup


Cosmopolitan cities, quaint fishing villages, ghost towns and more await your exploration. Indigenous (first nations) cultural centres can be found in many places. Museums, galleries, sporting fields and arenas are here aplenty to be enjoyed.


The people… oh the people. Canada is a nation of immigrants and together they have woven a cultural tapestry that must be experienced. The words I hear most often to describe Canadians are “nice” and “friendly”. Visit us. Meet the Locals.



Visit Clearwater BC and Wells Grey Provincial Park. We have mountains, moose, mounties and even maple syrup. In the Clearwater BC area we have airplane tours; parasailing; white water rafting; horseback riding, canoeing and kayaking; hiking; snowshoeing; cross country skiing; mountain biking and more to enjoy. We have so much more for you than you can imagine. Make sure to plan at least a couple of days here. You won’t regret it.

When in Clearwater, be sure to stay with us at Valley Hideaway Guest House. If we happen to be full we would be glad to refer you to another one of Clearwater’s many fine B&B’s.

So, come to Canada for the Mountains, Mounties, Moose and Maple Syrup. Be prepared for so much more.


Contact Us

Valley Hideaway Guest House is a non smoking property

No Smoking inside the guest house or on the premises

Book your stay with us

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

Retreat … Rest… Restore… Explore