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“Wonderful Experience”

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Tonquin Valley Backcountry Lodge
Edmonton, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Wonderful Experience”
Reviewed January 8, 2011

First of all, the Tonquin Vally Backcountry Lodge isn't what I would normally call a hotel. You don't check in, get a room key, or have your bed turned down with chocolates on the pillows every night by bellboys expecting tips. I think that defining it as a hotel on this website could lead to a false sense of expectation of what the Lodge is.

What the Lodge is, though, is an experience. My family has organized winter trips with friends skiing into the Tonquin Valley for several years now, and it has become an annual tradition we all look forward to. Nestled on the edge of Amethyst Lake, the Lodge is a series of smaller bunking cabins, with a larger central cabin for eating and relaxing at the end of the day. Getting away from the rest of the world to a virtually untouched valley in the middle of the Rockies for a weekend is truly the best way to 'get away from it all', and staying at the Lodge is the best way I can think of to experience this.

The staff are wonderful and very accomodating to food requests, which is incredibly impressive as all food must be carted in by snowmobile up a river during the winter. The food is absolutely fantastic too.

I absolutely cannot think of a better way to experience the Rocky Mountains than staying at the Tonquin Valley Backcountry Lodge, and I eagerly look forward to my next visit.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank mdross1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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42 reviews from our community

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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2011

I spent 5 days at the Tonquin Valley Backcountry Lodge - deep in the heart of the Jasper mountains only accessible by hiking or horseback. Talk about getting away from it all with wonderful guides, food and hospitality.
The accommodations are luxury for backwoods, however if you are city folk - very basic.
That is not the point of the adventure - it is the outdoors, hiking, horseback riding, getting away from it all and going back to the basics.
I had a fabulous time as did my 3 children - ages 18, 20 ,22. We had did 3 rides on top of the 25km ride into camp plus one day for a major mountain hike. It was fabulously beautiful!
The hosts are very accommodating and very knowledgeable about the area and history of the valley.
Well worth it if you want to try something different and get away from it all!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Barb L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2011

I'd wanted to go to Banff and Jasper my entire adult life, and this summer my wife and I finally did so. This has got to be one of the most spectacularly beautiful spots on the planet, and we were there for two glorious weeks. The highlight of the trip was the five days we stayed with Kable and Sarah Kongsrud at the Tonquin Valley Backcountry Lodge.

I should say at the outset that I'm a big city boy and my wife a Southern Californian. But we've spent a lot of time in the wilderness -- Kathleen's entire family consisted of six constant and skilled backpackers/hikers/campers/riders and she spent much of her childhood and youth in her beloved Sierra Nevada. Over the course of a 42-year marriage I've learned to love the mountains as well and have joined Kathleen in a love of horses and wilderness. We're experienced campers, hikers, riders and wilderness people.

Kable and Sarah run a wonderful lodge. The setting is astounding -- I've posted some of the photos we took while there. And it is a backcountry place, with everything that the description involves. You're not going to get luxurious accommodations but everything is absolutely wonderful. The atmosphere is warm, inviting and welcoming -- the family-style food is outstanding and everyone gets a chance to pitch in and help or just sit around and watch. Things are relaxed, friendly and knowledgeable -- just what you want in a backcountry lodge. It rained a fair amount while we were there, but we weren't to be denied and took terrific rides every day.

I suppose one's evaluation depends on what one wants and expects. I've read a very negative review on this site and have to say that it bears no resemblance to our experience. If you're looking for a superb backcountry experience in the middle of the most astounding mountains on Earth, you can't do any better than Kable's and Sarah's place.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank john_ehrenberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sherwood Park, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2011

I have skied into this amazing lodge several times in the past couple years and every time I feel so amazingly privileged to get to spend time in this part of the world. Parks Canada is very restrictive on backcountry developments so for a place as comfortable as this to even exist in the backcountry is absolutely amazing. The scenery is spectacular, the accommodations are comfortable and clean, the food is amazing, and the value is unbelievable, especially considering that almost all supplies have to be brought in by a very long and treacherous snowmobile ride in the winter. Many thanks to Kable and his family for keeping this lodge going, otherwise I would be sleeping in a tent on my backcountry trips into the Tonquin Valley.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank dstyrhds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberta
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2011

I rode in and spend a long weekend here with a bunch of women and it was absolutely AMAZING! The couple who run this place and their crew are very professional, knowledgeable and helpful. The cabins are quaint and and rustic but clean and comfortable. The food was hearty and homey, the cowboy coffee was particularly good. The day excursions, on horseback or otherwise were great too. If you're looking for a true backcountry experience, this is it!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank wichdiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sherwood park alberta
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2010

My husband and I have made the trip to Tonquin Valley Lodge 12 times now, sometimes with our children, sometimes as a get-away for two. We have always marvelled at the level of comfort provided, given the remoteness of the location, and the degree of difficulty there must be in getting even the most basic necessities into the camp. The scenery is unbelievable, good thing each rustic cabin has a lovely deck with a view of some part of the valley! Each cabin is clean and comfortable, waking up to a fire in the room (thanks, honey) is the best way to start a day. The food! Fresh, hearty, and with enough variety that after even 12 trips the meals have never become routine or mundane for us. There is never a lack of things to do, and the camp is very kid-friendly. Unfortunately, outhouses are a fact of the back-country (if you're lucky), but I have always appreciated the effort made in keeping the Lodge's clean and as un-unpleasant as possible. Anyway, nobody expects to read a newspaper on the john when in the backcountry! Strongly recommend going later in the season, as the insects have definitely begun to subside late summer. For horse-lovers, there is a mount for every level of rider. For fishermen some of the best fishing in the park. And again, those lovely decks for travellers (like my husband) seeking serious relaxation. Can't wait for our next trip!

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank vista_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberta
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2009

I can't say how much we enjoyed my hike in to Tonquin Valley and then how wonderful and relaxing it was staying at the lodge. Big John, Gunner, Johnie and Heather are wonderful hosts! The cabins are cozy and warm in the cool August nights. Food was great, scenery amazing (even from the outhouse!!) Amethyst lake is great to boat/canoe on and the fishing is good too (they'll provide the gear to do it, if you have the inclination). Big John will cook the fish you catch for you after. We definitely would recommend hiking into Tonquin Valley and staying at the lodge to anyone, you'll never forget it!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank RLDAlberta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tonquin Valley Backcountry Lodge

Property: Tonquin Valley Backcountry Lodge
Address: Box 550, Jasper National Park, Alberta T0E 1E0, Canada
Location: Canada > Alberta > Canadian Rockies > Jasper National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 32 Specialty Lodging in Jasper National Park
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In Jasper National Park, on the continental divide, lies the Tonquin Valley Backcountry Lodge. This wilderness haven lies 24 kms from the nearest road at the base of the world famous Rampart Mountains and on the shores of pristine Amethyst Lake. Accessible only by hiking or horseback riding, this accommodation is unique among the Jasper backcountry lodges, and offers pack trips in a true mountain wilderness that everyone can enjoy. With towering peaks and lush meadows, the Tonquin Valley in Alberta provides an authentic Canadian Rockies vacation. Whether you want to explore the lake in a canoe, fish for abundant brook and rainbow trout in a rowboat, read a book, write a letter or participate in the daily horseback rides, this is the ideal situation. Come and stay in one of our comfortable Canadian Rockies chalets and enjoy an unforgettable wilderness experience. Our visitors stay in individual chalets which sleep from one to six people in comfortable bunk beds with all bedding provided. Chalet furnishings include crackling wood-burning stoves which make the rustic ambience even more cozy. Tonquin Valley trips are limited to 18 people in order to maintain an uncrowded and relaxed atmosphere. ... more   less 

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