We’ve finally found your next fall getaway.
To say that Mount Engadine Lodge is a standout Rocky Mountain location would be an understatement.
Nestled into the wilds of Kananaskis Country just south of the Spray Lakes Reservoir, Mount Engadine Lodge is likely one of the coziest spots you’ll find 30 km down a gravel road.
A part of the Charming Inns & Small Hotels of America collective, the lodge is one of 12 owner-operated properties that prioritize personal experiences while being community and environmentally conscious.
The lodge, which was built in 1987 as a hostel-style concept prior to the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, features suites, cabins, a yurt, and five glamping tents that were added as recently as 2018.
We were lucky enough to stay at one of the glamping tents this past week, and the trip was the picture perfect way to send summer off with a fond farewell.
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As previously mentioned, you’ll need to brave a bit of gravel road to reach the lodge — though that doesn’t mean a 4×4 is at all necessary, as we saw a number of sedans braving the washboard road.
Whether you’re making your way out to the stunning valley from the north or the south, anyone driving will need to take the Smith Dorrien Trail to reach the destination.
Heading south along Highway 40 and then taking the Smith Dorrien Trail north does afford a smoother ride (and less time on the gravel trail), but taking the northern route through Canmore makes for the best views.
If you’ve got more time on your hands, we’d suggest swinging by Canmore for some sightseeing at Policeman’s Creek, and then keeping that camera out for a stunning snap at Whiteman’s Pond and Spray Lakes Reservoir south of the town as you make your way to the lodge.
Just don’t use up too much of your camera’s storage, because you’ll be taking even more shots once you arrive.
The lodge is built on a natural embankment, overlooking a sprawling valley meadow that is cut through by picturesque creeks.
Looking west shows Mount Shark, Mount Smut, and Mount Birdwood as a backdrop, though the area is also flanked by Mount Murray to the south, The Tower to the west, and Mount Nestor to the north.
The lodge is, quite naturally, out of cell service, though there is working wifi at the main building (with a password reminding you what you should really be doing while there: goplayoutside).
While the lounge is cozy, the food fantastic, and the glamping tents luxurious (we’re talking hot water, electricity, in-suite fireplaces, and private balconies overlooking the meadow below, kind of glamping), the real draw of Mount Engadine Lodge is the wilderness surrounding it.
What to do
There are a number of hikes ranging from a quick 8 km to a more challenging 15 km to take on starting from the lodge, affording a breathtaking tour of the otherwise undisturbed area.
Those hoping for a little more adrenaline can rent bikes and kayaks in the warmer seasons, or snow shoes, cross country skis, and fat bikes once the snow starts to fall.
Once back at home base, the lodge is outfitted with both indoor and outdoor wood fires, plenty of lounging-on-the-balcony opportunities, cozy couches, and just the right balance of quiet seclusion and friendly faces, for whether you’d prefer to curl up with a good book or chat with some new friends around a campfire.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; the food is unlike anything you’ll have ever eaten while out in the wilds of the Rocky Mountains.
Breakfast, a lacked lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner are all included in the nightly rate, with a bar on location for those looking to purchase any beer or wine with their three-course dinner.
Showing rather than telling is probably the best bet at explaining just how good these dishes can be:
Mount Engadine Lodge is also Ecostay Certified, meaning that they are part of a program aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by tracking eco-attributes.
So whether you’re hoping for a romantic getaway (its Instagram geotag makes it quite clear that Mount Engadine Lodge is a more-than-suitable proposal spot), a weekend escape with the gang, or a solo adventure with a furry friend — dogs are allowed! — Mount Engadine Lodge is more than worth the trip.
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