Glenora Guest RanchTelegraph Creek BC Canada
(information supplied by Alaska Waters Inc)
Glenora Guest Ranch is a 150-year-old working homestead. This is a truly unique experience! If you are expecting five star hotel accommodations this is not for you! If you want to experience the true pioneer spirit and lifestyle, then by all means take this opportunity. We are met at the river by four wheelers with trailers that will take us the three miles uphill to the ranch, situated on a plateau 1200 feet above the Stikine. If it is dry and hot you are going to get dusty on this ride. If it is wet, you are going to get mud splattered on you. But in either case, it is worth it! The homestead, Glenora Guest Ranch was formerly known as Ball's Ranch, a world-renowned big game hunting outfitter. Nancy Ball runs the place. Nancy is sixty-two year's old, five feet two inches and perhaps 105 pounds. She carries a 30.06 rifle with her everywhere she goes. The rifle is to protect herself (and her guests) from bears, both black and grizzly that are abundant. She lives here year-round by herself and runs a trap line in the winter. She cuts her own firewood, kills her own moose and packs it home. This is the same lifestyle that has been lived here for over a hundred years! Nancy cares for 18 horses that are living out their days on her ranch. The horses were used in the pack trains when they ran the guided hunting. She figures they have earned their retirement. There is 250 acres of cleared land plus or minus and they hay the fields to feed their horses in the winter. On many a cold winter night Nancy has run into the pasture with her rifle in her hand, wearing only a nightgown, to run off the wolves trying to get the horses.
Each couple gets their own log cabin, heated by wood if needed and kerosene lantern for light. There is a very nice restroom with shower and bath (hot water too)! We eat family style in Nancy's cabin. The food is excellent and she does a great job at keeping everyone overfed. All meals are cooked on her old Army wood cookstove.
We provide guided hiking on trails. The wildlife is abundant here. For a hundred and fifty years no one has ever bothered the wild animals on the place (other than the wolves). We commonly see bears, moose, grouse and lots of birds. This is a birder's paradise. There are Golden Eagles, various hawks and falcons as well as Loons, Snipe and many other species to view.
Overnight camping is an option at any of several campsites along the river. Alaska Waters does not outfit for this. You will be responsible for your own camping gear.
Bugs are not bad in the upper river-above the Little Canyon. It is much drier than the lower river and the mosquitoes don't have the opportunity to breed that they do in the lower river. That is not to say there are none. May is usually still cool enough to keep them down. June is definitely the worst month because the river is high at this time and there is more water around. By mid-July on most years the river begins to drop and the bug situation improves. August gets better and by September, there are very few around.
WHAT TO BRING
Warm Clothes. Rain gear, boots. Shorts and light shoes. Change of clothes for as many nights as you spend on the river. Clothing you can layer works best in this environment. Food for the trip up and down the river. Camera and lots of film. Sunglasses and sunscreen. Binoculars are also a good idea. And, of course, personal toilet items. Alaska Waters, Inc. provides coolers on board for safe storage of beverage and food items.
WHEN TO COME
The Stikine River has four definite seasons. They are all good as far as I'm concerned. In May there is still lots of snow on the banks on the lower river with not a sign of Spring. As you get further up river you run headlong into Spring. The plants will be greening up at Telegraph Creek and the mountains still have lots of snow with waterfalls everywhere. The snow on the banks is all gone.
If there was a month that is 'not the best month' to be on the river, it would be June. It is really more of a problem for the captain than for anyone else. As the river rises, there is lots of woody debris floating which wreaks havoc on a jet boat's intakes. It doesn't create a serious or dangerous situation, but rather, is a bit of a nuisance. The mountains still have lots of snow, and there are waterfalls everywhere. Probably the biggest downfall with June is it is the most likely time to encounter mosquitoes. I have been to Telegraph Creek many times in June and I can't say that I've ever had what I'd describe as a "bug problem" on the upper river. The weather is beautiful in June and still not really hot. May and June are the best months for birding. July is summer. Early July still has snow in the mountains, but by mid-July it is beginning to disappear. The river is usually dropping in July so the bugs are also disappearing. It can be HOT in Telegraph Creek in July and early August. Long days and lots of things to see.
August is a beautiful month because the days are getting shorter and it is wonderful light for photography. Days are hot and nights begin to cool down by mid-August. The river is dropping and the bugs are disappearing rapidly. The days can still be hot, but things are definitely cooling off..
September is Fall Color Month. The river continues to drop. Days are cooler and it can freeze at night. There will be fresh snow in the mountains. Fall colors usually begin about the first of September and reach their peak around the second or third week of September. Of course every year is different, depending on the weather. The autumn colors on the upper Stikine are second to none-spectacular! Bugs are gone. The season is officially closed at the Riversong Lodge, but they open their hotel and restaurant for our groups. It is special in some ways; there are few people in Telegraph Creek at this time of year.
October is sometimes a real visual treat, depending on the year. It is definitely on the "late" end of things, but I have had some really beautiful trips in October. I have even seen years when I had a good trip as late as November. The risk at this late part of the season is that the river can "drop out' if there is an unusually hot and dry summer and then freezes early in the high country. It can be too low to safely navigate with passengers. For the most part, during "normal years" the first two weeks of October would be a safe time to make the trip.
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