We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Our 4th stay in 15 years and we were not disappointed!”
Review of Shadow Lake Lodge

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Banff
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Shadow Lake Lodge
Ranked #9 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Banff
Certificate of Excellence
Calgary, Alberta
Level Contributor
37 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Our 4th stay in 15 years and we were not disappointed!”
Reviewed August 8, 2010

We like Shadow Lake Lodge for its private spacious cabins in the backcountry, unique amongst other backcountry lodges in the Canadian Rockies. As always we were greeted with a friendly face upon arrival and afternoon 'tea' which consisted of the usual delicious cakes, bars, and cookies and new since our last stay, a variety of cheese, fruit and crackers. Also since our last stay, a hot shower is not available to guests, a luxury in the backcountry. We miss the wake up knock and the basin of hot water outside the door in the morning, but with running hot and cold water available outside the main building, the guest are expected to provide their own.
Dinner as always was plentiful and delicious - no one goes hungry here! The beef tenderloin was amazing!
The walk into this lodge is not the most scenic (most of it along an old road), but once up at the lodge expect great scenery, great day hikes and fantastic food. To make the most of your stay and to hike the trails in the area, a two night minimum, 3 nights even better, is recommended.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RightAngleTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
shadowlakelodge, Manager at Shadow Lake Lodge, responded to this review, August 10, 2010
Thank you very much for visiting Shadow Lake Lodge, and writing a nice review....glad you enjoyed your stay for the 4th time.........and we will be looking forward to welcome you at the lodge for your 5th visit!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

100 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    88
    10
    2
    0
    0
See reviews for
14
63
2
1
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2010

Wonderful backcountry lodge close to Banff. A great, easy hike in of 14 km with your gear. The lodge and cabins are wonderful, rustic but comfortable with good beds, towels and linens supplied. The staff was excellent. My husband and I were there for our anniversary and they went above and beyond to make it a special day for us - including a dish of chocolate covered strawberries delivered to our cabin.
The food was excellent and plenty of it - almost too much! Enormous breakfasts, plenty of fixings for sandwiches and snacks to take out on your hikes, giant afternoon tea with the most mouth-watering goodies and lovely dinners. Can't say enough about this place. Definitely need to be there at least 2 nights if not 3 to take in all the wonderful hiking around. Will be back there again next year for sure.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank pah42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
shadowlakelodge, Manager at Shadow Lake Lodge, responded to this review, August 10, 2010
Thank you very much for visiting Shadow Lake Lodge, and writing a nice review.....verty happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay and had a nice anniversary celebration....looking forward to welcome you at the lodge again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
31 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2010

The hike up to the lodge is average in difficulty (the last 2km or so is pretty steep and you can't bike it) and can be done in 3-4 hours depending on your fitness level and whether or not you stop to have lunch. Their printed add reads "hot showers!" and yes there are two of them; one for women and one for men in the common washroom. The toilets smell quite bad but the washroom is clean . I am a camper so am no stranger to simple accommodations, outhouses etc. but I expected a little more luxury for the price. Don't expect the beer commercial ski lodge type place; the common cabin, which is one room with a nice log fireplace, is quite cozy but small and doesn't accommodate all the guests at the same time (if all the cabins are occupied) so you should definitely bring cards or a book or something to do in case of bad weather. Our room had a wash basin that we could fill from the hose outside one of the other cabins; there are no washrooms/showers in the individual cabins. The room was clean and the bed was very comfortable, although the room heater was pretty noisy. The cabins seem pretty new and well insulated. The hospitality was super and the meals were great and the lunch is very generous, you can take/pack as much as you like for day hikes or your trek back to the parking lot. However for two people we paid almost $500.00 for one night so because of that reason I wouldn't go back again.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank RaspberryTrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
shadowlakelodge, Front Office Manager at Shadow Lake Lodge, responded to this review, August 30, 2010
Thank you very much for your comment and visiting our environmentally friendly backcounty lodge.
We believe that we offer very competitive rate compared to all other backcountry lodge in the area.
Please also be advised that the cost for your stay was for 3 guests in your party, not 2, which included afternoon tea, dinner, breakfast, and lunch.
We look forward to see you again at the lodge sometime in the future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 29, 2010

As others have said, the Shadow Lakes Lodge exceeded all our expectations!

We are a family of four, with two teenage girls. I was the one that signed everyone up for this 2 day , 3 night overnighter in the backcountry, and the one that committed them all (with some trepidation) to riding bikes for 8.5 miles, and then hiking another 1.5 - and it could not have gone better. We rented mountain bikes in Banff, drove them to the trail head, and with a game but nervous crew, started up the Red Earth Trail. Others had warned us that the first few hills were steep, and not to get discouraged - that was helpful. We walked a few, road a few, and everyone had time to get used to being on mountain bikes. And while I read others had said that the trail was boring, we thought it was tremendous -- very beautiful forested trail, with room to ride, and which eventually tracks along a raging river. In the end, it only took us a bit over two hours to do the ride before the last hike in, which took another 45 - 50 minutes.

And at the end of the hike, we were blown away by the setting of the Lodge itself. It is on a lovely meadow, with spectucular vistas from every lodge porch of the surronding mountains. We had two lodges -- a king bed in one, and two doubles in the other -- side by side -- and they were both very comfortable.

In addition to the individual sleeping lodges, there is a communal lodge for meals, and a seperate communal lodge with comfortable couches, games, books and a fireplace.

The food was excellent, the staff went out of their way to be accomodating, and the owner was information and delightful. I recommend this place to anybody who wants to get a feel for the backcountry.

Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank 1-sanfrancisco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
shadowlakelodge, Front Office Manager at Shadow Lake Lodge, responded to this review, July 12, 2010
Thank you very much for your positive comment and visiting our lodge. We are happy that you enjoyed your stay, and hope to see you again at the lodge again in near future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, ON
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 1, 2009

Stayed for 2 nights, 3 would have been better simply to really take advantage of the hikes in the area. Food was fantastic, especially considering I'm a Celiac and requested Gluten Free food - absolutely delicious and I did not lack for anything, if anything, I had not eaten that much before! The cabins are beautiful, setting spectacular and all and all a great getaway.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank KG516
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
shadowlakelodge, Shadow lake lodge staff at Shadow Lake Lodge, responded to this review, December 2, 2009
Thank you for writing the review, and looking forward to seeing you at the lodge next time!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nyc
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed September 29, 2009

My husband and I stayed at Shadow Lake Lodge for 3 nights in early september. We loved almost every moment of it.

Getting to the lodge:
There are several ways into the lodge. Most people take the Red Earth trail. This is a pretty easy 8 mile trail. its flat for almost the whole way until the last mile which has some up hill, but still not bad. We took an alternate route which was more challenging. It began at the vista lake trailhead. Its about 9 miles, so not much longer than Red Earth, but you're doing a LOT more climbing. Basically you're going up and down i think three times. We did this trail in the wind and rain to the lodge, so it was not entirely pleasant and it took about 5 hours with a very short lunch break. Another group had taken this route in and it took them 7 hours, though i think they encountered some snow and they were a bit less prepared than us. We were lucky enough to meet a cool couple who gave us a ride from the Red Earth creek trail head back to our car (about a 10 minute drive) so we hiked back via Red Earth on the way back.

The Location and grounds:
The lodge is made up of many buildings. There is a main dining room where breakfast and dinner are served, a lounge building which has a cozy fireplace, lots of couches, games, books, etc that is great for relaxing after dinner (which most of us did), the bathroom building (equipped with 1 shower & 2 toilets in the womens room..i assume the same for men), some staff buildings and the invidual cabins. there seemed to be about 10 or so of them (i didnt count). the lodge is set in this beautiful meadow with a backdrop of mt ball and forest. Sunrises are amazing. Each building are log cabins and are pretty well constructed, and seem well insulated...not your typical drafty cabins!

The individual cabins are pretty spacious. We stayed in ‘Pilot’ which was the closest building to the public buildings. This was great b/c it was a shorter walk to the bathroom. We had a standard which had 2 double beds, a small table with 2 chairs, a dresser, a night table, and a little alcove that had a mirror above a table. ON the table was a large bowl and pitcher for washing up (hot and cold potable water is available outside the lounge building), and a drying rack. Clean towels were also provided as well as a very toasty, reliable heater. There is a little front porch with 2 chairs in front of the cabin which gets some nice afternoon sun.

The Food & Meals
Meals are served in the main room at communal tables. We were lucky to meet a very cool couple that we sat with every night and had some great conversation. That being said, everyone we met was very friendly and obviously happy to be at such an amazing place. The food is all homemade and plentiful. Soup was served as a first course every night as well as fresh bread. I cant remember all the details, but soups for 3 nights were corn chowder, cream of broccoli, and lastly potato soup. Meals were salmon one night, marinated chicken breast another rnight, and then pork tenderloin a last night. Side dishes were things like potatoes au graten, wild rice, roasted root vegetables, big salads with strawberries…etc. And dessert was always awesome- cheese cake, lemon cake…etc. Considering that they’re in the middle of nowhere, Allison (owner and chef) really puts out some great food. Exactly what you want when you come home from a long hike. Bottles of wine and cans of beer are available for purchase. We got a bottle of wine every night. Its slightly pricy, as expected at 37 dollars a bottle, but worth EVERY penny, trust me! Breakfasts were equally generous. Always museli, fresh fruit and either oatmeal or cream of wheat to start, and then a big cooked hot breakfast of either pancakes, French toast, or eggs. Always either bacon or sausage. Was all delicious and more than you could eat. For Lunch, they put out a generous spread of cold cuts, bread & other sandwich fixings, homemade cookies and baggies of trail mix. Lunch food is put out literally as your digesting your breakfast so you can get going on your hikes. At 11am- 5pm they keep out a huge spread of cookies, cakes, cheese & crackers, tea and drinks for snacks. There is literally TONS of food around all the time, so no need to bring any!

The Bathrooms:
The bathrooms can get a little smelly, but its to be expected. They were always VERY clean, and the showers actually had pretty good water pressure. They supply shampoo and shower gel (and towels in your room).

The hikes:
There are many choices of hikes depending on how ambitious you are.
-We arrived through the vista lake, lake arnica, twin lakes, then gibbons pass. It was a challenging hike due to all the ups and downs. You are climbing and ascending a lot, so even my 34 year old knees didn’t love me at the end of that one!
-The next day we did Whistling pass via haiduk lake. It was about 13 miles round trip I think and took about 7 hours including a nice stop for lunch at the lake. The last bit at the pass is all rocks, but its not a hand over foot climb. Gorgeous hike, even great if you just stop at the lake which is a pretty easy 10 miles round trip….not much elevation gain there.
-Our second day we decided to go back to twin lakes via gibbon pass since the weather was so much better than our arrival day. You do an up and a down both ways. Pass is gorgeous, but worth it to continue on to the lakes.
-last day we hiked out via red earth. Its a fire road through a pretty forest. In nice weather, its quite pleasant, though not outstanding vistas. Only worth it if you’re coming or going to the lodge.

All in all, we absolutely loved shadow lake lodge and cant wait to return. 3 days is the perfect amount of time. 1 night is definitely not enough. 4 nights would be fine, but I think you might start to run out of day hikes.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank arkachic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
shadowlakelodge, Shadow Lake Lodge Reservations at Shadow Lake Lodge, responded to this review, December 3, 2009
Thank you so much for writing detailed review, and looking forward to welcoming you at the lodge next time!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City
Level Contributor
32 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2009

Shadow lake is a wonderful place. The hike in is an easy/moderate 8 miles when compared to the other backcountry lodges we have visited. We stayed for three nights which was just right. The cabins were clean and spacious for the two of us and the staff were excellent. There is a shower in the central shower house that was very clean (a big plus in a backcountry lodge). The food was abundant and the breakfast was excellent. After dinner many of the guests went to the main lodge to enjoy the fire and socialize. I recommend hiking to the end of shadow lake and enjoying a picnic. On our second morning we saw a moose walking across the meadow in front of the lodge. We enjoyed good weather except for our hike out as it rained and snowed which made the trail sloppy. I highly recommend Shadow Lake Lodge.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank decoydonna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Banff
16.7 mi away
Moose Hotel and Suites
17.7 mi away
Hidden Ridge Resort
Hidden Ridge Resort
#13 of 32 in Banff
2,005 reviews
17.0 mi away
Fairmont Banff Springs
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
7.4 mi away
Castle Mountain Chalets
20.9 mi away
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
9.5 mi away
Sunshine Mountain Lodge
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Shadow Lake Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Shadow Lake Lodge

Property: 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 #9 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Banff
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing