FAQs

Everything you need to know

Our Facility

How do we book our stay at the ranch?

You can book with us through our website, by phoning or emailing us, or through AirBnB.

Who can I contact if I need help?

For any issues or support, all guests can contact the ranch manager and event coordinator, Anna. You can find Anna, or ranch staff, at the facility.

How do we get there?

For detailed instructions, please go to our contact page which provides a map and directions from both Fernie and Cranbrook to Bull River.

Are you pet friendly?

We are dog-friendly at an additional cost; we do not allow cats at the ranch. It is important to note that there are animals on the ranch including: dogs, cats, horses, miniature horses, chickens, donkeys, and goats. We do ask that dogs stay on leash to help protect our barnyard animals and wildlife, and we kindly ask that you pick up after your pet.

Is there cell service?

Cell service is limited at the ranch; you can typically find 1-2 bars walking around the ranch but we do advise that the location is off-grid - expect a break from the digital world and connection with their friends and family.

Are the hot tubs and saunas open?

Yes, our hot tubs and saunas are open year-round. There are 2 hot tubs and 1 sauna that are communal and shared amongst guests. In this building, guests also have access to washrooms, 2 communal showers, and a coffee station. Towels are supplied in the building. Hours of operation are 8 am - 10 pm.

What are the hot tub and sauna hours?

Hours of operation are 8 am - 10 pm.

Are there activities at the ranch?

There are a multitude of activities to do at the ranch that are primarily self-directed and require you bringing equipment. We recommend that you check out or Activities page on the website for a full list of activities, but to name a few: petting zoo, playground and sports (beach volleyball court, horse shoes, a field for soccer, football or frisbee), hiking and walking trails, biking trails, a lake for non-motorized water activities, and cross country snow sports. All activities require guests bringing their sporting equipment. We have a lake that is situated just behind our property called Murray lake. 4km there and back. Perfect for hiking and swimming. There are also plenty of off-site activities that we outsource for guests such as horseback riding, hunting, guided river floats, fly fishing, golfing, and white water rafting. We are happy to coordinate these activities with our partners ahead of time.

Is there an open restaurant?

At this time, we do not have an open restaurant. We do provide 2 barbecues and each cabin has its own fully-equipped kitchen with fridge, freezer, oven, and stove. We provide all cooking utensils and equipment, but ask that guests provide cooking oils, seasoning, and foods. Please note that there is an ice machine available to guests. Additionally, the Bull River Inn Pub is a 20 minute drive away where guests can get great pub-style food and drinks: 4569 Wardner Fort Steele Rd, Bull River, BC V0B 1N0. Guests can also go to the Jaffray Pub, located at 2359 BC-3, Jaffray, BC V0B 1T0.

Can we bring e-bikes, fat bikes, motorized machines?

Yes - we allow all types of sporting equipment at the ranch. With regards to motorized vehicles such as dirt bikes, quads, or side-by-sides, we ask that guests not ride on the ranch property but rather on the roads and trails in the surrounding area.

Can we have an outdoor fire?

We have a no-open-fire policy at the ranch due to BC forest fire regulations. As such, outdoor fires, sparklers, and fireworks are prohibited. We do however allow guests to bring their own propane fire pits.

What are the check-in and check-out policies?

Standard check-in time is 4 pm and check-out time is 11 am. Extended times can be requested, and we endeavour to accommodate requests depending on ranch occupancy. Half day charges may apply and an extension would be granted on the discretion of the ranch management.

How far is Mirror lake from the ranch?

Mirror lake is a 45 minute walk from the ranch (8 km there and back). The lake is not located on the ranch, it is on crown land. We provide a map and directions to get there in each cabin. You can find the lake on Google Maps; it goes by Mirror Lake and Murray Lake.

Is Mirror Lake safe?

Yes Mirror Lake is safe. We highly recommend that you bring bear bells and bear spray for hiking.

Can you drive to Mirror Lake?

No, you can only walk/hike in. It is a leisurely hike. You can find the lake on Google Maps; it goes by Mirror Lake and Murray Lake.

Can you ice fish / fish at Mirror Lake?

Yes, you can. You will need to bring ice fishing equipment to do so. Please make sure you pick up a fishing license on your way through Cranbrook. The fish are always biting there! We can also arrange for guided fly-fishing trips up the Bull River depending on the summer month.

What type of fish are in Mirror Lake?

Rainbow trout.

Is Mirror Lake swimmable?

Yes, Mirror Lake is swimmable. We recommend bringing non-motorized aquatic equipment for water activities and a life jacket.

Our Location

What type of vehicle do I need to access the ranch?

Small cars are able to access the ranch; however, in accordance with BC law, all vehicles are required to have all wheel drive and snow tires in the winter months.

What is the best way to access the ranch in the winter?

In the winter, it is best that guests access the ranch via the Wardner/Fort Steele road onto the Bull River Road/Galloway Service Road (The sign says the Bull River Road, regular maps say Bull River Road, and Google Maps says Galloway Forest Service Road). Galloway is not fully plowed during the winter months. We will keep you updated as best as we can regarding the best way to access the ranch in the winter.

Who maintains the Bull River Road?

Main Roads’ maintain the road. However, the highways are the priority and sometimes they are unable to get to the Bull River Road quickly.

When is hummingbird season?

The Bull River Valley is home to some of the most unique hummingbirds in the world. The species we have here on the ranch are the Calliope, Rufus, Ruby Throated and Black-Chinned hummingbirds. Peak season to watch them is May - Mid July.

Is it safe to drive in the dark?

We are located 16 km on a seasonal, gravel, logging road. Sometimes the trucks are running so please be cautious of them. Additionally, wildlife are active in the dark. Please drive as you feel comfortable. It is easier to find the ranch in the daylight.

What about logging trucks on the roads leading to the ranch?

Sometimes logging trucks run steadily throughout the winter. During these months, we recommend that you bring a radio that connects to the logging channels.

What is the wedding cancellation policy?

Functions cancelled within one hundred eighty (180) days of the booked event date are subject to pay a cancellation fee of fifty (50) percent of the estimate you received. This would be invoiced and due within 15 days of the cancellation date. Functions cancelled within ninety (90) days of the booked event date are subject to pay a cancellation fee of eighty (80) percent of the estimate you received. This would be invoiced and due within 15 days of the cancellation date. All cancellations must be in writing in order to confirm cancellation. Proof of cancellation will be a signed and dated by an authorized person of the Bull River Guest Ranch. In the event of a national emergency (including the COVID-19 pandemic) or an act of God, the Rooms & Facility Fee cancellation policies will be null and void.

What kind of wildlife do we see?

What kind of wildlife do we see? It is common to see whitetail deer, fawns, turtles, elk, bald eagles, and hummingbirds (seasonal), at the ranch. Occasionally, guests have seen bears, cougars, bobcats, and moose from a distance.

Should we bring bear spray and bear bells?

Yes, Bull River Guest Ranch is in bear country; we recommend having bear protection at all times.

How do we book off site excursions?

For all off-site excursions, please contact the Ranch in advance. We will coordinate your activities with our partners. The farther you book in advance, the more likely we will be able to book your excursion.

Are there hiking trails?

There is a flagged hike to Mirror Lake, and there are a significant number of trails on the ranch and in the pickering hills surrounding the ranch.

Our Accomodations

Are there TVs in the cabins?

No, there are no TVs in the cabins to keep the ranch a digital-free environment.

Is there WIFI in the cabins?

No, we do not provide WIFI for the cabins to keep the ranch a digital-free environment. There is however communal wifi at the lodge deck.

Do we need cooking supplies?

The cabin kitchens are fully equipped; we do ask that guests bring all food and drinks required for their visit including cooking oils, coffee, ice, and seasoning.

Do we need linens?

No, all accommodations come with full bedding, linens, and towels.

What else should we bring for our cabin?

Depending on the season, we recommend that guests check the weather and pack clothing accordingly. Mirror Lake is a 4 km hike away and is great for swimming, paddleboarding and kayaking; we recommend guests pack their swimsuits and any aquatic equipment they may want to use. Other items that may improve guest experiences are: portable speakers, outdoor-games, board-games, a cell phone booster, camping chairs for additional seating outside their accommodations, hiking or running shoes, and a propane-fire pit.

Is there a BBQ at each cabin?

There are no barbecues for each cabin; however, we do have a communal barbecue area with 2 large barbecues for guests to use during their stay.

COVID-19 Protocols

What are the COVID cancellation protocols for individual bookings?

We require a $100.00 deposit for cabin bookings. This deposit can be returned if it is canceled two weeks prior to the check in date.

What are the COVID cancellation protocols for weddings and events?

If there are COVID-19 restrictions still in place at the time of your event, we will offer the following options: You can proceed with the current COVID-19 restrictions and numbers that are in place at the date of your event. Move your event to the following year based on availability. The event date can only be moved once. If the COVID-19 government issue restricted numbers are below 50, you will be required to fill the cabins to the government issued number. Any remaining cabins that are not allocated will be available to rent to the public.

Wedding Events

What about the rehearsal dinner and breakfast the next day?

If you choose our outdoor reception area wedding package, we open the outdoor reception area for rehearsal dinners on the evening before the wedding and breakfast the day after the event. Guests are responsible for all food and beverage, cutlery, glass and plateware, service, and cleanup. If you would like to cater this event, we are happy to connect you with vendors. If you choose our Lodge wedding package, we open the Lodge for rehearsal dinners on the evening before the wedding. Guests are responsible for all food and beverage, cutlery, glass and plateware, service, and cleanup. If you would like to cater this event, we are happy to connect you with vendors.

Where is the ceremony and what is provided?

Our ceremony area backs onto a beautiful pond and water feature with a wooden altar. We provide the altar, chairs, a signing table, speakers, power cables, white umbrellas, and chilled water for guests. We will manage all the setup and takedown of this equipment. Guests are responsible for all decorating and for providing a DJ if music is desired at the ceremony.

What is provided for a outdoor reception?

Our picturesque log outdoor area is an indoor/outdoor area with 2 large barbecues, an indoor bar, an outdoor bar, and full access to fridges and deep freezers. We provide a podium and speaker system for music, 8 ft rectangular banquet tables that each seat 10 guests, 8 ft rectangular banquet tables for food presentation, gifts, and dessert, and white plastic chairs. We also provide white buffet dinner plates, cutlery, and wine and water glassware that will be delivered clean and wrapped for you or your vendors to set up. Once used, they will need to be cleaned and loaded back into their crates by you or your caterers. We take care of the setup and takedown of the tables and chairs. Guests are responsible for decorating, food preparation, servicing, and cleaning. We are happy to connect you with vendors to have the reception bar tended and catered. For the outdoor reception area, you are responsible for obtaining a Special Event Permit, which can be applied for online. This permit allows for the serving of liquor at the event.

What is provided for a lodge reception?

Our stunning log lodge features a fully-equipped professional kitchen, vaulted ceilings, and a large outdoor terrace for a picturesque rustic wedding reception. We provide a podium and speaker system for music, 8 ft rectangular banquet tables that each seat 10 guests, 8 ft rectangular banquet tables for food presentation, gifts, and dessert, and white plastic chairs. We also provide white buffet dinner plates, cutlery, and wine and water glassware that will be delivered clean and wrapped for you or your vendors to set up. Once used, they will need to be cleaned and loaded into the kitchen by you or your caterers. We take care of the setup and takedown of the tables and chairs. Guests are responsible for decorating, food preparation, servicing, and cleaning. We are happy to connect you with vendors to have the reception bar tended and catered. The Lodge bar is supplied and operated by the ranch and is a fully licensed facility. Accordingly, no outside liquor is permitted in the lodge at any time.

So, what is everything we need to bring for the wedding?

All ceremony and reception wedding décor (this includes wedding decorations, flowers, signs, all table decorations, and linens) If choosing the outdoor reception area, one bartender for 50 people is required. The bar set up is the clients responsibility, or have it arranged with vendors. The client is in charge of supplying all bar items such as the float, cups, shooter glasses, straws, wine openers, lemons and limes. BRGR will supply the ice. If the client is choosing to do meals in the outdoor reception area other than the reception meal, the client is responsible for bringing all cups, utensils, plates, napkins, and all food and beverage services. Also - we highly recommend bringing a wedding emergency kit with safety pins, tide pens, needle & thread, and a lint roller!

Which vendors do we have access to?

Wedding Planner, Marriage Commissioner, Catering, Cake Makers, Licensed Bartenders, Florist, Hair & Makeup, DJ & Music, Photography, Videography, Taxi & Shuttle Services

Is there a checklist you can provide?

Complete cabin allocations sheet - Special Event Permit (Bar requirement if using BBQ reception area. The event can not go ahead without this in place) The bartender must be a licensed bartender. - Event Insurance (the event can not go ahead without this in place) - Marriage license - Reception area seating chart - All speeches printed off and MC speech/notes - Set up crew for wedding decorations ceremony location - Friend/family member who will do ceremony music - Clean up crew for wedding decorations ceremony location - Set up crew for wedding decorations reception area - Set up crew for reception area dinner (this includes decorations, table linens, glassware, cutlery, plates, flowers, etc.) - Friend/family member who will do reception area music - Clean up crew for reception dinner (this includes all decorations, table linens, glassware, cutlery, plates, flowers, and etc.) - Set-up crew for the following day's breakfast (this includes decorations, flowers, table linens, glassware, cutlery, plates, etc.) - Clean up crew following breakfast (we ask you leave the area the way that you found it, and take all decorations and signs with you).

Wedding Administration

What is the pricing for a wedding at the ranch and what is the deposit?

Our pricing and fees are set to cover facility fees, ceremony fees, and guest accommodations. All rates are provided in CAD.

Do we need insurance?

Yes, your event can not go ahead without you purchasing insurance from a broker of your choice to cover the duration of your event. If you need support with this matter, please contact us for recommended vendors.

Do we need a liquor license?

For a Lodge reception, you do not. The bar is supplied and operated by the ranch and is a fully licensed facility. Accordingly, no outside liquor is permitted in the lodge at any time. For the Barnhouse reception, you are responsible for getting a Special Event Permit, which can be applied for online. This permit allows for the serving of liquor at the event.

What are the policies for decorating and event setup?

We do not permit any article to be fastened onto walls or electrical fixtures. The use of tacks, tape, nails, screws, bolts or any tools that could mark the floors, walls or ceilings, is prohibited. No open fires, fireworks or lanterns are permitted.

What if we damage something by accident?

Unless you provide a full guarantee for guest incidentals, individual guests will be required to provide a credit card upon check in. Children 12 & under must be chaperoned/accompanied by an adult while on premises. All Guest rooms provide an outdoor deck area. Smoking is not allowed in the guest rooms; surcharges will be assessed for additional cleaning if deemed necessary. As the organizers, you assume all responsibility for the actions and conduct of the client and/or the client’s guests.You are responsible for any damage to the premises by their invited guests or independent contractors during the time the premises are under their control.

What are the terms and conditions for guests?

Unless you provide a full guarantee for guest incidentals, individual guests will be required to provide a credit card upon check in. Children 12 & under must be chaperoned/accompanied by an adult while on premises. Smoking is not allowed in the guest rooms or cabins; surcharges will be assessed for additional cleaning if deemed necessary; this is a zero-tolerance policy. There is an outdoor gazebo allocated for smoking. As the organizers, you assume all responsibility for the actions and conduct of the client and/or the client’s guests.

What is the wedding cancellation policy?

Functions cancelled within one hundred eighty (180) days of the booked event date are subject to pay a cancellation fee of fifty (50) percent of the estimate you received. This would be invoiced and due within 15 days of the cancellation date. Functions cancelled within ninety (90) days of the booked event date are subject to pay a cancellation fee of eighty (80) percent of the estimate you received. This would be invoiced and due within 15 days of the cancellation date. All cancellations must be in writing in order to confirm cancellation. Proof of cancellation will be signed and dated by ranch manager Anna of the Bull River Guest Ranch. In the event of a national emergency (including the COVID-19 pandemic) or an act of God, the Rooms & Facility Fee cancellation policies will be null and void.

What about COVID-19 restrictions causing cancellation?

If there are COVID-19 restrictions still in place at the time of your event, we will offer the following options: you can proceed with the current COVID-19 restrictions and numbers that are in place at the date of your event, or you can move your event to the following year based on availability. The event date can only be moved once. If the COVID-19 government-issue restricted guest counts are below 50, you will be required to fill the cabins to the government-issued guest counts. Any remaining cabins that are not allocated will be available to rent to the public.

Wedding Guest Accomodations

How many guests can you accommodate?

Between the cabins, the suites, and Douglas Lake Cottage, we can accommodate up to 67 guests; once all buildings have been accommodated, we open up the camping area for overflow. The amount of guests allotted for camping is dependent on cabin vacancy; please contact the ranch for more details.

How many nights do we get to stay?

Our wedding packages and cabin rentals require that all accommodations be booked for a minimum of 2 nights. If your wedding takes place over a weekend, it is typically Friday and Saturday night reservations. Additional nights can be booked at an additional cost.

What are the check-in and check-out policies?

Standard check-in time is 4 pm and check-out time is 11 am. Extended times can be requested, and we endeavour to accommodate requests depending on ranch occupancy. Half day charges may apply and an extension would be granted on the discretion of the ranch management.

How do we allocate guest accommodations?

Once your wedding has been booked, we will provide a guest and allocation sheet with a list of the options and their capacities. We ask that you determine which of your guests will stay in which accommodations and provide it to us at your earliest convenience. Once you or your guests have confirmed their reservation and paid the $100 deposit for their accommodations, their accommodation fees will be removed from the event invoice. Please note that the deposits for each accommodation are non-refundable if the event is cancelled. Please note that you will be invoiced for any of the cabins, suites, lower bunk-house rooms, and the Douglas Lake Cottage if they are not allocated and paid for by guests.

How do our guests pay for their accommodations?

On our guest and accommodation allocation sheet that you fill out upon booking, the cost of each accommodation is listed. The three most common methods of managing the guest payments are: The wedding couple provides the cost of each guest’s accommodation and has each guest contact the ranch to place their $100 deposit and reserve their space. Once the guest has confirmed their booking with their deposit, the fees for their accommodations will be removed from the event invoice. Final payments will be taken at check in. The wedding couple pays the cost of accommodations, and then has their guests pay them directly for the specified price of their room (per the accommodation list). The wedding couple pays for guest accommodations upfront.

What do we tell our guests to pack?

We recommend that guests pack whatever food and drinks are required for the weekend outside of what the wedding couple is providing the group. Depending on the season, we recommend that guests check the weather and pack clothing accordingly. Mirror Lake is a 4 km hike away and is great for swimming, paddleboarding and kayaking; we recommend guests pack their swimsuits and any aquatic equipment they may want to use. Other items that may improve guest experiences are: portable speakers, outdoor-games, camping chairs for additional seating outside their accommodations, hiking or running shoes, and propane-fire pits, cards, and board games.