Tagish Wilderness Lodge is tucked away in the Yukon forest from which many of the cabins and the lodge itself were built. Even the stone tiles in the bathroom are from the island in the middle of the lake. To get there, guests have to fly or boat in during the summer (June – end of September) or, in the winter (mid-February – early April) when the lodge is open, by snowmobile or by dog sled.
Years ago, when I was writing about the light stations of the west coast, the commonality was resilience and self sufficiency. The same holds true with this lovely lodge. Nothing is easily managed in the north and one has to really want to be there.
The innkeepers/partners are Sarah Stuecker and Gebhard Zuern, two quite worldly travellers who’ve settled in beautifully. Sarah does much of the cooking with lots of Thai spicing from her time in SE Asia while Gerhard, a professional pilot, will not only act as the fishing guide but also helping guests plan their outdoor jaunts.
Winter is one of the most Canadianizing experiences at Tagish – the northern lights wash the night skies. During the daytime, there’s an array of outdoor activities from ice-fishing for the sleepy lake trout to something they call “skijooring”, where all that is required is a well-trained husky dog, a pair of cross country skis and a pulling harness. Gebhard and Sarah describe it. ”You are active but don’t have to do all the work yourself! Our friendly huskies help you ski across the frozen lake – you will be amazed how far you can get! ” In the summer when the days are long and brilliant, there’s paddling and hiking, wildlife viewing and fabulous fishing. They add, “Let us surprise you with a romantic, secluded spot and sunset-dinner…”.
The food is as local as possible…sometimes from the greenhouses that supplement the vegetable supply in the north. And of course, the potatoes are Yukon Gold! The water of the lake is so pure that it’s drinkable although they do filter it.
Tagish Wilderness Lodge is one of about 250 restaurants participating in Food Day across Canada.