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“Spectacular!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Shadow Lake Lodge

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Shadow Lake Lodge
Box 2606, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1C3, Canada   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Banff
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“Spectacular!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

There is a reason this is ranked number 1!! We spent 2 nights at the lodge and I wish I could live there! The service, food, lodging and the breathtaking beauty of the mountains made this a trip of a lifetime! We hope to return year after year until we are unable to make the hike in.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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66 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Denver, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013

Hiked 7 hours from Hwy 93 over Gibbon Pass to Shadow Lake Lodge. This was the hard way in rather than the easier hike along Redearth River. Was so glad to see the Lodge, take a hot shower, and enjoy their afternoon tea! Mia and the staff could not have been more welcoming and helpful. Such a quiet refuge from the crowds at Lake Louise. The quality of the food served at this back country lodge was excellent and very healthy! Meals are served buffet style and the table that goes first is the one to answer correctly the question posed by the staff. On our second day, we knew the answer of when the Brewster family arrived in Banff. Our cabin was very roomy, clean, and had comfortable beds. It was a treat to look out the window and see a beautiful meadow and majestic mountains, and seeing stars at night was a treat for this city girl. Walking from our cabin to the bathroom during the middle of the night, using the flashlight provided for our use, was a bit disconcerting. Did not see any animals during our stay, other than pikas when we hiked to Whistling Pass, but perhaps they saw us. Wonderful experience overall.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Madison, Wisconsin
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013 via mobile

We just returned from spending 2 nights at Shadow Lake Lodge and the experience there is pretty much as others have stated. Our group consisted of my husband, myself and our 18 year old son. We stayed in a 2 bedroom cabin and were very pleased to discover that both beds were queen sized and the cabin was a very comfortable size. Other cabins have king sized beds and overall the facilities are very clean and well maintained. The hike in and out via the Red Earth Creek Trail is not strenuous but is long and not very interesting. Most of trail is an old fire road that runs along side the creek. Depending on your hiking pace, you should plan for at least 3-5 hours of time for hiking in and at least 3 hours for hiking out. The view from the cabins is quite nice as you are looking out across a marsh toward Mt. Ball. We very much enjoyed our time at the Lodge but you should be aware the the highlight of this lodge is the comfort and food, rather than viewing wildlife. During our 3 days in the area, we failed to see a single notable animal or bird. However, As others have noted, the food is fantastic!!! You are greeted by high tea and the evening meal consists of 4 courses, each of which are made of fresh, delicious ingredients. Breakfast is immense and will prepare you for your daily activities which for most people consist of day hikes to surrounding passes or lakes, or in some instances, reading on the sunny porches of the cabins. This lodge is appropriate for all ages who can manage to walk 14 km slightly uphill (or downhill on the way out). The cabins are warm and environmentally appropriate soap and shampoo are supplied in the showers. This lodge is very well run and is a great get away for viewing wildflowers, doing day hikes or simply relaxing and enjoying the companionship of the other guests.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

We spent two nights at the lodge in July. We feel so lucky! We can't recommend this place strongly enough. I wish we could've spent three nights instead of two. I also wish we could have come and gone via different routes. We came and went via Redearth Creek Trail. We enjoyed the hike in, but would've liked to return via a different route (though it's almost entirely downhill on the way out, which is nice).

We stayed in Isabella cabin, the only cabin with a king-sized bed.

The food was amazing. The staff friendly and accomodating. The family that runs the place couldn't be nicer and they take excellent care of their guests.

We stayed mid-week, so there were only 10 or so guests. So there was no bathroom wait. The hot shower was most welcome (thank you, solar panels!!) And the two toilets for each gender were very nice and not smelly (despite being pit toilets).

The surrounding nature is stunning. What a fabulous (and glamorous) way to experience the back country.

The hike up over Gibbons Pass to Lower Twin Lake and back was exceptional (very steep up to Gibbon Pass). We also enjoyed the Lakeshore trail to the end, then up along the river to the base of Mount Ball. Leave enough time to make it all the way to the end, we hear there is a waterfall. We still had to hike out the day we did the Lakeshore trail, so we turned around after 2.5 miles. I think the waterfall is only 1/2-1 mile further.

Glamping in the backcountry!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

We spent two nights at the lodge and as the other reviewers, we loved it! We rented bikes in Banff, biked up the first 7.5 miles and hiked in the last 1.5 miles (porcupines didn't eat our tires either). The first 1/2 mile wasn't bad, but here were some fairly steep portions with lots of rocks, so at one point I was thinking I was going to be walking my bike up the entire way. Because we are from Houston, the altitude was a factor, but we finally got in the groove and made it to the bike racks in about 2 hours.

We were met by Mia, who provided excellent service the entire weekend. The food was excellent and plentiful. But, since we wore off all those calories we weren't concerned! We also enjoyed the wine, as there is nothing better than enjoying a glass with the beautiful mountain views.

Advice from previous reviewers prepared us for the massive amounts of mosquitos...definitely bring bug spray. Also, don't forget the sunscreen, as the rays can be powerful. The only issue that I wasn't fond of was hiking it to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Other than that, we had a wonderful time relaxing and exploring the trails.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ft. Saskatchewan, Alberta
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

My wife and stayed at the lodge for three nights in July. It was everything and more than we expected. The hike in was an easy, steady grade on an old fire road. The last three kilometres are steeper with more roots and rocks. When you reach the lodge it's like an oasis of comfort in the backcountry without the air, noise and light pollution so many of us are accustomed too.

We arrived by five and the staff were kind enough to leave the afternoon tea spread out for us. It included an assortment of individual packaged teas, sweet treats, homemade guacamole, salsa, humus, crackers and chips. It's hard not over eat with a full hot and cold breakfast, self packed lunch of homemade breads, cold cuts, cheeses and all the fresh trimmings as well as desert bars, trail mix and sweets. Dinner is a highlight of the day with homemade soup, salad, fresh vegetables and a tender meat dish. The three nights we stayed we had a super tender roast, salmon and a lovely pork tenderloin dish. Again homemade desserts of cheesecake, German double layer chocolate cake, and bumble-berry crumble topped it off. There is a nice selection of wines and beer as well that is reasonably priced considering its all packed in by horse. Sitting on your own private cabin deck sipping a glass of wine while the sun sets was so stress free and relaxing.

Meeting the other guests from around the world was a lot of fun. The staff was so accommodating and friendly. Spend three nights if you can make it work. Nice to have a day to just relax, visit, eat, sip wine and then relax in the lodge around the fire.

As other travellers have mentioned the facility is super clean and comfortable. We definitely will return another time.

Thanks so much Lynn, Allison, Nadia, Sabina, Mia, Morgan, River, and our chef which I apologize I didn't get her name and any other staff that made our three days so enjoyable.

Mark and Melanie

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

This is a magical, restful, and exciting vacation spot. The hike in was easy, but didn't have the amazing views that are closer to the lodge. The lodge is in a valley with a lovely views. The real reason to pay the big bucks is for the snug and romantic cabins with backcountry hiking. I would recommend at least two nights in this relaxing spot.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shadow Lake Lodge

Address: Box 2606, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1C3, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > Alberta > Canadian Rockies > Banff National Park > Banff
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Banff
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in the high alpine meadows of Banff National Park, Brewster's Shadow Lake Lodge is a remote back country lodge with private cabins, accessible only by hiking, cross country skiing or snowshoeing. Included in the rate are three mountain gourmet meals as well as afternoon tea served to you daily in our dining lodge. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Shadow Lake Hotel Banff

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