RUN BC FAQS
Simply put, if you love adventure in the great outdoors then British Columbia is a must-visit. Our adventure takes place in the Bella Coola Valley, an area of BC as yet undeveloped by mass tourism where true wilderness can still be found. We will run seldom-visited trails, float pristine rivers, spend some time in canoes and floatplanes too, take in awe-inspiring views and relax with great food and genuine local hospitality. Those who join us will be part of a very unique style of trip to this very special area.
What’s included in the trip cost?
The trip price includes pre-trip communication & guidance, a regional flight from YVR to Bella Coola on arrival day, a regional flight from Anahim Lake back to YVR on departure day, 8 nights accommodation, all meals from lunch on the first day until breakfast on the final day, transportation, drivers, experienced trip leaders, local logistics team, 8 organized runs, wildlife viewing on a guided river rafting trip, canoe rental, most camping gear, wilderness permits and a Rogue Expeditions shirt. In short, just about everything is covered from the moment you land until the moment you leave!
What isn’t included in the trip cost?
The cost does not include your transport to/from Vancouver International Airport, a sleeping bag for the 2 camping nights (please bring your own, as well as an inflatable pillow if you wish), alcohol, tips or personal purchases.
What is the flight like from Vancouver to Bella Coola?
The flight is on a 19 seater propeller style plane. It is run by Pacific Coastal, a commercial airline who are the leading provider of regional flights around coastal BC. The flight lasts just over an hour and - if you get some breaks in the cloud! - affords spectacular views of the Monarch icefield and surrounding mountain ranges.
How far do I have to be able to run?
This trip requires two mandatory 10 mile days (Days 5 & 7) with significant elevation change, getting to and then from our campsite (3500 ft. of climbing there, then 3500 ft. of descent to return two days later). All other routes are adjustable in terms of distance and plans will be tweaked according to the ability mix of the group. Daily maximums are listed on the itinerary and there is no time or pace pressure, though there may be occasions where we require runners to stay in a group for a short distance due to wildlife concerns. You are also always welcome to skip any run aside from Days 5 & 7.
Keep in mind that many people end up running quite a bit more during our trips than they would at home - when running is your only responsibility for the day, you'll be amazed at how much more you can do!
What sort of terrain will we be running on?
Most runs will feature a mix of single track trail (usually technical) and jeep track through old growth forests or open high alpine environments. Though we will never be at any significant altitude, a number of the runs include a fair amount of climbing and descending (see itinerary for details). Those who typically run only roads or flat trails will find the terrain challenging, but the scenery more than makes up for it - there is never a reason to rush, and no pressure to go faster than what you’re comfortable with. The point is to enjoy your surroundings! Though we will be on established trails, please be comfortable with and excited about the idea of remote wilderness.
What time of day will we be running?
The time of day will vary depending on where we are, where we’re headed and also weather conditions. We mostly plan for mid-morning runs (after breakfast, before lunch, or with lunch on the trail), but there is always a chance that weather or other logistical considerations could result in an afternoon run. The key is to just relax and roll with it – it’s not about “getting it in,” but rather about exploring a brand new place each day!
What will we do when we aren’t running?
The days are primarily built around lots of time out on the trail, but the adventure also includes a river float with an expert raft guide and biologist, a cultural education visit to learn about the local Nuxalk nation, canoe paddling and plenty of recovery time to enjoy hearty meals, cold beverages & big views from our accommodation or campsite.
Can my non-runner spouse/friend come too?
Non-runners are discouraged from this trip as there are two mandatory 10-mile days scheduled.
What is the accommodation like?
The first four nights are spent in a newly-renovated local lodge with cozy rooms, great gathering spaces, a hot tub, gourmet home-cooked meals and spectacular views from the back lawn. The next two nights are spent camping at an established but remote lakefront campsite. The group will be housed in a mixture of rustic cabins & tents (shared accommodation - we will assign cabin/tent spots as we deem best given the group mix, so please be adaptable), and all food & supplies will be delivered by float plane. There is a clean long-drop composting toilet and no shower (though a pristine lake is right there for anyone who wants to rinse off!). The trip finishes with the final two nights spent in cozy, classic log cabins (double occupancy) at a lakeside lodge resort featuring all necessary creature comforts - warm beds, hot showers, great meals, more jaw-dropping views and wonderful local hospitality.
What is the weather like?
Bella Coola’s inland position means that it is typically drier and warmer than much of coastal British Columbia, and July/August are typically the driest and warmest of all the months. You can expect highs around 70F/21C and lows around 55F/12C. Rain is always possible, but is unlikely that time of year - nice sunny days are the norm.
Do I need to have paddle experience?
No. For the rafting you will not be paddling at all. We will ‘drift’ downriver with local professional rafting guides. For the canoeing (in case you missed it, the stretch to/from the campsite requires ~2 miles of paddling) we will be using 2-person canoes on a calm alpine lake. Basic instruction will be given, life jackets will be provided and everyone will paddle in pairs.
Is there any danger from bears, wolves, or other wildlife?
The Bella Coola Valley in right in the middle of the “Great Bear Rainforest” and is home to both black and grizzly bears. There is a good chance you will see a variety of wildlife on the trip, but we will take a few sensible precautions to ensure minimum likelihood of any negative interaction. Runners will be required to carry a small bell and bear spray (both provided) and will receive instruction from a local wildlife expert on arrival day. The time of year chosen, plus the trails and terrain chosen, plus some sensible choices as a group mean there is a low likelihood of encountering a bear. Safety is a top concern, and if the guides deem any particular trail or area unsafe due to wildlife, weather or general trail conditions they will make necessary adjustments to the plan (ie switching trails, requiring people to run/hike in pairs, etc. Please be flexible and adaptable in this regard).
Do I need to bring camping equipment?
Just a sleeping bag, and an inflatable pillow if you wish (though a down jacket works quite well too!). Everything else will be supplied at our wilderness camp, and your gear will be transported to the camp for you by float plane.
Can I have my own room at hotels?
For the first four nights, yes! The first four nights are spent in a nice lodge with a limited mix of single, queen & twin rooms available. Please indicate your preference when you register, and we will assign rooms in the order of your registration. Those who share a room - either as a couple in a queen room or with a roommate in a twin room - will be given a $150 per person discount code to apply to their balance. If you are a solo traveler who prefers a roommate, we will do our best to place you with one (subject to availability of both a same-sex roommate and a twin room). Everyone else will have a single room for those four nights at the posted trip price.
Single sleeping arrangements are not available at the campsite (the group will be mixed between rustic cabins and a few tents; arrangements will be at the guides’ discretion) nor at the Nimpo Lake lodge where we spend the final two nights - everyone will be housed in comfortable double occupancy cabins.
What sort of food will we be eating?
Breakfasts at the lodges are fresh, substantial continental-style affairs - eggs, bacon, cereals, yogurt, fruit, pastries, coffee, etc. Camp breakfast offers plenty of options as well - oatmeal, granola, fresh fruit, egg scrambles, toast and plenty of coffee. Lunches will generally be picnic-style or packed for taking on the trail - expect sandwiches, fruit, nuts, plus at least one waterfront grill-out at the finish line of your run! Dinners at the first lodge will be multi-course, chef-prepared meals with a focus on gourmet, locally sourced ingredients. Camp dinners will be prepared by a dedicated camp chef and equally impressive, including a fresh salmon barbeque. Dinners at the second lodge are homestyle and hearty.
Most special diets - vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free - can be accommodated, but if you require a combination of special requirements please check with us before signing up so that we can ensure that we’re able to provide acceptable meals with the ingredients available.
What sort of vehicles will we be traveling in?
We will travel to and from trailheads / accommodation using a mix of 4-passenger 4x4 Jeeps or pickup trucks and 12-passenger vans. The drive distances on this trip aren’t too far, but there are some very rugged roads at times - be ready for a few bumpy rides!
For RE alum, please note that this trip will have less vehicle run support than you may be accustomed to due to lack of road access along many of the trails - you’ll be responsible for carrying your water, extra layers, etc. The guides will of course advise you each evening about what to pack for the following day.
What should I pack?
We’ll provide a detailed packing list after you sign up, but do note that trail shoes, a hydration pack with at least 2L water storage and room for extra layers/snacks, a rain jacket and a sleeping bag is required. A smaller capacity hydration pack is okay if you bring along a water filtration method that you can carry on the trail (such as a Steripen or squeeze filter).
How much should I tip?
Your entire trip will be spent with drivers and guides who will go above and beyond to create an unforgettable experience for everyone. Although tips are never expected, they are always appreciated and completely at your discretion. Any group gratuities will be split evenly amongst the team.
If I change my mind or something comes up, can I cancel?
We know that life happens, and on occasion a participant will have to back out of a trip. As most of our costs are paid well in advance, we have set a cancellation policy that applies to all trips. Travel insurance is highly recommended to cover potential cancellations on your part.
If you cancel:
Within 30 days of signup: Full refund
90+ days from the trip start date (but after the 30 day grace period): Deposits are non-refundable
61-90 days from the trip start date: 50% of total payment refunded**
60 days or less from the trip start date: No refunds
**This only applies to participants who have paid their balances on time. If you do not pay the balance by the due date and cancel after the fact, your deposit is non-refundable.
Can I switch to another trip?
If you wish to transfer your deposit from one trip to another you must notify us at least 90 days prior to your original departure date. A fee of $150 per person will apply and will be deducted from your original deposit. If you notify us less than 90 days prior to the proposed departure date the refund policy applicable to cancellations will apply. If you switch within 30 days of your initial registration then no fee applies. Please note that deposits can only be transferred once and can only be applied towards a trip departing within 12 months of your original departure date.
Who should I contact for more info?
Feel free to contact Allison Macsas at email@example.com with any questions!