Welcome to Blachford Lake Lodge, your home away from home in the serene, Canadian north. Blachford Lake Lodge is located in the rugged wilderness of Northern Canada, in superb Aurora-watching country. Perched on a rock knoll overlooking Blachford Lake, it is a half-hour bush-plane from the city of Yellowknife, the capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories.
Many miles from roads, or national suppliers of electricity and water, our lodge nonetheless provides many of the benefits of a luxury hotel, with the priceless addition of a pristine wilderness environment, unpolluted by artificial light or noise, the perfect setting for watching the Aurora Borealis (also known as the Northern Lights).
Look around, and take your time. We’ve got a lot of information for you here. From tips on getting to/from Yellowknife (your gateway to Blachford Lake Lodge), to your accommodation options, and more, we keep our website up to date with everything you need to know and more about visiting Blachford.
For Autumn & Summer Aurora packages and pricing, click here.
Mike Freeland has been the owner-operator of Blachford Lake Lodge since he acquired the property as a single cabin in 1981. Brought up in Ontario, Mike studied tourism there and moved to a tourism development job with the Northwest Territories government in 1974. After two years he left to work as a free-lance consultant and set up his own tourist camps above the tree-line in the NWT’s Barren Lands. In developing tourism across the NWT, Nunavut and Greenland, Mike has worked with government, Arctic communities, businesses and indigenous groups.
In his 40+ years in the industry, Mike has seen environmental concerns come from virtually nowhere to being one of the biggest, and most exciting challenges for tourism today. With his true passion for wilderness, Mike takes all aspects of these concerns very seriously, both in day-to-day running as well as in new developments at Blachford. He continues to take an active part in all aspects of the lodge, from long term-business planning, to alternative energy initiatives to fixing chainsaws.
Mike is also an active supporter of Dechinta University, a unique indigenous studies university program, providing on-the-land teaching, utilising the Blachford site as the campus.
An active grandfather to his three grandchildren, Mikes also loves cross-country skiing, canoeing, kayaking, and camping. Always delighted to share his extensive knowledge of the north, Mike is based in Yellowknife, where his wife Tessa Macintosh, a well-known northern photographer, runs the Blue Raven bed-and-breakfast.
Director of Sales & Marketing
Katherine Johnson, our Director of Sales and Marketing, was born into adventure travel. Her father founded the Great Canadian Travel Company in 1981 and at five years old Katherine was stickering brochures for the family business, at a rate of 0.25¢ per roll. She has run polar bear tours and managed a hotel in Churchill, Manitoba, and served as a board member for Nunavut Tourism. Katherine coached synchronized swimming for Winnipeg Synchro and also worked for Winnipeg Folk Festival. When not travelling herself (her life’s great passion) she lives with her little girl, two dogs, a cat and her husband.
Yves Page is our Head Chef, originally from Winnipeg, MB. His love for food started early, baking bread and creating dishes for family meals by age 10. After studying arts, he moved to Vancouver to explore the west coast. Here, he learned lots about regional cuisine and developed lots of new menu items. Prior to joining the BLL team, Yves spent 8 years at the Tundra Dining Room in Churchill, MB where both guests and locals alike have made it their favourite place in town to eat. When he’s not cooking, Yves enjoys tennis, running, and spending quality time with his family and friends.
Stuart Oldham is Blachford’s Mr Fix-It. Stuart does not live/work full time at the lodge, but comes in to help with necessary help! He is a long time staple and team member of the lodge. Raised on a farm north of Toronto he came north to work in Yellowknife gold mines, and his intended two years has stretched into nearly 40. He has clocked up over 12,000 hours with St John’s Ambulance and other work, some volunteer, has included firefighter, policeman and fishing guide. Stuart has meditated since he was in high school and experiences Blachford as a strongly spiritual place. He now runs his own mechanical business, which includes a contract maintaining diesel generators in communities throughout the NWT. He lives in Yellowknife with his partner, step-daughter and two-year old grandson.
Sales & Marketing Coordinator
Amy Isaikina started her Blachford life as a volunteer in 2010. Brought up on a sustainable, off-grid farm in Ontario, Amy has a strong background in operating machinery, living off the land, and sustainable practices. Having worked and travelled around the world, she met her husband Dima in Hawaii and they continue employment and travel together. Amy’s work for Balchford has included volunteer, volunteer coordination, lodge manager, and consultant – she continues to work remotely from wherever in the world she happens to be. Amy works and studies to fill her passion for wilderness, adventure, nutrition and sustainable living, as a means of maintaining a healthy, happy body and planet.
Sales & Marketing Coordinator
I was born and raised in Yellowknife and have lived here most of my life. I left briefly to go to school at the University of Alberta to study Anthropology and Sociology. In my free time I love spending time with my dog, doing an outdoor activity, or just relaxing while reading a good book. I’m super excited to be spending the summer season at Blachford and I look forward to meeting all of you!
Hello everyone! I am chef Simona, from Switzerland and I moved to Canada in 2007. I spent 9 years in Vancouver, and in 2016 I started travelling doing seasonal jobs. I worked for 5 years in Churchill Manitoba, the polar bear capital of the world. This is my second year working at Blachford lake lodge.
In my free time I love hiking, being outdoors, or just relaxing reading a book.
Systems Manager & Lead Guide
Cameron grew up in Toronto, Ontario and though he was born in the big city, he spent most of his days in there conspiring, planning and dreaming about his next big outdoor adventure. A product of the summer camp and cottaging lifestyle, Cameron learned to appreciate the natural worlds at a family cottage in Presqu’ille Provincial Park and then summer camps in the Haliburton Highlands and later Temagami region of Ontario. Fishing, canoeing, hiking and camping in summer and snowshoeing and skiing in winter are some of Cameron’s favourite ways to spend time.
Cameron holds his Emergency Medical Responder Certification, Advanced Wilderness First Aid, Commercial Vessel Operator Certifications, various Paddle Canada Certifications in flatwater, white water and camping leadership. In 2020, Cameron Completed the Northern Guide Training Program offered by Yellowknife’s Jack Pine Paddle. Cameron is also a proud crew team and board member of the Snow Kings Winter Festival, where he braves the ice and snow, in January and February on Yellowknife Bay, building a castle for the community to enjoy. When tuckered out from all the outside time, Cameron can usually be found enjoying some down time listening to music, reading and cooking at his home in Yellowknife.
Sales & Marketing Coordinator
Alice Wu is our resident speaker of Mandarin, Taiwanese and English. She not only assists with all the office work, but specializes in helping travel agents and guests from Asia. Born and brought up in Taipei, Alice studied photography at university there. Since coming to Yellowknife to work for us, she has taken up skiing and loves the opportunities for an outdoor life: she even speaks enthusiastically about the portage sections of her recent first canoe-camping trip! Apart from family, what Alice misses about her home is the food – we understand why when she brings some home-cooked goodies to the office.
Fanny Dejonckheere & Conrad Grusson
Lodge Manager & Assistant Manager
We arrived in Canada from France in October 2019. We both have a Master degree in accounting. After working a couple years in France, we decided accounting was too serious for us and wanted to do something else.
We love hiking, travelling, road triping. Conrad is a video game player during his free time, and Fanny is more into thrift shopping.
To live environmentally and sustainably on the land.
We are the most energy efficient lodge in the north
Renewable energy accounts for 62% of our total energy use
Since 2013 we have cut our fuel usage by more than half
Conserving our Freshwater
We purify our drinking water
We try to use phosphate free products, to prevent growth of algae in our waterways
We maintain a garden and greenhouses that produce fresh vegetables for our guests
We offer fair trade organic coffee
Saving Fish Stock
Blachford Lake Lodge is committed to maintaining a healthy stock of fish, and to achieve this we have initiated a fish management program which involves the use of barbless hooks and fish gloves, and a catch and release protocol.
We encourage our guests to conserve energy and water by turning off the tap when washing, brushing their teeth and shaving.
We encourage short showers
We encourage our guests to hang their towels outside as well
We offer fair trade organic coffee
We use 80% recycled plastic garbage bags
We use 100% recycled paper, and products whitened without bleach. This includes table napkins, coffee filters, paper towels, facial tissue and bathroom tissue
We compost leftover fruits, vegetables, eggshells, and coffee grounds and use it in our greenhouse and vegetable garden
Our compost is used for natural flower and shrub gardens
We recycle paper, and newspaper is reused as fire starter for lodge woodstoves.
We use refillable dispensers for shampoo, conditioner and body wash, hand soap and pre-wash dish detergent
We provide recycling bins in all cabins and lodge rooms, and we ship recyclable and non recyclable cans, bottles, boxes and cardboard to Yellowknife where they are recycled or sent to landfill.
Laundry and Dishwashing
We utilize only “Clivus Multrum” and “SunMar” composting toilets to reduce fresh water use and eliminate potential water contamination
Grey water is processed through two settling tanks and a leaching pit well away from the lake
Wherever possible we utilize products with low impact and that prevent growth of algae in our waterways:
We use fabric softener created without phosphates, perfumes, dyes or enzymes
We use oxygenated bleach, formulated without chlorine
Our pre-washing dish detergent is biodegradable and phosphate free
We use vinegar as a biodegradable cleaning product for windows and mirrors
Low Carbon Footprint
We continue to expand and improve our microgrid, which now contains 14.5kW Solar and 1 kW of Wind power generation, 183 kWh of battery storage, and a Tier-4 diesel back-up generator.
We utilize wood pellets and cordwood to provide a majority of space and water hearting in both the cabins and the lodge, utilizing individual wood stoves and a WoodMaster boiler.
All personal vehicles, including motorboats, snow machines, and quads are fitted with efficient, low emission, 4-stroke motors.
We source locally whenever possible to avoid emissions from flights, including using local cordwood and maintaining a garden and greenhouses to produce fresh vegetables for our guests.
We use high-efficiency appliances, and low wattage fluorescent lights.
We turn off lights and electrical equipment when not in use.
We use cold water wash for laundry and in summer we hang our sheets out to dry.