Activities Relax Program Activity Program Children Program Winter Vacation

Cowboys & Cowgirls wanted!

We are a "Working Guest Ranch", we offer trailrides but also have cattle. So there is always a chance to join us with the cattle work.

In May we round up the cattle for branding. In June and September you can ride in a real cattle drive. Who didn't want to be a cowboy?

The Big Creek Lodge is a real working cattle ranch in the mountains of British Columbia. The ranch is operated in old style, like 100 years ago, and runs the cattle on three big pastures, the Spring, Summer and Fall range.

Here you still can see real cowboying, we can't run the ranch without the horses and cowboys. The 3 ranges are more than 25,000 ha and consist of a wilderniss without any villages. Every week the cattle has to be checked and moved to another pasture. There is no other way to pass narrow forest trails than on horseback.

For more than 20 years we own a band of horses. Most of them we bred here at the ranch. Everybody, who wants to ride, will find his/her dream horse in our herd.

Most of our horses are Quarter Horses, famous for their fast speed, their endurance and the cow sense and known as the best ranch horses. But we also have Thoroughbred horses with great speed. For slow trailrides our guests love the Tennessee Walker, with their soft gait. These horses are also great for people, which usually don't ride a lot.

By the way, every guest can chose his horse by himself. We just help a bit. Most of the time the short or longer trailrides and the cowboying are the start of a long friendship.

We offer daily trailrides, experienced riders are welcome to ride on their own or in small groups, without a wrangler. During these rides you can experience the wide landscape. But we suggest to explore the ranch with us, before you go out on your own, the ranch is in a really remote area and it would be a shame to get lost or to be back too late and miss dinner.

There weren't many changes at our ranch for many years:  
Early in January we bring the cattle in to doctor them. The bulls will be separated from the herd, they will stay at their own corral, where they get fed with hay and grain. The cows are still at the Winter range, which is nearby the ranch's headquarter. In Spring they also will be in corrals, so we can separate these cows, which will have a calf soon.

During this time it's Canada-cold, that's why the mama cows spend the time after calving in out heated barn. Just one day later the calves will play with their mama cows in the pastures. As soon as the calves fur is dry they can bear temperatures till 30 degree minus.

We always get asked how many animals we lose during the Winter. The truth is, much less than in Summer! Usually no at all. In Summer we lose animals mostly due to predators.

On Mai 15 we have our first cattle drive. After branding the calves we move our herd to the Spring range. The branding is important, without a brand the calves wouldn't survive. Unbranded calves belong everybody and end up in a freezer pretty fast.

On June 10 the big cattle drive starts:  after an exhausting roundup we move the cattle over long trails to the Summer range at Fire Creek. This is real cowboy work! This didn't change in North America during the last 150 years.

We use the Summer range together with our neighbour and friend, who has his ranch 25km north of our lodge. As soon as we are on the Summer range he will trail his cattle thru our empty Spring range, to bring them also to the Summer range. This will be June 15 - 19 and many hands are needed. Our guests are always welcome to help!

We have to make sure the pasteres won't be overgrazed, that's why we have to rotate the cattle every week. The cowboys move them to other pastures, check the cattle, if they are sick or injured. The cattle won't be sick quite often, but injuries by wolves and bears are possible. So we have to doctor injured cattle and the visit of people drives wolves and other dangerous animals away from the herd. Most of the time the cattle lives in small groups and the mama cows with their horns can chase away wolves and other dangerous animals, but most of the time a calf is already injured and needs help.

On June 29 the big RODEO at Williams Lake begins. It's the nearest town, about 125km away from the ranch. At the rodeo the cowboys meet and compete in their riding and roping skills. It's the biggest rodeo in Britis Columbia and international accepted. That's why even cowboys from texas come to this rodeo.

These professional cowboys show the audience amazing skills. You have to see the well trained horses! The cowboys of the BC ranches love the wild cow milking and to catch, saddle and ride wild horses.

Every year more than 30,000 visitors are at the rodeo. Since 1983 we drive to town with our guests, to visit the rodeo. You really have to see that rodeo crazy small town!

The next big event is on October, the roundup for the home run, the cattle drive from Fire Creek back to the ranch. The cattle will stay at the Winter Range till we move them to the Homeland for calving.

Dear guest,
we want to invite you for this traditional experience, together with a stay at our almost luxurious lodge. Many of our guests speak about their vacation as nature pure with comfort.

Because of the brilliant building structure, the great service and the comfort in all the rooms the lodge, build from huge cedar trees, is the only 4 Star Lodge of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association.

The rooms with great comfort have a big glas door, which leads to a big cedar porch. The incredible view to the coast mountains, the British Columbia Alps, show the endless forests and the with of this remote landscape.

There are chairs on the porch, so you can enjoy the sun. Every room has an own bathroom with shower and floor heating for cold days in Spring and Winter.

The dining room has big tables for families, but also small ones for romantic dinners. The open firelace and a bottle of good wine promise a relaxed and homey evening.

There are several big cabins in the forest along the Big Creek, where you can spend a romantic vacation you won't forget.

We offer plain european and canadian food, but also gourmet meals.

We are sure you will enjoy your adventurous and relaxing vacation at our lodge.

Joe Hoessl
Big Creek Lodge

>> HERE << you can find the rates for your adventure vacation and for additional offers (ATV, rental car).

© MSWD 2018 for Big Creek Lodge, Canada (BC)