The Lodge at Panther River is a family owned and operated wilderness resort which opened in 1979. The love, passion, and hard work that has been put into this serene destination over the years shines through on the grounds right through to the staff. The gorgeous and unique lodge is where family and friends come to gather. With a gorgeous wood burning fireplace it is the perfect place to put your feet up and take it all in.
The business has been in the Safron family since 2002. Terry and Laureen’s love for the mountains shone through to their three girls who grew up with river water running through their veins and mountains in their heart. Now that their family’s have expanded with eight beautiful grandchildren, Terry and Laureen spend their time teaching these blessed children the mountain life. The Safron family takes pride in their resort, staff members and accomplishing their dream of living in the wild.
Explore the Valley
With towering mountain peaks and glowing river valleys the Panther River Valley has a inviting feel to its vast space. With numerous mountain lakes, flowing rivers and creeks The Lodge at Panther River has something that speaks to each person’s soul. Take in the sights of roaming wildlife or flowing waterfalls. The beauty is endless.
With a different adventures for each season we will take you out into the Alberta Rockies for a back-country experience to remember.
Get spring fever as you watch new life grow in the fresh mountain air. Take in the beauty of Barrier Mountain, Wardens Rock, Bighorn Falls, and Ice lake. Spot the herds of wild horses and the new offspring of wild game. The sights will be forever remembered.
Lay on a hillside amongst the wildflowers on a summer’s afternoon. The brown eyed susan’s, blue bells, Indian paintbrushes, and glowing rivers add breathtaking colors to your mountain photography. Stay a while and capture the impressive views as the leaves change in early fall. The peace will help you unwind from summer.
Don’t stay inside all winter! Follow us to where we like to go and chase the snow capped mountains. Because we are open year round you can enjoy a winter in the backcountry and get a glimpse of the sparkle the snow brings to the wild.
We invite you to come stay with us and let the the Safron family share their love for the wild with you.
Terry’s love for flying started as a young boy having interest in airplanes flying with his Uncle. Terry dreamed of one day becoming a pilot and that dream came true in 1982 when he enrolled in flight school with Skywings Academy in Penhold, AB. He received his private fixed wing pilots’ license with night endorsement and purchased his first tail dragger. It was a Champion Citrabria he owned with Jim Lawton and Dennis Fox. He flew for several years owning a varied selection of tail draggers. Flying for pleasure and work purposes taking him into western Canada.
In the summer of 2004 Wayne Pidherney got Terrys spark for helicopters in full gear with a flight in Wayne’s Robinson R44. His love of flying and sense for learning soon had him in flight school again and in 2005 he enrolled to take his private helicopter license. He was instructed by Greg Saunders from Tech Helicopters in Prince George, BC and received his private helicopter license including mountain time. His first helicopter was a Robinson R44. As Terry is keen to learn he was soon introduced to Marty Charboneau from CanOz Helicopters, a high timed pilot and instructor from Calgary, AB. His love for the mountains soon turned interest into more mountain training. Learning continued and mountain training from Marty was now his goal. He received his mountain training and commercial helicopter license instructed by Marty in 2011. His love to help others takes him flying for fellow outfitters and Panther Lodge guests. Flying takes Terry and his wife Laureen throughout western Canada, the Yukon, the Western seaboard of United States and into Kodiak Alaska in his Bell 206 LongRanger.
Marty was interested in flying for a long as he can remember but never considered it as a career due to a lack of interest in school and the misconception one required a physics degree, or something equivalent, to be a pilot.
One thing lead to another and Marty found himself in Australia driving cattle road trains and working alongside many mustering pilots who seemed to be on the lower end of the education scale. This got Marty thinking “if they can do it, I can do it”.
He applied himself to work towards a commercial helicopter license and drove trucks in between flight lessons/ground training. In 1988 his dream was realized when he earned his commercial pilots’ license at Chopperline in Queensland, Australia.
Marty mustered cattle in Australia and drove trucks to supplement his pay while he built his hours and flying experience. He returned home in 1995 to pursue more options available to helicopter pilots in Canada. He was hired by Aerial Recon where he advanced to base manager, training pilot, and eventually chief pilot. His time at Aerial Recon led him all over Canada and the NWT.
In 2003, Marty began working on his instructor rating. In 2004, he started Can-Oz Heli Services and contracted to various companies as a pilot/training pilot in the summer and worked as an instructor at Coast Heli College and Chinook Heli in the winter, where he eventually obtained his Class I Instructor Rating.
Marty is also a Transport Canada ACP and still flies for various companies in a check/training capacity. He also provides mountain training and it is in this capacity that he met Terry Safron and they have been flying buddies ever since.