This relates to a stay in mid-July, 2011. The Cathedral Lakes Lodge ("Lodge") is an adventure. The adventure begins with the drive to the Lodge's parking area along the Ashnola River - it's a beautiful drive up a river canyon. After parking your car in the secure (fenced in) parking lot, it's then a one-hour or so ride up to the lodge through pristine wilderness in a 4x4 - and without four-wheel low you ain't getting there. On the trip in we rode in a 4x4 Chevy Suburban. On the trip out we rode in some sort of Swiss military surplus vehicle that I think was a "Unimog" - it seemed to be geared for climbing trees and had the suspension of a tank.
Once at the lodge, you are on the edge of a pristine alpine lake in the middle of a provincial park. The only other instances I have been in this sort of wilderness beauty was after a long hike. We stayed in a Lakeview cabin which had running water (some of the cabins do not) and a wood stove for heat. We had a table and chairs, two sets of bunk beds, and the wood box for the stove was full. It was perfect. Meals were served buffet-style in the main lodge; or if you planned to be out on the trail at lunch-time the kitchen would pack you a lunch. Meals were fairly simple, but well prepared. The lodge has a limited selection of beer and wine.
My wife and I went to the Lodge with the idea of using it as a base for day-hiking and birding walks. We were not disappointed. There are miles of trails. Some with minimal elevation gain and others with steep ascents (and descents) that lead to incredible vistas.
As noted by one of the other reviewers, it was enjoyable to talk with other hikers either while having a drink around the gigantic stone fireplace in the lodge or while having dinner. We met and had conversations with a number of interesting people - and this was part of the adventure.
My take on the Lodge is that it gives you much of the experience of camping in the wilderness; but with the luxury of a warm, dry cabin and someone else to do the cooking. If you're looking for a luxury resort this is not it. If you're looking for a great way to access the wilderness that ordinarily would involve a ten mile hike with a backpack, then you'll love the Cathedral Lakes Lodge.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Cathedral Lakes Lodge is situated at Quiniscoe Lake, 2000 metres (6800 ft) above sea level in the centre of Cathedral Provincial Park, BC. You are invited to stay in our comfortable lodge or cozy cabins. We provide friendly service; delicious, home-cooked meals; access to incredible hiking and a relaxing hot tub at the end of the day. Nearby hiking trails lead you to alpine meadows awash with wild flowers, fascinating rock formations and striking, 360 degree views of the North Cascade peaks.Pristine lakes teeming with rainbow and cutthroat trout provide excellent fishing. Mountain goats, mule deer, marmots, ptarmigan and many other mammals and birds surround you in this tranquil wilderness. Fair away from city lights, you will marvel at the night sky, shimmering with millions of stars. Be sure to bring comfortable, warm clothing for the outdoors, a water proof jacket, good hiking or walking shoes, a camera and a day pack. ... more less