Camp in luxury on a backcountry lake in Lac La Biche
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Looking to test the waters on a backcountry lake adventure? Off Road Adventures’ new Elinor Lake glamping experience, in Lac La Biche region, is a secluded paradise.
Lac La Biche Region - In a whirl of backpacks, dogs, coolers and people, Molly Fyten and Trevor Mouille loaded onto the pontoon boat that would take them away from the civilized side of Elinor Lake to a remote, private backcountry site on the far end of the lake. The twenty minute ride was their passage away from all the stress of daily life, to a luxury camping experience in Lac La Biche region.
Camping is all the rage in western Canada, driven by the pandemic quest to enrich our lives, de-stress and spend time with loved ones. With over 150 lakes and only two hours' drive from Edmonton, Lac La Biche region is a prime northern Alberta destination ideal for camping, paddling and beach time. This is where you'll find uncrowded lake time. But one step further from that is going backcountry, and Off Road Adventures’ new glamping experience at Elinor Lake is a secluded paradise.
“When we got to the site, it was amazing because it's right on the lake and it’s got quite a large property there that is really remote,” Molly enthuses. “Nobody's near you.”
Molly and Trevor hail from not far off, in the Lac La Biche region. And with a lakeside cabin of their own, they get to enjoy the comfort of being “away from it all” on a pretty regular basis. So, as Molly puts it, “For us to feel remote, it's very remote, which we both really like.”
As the couple's two dogs ran off the boat and frolicked on the wide, grassy lawn fronting the site, Molly and Trevor unloaded their things. From there, they had the day ahead of them to enjoy the waters, the forest and the seclusion of the spacious, 109-acre site all to themselves.
The sprawling grounds include a main cabin with full kitchen, two wall tents complete with bed frames and wood stoves, roomy and spacious enough for up to twelve people. Guests staying with Off Road Adventures can customize the experience to include their preferred mode of travel to and from the site (canoe, kayak, quad, pontoon boat or even float plane!), and while staying there.
“We refer to it as a technology detox centre,” says Rob Kruk, co-owner/operator at Off Road Adventures. “There’s limited cell service. It’s a quiet side of the lake with not a lot of traffic. Even on a busy weekend it will be an hour before you’ll see a boat.”
You may however have to share your space with the abundant wildlife in the region. Being surrounded by crown land, provincial park and provincial recreation area on all sides, the Elinor Lake camp enjoys visits from the occasional deer or moose, and visitors frequently spot pelicans, eagles and osprey.
During your stay, you can paddleboard, quad or hike to explore deeper into the surrounding lake lands. On hot days by the water, there’s also a private dock leading to one of the Lac La Biche area’s freshest lakes, perfect for a swim. And on this particular day, that was too much to resist for Trevor, Molly and the pups.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, the site features a large fire pit perfect for roasting dinner and enjoying lake views. (Again, you can either bring your own meals or customize your booking, with anything from a full pig roast to steak dinners. There is also a full kitchen in the main cabin for prepping and cooking if you like to make your own backcountry gourmet meals.)
And when it comes time to settle in, you can snuggle into the comfort of a canvas-walled tent, complete with full beds and a wood stove for warmth. By evening, with a fire blazing, the sun turning the sky purple and magenta, and the humid air cooling around them, Trevor and Molly were basking in the peace and solitude of their setting.
“For me personally, it's nice to be remote and have that quiet time because with my job and everything else I do in the community, I'm always around people and it's always go, go,” Molly reflects. “So being out here kind of forces me to relax and slow down.”
Being in Lac La Biche region, in the backcountry, tends to have that effect. It allows us to focus more on being than doing, on enjoying just the basics of living over the luxuries of distraction.
The lapping of the water. The colour of the sky. The warmth of the fire. At Off Road Adventures’ Elinor Lake camp, these are the just desserts of a day well spent by the lake.
WHEN YOU GO
Lac La Biche region is full of adventure potential, with over 150 lakes in the region including Lakeland Provincial Park. Visit the Lac La Biche region website for more travel inspiration.