“You have to find that place that brings out the human in you. The soul in you. The love in you.”
Located along a winding mountain road in Kananaskis, Alberta, lies a cabin with a view. A haven where one can stand in piercing silence, physically absorbing the effects of majestic peaks playing backdrop to an expansive meadow below. The soul unwinds, spreading forth toward the wild call of the Rockies. As you stand on this rare precipice where man and nature collide, waves of gratitude and possibility wash through your veins, your senses bearing witness to an extraordinarily special corner of the earth. These are the authentic moments of Mount Engadine Lodge.
GETTING TO THE LODGE
From Canmore: The lodge lies 38 km from town along the Smith Dorrien Trail (AB 742). This road is lined with jaw dropping scenery as you enter Spray Valley Provincial Park, passing the popular Spray Lake Reservoir. While not far in distance, you should plan on a drive of 45 minutes to one hour. The road is winding, and seasonal changes drastically affect road conditions and maintenance. **The gravel road is a numbered highway which means car rental insurance is still valid.
From Calgary: The Kananaskis Trail (HWY 40) is also filled with stunning panoramic views and is the gateway to the Nakiska Ski Resort. This route is 152 km and takes roughly 2 hours travel time. The HWY connects with the bottom portion of AB 742, the junction you will take to the lodge. (The Kananaskis Trail beyond the AB 742 junction is closed Dec-June)
*** Weather conditions can be drastically different in this area than in Calgary and Canmore. Be prepared for sudden changes and pack accordingly!
ALL INCLUSIVE AUTHENTICITY
Originally built in 1987, just prior to the ’88 Calgary Olympics, this ‘Unique and Boutique’ property was obtained in early 2015 as the flagship project of Castleavery Hospitality Ventures Inc. What they have accomplished in this short time is more than just the creation of what Tripadvisor considers “One of Canada’s Top 10 Hidden Gems”, they have created an extended family. Walking through the door of Mount Engadine Lodge is taking a step into the familiarity and warmth of home. It is places like this, that challenge the mundane and redefine the term “accommodation”.
From the basket of hand knit slippers by the entry to the coziness of curling up by one of the fireplaces, this lodge has authentic connection covered. With not a single television to be had, guests are free to indulge in the lost art of conversation.
Laughter comes from the far room, as a board game becomes the centre of a family memory. Music drifts from the piano, a passerby having stopped for high tea, treating listening ears to a favorite childhood melody. A book from the library leaves its reader dreamy eyed and sets of snowshoes at the door are the telltale sign of a wondrous adventure nearby.
ALL INCLUSIVE SERENITY:
At Mount Engadine Lodge, guests enjoy complete immersion in the peaceful bliss of back country, enveloped in a new and natural world on the doorstep of civilization. Home to a maximum of 19 guests and a handful of incredible staff, the lodge offers moments you simply cannot find in the bustling touristic fame of the surrounding hotspots. The only masses to obstruct the views are of the fur and hoof variety. An absence of light pollution transforms the night sky into a massive canvas of twinkling light. The most difficult decision faced is which trail to follow next, or which chair to curl up in as you take in the scent of the chef’s latest gourmet creations.
ALL INCLUSIVE COMFORT
No TV. No in room phones, computer jack or wifi signal. The rooms are disconnected for a specific purpose; the reconnection to life.
Our family had the privilege of staying in the Whiskey Jack Cabin, a 2 bedroom, 1 bath slice of paradise. The heated slate flooring was a contrastingly warm welcome after a long day on snowy trails. The views from both of the incredibly comfortable rooms were awe inspiring, and each space had a door leading to the deck.
We spent hours in the Adirondack chairs watching snow swirl along the peaks as the girls raced sleds down the hill, toasting the fortunes of life, and searching for patterns in the stars. The proximity of the main lodge combined with a lack of traffic and tourists meant were completely comfortable with the girls going back and forth on their own to enjoy hot chocolate and a game, or even a snuggle with Rosy, the sweet faced resident dog.
**The main lodge has complimentary wifi for those requiring a moment of technological connection.
A Few Suggestions for the Suitcase: Layered clothing and reusable water bottles for your days exploring. Bear Spray (the lodge also has some on hand). Slippers for the main lodge (if you prefer your own). A hair dryer. Bathing suits to use the wood fired sauna (this takes 45-60 minutes to fully heat up, so advise staff prior to use so they can prepare it)
ALL INCLUSIVE GOURMET
Dining at the lodge is an incredibly unique experience that fully embraces the connection philosophy. Guests are seated family style for breakfast and dinner, allowing for genuine conversation, linking new faces and ideas as strangers become friends over common bonds, shared interests and glasses of local craft beer.
While all-inclusive accommodations in the area are rare, Mount Engadine Lodge offers overnight guests palate pleasing, gourmet dishes and a hot drink bar as part of the package (pop and alcohol are available at an additional cost). A set menu of brilliant chef creations that change daily give guests the opportunity to try delectable dishes such as fresh banana pancakes, Cornish game hen, bison steak, and a deliciously brilliant brown butter ice cream. Guests personalize items for freshly packed lunches, perfect for a day of exploring. Combining the postcard worthy views with afternoon delight, a daily high tea offers guests, visitors and locals a chance to relax and chat over charcuterie boards of meats, cheeses and desserts.
** Visitors and locals wishing to share in a dining experience at the lodge can join high tea from 2-5 pm daily, and dinner reservations may be arranged with 24 hours notice. Due to the exclusivity offered weddings and retreats, always call ahead to avoid disappointment.
ALL INCLUSIVE ADVENTURE
From fishing and canoeing in the summer, to the perfectly groomed cross country ski trails at Mount Shark and switchback paths of the Rummel Lake hike across the road, the possibility for adventure in the area is endless. The lodge ensures that guests are given a chance to experience activities such as snowshoeing by having them on hand, and the staff are a plethora of information, gathered from their own passions and experiences. The staff also take the safety of guests seriously, especially when it comes to wildlife. You are in the heart of bear and wildlife country, and it is very important to be aware of safety precautions. Staff are also happy to help arrange those bucket list opportunities such as a helicopter tour or dog sledding.
The meadow below the lodge provides the perfect space to explore, a gateway to surrounding alpine lakes and trails for all abilities to enjoy hiking, biking and snowshoeing. Hiking around the meadow gives guests a view of the lodge from a completely new angle nestled amongst the trees and tranquility.
LOVE FOR LOCALS
The connection philosophy extends beyond the guests under the roof. Mount Engadine is proud to embrace sustainable tourism by supporting local businesses. All toiletries come from the 100% natural Rocky Mountain Soap Company. Guests can enjoy locally brewed craft beer and sodas ($) including choices from Grizzly Paw Brewing out of Canmore, and steaming cups of tea from Banff Tea Co. The produce-a-la delicious art from Farm Box also embraces sustainability and sourcing local.
The passion for local life continues beyond the walls. As the lodge is located within the Spray Valley Provincial Park, they work diligently with Parks Alberta and conservation officers to maintain strict operating guidelines and preserve this precious slice of the world. This care is seen in the details, such as lamp blackouts in order to recognize light impact on wildlife and minimal impact on the meadow they call home. Staff attend information seminars and wildlife training, and have a genuine passion for their surroundings.
Mount Engadine lodge operates 365 days a year, opening the doors to experiences that range from solo travel to a romantic weekend or family getaway. It is a dreamy backdrop for an intimate mountain wedding or corporate retreat, offering exclusive use of the facility. Looking for an unforgettable weekend? The lodge offers events such as ‘Chef Series Dinners’, a ‘Yoga Mountain Adventure Retreat’ and ‘Music in the Meadow’. For details on events, see HERE.
AND THE FINAL WORD…
Our family was so fortunate to be introduced to, and hosted by this wanderlust-worthy lodge and the amazing staff within. While all of the opinions in this piece are my own, I have worked hard to represent the values and messages at the heart of Mount Engadine. These were the authentic moments of our family, and it is with the utmost gratitude to Simon and the staff that we give thanks. Your generosity and attention was not individual to us, you treat each guest like family. These are moments that cannot be duplicated. These are the moments that challenge our views and definition of travel.
These are the authentic moments of Mount Engadine Lodge.
Cheers to a beautiful and authentic life,
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69 thoughts on “Mount Engadine Lodge: All-Inclusive Connection in Alberta’s Backcountry”
Sounds like a wonderful place to visit.
It was absolutely incredible, one of the best stays we’ve experienced to date!
Very good pictures – the next suburb to where I live in Australia, is called Engadine :-o)
Thank you! And I hope you Engadine is as amazing as this one! 🙂
It’s a lot warmer :-o)
Looks like a dreamy getaway, and I love all the specific tips–especially about the bear spray!
It was very dreamy! And yes, bear spray while exploring this area is a serious safety must, almost as important as education and information on the area!
What an amazing place! I’m have to admit that I don’t head over to Kananaskis much when I am in Alberta, by your post is convincing me to check out this place! Love that the lodge does not have television so that the family can get reconnected through other activities. Do you need to bring your own snowshoes or does the lodge provide rental equipment?
I’ll be the first to admit that in all our rocky mountain trips, we’ve never explored Kananaskis until now! And we are officially hooked! The Lodge is now a personal fave and we can’t wait to return. The snowshoes were courtesy of the lodge, they have plenty of sets and it was our first Winter hike experience as a family!
Awe Wow! Fabulous lodge location indeed!
Hmm….do bears still roam around in winter? Thought they hibernate.
It’s spring and the bears are being spotted, don’t let the amount of snow deceive you! And it’s a year round lodge, bear safety is a very important item to have in the spotlight.
Good to know! Btw does having little bells really help or does it make it worse when it comes to bears?
There are arguments for both sides. We use one, personal preference. We also take our dog and chat and make noise as we go.
The dog would probably be the best bet though we think.
Wow! This place looks amazing!
It sure is!! Unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before!
Wow, beautiful photos. What an amazing place to visit, sounds like you had a wonderful time! Adding this one to my bucket list for sure!
It is definitely an experience I hope to have again! And so worth booking if you’ll be in the area, it absolutely enhances the rocky mountain experience!
Mount Engadine Lodge seems to be a slice of paradise fallen down to the earth. The views are simply spectacular. Waking up at this lovely place and looking out of the window must surely be an experiennce in itself. I love the concept of reconnection. One needs to reconnect with nature from time to time and rise from the virtual world to the real world.
Thank you for such beautiful sentiments. It is places like this, where we have a chance to reconnect to eachother, and to nature, that bring awareness to just how disconnected the world can be. And yes, the views were a divine bonus!
This lodge looks amazing. We actually launched our blog by locking ourselves away in a mountain retreat in Durango. Now, I could imagine going to Alberta to get away from all connectivity and simply exist. That sounds like one incredible way to reconnect in an absolutely beautiful place. Your reflection shots are magnificent.
Well from one Durango owner to another, I am with you on locking yourself away in the mountains! We do a camping trip every year that does just that. We need to disconnect to reconnect. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, I hope you get a chance to visit the lodge someday!
My daughter and her family live in Calgary! This would be a great vacation for us!
It would be a perfect getaway for an extended family connection!
Wow…the place looks like a snowy paradise. I would love to stay in cosy wooden cabin in a place like this.
It was paradise for sure. We cannot wait to visit in the summer season for a completely new view!
There’s nothing that makes travelling easier than an all-inclusive package, how impressive that you managed to find this gem in the backcountry of Alberta. I would just not leave this lodge if I stayed here, it looks warm & cozy inside and I love the views from the deck, amazing!
I agree, all inclusive accommodations allow for less stress and pressure at meal time! And AI options in this area are rare, making this the ultimate mountain getaway!!
What an awesome place to stay! Sounds like the perfect place to disconnect and recharge.
I’m absorbing all of this for what will hopefully be a trip to Canada in September. This lodge is everything that I dream of when being in wintery Canada. I’ve been to some parts of Canada before but not in this type of season. The lodge is just magical to me and everything you’ve written makes it sounds like the perfect place to stay. Wonderful memories for you all as a family.
September would be a beautiful time to visit! The height of tourism in surrounding Banff and Lake Louise will have quieted down, and the weather should be lovely (although likely not yet snowy) I hope you get a chance to experience this incredible lodge!
What a beautiful place! I love a good all inclusive and this is such a nice contrast to the beach side ones that are used in marketing everywhere! I love that you can totally disconnect in the rooms too – no tv, phones and wifi can sometimes be a blessing!
Yes! All Inclusive here in Alberta (and Canada in general) is not common. It meant we could spend all our time as a family, and I loved the focus on extending that to the other guests in the lodge over family style dining!
This is just a gorgeous place and coming form Colorado that means a lot! I love the lodge, it is just gorgeous and totally what a mountain lodge should look like! I would l love to take my family here! Wonderful place!
It’s funny when you live in a mountain based area, and you spend a lot of time in them, and it NEVER gets old! This was as breathtaking as seeing them for the first time, and a whole new section we’d never discovered before!
What an amazing place! Your pictures capture it well. It looks like absolute luxury 🙂
It absolutely was! And thank you 🙂
Who would have thought you could have so much comfort and good food in the middle of winter in Canada? I want to go.
The food was divine, and there was definitely no shortage!! This was one of the most comfortable stays we’ve ever experienced.
I love it! I would totally go there for a quick getaway too 🙂 And I’m inlove with the view!
It is getaway perfection 🙂
What a gem of a place, and so close to Calgary! No wifi?! No TV?!? – that’s exactly what we need on our getaways. Truly a bold disconnect to venture into.
There is wifi in the main lodge, but you do not realize just how focused on technology your family has become, until you spend time unplugged. We make it a point to “get away” from it a few times a year, and they are the most amazing bonding moments we could ever ask for. We played board games, read, colored, hiked….it was incredible to connect to life, together 🙂
Looks like you had an amazing time. Beautiful photos. I’ll definitely be pinning for travel inspiration.
Such a beautiful place! And that view is amazing! I love that there are no tvs or wifi-we definitely more of the disconnect on vacation. This place looks amazing!
To become fully connected as a family, we first need to disconnect from everything else that grabs our attention. And yes, the views are absolutely one of the best parts of that connection! (And the main lodge has wifi, so all is well in the blogging world!)
What a nice place to chill and relax, and have a little bit of adventure! It is so close to where we live. We’ll need to check it out!
You must! Even if you don’t stay the night, stop for a charcuterie board and a glass of wine at high tea!
Mount Engadine Lodge sounds like an incredible retreat – I can see why it’s listed as one of Canada’s top 10 secret gems! I actually really love the chance to disconnect from the craziess of life, and it’s very rare to find an all inclusive experience of this level of luxury which will keep you as busy or as relaxed as you want without the digital world. I think I need to travel to Canada this year! I’ve never tried Snowshoeing, so maybe I can borrow their gear!
If you make it to Canada, then there will be no better way to experience the area than this lodge! All inclusive is perfect, not only is it gourmet, it allows for a lot more time for adventure or just relaxing by the fire!
Those views are spectacular and your way of expressing the details has made it even more special. The room looks comfortable and cozy and the resort location is one of the best vantage points. We would love to go dog sledging and hiking around to experience to celebrate the beauty of nature around.
Thank you! The location is definitely a major key in the magic of this place!
The reflection between Canmore and the entrance to the Park is absolutely stunning! Love your pictures and the amount of snow looks absolutely amazing
Beautiful! Can’t think of a more beautiful place to unplug and become one with nature. The all-inclusive aspect also removes a lot the stress of vacation planning. Would definitely consider staying at this lodge for a winter getaway.
It is a year round lodge, so you can enjoy it in the warmer months as well 🙂
Mount Engadine Lodge looks like my idea of heaven. Stunning mountain views, gourmet food and a chance to disconnect, does it get any better?
It truly doesn’t! It combined all of our favorite aspects of travel!
I never think of all-inclusive for mountain destinations. That’s brilliant and amazing! 2018…
All Inclusive in this area is a rarity, but it is genius! It allows for stress free travel (especially with kids), with your quality time focused on experiences. The fact that it is family style dining is a key ingredient, it connects people in a way like no other.
I never knew this place existed, but your post makes me really want to go! I love the lack of technology, which is much needed these days. Your photography is incredible, BTW.
Thank you!! It is such a special place, we cannot wait to return!
WOW! This is now definitely on my bucket list! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for stopping in and taking the time to read about our Mount Engadine experience!
That lodge looks fab
Beautiful pictures. That looks like such a neat place to visit. What a cool experience
One of my best friends from college is from Alberta. Can you believe I’ve never been there? It looks like such a beautiful place!
I hope you get a chance to visit us someday soon!
This is a quintessential mountain cabin. Everything about it looks so warm and welcoming and comfortable. And that mountain scenery!