Nothing says comfort like trading your hiking boots or skis and winter coat for thick, fluffy socks, a crackling fireplace, and windows unveiling snow-capped mountains in the backdrop. It’s hard to describe how magical it is to bridge a day amid Canada’s incredible backyard with an evening in a cozy cabin, chalet, or room keeping you warm while still surrounded by an unreal outdoorsy, rustic setting. Want to revel in a similar woodsy experience? We’ve pieced together a list of some of the most incredible lodges in the Canadian Rockies! Take a look at the options, ranging from car accessible to pet- and family-friendly to remote, secluded backcountry lodges.

1. Mount Engadine Lodge

Once voted one of the “Top Ten Hidden Gems” by Tripadvisor, Mount Engadine Lodge in Spray Valley Provincial Park just made another Top Ten List. Thanks to its outstanding reviews across the board from its rooms, meals, and staff, it’s ranked so highly. But, of course, Mount Engadine also has another great feature that makes it so desirable: location, location, location. It sits at the base of, not surprisingly, Mount Engadine but also Mount Shark.

Accessible by road, there isn’t the need to hike into the lodge; however, coming off the Smith-Dorrien gravel highway, there isn’t a lot of traffic nearby—especially once the sun goes down. The beauty of Mount Engadine is the location, with stunning hikes and ski tours surrounding the lodge or a short drive away.

Mount Engadine is one of the newer lodges on this list. However, its history only dates back to 1987. Since then, it has seen a charming renovation—it’s Canadiana at its finest. With only 19 visitors at a time, the lodge is great at maintaining a relaxing, quiet environment.

Why it’s awesome:

  • Only allows 19 guests at once
  • Pet-friendly rooms
  • Close to several hiking routes and ski tours
  • Accessible by car

Account: @mountengadine

2. Assiniboine Lodge

Claiming the title of “The First Ski Lodge in the Canadian Rockies,” Assiniboine Lodge has maintained the same charm since its opening day in 1928. The rustic elegance is enhanced with a few modern amenities to make the stay feel luxurious, such as a sauna and hot showers. You can stay in the main lodge or beautiful cabins, both having their own passionate fans. All guests get to enjoy incredible meals and snacks.

The area around Assiniboine had the first cabins built by A.O Wheeler, who built a few cabins at the base of Mount Assiniboine (these are still around and are the nearby Naiset Huts) for his “150 Mile Riding and Walking Tour from Banff”. A group of Norwegian Alpine Skiers and an Italian Nobleman made a trip up to Wheeler’s Cabin and fell in love with the area. One Norwegian skier, Erling Strom, decided he could spend his whole life up there. So they convinced the Canadian Railway to build a lodge in Assiniboine for fancy clientele. All these years later, BC Parks now owns Assiniboine, and it continues to serve as an inspiring getaway.

The only way to get to Assiniboine Lodge is by hike or air. The hike is 17.1mi and takes roughly 8 hours to get in.

Guests continue to marvel at the beauty of the region almost 90-years later. If you want to go, book early. You may need to plan over a year in advance. You can check their FAQS, which details when to book in advance. This may change per year as well!

Why it’s awesome:

  • Epic secluded location with some of the most phenomenal scenery in the Canadian Rockies
  • Option to stay in one of their log cabins
  • Feels rewarding to stay here since it’s so hard-fought after
  • Getting to the lodge via hiking or helicopter only adds to the fun

Account: @lifebylees

3. Emerald Lake Lodge

Located in Yoho National Park, Emerald Lake Lodge is situated on the stunning Emerald Lake. This is a wonderful and beautiful old lodge with newer cabins nearby, each with views poking through the forest to the lake or mountains. The lodge caters to guests looking for something that is a cross between car-accessible and off-the-grid beauty.

The stunning Emerald Lake was originally discovered by Tom Wilson, who stumbled across the lake while the CPR was being built. They built a lodge here that is still on the property. There is plenty of history at Emerald Lake, including their salvaged oak bar, which dates to Yukon in the 1890s.

Emerald Lake does have more amenities as well as more guests than most other lodges on this list. Because of your ability to drive in, many guests use the lodge as a base to explore other activities in the Rockies. We suggest allowing a lot of time to enjoy days hiking around the lake or up to Hamilton Lake, followed by delicious meals, hot tubs, campfires, and stargazing at the lodge.

The dining is excellent, but none of the food is included in the price unless you buy a bed and breakfast package.

This luxury mountain resort boasts all the charm and fun of the Rockies’ backcountry, minus the outhouses. Be warned, though, there is limited WiFi and no cell signal, so prepare to unplug and enjoy a luxury nature retreat.

Why it’s awesome:

  • Feels secluded, but it is accessible by car
  • Bask Emerald Lake’s jaw-dropping colour and surrounding scenery
  • Escape electricity, thanks to the no cell service and lack of TVs in rooms, with WiFi only offered in the main lodge
  • Limited pet-friendly rooms

4. Mistaya Lodge

In the upper basin of Wildcat Creek, Mistaya Lodge – and the small, auxiliary Wildcat Cabin – are 37.3mi away from the heliport you need to fly in from. However, unlike some Backcountry Lodges, there is no hike in! This means you truly have this enormous wilderness to yourself once you arrive.

A regular day at Mistaya starts with coffee and a hearty breakfast. After breakfast, you prepare a lunch for yourselves with ingredients provided, and then you head out with the guides for your chosen adventure. Return by 4 PM and clean up in their hot showers, possibly go for a sauna, and then a three-course, family-style meal is provided. Games and stargazing after eating are optional.

Prices include all meals, guiding, and helicopter transportation. Packages are set up as 3-, 4-, and 7-day options in the summer. And either 7-night trips or 4-6 night stays, depending on when you book, in winter. So book well in advance to secure a spot!

Why it’s awesome:

    • Only accessible by helicopter, making for super secluded, quiet experience
    • Explore the wild with experienced guides
    • Don’t worry about bringing your own food as the package includes this

Account: @mistayalodge

5. Lake O’Hara Lodge

Lake O’Hara is another old lodge built by the CPR back in 1928. Situated in the Yoho National Park, the lodge is only accessible by ski or snowshoe in the winter months—it’s an 6.8mi journey to get there. In the summer, however, Lake O’Hara Lodge offers something unique: a bus. The bus is used to reduce tourist numbers to this fragile and stunning place. So if long hikes or helicopters don’t sound like your cup of tea, then Lake O’Hara has you covered.

There are cabins and a main lodge here, but the cabins are closed during the winter months. The main lodge boasts two bathrooms inside the lodge and hot showers, and a claw foot tub if you’re interested in a soak after all your adventuring. Food is, of course, included. Side note: they shut down between March and June, so keep this in mind if you’re daydreaming about going here!

On top of the usual guided tours throughout the seasons, O’Hara’s lake has boats available as well as trained mountain guides if scaling an icy peak is on your bucket list.

Be warned, Lake O’Hara Lodge is incredibly popular, with guests booking a year ahead to get a space during summer!

Why it’s awesome:

  • Offers quaint log cabins alongside the main lodge
  • Find a network of some of the most incredible hiking trails right outside your doorstep
  • Enjoy tasty meals here—included in the price
  • Revel in the fun, family-like, wholesome atmosphere
  • Can only reach this area by bus in the summer, limiting the number of visitors

Account: @photo.mgraphy

6. Storm Mountain Lodge and Cabins

Storm Mountain Lodge and Cabins boasts a rustic setting far enough away from the hustling and bustling Town of Banff and Lake Louise, but close enough that a day spent exploring the two isn’t out of the question. This hidden delight grants an authentic outdoorsy Canadian experience, where the dramatic surrounding scenery inspires and the log cabins serve cozy vibes. Those not interested in trekking into the lodge or who can’t afford a helicopter will be happy to know that Storm Mountain Lodge and Cabins can be accessed by car! However, despite its convenient front-country location, the indescribable backcountry charm remains prevalent. Don’t expect WiFi or TV here! This is a mountain getaway, after all.

You can expect to find all things Canadian at the lodge, ranging from the cuisine to the literature to the wine. After hitting the trails, come back to enjoy a scrumptious Canadian-inspired meal between 5 and 8:30 PM. Before heading out for your adventures, organize take-out options to replenish you as you hike, ski, etc. Speaking of adventures, you’ll find a network of trailheads within minutes of the lodge, making this an excellent spot for anyone wanting to spend all day exploring the surrounding area. Finally, of course, you can always head to Banff and Lake Louise for in-town excursions or more backcountry experiences. Side note: Lake Louise Ski Resort is around 20 minutes from the lodge!

Like most lodges in the Canadian Rockies, Storm Mountain Lodge and Cabins fills up fast, so be sure to book in advance!

Why it’s awesome:

  • You can access it by car
  • Close to Lake Louise, Town of Banff, and a network of backcountry adventures
  • Get the real Canadian experience: log cabins, dramatic scenery, Canadian menu
  • Escape WiFi and TVs—there’s limited electricity as Storm Mountain Lodge runs on a generator

7. Skoki Lodge

Accessible only by trail, Skoki Lodge sits 6.8mi away from Lake Louise. The trail takes 4-6 hours by hike, snowshoe or cross-country ski.

Formed originally in 1931, Skoki claims to be the birthplace of skiing in Canada. Skoki has a collection of cabins and lodge rooms for guests. The lodge rooms are charming and rustic, while the cabins give more privacy and are great for families or memorable getaways. What sets Skoki apart is the candles and kerosene lamps in the rooms. That’s right; Skoki has no electricity.

Winter is cross-country ski and snowshoe season. Summer is reserved for hiking through the abundant nature in the area; there are five adjoining valleys at Skoki.

In 2011, Skoki was graced by a visit from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. While they didn’t leave a review on Tripadvisor, word has it they loved their trip to Skoki! We recommend checking out the website as soon as possible.

Why it’s awesome:

  • Hiking in always adds a level of reward and adventure
  • Experience the wild backyard spanning Banff National Park
  • Enjoy tasty backcountry meals concocted by experienced kitchen staff
  • Enjoy a candle-lit, lantern experience over the standard electricity—talk about backcountry authenticity

Account: @wjlphoto

8. Hidden Ridge Resort

Nestled on Tunnel Mountain and just minutes away from the Town of Banff, Hidden Ridge Resort makes for a fantastic option for adventurers seeking daily backcountry meanders with evenings spent among civilization. But, after a day of exploring, you may find it hard to leave Hidden Ridge Resort, especially if you’ve booked the romantic suite with a hot tub on your balcony! Or, for those without a hot tub, the two natural hot pools overlooking Bow Valley and the wood sauna could easily seduce your body into staying put for the night. It’s not only the incredible amenities—including a playground, BBQ area, and firepit, to name a few more—that create a welcoming, warm feel; it’s also the style of the rooms!

Hidden Ridge Resort offers various condo styles that cater to all types of travellers, ranging from couple-ready suites to spaces for big families. All rooms offer a kitchen, too. So save money and concoct your own meals!

If you’re a pet owner, you’re probably reading this thinking, “wow, this all sounds great, but can I bring my dog?” The answer? Yes! You just can’t leave them unattended, but if you do want to go out into the Town of Banff, you can bring your furry friend to some patios: Keg Steakhouse + Bar (both locations), Chili’s Grill and Bar, Pacini Restaurant, and Alpha Bistro.

Be sure to book in advance as this family-friendly resort is a popular one!

Why it’s awesome:

  • Location—close to Town of Banff and unforgettable backpacking adventures
  • Pet-friendly, but be sure to call and let them know when booking, as some rooms are not meant for dogs
  • Fantastic spot for families, thanks to the BBQ area, firepit, hot pools, and playground
  • Let’s not forget to mention the two natural hot pools and sauna
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Accessible by car

Account: @noelhendrickson

9. Moraine Lake Lodge

Moraine Lake has to be one of the most beautiful lakes on Earth, so getting to stay at a luxury mountain resort while enjoying phenomenal views is something special.

Moraine Lake Lodge is, like the Emerald Lake Lodge, a luxury mountain retreat. There are no outhouses here, each cabin or room has its own private bathroom, and most rooms have fireplaces. When you book at Moraine Lake Lodge, your accommodation comes with a fresh breakfast served from 7-10:15 AM, complimentary WiFi, free parking, and first-come, first-serve canoe rental without a cost. Watch out! The strong headwinds create a challenging paddle back. Nothing like revving up your appetite for dinner, right? Keep in mind that they only offer canoe services from mid-June to mid-September.

And don’t expect a TV in your room! The goal is for you to bask in the unreal scenery instead of what’s flashing on your screen.

Some of the best hiking in Canada is accessible from here. We have hikes to Consolation Lake, Sentinel Pass, and a trail around Moraine Lake as well.
While the area is crowded from 9 AM to 5 PM, after dinner, the crowds leave, and guests at the lodge have this incredible wilderness to themselves.

Why it’s awesome:

  • Ummm, you’re on arguably the prettiest lake in the world—Moraine Lake
  • Complimentary canoe rentals during summer
  • Accessible by car
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Various room and condo styles, all adorned in a luxurious, rustic design while offering views of Moraine Lake

10. Aurum Lodge

Located in Bighorn Country, an expansive, rugged area nestled between Jasper and Banff, Aurum Lodge will give you that backcountry, outdoorsy vibe without the massive crowds. You may be looking at the location and thinking, “Hmmm, this isn’t in Banff National Park, so it must not be as nice as some of the lodges there.” The Canadian Rockies dominate the scenery while Cline River adds to the already idyllic setting. Explore lakes, waterfalls, canyons, glaciers, mountains, forests via foot, bicycle, or kayak! Aurum Lodge’s location grants opportunities for unrivalled adventures.

When it comes to accommodation, choose privacy and stay in a self-contained unit or book one of the five guest rooms offered in the main lodge. You’ll receive a complimentary breakfast and can book evening meals in advance! Those in the self-contained unit come with kitchens, so you won’t be able to eat in the main lodge—you’re responsible for preparing your food. People with dogs will appreciate the freedom that accompanies booking the self-contained unit!

Why it’s awesome:

  • Booking a self-contained unit grants the chance to bring your dog and cook your own meals in the kitchen
  • Staying in the main lodge comes with a complimentary breakfast
  • Several amazing adventures await just outside your doorstep
  • Escape the crowds flocking to Banff and Jasper
  • Car-accessible

Account: @thephotosociety

Other backcountry lodges worth checking out

Wishing this article shared more insight on backcountry lodges sitting in the thick of the wild? We’ve got you covered.

Tonquin Valley Backcountry Lodge

Tonquin Valley Backcountry Lodge is 14.3mi from the nearest road, but adventure and excitement are right out your front door. What makes Tonquin special is the variety of activities. On top of hiking in the summer, there are two lakes to boat and fish on, and they offer a 5-day horseback package. The horseback package allows you to go from your car and ride into the lodge, then have guided trips for the rest of your stay. The hiking, on the other hand, is self-guided! You can look into their skiers’ package if you plan on heading here in winter!

Tonquin has showers for guests but only in the summer. There are six cabins to choose from depending on the size of your party, and hearty home-cooked meals are included in the prices.

Account: @jesicaclemmons

Talus Lodge

Talus Lodge is located SE of Mount Assiniboine, in a stunning region on the banks of a beautiful turquoise lake. Unlike other lodges, Talus lodge is one larger, two-story lodge instead of a series of small cabins.

Talus is nestled under the Shark Fin peaks and ridgeline, under 3.1mi over the British Columbia border. You can access Talus via guided hiking in the summer or helicopter and guided ski touring in the winter. Its helicopter access points are in Canmore and at the Mount Shark Heliport.

The Talus experience is as remote as it gets; however, you won’t be sacrificing too much comfort with wonderful meals, showers and a sauna. Don’t expect WiFi here—the goal is to disconnect to reconnect!

Account: @taluslodge

Shadow Lake Lodge

Located at the base of Mount Ball, 1km away from Shadow Lake, this Banff National Park backcountry lodge boasts gourmet meals, backcountry serenity, propane heat, and solar electricity. It’s a 4-5 hour hike to get into Shadow Lake Lodge, but once you’re there, you’ll receive great family service from the same family that bought the lodge from Canadian Pacific Railway in 1938!

The cabins are all newer constructions, built in the 90s. The original cabin built by the CPR is still on the site and is now used as a communal space and games room.

All meals are included and are served family-style in the main lodge. There are always freshly baked goods awaiting you on your return from a day of adventuring and an afternoon tea as well.

On top of the hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing around Shadow Lake, you can also purchase a fishing license and fish on the lake! The sauna is a big hit in the winter months.

Shadow Lake Lodge is hosted by the Alpine Club of Canada, which offers several mountain-tucked locations all over Canada. If none of these lodges stood out to you, we suggest checking out some of the scenic, remote ACC Huts!

Account: @shadowlakelodge