Island Lake in Winter

Each winter, me and a group of friends Nordic ski to Island Lake to enjoy a gourmet lunch, stunning views, great trails and good conversation. Leaving our cars at the lower parking lot, we head up the winding trails, freshly groomed by the morning snowcat. At first, the trail has little elevation, following trickling creek before it brings us into the majestic Old Growth Forest where the elevation steadily increases. Before we know it, the striking peaks of the Lizard Range appear before us, and we know we are close to reaching our destination.

We are seated along the windows, and even though we've seen this view numerous times, it's quiet as we take it all in. Seeing these mountains illuminated in white snow, sparkling in the sunshine is definitely something else. I still have yet to decide whether they are most beautiful in summer or winter!

Then, lunch is served with a refreshing drink, of course. The menu is always a surprise, carrying something for everyone and cooked to perfection. We give a nod to the chef, and chit chat with our friendly server, perhaps ordering another cold beverage before we put back on our layers and talk about the excitement ahead: skiing back down. Of course, the snow cat is also available for those who booked ahead, knowing they would be far too relaxed for the ski home.

Island Lake offers its Winter Lunch and Spa specials every year, and this year they extended the schedule and reduced the price to make it more accessible to the many interested in this treat. Running Thursday to Sunday throughout the entire winter season, a snowcat ride and lunch is $69/person with spa treatments available as ad ons. Children 4-12 receive 50% off and toddlers under three are free.

With Valentine's Day coming up this February 14, Island Lake put together a special romantic package available from February 11-14. Enjoy a snowcat ride up tot he lodge, gourmet lunch for two, BC Bubble for two, and two - 60 minute spa treatments for just $299 a couple. You can also rent Nordic skis or snowshoes up at the lodge for $10.

Reservations are necessary, call 250-423-3700 to book your winter experience!

IslandLakeCatskiing.com