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1 Lodge, 3 Amazing Hiking Zones


The amazing McGillivray Pass was explored for over 20 years before a group of outdoor enthusiasts decided to build a base for winter skiing and summer hiking. In 1972, they finally put down roots and the magnificent McGillivray Lodge was built in this remote valley. Nestled at 1800m, this cozy log cabin and Whitecap Alpine’s homebase, now has spectacular access to the expansive alpine peaks and meadows without any treeline slogging to enjoy it.

In the winter, the entire mountainscape is blanketed in white obscuring the unique flora and fauna below. However, in the summer, you really get to see this valley’s true colours. To the trained eye, like our Program Director and ACMG Summer Hiking Guide, Leah Evans, this pass is partitioned into distinct “zones”; The Chilcotins, The South Coast Range and Valley views. 

Each range and elevation has its own personality and distinct characteristics that Leah lays out for us to get acquainted with before your next Summer Hiking Trip to the McGillivray Lodge.

Valley Views


Starting at 1800m, has many perks including starting in the sub-alpine with clear sightlines and meadows. Right out the front door of the lodge is a serene, Swiss-like basin. Bursting with life and serving as a wildlife cooridor, McGillivray lodge is central in a veritable Sound of Music-esque valley and the hiking trails that skirt along it.

Leah explains that the access from the doorstep to epic vistas is unparalleled. While the distance is short, you can frolic in flowers, follow babbling creeks, move through along the sweeping mountain pass and see some amazing relics from the pioneer days. This valley hiking area certainly has a work smarter, not harder approach to it. 

When planning a day of hiking here, you can expect anywhere from 2 km of distance and nearly negligible elevation gain and loss, making it perfect for all ages, abilities and tired legs.


South Coast Range


Out the front windows of McGillivray Lodge, lies the aptly named Homerun trail and the edge of the South Coast Range. “The South Coast range has rocky terrain and rambling ridge lines that are complemented by many varieties of heathers,” Leah tells us. She goes on to explain that this makes this part of the tenure perfect for on and off trail all day excursions that sometimes include a healthy bit of scrambling for the more adventurous clients. 

With expansive loops, clear alpine lakes and striking flora and fauna, hiking in the South Coast range is as bucket list as it gets. Our trails have a “choose your own adventure” vibe with hikes that start at 3 km with 200m elevation gain to bigger loops where you’re starting to venture into more technical all day missions. 

The Chilcotins Range


Behind McGillivray Lodge, a broad ridge line linking multiple peaks marks the beginning of  the Chilcotin range. Undeniably different, these mountains are streaked with mineral rich rust coloured soil that give birth to a variety of lilies including glacier and dragon. Leah says this zone truly gives off the Swiss mountain vibe with the stark contrast of lush green from false hellebore and colourful, mineral soil make the Chilcotin a unique hiking experience. It also lends itself to peak bagging with glacial lakes to facilitate cool down dips.

With a bit more elevation to begin your day, you can expect at least 2.5km and 360m elevation to gain the ridge. It’s well worth the sweat equity, as the trails meander ridge lines and meadows with viewpoints at every turn. 


Land Acknowledgement


We would like to acknowledge the unceded territory Whitecap lodge is on and within the traditional territory of the N’Quatqua, Tsal’alh and Lil’wat First Nations.