The Elk River Valley, located in the East Kootenay area of British Columbia, is one of the most beautiful places in the world! A nature-based eco-tourism vacation based in Fernie, the heart of the Elk Valley means diverse ecosystems, breathtaking vistas, towering mountains, wildlife abound and countless lakes, streams and rivers to explore. In fact, Fernie, BC is the perfect location for your next eco-adventure. Whatever you dream of …casually drifting down the world class Elk River, wandering through diverse riparian ecosystems, or hiking amid lush alpine flower meadows we can make them come true for you. We recognize and appreciate there are a wide spectrum of interests, experience levels, age classes and fitness levels. With an understanding that there is adventure in all of us we have developed itineraries that will excite all travelers. Your experienced guide Randy Dolighan is a Registered Professional Biologist. For the past three decades he has worked in Wilderness Parks, Wildlife, Fisheries and Ecosystems Management throughout the Province of B.C. Randy is known for his passion for connecting the next generation and the general public to the outdoors and can often be found at school, club and public functions enthusiastically presenting conservation oriented presentations or conducting interpretive field tours. He is delighted to be able to jump into conducting Eco Tours (and Angling Guiding) with both feet where he can passionately share his knowledge, skills and abilities in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Randy looks forward to hosting you for an unforgettable experience. Don’t forget your camera!
1) Holistic Eco-Drift
This tour is designed for guests who would like to casually drift along a carefully selected river section that allows for a wide cross section of breathtaking views and diverse landscapes. Our focus is oriented around how everything is interconnected from mountain top to stream channel from both a physical and biological perspective. As we drift along we will experience amazing scenery and encounter a wide variety of plants and animals native to the area. This is the perfect drift for most people touring the area. Click here to book a Holistic Eco-Drift!
2) Naturalist Eco Drift
This tour is designed for both experienced and novice naturalists who are keen to have a closer look at the biodiversity attributes of the river and riparian corridor. Our goal is to provide up-close viewing opportunity and interpretation of specific river and riparian features of interest from a naturalist perspective (fish, birds, mammals, plant communities and stages of secession). We are keen to custom design the Eco Drift adventure to your specific interests and time of day. If you are a nature buff and have yet to experience a day in the outdoors drifting casually along a world class river with an experienced Professional Biologist / River Practitioner you are going to love this one. Click here to book a Naturalist Eco Drift!
3) River Biologist for a day!
This tour is designed for guests who would like to experience being a “River Biologist” for the day. We start with an overview to put things in context and then head out on the water. We view the various reaches (pools, riffles, glides) and their different features in terms of fish habitat. Some basic sampling is conducted to compare aquatic insect communities in the different habitat types. We then evaluate the riparian habitat and channel condition and how it is contributing to the heath of the river. Fish are caught, identified by species, and sampled for stomach content, condition, and age based on length frequency chart. Participants will have hands on experience and learn about aging fish; habitat types required at each life stage; how to key out invertebrates, fish and plant species; fish species communities and their interrelationships; indicators of ecosystem health. If your goal is to improve your knowledge and get some Fisheries Biologist hands on experience this is an ideal opportunity. Click here to become a biologist for a day!
4) Adventure Eco-Drift
This tour is designed for fun loving guests who are interested in a minor amount of interpretation and major amount of full-on river drifting. We will get you out on the water for an entertaining ride with our experienced Biologist / River Practitioner without going as far as the whitewater “thrill” experience.
Full Day trips for 2 people $500 and $35 per extra person up to 5 max for drifts. Half Day trips for 2 people $250 and $35 per extra person up to 5 max for drifts. Stream walks are the same rates as the drifts but can accommodate more participants. All include Lunch on the full day and a snack on the half day as well as drinks. Come prepared for the weather! Randy is a very flexible and capable guide. Let us customize a program for you or your group! Click here to book your Adventure Eco-Drift!