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On Top Of The World: Heli-hiking In British Columbia’s Cariboos


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Vanni Mccorkle



Welcome to the enchanting wilderness of British Columbia’s Cariboos, a region where jagged peaks, sprawling glaciers, and untouched alpine meadows offer a trekker’s paradise. But if you’re looking to elevate your hiking experience to new heights, then heli-hiking in the Cariboos is the ultimate adventure that awaits you.


Imagine flying in a helicopter, soaring high above the rugged mountains, and being dropped off in remote and inaccessible areas teeming with breathtaking vistas and trails just waiting to be explored. Heli-hiking allows you to bypass long and arduous approaches, opening up a world of untamed beauty that only a select few get to experience.


Not only does heli-hiking offer unparalleled access to pristine landscapes, but it also caters to a wide range of hiking abilities. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or new to the trails, the Cariboos provide options for everyone, with trails that can be tailored to suit individual fitness levels and interests.


So get ready to lace up your boots, strap on your backpack, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the rugged wilderness of the Cariboos. In this article, we will delve into the beauty of the Cariboos, explain what heli-hiking entails, provide guidance on preparing for a heli-hiking adventure, highlight the best times to visit, explore the helicopter experience, discuss the trails and landscapes you’ll encounter, introduce you to the unique flora and fauna of the region, and emphasize the safety measures and guidelines for a successful heli-hiking experience.


Join us as we take you on a virtual tour of the Cariboos, where the adventure begins the moment your feet leave the ground.


The Beauty of British Columbia’s Cariboos

The Cariboo Mountains in British Columbia are a hidden gem, encompassing an expansive wilderness that boasts some of the most awe-inspiring and undisturbed landscapes in Canada. Unfolding across a vast area, the Cariboos feature towering peaks, cascading waterfalls, turquoise alpine lakes, and majestic glaciers that create a dramatic backdrop for your heli-hiking adventure.


One of the most captivating aspects of the Cariboos is its diverse range of terrain. From lush green meadows to rugged alpine ridges, the landscape transforms as you ascend higher into the mountains. The varied topography provides a captivating visual spectacle and an ever-changing environment that keeps you engaged with every step.


As you explore the Cariboos, you’ll be treated to panoramic views that extend for miles. The vastness of the wilderness is truly humbling, and it’s easy to see why this region is often referred to as a hiker’s paradise. Whether you’re standing on a mountaintop, gazing out at a meandering river below, or marveling at the sheer size of a glacier, each viewpoint offers a unique and unforgettable experience.


In addition to the breathtaking vistas, the Cariboos are home to a rich and diverse ecosystem. From hardy alpine flowers that dot the slopes to elusive wildlife that call the mountains their home, the natural beauty of the Cariboos is enhanced by its inhabitants. Keep your eyes peeled for moose, mountain goats, black bears, and an array of bird species as you traverse through the wilderness.


Moreover, the Cariboos offer a sense of tranquility and solitude that is hard to find in our fast-paced world. Away from the noise and distractions of civilization, you’ll be immersed in a serene and unspoiled environment. The vastness of the Cariboos allows you to disconnect from the pressures of daily life and reconnect with nature on a deeply personal level.


Whether you’re an avid adventurer seeking a new challenge or someone who simply wants to marvel at the wonders of the natural world, the Cariboos in British Columbia offer an unrivaled and unforgettable experience. With its stunning landscapes, diverse ecosystems, and a sense of tranquility, it’s easy to see why heli-hiking in the Cariboos is a dream come true for outdoor enthusiasts.


What is Heli-Hiking?

Heli-hiking is a unique way to explore the remote and untouched wilderness of the Cariboos. It combines the thrill of helicopter transportation with the adventure of hiking, allowing you to access areas that are typically inaccessible by foot. With heli-hiking, you can explore the most stunning and secluded trails and witness breathtaking vistas that are off the beaten path.


The journey begins with a helicopter ride, where you’ll be treated to an exhilarating aerial tour of the Cariboos. As you soar above the mountains, you’ll have the opportunity to take in panoramic views and get a bird’s-eye perspective of the stunning landscapes that await you. The helicopter will then land in a carefully selected location, dropping you off in the heart of the wilderness.


Once you’ve been dropped off, you’ll embark on your hiking adventure. The trails in the Cariboos vary in difficulty, offering options for all fitness levels and hiking abilities. From leisurely strolls through alpine meadows to challenging ascents up steep slopes, there’s something for everyone. Expert guides will accompany you on your journey, ensuring your safety and providing valuable insights into the region’s natural and cultural history.


One of the remarkable aspects of heli-hiking is the ability to explore remote and pristine areas that are untouched by heavy foot traffic. Unlike popular hiking trails, heli-hiking routes offer a sense of seclusion and exclusivity, allowing you to immerse yourself in the serenity of the wilderness without the crowds. This unique experience creates a deeper connection with nature as you navigate through unspoiled landscapes.


Heli-hiking also provides the opportunity to venture deeper into the wilderness in a shorter amount of time. By bypassing the need for traditional approaches on foot, you can cover more ground and discover hidden gems that would typically require multi-day hikes to reach. This opens up a world of possibilities, allowing you to discover new trails, encounter untouched flora and fauna, and witness breathtaking vistas that only a select few get to experience.


Whether you’re a seasoned hiker looking for a new and exciting challenge or someone who wants to explore the wilderness without the limitations of traditional hiking, heli-hiking offers a thrilling and unforgettable adventure in the Cariboos of British Columbia.


Preparing for a Heli-Hiking Adventure

Embarking on a heli-hiking adventure in the Cariboos requires some preparation to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some essential steps to consider before setting off on your thrilling journey:

1. Physical Fitness

Heli-hiking can involve moderate to strenuous physical activity, depending on the trails you choose. It’s important to assess your fitness level and consult with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns. Incorporate regular exercise and hiking into your routine to build endurance and strengthen your muscles.

2. Gear and Equipment

Investing in appropriate hiking gear is crucial to ensure comfort and safety on the trails. Some essentials include sturdy hiking boots with ankle support, moisture-wicking clothing layers, a backpack to carry essentials, a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, a first aid kit, and a water bottle. It’s also recommended to pack rain gear and extra layers in case of changing weather conditions.

3. Research and Planning

Before your heli-hiking adventure, take the time to research the trails, terrain, and weather conditions in the Cariboos. Ensure you have maps, guidebooks, and trail information to familiarize yourself with the routes and any potential hazards. It’s also important to check if permits or reservations are required for certain areas or camping sites.

4. Hydration and Nutrition

Proper hydration and nutrition are key to maintaining energy levels and preventing fatigue on the trails. Carry an adequate supply of water and portable snacks that provide sustained energy, such as trail mix, energy bars, or dried fruit. It’s also advisable to eat a nutritious meal before setting off on your adventure.

5. Safety Considerations

When heli-hiking in the Cariboos, safety should be a top priority. Listen to your guides’ instructions and follow their advice. Be aware of your surroundings, stay on marked trails, and be cautious while navigating steep or challenging terrain. It’s also important to have a basic understanding of wilderness first aid and carry a personal locator beacon for emergencies.

6. Respect for the Environment

As you explore the pristine wilderness of the Cariboos, remember to leave no trace. Respect the environment by packing out all garbage, staying on designated trails, and avoiding damage to vegetation and wildlife habitats. This helps preserve the natural integrity of the area for future generations to enjoy.


By taking these essential steps to prepare for your heli-hiking adventure, you can ensure that you’re ready to embrace the breathtaking beauty and excitement that awaits you in the Cariboos of British Columbia. Now get ready to lace up your boots, hop on a helicopter, and embark on an unforgettable journey into the heart of nature.


The Best Time to Heli-Hike in the Cariboos

The Cariboos in British Columbia offer a variety of experiences throughout the year, each season showcasing its own unique charm. However, the best time to embark on a heli-hiking adventure in the Cariboos depends on personal preferences and desired hiking conditions.

1. Summer (June to August)

Summer is the peak season for heli-hiking in the Cariboos. The weather is generally warm, with temperatures averaging between 15 to 25 degrees Celsius (59 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit). The trails are snow-free, making them easily accessible and allowing you to explore a wide range of trails and landscapes. The alpine meadows burst with colorful wildflowers, and the rivers and lakes are crystal clear, creating a picturesque backdrop for your hiking adventure.

2. Fall (September to October)

The fall season in the Cariboos is known for its stunning foliage display. As the temperatures start to cool down, the mountains are painted in hues of red, orange, and gold, creating a breathtaking visual spectacle. The trails tend to be quieter during this time, offering a more secluded experience. However, be prepared for unpredictable weather, including colder temperatures and the possibility of early snowfall.

3. Spring (April to May)

Spring in the Cariboos brings a feeling of renewal and transformation as nature awakens from its winter slumber. The snow begins to melt, revealing vibrant green landscapes and the rushing sounds of cascading waterfalls. While spring can be a beautiful time to heli-hike, it’s important to be aware of the potential for variable weather conditions, including lingering snow on higher elevation trails.

4. Winter (December to March)

For those seeking a unique and adventurous experience, winter heli-hiking in the Cariboos can be truly magical. The mountains are blanketed in snow, providing a serene and tranquil setting. However, winter heli-hiking requires specialized equipment and experience with winter hiking and snowshoeing. It’s important to note that access to certain trails may be limited during this season due to snow conditions.


Ultimately, the best time to heli-hike in the Cariboos depends on your preferences and the level of experience you seek. Whether you choose to explore during the bustling summer months, witness the fall foliage, embrace the renewal of spring, or embark on a winter adventure, each season offers its own unique beauty and rewards for those willing to explore the untamed wilderness of the Cariboos.


The Helicopter Experience

The helicopter experience is an integral part of heli-hiking in the Cariboos, adding an extra level of excitement and awe to your adventure. Flying high above the rugged peaks and deep into the wilderness, the helicopter transports you to otherwise inaccessible locations, providing a breathtaking perspective of the stunning landscapes below.


As you board the helicopter, anticipation builds as the rotors spin and the aircraft lifts off the ground. The adrenaline rush sets in as you soar above the mountains, witnessing jaw-dropping panoramic views unfold before your eyes. The sensation of flight combined with the vastness of the Cariboos creates a magical experience that simply cannot be replicated on foot.


Throughout the helicopter ride, you’ll have the opportunity to marvel at the stunning beauty of the Cariboos from a unique vantage point. From soaring above glaciers that glisten in the sunlight to flying over cascading waterfalls and alpine meadows, each moment offers a breathtaking perspective on the magnificent landscapes below.


In addition to the awe-inspiring views, the helicopter allows you to access remote areas that would take hours or even days to reach by traditional means. This means that you can maximize your hiking time and explore a wider range of trails and landscapes during your heli-hiking adventure. The efficiency of the helicopter ensures that you can make the most of your time in the Cariboos, immersing yourself in unforgettable experiences and creating lifelong memories.


The helicopter pilots who navigate the rugged terrain of the Cariboos are skilled professionals with in-depth knowledge of the region. They prioritize safety and have a deep respect for the environment, ensuring a smooth and secure flight. Their expertise adds to the overall experience, as they offer insights about the geography, history, and natural wonders of the Cariboos during the flight.


As you approach your designated heli-hiking drop-off point, a wave of excitement washes over you. The helicopter gracefully descends, and you feel the thrill of touchdown as you step onto the pristine landscape. From there, your hiking adventure begins, taking you deeper into the heart of the Cariboos.


The helicopter experience is not just a means of transportation; it’s an integral part of the heli-hiking adventure. It enhances the overall thrill and grandeur of exploring the Cariboos, providing you with an extraordinary opportunity to witness the majesty of the mountains from a unique and exhilarating perspective.


The Trails and Landscapes of the Cariboos

The Cariboos in British Columbia are a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a diverse range of trails that wind through breathtaking landscapes. From alpine meadows and dense forests to towering peaks and vibrant lakes, the Cariboos have it all. Whether you’re seeking a leisurely stroll or a challenging ascent, there is a trail to suit every hiker’s preference and skill level.


The trails in the Cariboos vary in length, difficulty, and terrain. Some lead to panoramic viewpoints, while others meander through serene valleys or follow the course of rushing rivers. As you embark on your heli-hiking adventure, here are a few remarkable trails and landscapes that you may encounter:

Meadows and Wildflowers

The alpine meadows of the Cariboos burst with vibrant wildflowers during the summer months. Trails that wind through these meadows offer stunning displays of colorful blooms, creating a picturesque and enchanting setting. Walking through a sea of wildflowers, breathing in the fresh mountain air, and feeling the soft grass beneath your feet is a truly magical experience.

Glacier-Carved Valleys

The Cariboos are home to numerous glacier-carved valleys that showcase dramatic landscapes. As you hike through these valleys, you’ll be surrounded by towering peaks, cascading waterfalls, and sparkling turquoise lakes fed by ancient glaciers. The sheer size and grandeur of these valleys serve as a constant reminder of the powerful forces of nature that shaped the Cariboos over millennia.

Rugged and Scenic Ridges

For those seeking a challenge and breathtaking views, the Cariboos offer rugged and scenic ridgeline trails. These trails often require some scrambling and provide an exhilarating experience as you traverse along narrow paths with steep drops on either side. From these high vantage points, you’ll be rewarded with unparalleled panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and lakes.

Ancient Forests

The Cariboos are home to ancient forests that have stood the test of time. As you hike through these towering groves, you’ll be surrounded by giant, moss-covered trees that are hundreds of years old. The quiet serenity of the forest, broken only by the whispering wind and the occasional rustle of wildlife, creates a tranquil and meditative environment.

Majestic Lakes

The Cariboos boast numerous breathtaking lakes that reflect the surrounding mountains like mirrors. These tranquil bodies of water offer the perfect place to rest, rejuvenate, and soak in the beauty of your surroundings. Whether you choose to dip your feet in the cool waters or simply sit on the shore and marvel at the scenery, these majestic lakes add an element of serenity to your heli-hiking adventure.


The trails and landscapes of the Cariboos provide a diverse and awe-inspiring backdrop for heli-hiking. Each step reveals a new and captivating scene, inviting you to explore and immerse yourself in the stunning beauty of this remarkable mountain range.


The Flora and Fauna of the Cariboos

The Cariboos of British Columbia are not only known for their stunning landscapes but also for their rich and diverse flora and fauna. As you explore the trails and immerse yourself in the wilderness, you’ll encounter a wide variety of plant and animal life that call the Cariboos their home.


The Cariboos are teeming with a vibrant array of plant species, ranging from delicate wildflowers to towering trees. The alpine meadows come alive with a kaleidoscope of colors during the summer months as a multitude of wildflowers bloom. Lupines, Indian paintbrush, fireweed, and columbines are just a few examples of the stunning flora that carpet the meadows.


As you venture into the lower elevations, you’ll encounter dense forests dominated by towering conifers. Spruce, fir, and western red cedar provide a lush canopy, creating a cool and tranquil environment. Mosses, lichens, and ferns cover the forest floor, adding to the magical ambiance of the Cariboos.


The Cariboos are home to a diverse range of wildlife, offering hikers the opportunity to catch glimpses of some elusive and majestic creatures. Keep your eyes peeled for mountain goats perched high on cliffs, their white coats standing out against the rugged terrain. Moose may be spotted wading through marshy areas or foraging along the edges of serene lakes.


Black bears are common in the Cariboos and are often seen foraging for berries or roaming through meadows in search of food. Cougars, though rarely spotted, are also present in the region. These elusive predators are stealthy and well-adapted to the rugged wilderness.


The Cariboos are a haven for bird watchers, offering opportunities to observe a variety of species. Be on the lookout for soaring eagles, colorful songbirds, and elusive owls. The tranquil lakes and rivers attract waterfowl and shorebirds, adding to the avian diversity of the area.


Additionally, the Cariboos support a diverse population of smaller mammals, such as squirrels, marmots, and chipmunks. These playful creatures can often be seen scurrying through the undergrowth or perched on rocks, adding an element of charm to your hiking experience.


When encountering wildlife in the Cariboos, it is important to maintain a safe distance and respect their natural habitat. Admire these incredible creatures from afar and remember to follow any guidelines provided by park authorities or your heli-hiking guides.


The rich flora and fauna of the Cariboos add an additional layer of enchantment to your heli-hiking adventure. Take the time to appreciate and marvel at the delicate wildflowers, towering trees, and elusive wildlife that make the Cariboos their home.


Safety Measures and Guidelines

Exploring the Cariboos through heli-hiking is an exhilarating adventure, but it’s important to prioritize safety to ensure a successful and enjoyable experience. Here are some essential safety measures and guidelines to keep in mind:

1. Follow Expert Guidance

Listen to your heli-hiking guides and follow their instructions at all times. They are experienced professionals who are knowledgeable about the terrain, weather conditions, and potential hazards in the Cariboos. Their guidance will help keep you safe and enhance your overall enjoyment of the adventure.

2. Stay on Designated Trails

Stick to marked trails and avoid veering off the designated path. Straying from the trail can lead to getting lost or encountering potentially hazardous terrain. The trails are carefully planned to provide the best hiking experience while minimizing risks.

3. Be Prepared for Changing Weather

The weather in the Cariboos can be unpredictable, so it’s crucial to be prepared for sudden changes. Dress in layers to accommodate varying temperatures and bring rain gear or extra clothing to protect against wet or cold conditions. Monitor weather forecasts before your hike and be flexible with your plans if inclement weather arises.

4. Pack Essential Items

Carry essential items with you, such as a map, compass, flashlight or headlamp, food, water, and a first aid kit. It’s also advisable to bring a fully charged mobile phone and a portable charger. Pack according to the duration and difficulty of your hike, ensuring you have enough supplies to sustain yourself until the end of the journey.

5. Communicate Your Plans

Before embarking on your heli-hiking adventure, inform someone trustworthy about your plans. Let them know your intended trail, estimated return time, and any other relevant details. This way, in case of an emergency or if you do not return as planned, someone will be aware and can initiate appropriate action.

6. Wildlife Safety

Respect the wildlife in the Cariboos and maintain a safe distance. Observe animals from afar and avoid disturbing their natural behavior. It’s important to store food securely and dispose of waste properly to prevent attracting wildlife to camping areas or picnic spots.

7. Leave No Trace

Practice Leave No Trace principles by minimizing your impact on the environment. Pack out all garbage and leave the natural surroundings as you found them. Respect the flora and fauna by avoiding trampling vegetation or disturbing wildlife habitats. Leave the Cariboos in pristine condition for future generations to enjoy.


By adhering to these safety measures and guidelines, you can ensure a safe and memorable heli-hiking experience in the Cariboos. Remember, your safety is paramount, and being prepared and cautious will enable you to fully appreciate the beauty and adventure that awaits in this remarkable wilderness.



Heli-hiking in British Columbia’s Cariboos is a thrilling and immersive adventure that allows you to explore some of the most spectacular and remote landscapes in Canada. From the moment you take off in a helicopter to the exhilarating hikes through alpine meadows, rugged ridges, and glacier-carved valleys, every step in the Cariboos is a feast for the senses.


The Cariboos offer a diverse range of trails and landscapes, each with its own unique beauty. Whether you’re captivated by the vibrant wildflowers in the alpine meadows, the awe-inspiring vistas from the ridgelines, or the serenity of ancient forests, there is something for every nature enthusiast.


Throughout your heli-hiking adventure, safety should be a top priority. By following the guidance of expert guides, staying on designated trails, and being prepared for changing weather conditions, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience in the Cariboos.


The Cariboos are not only a haven for stunning landscapes but also for a diverse array of flora and fauna. Admire the delicate wildflowers, towering trees, and elusive wildlife that call this wilderness their home, and remember to respect their habitats and leave no trace.


Whether you visit in the summer, fall, spring, or even winter, each season in the Cariboos offers its own unique rewards and experiences. The helicopter experience adds an extra thrilling element, transporting you to remote and inaccessible areas where you can fully immerse yourself in the wonders of nature.


As you explore the Cariboos through heli-hiking, take the time to savor every moment, from the exhilaration of takeoff to the serenity of reaching a mountain peak or enjoying the tranquility of a pristine lake. Embrace the magic of this untouched wilderness and create memories that will last a lifetime.


So, lace up your boots, embrace the silence of the wilderness, and embark on a heli-hiking adventure in the Cariboos. Get ready to discover a world of breathtaking beauty, uncharted trails, and unforgettable experiences that will leave you in awe and longing to return to this pristine haven in the heart of British Columbia.