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“We want to stay in a cabin in the Canadian Rockies,” you say. You're looking for your own snug little house in the woods. But cabins vary greatly. Will your dream cabin have running water, a fridge, a luxury spa or fine dining nearby? It might be heated with a furnace, a wood stove, or perhaps not heated at all. It could be a huge & luxurious log building that is a regular stop-over for visiting royalty, or it could be very small and even possibly mouse-infested. It may or may not have cooking facilities. It may or may not be in or near a town or other settled area. A few cabins do not have indoor plumbing. In fact, it is a very good idea to look carefully at a property’s own website in order to have a good idea of where they are located and exactly what features are available before you book. Some require that you book for a week, while others will let you book for a night. Some are attached to hotels and others are on ranches or in towns. Because of the huge range of cabin accommodations, from humble and basic to huge and luxurious, it is always a good idea to carefully read the website of cabins that you're considering. Oh, and always check the TripAdvisor reviews of course!
In addition to the points above, it is worth noting that not every cabin is a log cabin. Many cabins have wooden siding or clapboards or even decorative siding that looks a bit like log construction. Look at an external corner of the building; if it is a vertical post, it's possible that the building is not a log cabin. If the corners show overlapping or dovetailed logs, then it is definitely a log cabin.
There are several very broad types of "cabin" that visitors to the Canadian Rockies can typically find. The descriptions below are general, and are NOT reviews of the examples given:
TYPE ONE: The luxury cabin (e.g.: Cathedral Mountain Lodge and Moraine Lake Lodge, near Lake Louise; Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge): log construction, high ceilings, luxury fittings, well equipped, scrupulously clean. En suite bathroom, luxury bedding. Gas or wood-burning fireplace in room. double glazed windows. Meals provided in a luxury dining room in the main lodge building. Highly attentive staff. Location probably away from hubbub but good for visiting the most popular sights in the area. Can cost from $300 to $600 a night in high season (as of July 2013)
TYPE TWO: The real ranch experience (e.g.: Nakiska Ranch, Wells Gray Park) The real deal. Rural location. A set of cedar log cabins built round a working farm yard. Reasonable facilities incl en suite. Informal dining in communal dining room. More likely to be in a location where you can see wildlife. You're on a farm in a rural location so cleanliness is moderate to good, Standards of food and staff etc will depend on the individual place. Probably privately run buy live in owners. We're generally talking about properly decorated cabin with decent standard - NOT some rough converted tumbledown place. Costs vary but $200-$250 a night plus meals in high season (as of July 2013).
TYPE THREE: Holiday chalet.(e.g.: Bear Hill Lodge, Jasper) Basically a hut, like a mobile home, on a camp site disguised to look like a log cabin. Paper thin walls, no charm or character. Clean like a Travelodge, but with the feel of being on a campsite. Cars parked outside individual units. Families with BBQs outside. Potential to be noisy. Probably got a canteen buffet breakfast & facilities like a shared hot tub and laundry. Most likely town location near tourist attractions. Good for families on a budget. Disappointing for couples. Roughly $125 a night in high season (as of July 2013)
TYPE FOUR: Hiking Cabin. A real log hut, with very few facilities intended as a shelter to walkers on overnight hiking trips. By their nature, these will be in the middle of nowhere, with limited modern equipment. These will sometimes, but not always, have running water and a toilet. They might have electricity..or just an open fire. They are usually several miles from any roads and you need to take everything for your trip with you, including food, toilet paper and even perhaps firewood. They give the REAL wild camping feel - but with the added safety and shelter of log walls. Great for wild campers and nature enthusiasts, and hikers on a budget. Not so good for young children or people seeking luxury.
The following list was compiled using information from TA reviews and from the properties’ own websites. (Links in bold go to TA reviews, while links that are just underlined go to the accommodations' own websites.) Only cabins which are accessible by road are listed, not backcountry cabins.
Terminology: For this list, "chalet" is used to describe a multi-level cabin, while a bungalow is always a one level building. A "camping cabin" is a very basic facility which may not even include bedding; usually found in campgrounds.
This is a wiki of sorts, which means that any TA member may edit it. If you need to correct an error in the links or would like to add a property, click the edit button.
Castle Junction is the intersection of Hwy 1 (Trans-Canada Hwy) and Hwy 93S to Windermere and Radium. It's roughly halfway between Banff and Lake Louise.Storm Mountain Lodge & Cabins – log cabins
Stephen Creek Guest Cabin – log cabin
Located roughly an hour west of Lake Louise on the Trans-Canada Highway (Hwy 1).
Gingerbread Cabin -
log cabin near east boundary of Jasper National Park
Kruger’s Guest House & B&B - log chalet
Nordegg is located about 75 minutes east of the junction of Highway 93N (Icefields Parkway) and Highway 11 (David Thompson Highway)
Tudor Country Cottages - cottages
Sundre is about 90 minutes NW of Calgary
Mountain View Country Inn and Retreat Centre - A-frame chalet