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“Great backcountry lodge”
Review of Shadow Lake Lodge

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Shadow Lake Lodge
Ranked #5 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Banff
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 26, 2013

We stayed at Shadow Lake Lodge in March 2013. We snowshoed in the 14 km while I think everyone else staying that weekend were skiiers.

We were in the Whistling cabin. It was great, nice and private and large size. Bed and bedding was very nice.

It was a bit odd not having a bathroom in our cabin but it didn't bother us. The non-flush toilets were okay- not smelly at all. The hot showers were really nice and felt like a real luxury. The wood-fired sauna was nice and HOT- really loosened up the muscles after the hike in.

Food was amazing!!! Was all good but my favorite was afternoon tea. Lots of cheeses, crackers, dips, veggies, cookies, squares, etc.

We did a hike up to Gibbon Pass. It was a clear day and we had a gorgeous view of Mount Assiniboine which was amazing.

The wine was $42 per bottle, which honestly I didn't find bad at all- since I was just glad I didn't have to carry it in.

We had a really nice time and I'm sure we'll go back sometime to see it in summer!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank laptopolivia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 4, 2012

The Shadow Lake Lodge is a lodge with cabins in the backcountry of Banff National Park. The lodge is only accessible by hiking (or in the winter cross country skiing). There are hiking possibilities (day hikes) around the lodge, so more than one nights stay is nice.
The lodge has cabins with different kind of beds. The cabine are propane heated, has solar powered lighting and a wash basin. The outhouse is located with a short walk from the cabins and even has a central shower.
The cabins are nice. There is a cabin reserved for the restaurant and a cabin with a nice fireplace in the relax cabin. The meals are included and are good. If you like to have alcohol with your meal, it is possible to buy, however it is expensive.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Lottevanbeek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2012

My husband and I spent our anniversary at Shadow Lake Lodge early in September, 2012. We have a marvelous time! Our log cabin was beautiful and cozy. We had a view of mountains with meadows in the foreground. The lake itself was a short walk and as picturesque as you can get. The weather was not cooperative, and we got weathered out on our hike to Ball Pass when a thunderstorm hit just as we were about to break out into open, exposed rock. It hailed and then snowed heavily for most of the hike back to the lodge. However, the daily tea buffet awaited us on return to the lodge. There are too many goodies to chose from! You have to be careful not to eat too much because dinner is generous and yummy. The only downside: there is one shared shower for females and one for males. If the place is full, you are likely going to have to wait. The hike in/out is somewhat boring but the destination is well worth it!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Diane W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2012

Shadow Lake lodge really is as wonderful as other reviewers say. The staff are so helpful and friendly, the food is superb (especially 'afternoon tea', which is a meal in itself). The scenery and walks are beautiful, especially in July / Aug when the flower meadows are a blaze of colour. We hiked in from Sunshine Meadows, included a detour to Rock Isle Lake, then over Healy Pass and through Pharoah Creek. Apart from Pharoah Creek which was sheltered by trees, this was a very scenic and enjoyable route, with amazing views. It took 7.5 hours with lots of photo stops etc. On the way out, we chose an even more scenic route of Whistling Pass, Healy Pass and Healy Creek. This was steeper and took 8 hours.

Room Tip: All rooms are good.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank AKBWimborne_Dorset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2012

We had a great 3 days and 2 nights at the Shadow Lake Lodge. Great food, comfortable cabins. Hiked up Gibbon pass and had amazing views. Wouldn't recommend Twin Lake trail. At the end of a long day of hiking there is "afternoon tea". A delightful delicious buffet of cheese, crackers, hor deurves, cookies and cakes.
It was a great way to experience the back country of Banff.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Lori084
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2012

Me and my (now) fiance stayed at Shadow Lake in early July 2012. We hiked up using the Red Earth Trail as the other trails still had snow. The hike up was quite nice and not too difficult. If you have a chance to bike it, I would recommend doing that.

The lodge itself and the staff were phenomenal. They were welcoming and friendly. We were greeted by afternoon tea and snacks. And by snacks I mean a table full of gourmet cookies, finger foods, cheeses, etc. The cabins were very well taken care of, very cozy and comfortable. A big thumbs up for the warm showers! The dinner was also extremely delicious and the setup for the take-out lunch was thoughtful (and did I mention delicious!) as guests could make their own sandwiches for day hikes.

We stayed at the lodge for two nights, which was not nearly enough to enjoy all the trails. I would recommend a minimum of three nights, although that might not even be enough (unless you are looking to sprint through the trails). The atmosphere at the lodge during our stay was relaxed and casual, as dining is communal and all the guests relaxed at the "lounge" cabin. The staff were very good at making the dinners fun and enjoyable. What is the flight speed of a mosquito....hmmm?

The setting is beautiful with a view of the mountains. The hikes range from easy to demanding in different lengths so there is something for all skill levels. Everything that has been said before is spot on. I proposed to my gf during the trip and the staff recommended a wonderful spot. They also made sure our stay was truly memorable. I highly recommend the experience!

We truly had a trip we will not forget. A big thank you for Alison and the staff at the Lodge! I look forward to another visit.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Markus R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2012

Ah, Shadow Lake Lodge... a great way to experience the Banff backcountry with an unusual level of comfort for such a spectacular, remote location!

We rented mountain bikes in Banff and rode the first 10k up along Redearth Creek. The ascent is steep at times and would probably be considered strenuous by an inexperienced biker. Deep forest and rushing creek scenery, with occasional peak views. Saw eight or nine sets of bear scat along the way, with a few muddy stretches, and hiked the last 2.5k up. Germaine - the concierge, chef, guide and hostess - gave us a warm welcome with an amazing spread set out for tea. The staff is eager to please and quick with information and recommendations.

The dining is impressive at the Lodge; one evening we had Alberta beef tenderloin in a cognac-peppercorn sauce, with potato-leek soup, sun-dried tomato bread, spinach/strawberry salad, roasted peppers and broccoli, smashed potatoes, and chocolate cake for dessert. A great way to power up after a long day burning energy on the trail. Bottles of wine were $42 - same as you'd pay in a regular hotel, but these were hauled up to 6,000 feet for you. Vegetarian, glucose-free and lactose-intolerant guests were there at the same time, and were graciously accommodated with delicious-looking options.

Dining is communal so you get to know the other guests, which during our visit were a lively, diverse mix from as nearby as Canmore or as far away as the Netherlands and Russia.

There are several day hikes to choose from, ranging from meadow walks to high-elevation scrambling; you can set your own pace. You make your own sandwich after breakfast and take fresh fruit, cookies and energy mix to lunch on the trail while you're out. We did about 30 clicks in three days, with an amazing hot shower at each day's end.

Forget about updating your Facebook status, checking email, sending text messages or anything like that - Shadow Lake Lodge is a place to clear your mind and untether yourself from technology.

Tips... bring two or three times more insect repellent than seems reasonable: swarms of aggressive mosquitoes were out in full force at almost every location. If you want to take a dip in the crystal clear and cold waters of Shadow Lake, bring water shoes, as the rocks are sharp. The Lodge does not offer spirits for sale, but you can pack them in and prepare mixed drinks in your own cabin. Available mixers are lemonade, water and ice tea.

How could it be better? Kayaks to take out on Shadow Lake would be great, although there may be an environmental or liability reason they can't do that. There's still plenty on land to keep you busy for at least a few days. Yoga and massage services would be a nice addition for those who're interested.

Overall: Shadow Lake Lodge is a great place to get away, exercise your body and relax your mind while enjoying the beautiful setting of the Canadian Rockies.

Room Tip: Request Pilot cabin - the closest cabin to the communal lounge area, bathroom/shower hut and dining...
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Mojo6400
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
Location: Canada > Alberta > Canadian Rockies > Banff National Park > Banff
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Banff
Price Range: $155 - $212 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Shadow Lake Lodge 2*
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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