Humans of the Coast | S1 E2 “West Coast Wilderness Lodge”
Tucked away in Egmont on BC’s Sunshine Coast lies a hidden gem: the West Coast Wilderness Lodge. The remote luxury eco lodge, which is accessed by road, boat, floatplane, or a challenging bike ride, is situated near Skookumchuck Narrows and Earl’s Cove.
“This is the gateway to thousands of kilometres of incredible coastline,” says Paul Hansen owner and operator of the WCWL. “Egmont is the #1 location on the Sunshine Coast. There’s no reason to go kayaking anywhere else.”
Paul and his wife, Patti, opened the doors to the WCWL lodge 20 years ago. Initially their vision was to create an outdoor education retreat for school and business groups. As demand increased, they realized that this spot had even more potential. Paul, whose background was in teaching and outdoor education, pursued his journey to making the great outdoors accessible to even more people.
Today, the WCWL is renowned internationally as a premier resort and homebase for incredible coastal exploration. The lodge also features an on site restaurant with decadent, fresh, local and seasonal cuisine.
So, what do guests love most at WCWL?
“How fresh the air is and how quiet it is,” says Paul. “Just sitting and doing absolutely nothing has so much value in this day and age.”
True to the spirit of innovation, the WCWL team is constantly looking for ways to evolve. Work is underway to open a second resort focused on wellness and the arts in 2019.
This year, the WCWL team opened up the Egmont Adventure Centre, offering a host of amazing experiences to both guests and travelers passing through. The centre offers a range of activities for all levels of adventurers, including, boat tours, Zodiac tours, kayaking adventures, heli hiking packages, flightseeing tours, biking, and more.
Day visitors can experience the beauty of Egmont with the Fly and Dine package, departing from Sechelt and flying into the lodge for a lunch or dinner experience.
However, the crown jewel of the West Coast Wilderness Lodge adventure offerings is the Princess Louisa Inlet Marine Park tour. This incredible glacier-cut fjord is situated off Jervis Inlet. The tour starts off with a boat ride into the inlet, passing cascading waterfalls, massive granite bluffs with ancient First Nations drawings on them, and plenty of wildlife. Inside Princess Louisa, guests experience the power and beauty of Chatterbox Falls and explore the hiking trails. The excitement culminates with an aerial flightseeing tour on the way back to WCWL with Sunshine Coast Air.
“It’s the single coolest tourist package that is offered in BC,” says Paul, adding that next year the tour will also be departing from Vancouver to allow access to a whole new market.
While the domestic tourism is growing, Paul is still surprised about how few BC locals know about WCWL. A 20-year resident of the Sunshine Coast, he’s a proponent of creating more housing, jobs and economic development in the region. That all starts with supporting local businesses on The Coast.
“I’m really lucky that a big chunk of my key people keep coming back year after year,” he says. “That’s why we’re better every year because we can grow on the history of what was.”
You’re in luck because I’m giving away an amazing overnight stay at West Coast Wilderness Lodge in the Test Drive The Coast Giveaway. The winner will receive a stay in the incredible ocean view suites, a 3-course meal at their Inlet’s restaurant, a jet ski tour, air transportation with Sunshine Coast Air and a photo shoot with Dolf Vermeulen Photography.
Enter my contest by giving my Facebook Page a LIKE and commenting on the contest post. Good luck!