Chilcotin Mountains Winter Alpenglow

History of Tyax Lodge and the Gold Bridge Area

Natural History

Location

Tyax Lodge is located in British Columbia in Western Canada. The province’s major city is Vancouver, which is approximately 300km south of Tyax Lodge. On route to Tyax Lodge, you’ll drive north on Highway 99, which is one of Canada’s most beautiful drives. You’ll see The Chief in Squamish, the world-famous resort of Whistler and the sleepy farming town of Pemberton.

The Mountains

Tyax Lodge is situated in The Chilcotin Mountains, which are part of the Pacific Ranges which are part of The Coast Mountains. The mountains are over 4 million years old and were created by volcanic activity, due to the tectonic plate movements of the Juan De Fuca Plate. The area is full of interesting geological features, such as calderas, stratovolcanoes and even isolated patches of lava.

Spruce Lake Protected Area

Spruce Lake Protected Area is a protected area directly west of Tyax Lodge. It’s a massive 71,347-hectare in size and has been protected since the 1930s. The area is home to grizzly bears, wolverines, and even bighorn sheep.

Canoe Tyaughton Lake BC Canada

First Nations

The Tsilhqot’in Nation

The Tsilhqot’in Nation are the indigenous people of this area. Tsilhqot’in translates roughly into ‘The people of the red ochre river’. The name Chilcotin is the English derivation of the name Tsilhqot’in. They were known as both shrewd traders and fierce warriors. They traded obsidian which was the material of choice for arrow and axe heads at the time.

The Tsilhqot’in people first encountered Europeans circa 1800. They met with traders who by 1808 had built fur trading posts for the North West Company from Montreal. In 1821 The Hudson Bay Company had established a large fur trading post on the eastern limit of the Tsilhqot’in territory.

With the fur trade, the Europeans also brought devastating disease with them. The isolated location of the Tsilhqot’in people meant that some diseases took longer to arrive than others. Eventually, the diseases arrived and whooping cough, measles, smallpox, and the Spanish flu decimated the Tsilhqot’in people.

Tyax Lodge Gold Bridge Hiking

Hunter Jack

Hunter Jack is the most famous Tsilhqot’in person from this time period. He negotiated the end to a war between the Chilcotin and Lillooet people. He was widely regarded as a fantastic trapper, ran his own guide-outfitter business and became chief of the area.

He had many notable clients including British Rear-Admiral Michael Culme-Seymour, who recognized him as the leader of the local people and bestowed the land upon him. Hunter Jack was involved in the local gold rush and was said to have died without telling anybody of the location of his secret gold mine. The mine remains undiscovered to this day.

Tyax Lodge Chilcotins Hiking

Pioneers

Like many other regions on the west coast, the South Chilcotins had their own gold rush. While many went to the Klondike Gold Rush in the Yukon, there was enough gold found in nearby Bralorne that a gold mine was opened.

Initially Chinese and Italian prospectors came, but they were driven out by Hunter Jack. He did, however, allow certain crews to investigate on his land. One of these crews discovered Cadwallader Creek. Three men hiked along this creek from Lillooet and discovered three gold deposits which would form the Bralorne Gold Mine. In a seven-year period during the Great Depression of the 1930s, it is estimated that $37,000,000 of gold was extracted from the mine.

Tyax Lodge Horseback Riding

During this time there was also a boom in the logging industry in BC. Areas from Vancouver through to Pemberton were heavily logged. However, due to the difficulty of road building and transportation, the logging industry didn’t extend to Gold Bridge.

Tyax Heliskiing Helicopter

Tyax Lodge

Heli-Skiing

Fast-forward to the late 1900s, the region left behind its pioneering past and became a destination for mountain adventures. Heli-skiing and epic mountain bike rides became very popular activities in the area. We’ve been running world-class heli-skiing tours from Tyax Lodge since 1991. Our extremely experienced guides and pilots will take you to various peaks in the South Chilcotins. With deep, dry powder, you’ll see why people come from all over the world to ski with us.

Tyax Lodge Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking

In the summer you can come and mountain bike some of the trails the original pioneers built during the gold rush. The trails take you into truly remote regions and feature rugged, natural trails that encompass all of what riding in BC is about.

Tyax Lodge Spa Summer

Tyax Lodge

After your activities, you can relax in Tyax Lodge, which was renovated in 2010. There are rustic, comfortable rooms as well as an exciting dining options and a fully stocked bar. There’s also a full spa on site, with therapeutic massages, outdoor hot tub, and hot stone treatments.

Come experience the area’s history for yourself. And while you’re here, you can do some world-class heliskiing and mountain biking.

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