Early in 1974 Fort McMurray was just starting to take off. As a result I was transferred there to work. I used my spare time to acquire a private pilots license and got familiar with the various lodges in the area. Our first plane was a Cessna 172 then quickly went to a Cessna 180 on floats and ski’s. One place in particular, Bolton / Meanwell Lakes was touted as a great walleye and pike area with several rivers and lakes connected. The bush was just on the edge of the “green leaf’ geography which allowed for trikes to go for miles. This area is on the south western edge of the “Athabasca Sand Basin” in north western Saskatchewan. The rivers are the headwaters of the Clearwater River which joins the Athabasca and flows to the arctic.
We started off camping then gradually flew in freight to build a recreational cabin in 1985. Bolton Lake Wilderness Retreat was created in the late 1990’s when we were given the opportunity to go commercial which allowed us to purchase the property. This change also allowed for the building of an airstrip, surface trails and so on.Early in 2000 we opened an old trail which runs east from the Semchuck Trail which is a gravel road from La Loche to the Cluff Lake Mine site then in the old days all the way to Uranium City. At kilometer 165 there is a cut-line that runs east / west on the north side of Patterson Lake and goes to Cree Lake. It had been used for exploration and was abandoned in the late seventies. Exploration was going strong and the trail was opened coming close to Bolton Lake. Since then we have opened the road in winter months crossing 3 rivers and one lake to gain access over the 55 kilometers. This trail is now opened to its original size of 16 feet wide and runs to the lodge.
Over the years we have either flown in or used the winter road to build the lodge to what it is today. With the building of the airstrips, the clearing of trails, we operate over a 35 square mile territory utilizing our Commercial Outfitters License. We have permitted trails or waterways to Meanwell Lake, Dell Lake, Dyke Lake, Clearwater River, Mirror River just to name a few.
We have catered to exploration, hunting, fishing and corporate retreats over the years. The main emphasis is on exploration although the walleye / pike fishing is excellent in season. The lodge is setup for a great place to host a corporate retreat, family reunion, as there are no roads, few disturbances plus all the comforts of home including internet. Commercial fishing ceased in the early 1990’s so stocks are vibrant. Lately since retiring from work in Fort McMurray we have had time to explore fishing spots finding grayling and trout. We have 70 miles of trail, cut-lines and roads to explore on ground as well as rivers and lakes.
The Lodge is set up to host one to two groups at a time. The buildings are all heated and where water is present all lines are heat traced. Our water supply is from Bolton Lake. We use a reverse osmosis system to make potable water in the main lodge which is checked yearly. All non-potable water is filtered and has a chlorine injection system. We are available year round to help u utilize the entire facility so your group can accomplish their goals whether it be relaxation or exploration.