Mount Engadine Lodge is tucked away in the back-country mountains of the Spray Valley Provincial Park. Named one of Canada’s ‘Top Ten Hidden Gems’ by TripAdvisor, it is the perfect place to get off the Rocky’s well trodden tourist paths. This March we got to stay and experience the lodge with its surrounding natural beauty for ourselves.
Spray Valley Provincial Park is a close ride away for visitors coming from Calgary and it is nearer yet for visitors coming from Banff’s direction. Located near the town of Canmore, the lodge can be accessed by the Smith Dorien Trail which has spectacular views and is maintained year-round.The lodge is found at the foot of Mount Engadine and Mount Shark. It has a spacious common area with a lounge to sit and take in the views. It also has lots of reading material for guests to enjoy. There is a large cozy fireplace which lends to the lodge’s rustic atmosphere. There are a variety of accommodations to choose from, extending from rooms, to lodges and even a yurt.We stayed in the Owl room. This is the lodge’s corner room which has views looking out towards Burstall and Commonwealth Mountain. We found the room specious and equipped with a private ensuite bathroom. It was well lit through the corner windows which made it the perfect place to sit and read.
Overnight stays at the lodge are all inclusive, so guests can concentrate on planning their adventures between mealtimes. We checked into the lodge just in time for High Tea, which is also available to members of the public. The food is prepared in house and is locally sourced. We sat in the dining area with our array of local cheeses, meats, fruit and deserts in front of the windows which overlooked the snow-covered alpine meadow that the lodge stands above.
Evening dinner is served at 7pm in a family style setting, where guests sit together so that they can share stories of their day’s adventures. While enjoying our appetizers of scallops and pea puree we met an English couple who had arrived a day before us. They told us that they had specifically chosen to stay at the lodge instead of a regular Canada hotel to rest up after their long flight before they would continue their travels through the Rockies. As we were served up our next course, a deliciously cooked bison joint with vegetables, we all agreed that they had chosen the perfect place to start their journey.
We began the next day with a deliciously cooked breakfast, with a choice of either crepes or scrambled eggs and salmon. We were also given our options for packed lunches which the lodge prepares so that guests can take a meal with them when they go on their adventures in the Spray Valley.
When we first arrived at the lodge our attention was caught by a couple of bikes at the lodge’s entrance. These were bikes with larger tires, known as fatbikes which makes them suitable for riding over snow covered or muddy ground. We had never tried fatbiking before, so this was a new experience for us. It was not hard to find a secluding piece of track in the valley for us to practice as we explored the valley.
The next day we decided to explore one of the provincial park’s plethora of snow trails. Located just a few kilometers down the road from the lodge is the trailhead to Chester Lake. After a short trek over some deep snow we were treated to an amazing scenery of the snow-covered lake and the mountains towering over it. It was the perfect place to enjoy our packed lunch.
The lodge is Ecostay Certified. This is a commitment to help protect the planet through the Ecostay program, which supports hotels across North America in their efforts to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. For every night a customer stays, Mount Engadine Lodge makes a contribution on the customer’s behalf to the Ecostay Motherland Reforestation project.
The lodge is also part of the Rocky Mountain Soap Company’s Green Bubbles Program. The in-room personal care products are provided by Rocky Mountain Soap which is 100% natural and toxin-free. The products are biodegradable and made in the Rockies, none of which are tested on animals. Through this initiative the lodge prevents thousands of plastic bottles from entering the landfills and toxic chemicals from entering its watersheds.
Don’t stay in a boring Canada hotel ever again. Check out Mount Engadine Lodge’s website for more.