As we venture up the paths-less-traveled on our snowmobile tours in Golden and get further and further into the backcountry, you’ll be happy to come across a sign of civilization at the old Trapper’s Cabin that also serves as our lunch break location. Enjoying a hot chocolate, cookies or sumptuous BBQ lunch in front of a rustic A-frame cabin will help you feel not so completely exposed in the big snowy mountain backcountry playground.
The Old Trapper’s Cabin
The old Trapper’s cabin was erected by old man Wilson back in 1962. He lived in this cabin for many years, while he foraged for food and took care of his many trap-lines. He hunted wild game, and foraged for plants and berries, anything to stock up on food for survival in the wild, and especially over the cold, chilly winters. He ran a very successful trapline, trapping small animals such as pine martins, Russian Sable, wolverines and the infamous Golden Mink.
When Wilson had collected enough pelts and hides, he would make a trip to the town of Golden, or Banff, Alberta, and would then sell them to general stores or also trade them for other goods.
Was there more than just a trapline up in the mountains?
It was also rumored that Old Man Wilson had a gold mine up in the mountains that he secretly worked on during the summer months, although to this day, no evidence of this has ever been discovered.
The cabin today
The cabin itself is made of wood that was collected over time. It was built on stilts, because of the very heavy snowfalls here in the mountains of Golden, BC. The front door is constructed of metal and the windows covered with strong metal screen, to prevent bears and other wild beasts from getting in. Inside is a wood-burning stove that still works today.
Back in the old days, Old man Wilson checked his traps by snowshoeing around the area, most often spending all day outdoors. They were long, cold days but that is just the way things were done back then. 10 years ago the trap-line was handed down to the son, Willie Wilson, who now uses a snowmobile to get around far more quickly and efficiently, tending to his more than 40 kilometres of line.
Still, today, while you are touring out on the snowmobile trails, you can sometimes see Willy Wilson running along our mountain trails on his snowmobile checking his trap-lines. He is happy to stop and chat and to show what he has trapped that day if folks are interested.