Majesty on the Edge of the Map
There are no roads leading to Nimmo Bay, an eighteen-guest wilderness resort that sits on the remote, undeveloped, and largely unsung western coast of Canada. Instead, a sleek helicopter ferries you in from neighboring Vancouver Island, passing over the Inside Passages Queen Charlotte Strait, where you might spot Alaska-bound cruise ships, killer whales, or a school of porpoises.
You are deposited at Nimmo Bay Resort, a pocket-size enclave of luxury carved sensitively into what must be the middle of nowhere. Begin your day with a little beachcombing, caving, ocean kayaking, or river rafting.
Or, choose among a series of thrilling “heli-adventures” courtesy of the resort’s private pilot – ascending 6,000 feet up and over ancient rain forests for a gourmet mountaintop picnic and a nice glacier hike; flying to a small Kwakiutl Indian village whose totem poles tell the story of ancestors who settled these shores many centuries ago; or heading to the area’s pristine, nameless rivers and streams for catch-and-release fishing, with wild salmon tipping the scales at 50 to 60 pounds and cutthroat trout and Dolly Varden char regularly weighing in at 5 pounds.
For all the sensory overload, the overwhelming encounter with nature, and the adrenaline-pumping experiences, perhaps the best part of every day’s adventure is to return to the resort’s nine chalets, built on stilts on this tidal, fjordlike bay.
The dining here competes with Vancouver’s best – think hours-old “drunken” salmon in a secret-recipe marinade, followed by a dessert of frozen white and dark chocolate truffles. The evening is topped off with a good soak in the open-air hot tub, located at the foot of a mountainside waterfall. When they created this bliss-in-the-wilderness sanctuary more than twenty years ago, the Murray family was written off as a bunch of eccentric dreamers. No one’s laughing now.