Dechenla Lodge and Wilderness Centre
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- Dechenla Lodge and Wilderness CentreMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 6First to Review
Across the border from Canada's Yukon and just into the Northwest Territories lies the MacKenzie Mountain Barrens, a vast unspoiled wilderness. At MP 212 on the Canol Trail in this area, sits the Dechenla Lodge hosted by Norman, Barbara and Josh Barichello in partnership with the Kaska First Nation. This is the place I stayed as part of an Earthwatch (Climate Chage at Artic's Edge with Dr. Pete Kershaw) trip. It used to be know as the Old Squaw Lodge.
The view, which overlooks a lake-dotted tundra plateau set against a backdrop of the mountains was breath-taking and changed frequently with the light and the weather. We also saw caribou, wolves, a golden eagle, and other birds from that view.
The main lodge is a cozy, 2-story log building. The dining area and kitchen are on the main floor. The second floor is a library and sitting room, with windows on three sides to showcase the views and allow for wildlife viewing.
They have eight guest cabins, each with 2 beds, wood burning heater, desk and great views of the tundra and mountains. Bedding, towels and hot and cold water are also provided. They also have a shower/sauna house with an on-demand propane-fired shower system, and wood-fired sauna.
The food was delicious and much of it made from scratch. During our time there we had home-made breads and pastries, caribou stew, and many other square meals.
In addition to hosting our Earthwatch team, the Dechenla lodge offers adventure nature tours, including hiking and biking tours, as well as outdoor adventure education, and meeting facilitation. They also offer youth self-awareness programs, treatment programs, and cultural awareness programs. Norman and Josh also took our group on a couple great hikes to the top of Poppy Ridge and the First Sister.