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“Second visit even better!”
Review of Talus Lodge

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Talus Lodge
Edmonton
Level Contributor
34 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Second visit even better!”
Reviewed August 16, 2011

Our group of six hikers chose Talus Lodge for our first repeat in 12 years of traveling to back country lodges. I'm happy to say our second visit was even better than the first (see: April 14, 2010 review). Owner Chris Espinel has worked tirelessly to maintain and even enhance the experience at Talus. Our hikes/climbs were all new, varied and extremely rewarding. And the food matched anything one could expect in the Canadian Rockies. However, what makes Talus an unmatched mountain experience is the attitude of the owner and staff; their caring and genuine approach is unparalleled. We could not have asked for a better 3 days of hiking.
My only advice: BYOB! As they have no alcohol on board.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AvidTravelerEdmonton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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82 reviews from our community

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English first
Edmonton, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 15, 2011

Having spent the better part of my life in the mountains and visiting at least a dozen backcountry lodges over the years I can honestly state that Talus Lodge offers a total alpine experience which is second to none. The lodge is authentic Rockies - comfortable and spacious. The guest compliment is small, which can facilitate great new friendships. The food is simply fantastic. Most importantly you will not find another lodge in the Rockies with the diversity of spectacular terrain and scenery in such close proximity to the lodge . The staff are relaxed, enthusiastic and extremely knowledgeable. Talus Lodge is definitely a place I will visit again!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank drscotch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
High River, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 7, 2011

My husband and I stayed at this back country mountain lodge to hike in some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever see. Wonderful hosts; lovely lodge (remember this is back country so no formal running water; great food and they accommodated my Celiac husband; great bedrooms with spectacular mountain vistas; small numbers; fly in by helicopter; guided trips appropriate for the group and found the flowers and geology quite different to other areas we have been;...
All in all, we had a lovely stay and absolutely would go back.
Highly recommended.
Bob & Lil Rehak

Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank HRHikers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Alberta
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2010

Our family of 12 stayed at Talus Lodge in early September. The weather was cool and the ground was lightly snow covered but we were still comfortable hiking the area. The lodge is simple and basic but pleasant and comfortable. The meals made by Leah were abundant and truly delicious. The guided hikes provided by Chris were always wonderful and we were educated and amused by his knowledge and stories of each amazing vista, plant, fossil, rock formation and animal that we came upon. Chris made every effort to make all of us feel comfortable and safe both inside and outside the lodge and is a friendly, warm and engaging man. Talus Lodge provides a wonderful high mountain hiking and natural experience and the helicopter ride there and back is breath taking!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Chapman11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
40 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2010

Oh. My. Goodness. Talus Lodge is a treat for anyone who loves to hike in the midst of spectacular scenery but doesn't want to backpack. My husband and I are day-hikers and appreciate creature comforts (such as a real bed and good food prepared by someone else). At Talus Lodge, that was just the beginning.
The lodge is perched at 7600 ft. in a mountain cirque that is inaccessible by road. Guests, staff and supplies are brought in by helicopter (for guests, a spectacular flight from Canmore) twice a week. The lodge will sleep 10 guests comfortably, and during our visit there were only 5 of us: a couple from Victoria, a gentleman from Edmonton, and the two of us from Ohio. Chris Espinel is the owner/guide/miracle-worker, and a more knowledgeable and congenial host you could not find. (He also plays guitar and sings with a little encouragement -- try offering him a quarter.)
Backcountry lodges tend to be pretty basic, with paper-thin walls and lumpy beds. At Talus, the lodge building, opened only in 2004, is very well built, rooms are quiet, beds comfy, and the common areas inviting, warm, and light-filled. There's a heating stove on the main level, where the kitchen, living room, and dining areas are located, as well as one on the lower level where the mud room and most of the sleeping accommodations are found. There's also an electric generator that Chris turns on at dark and off at 10:00 or so.
Connected to the lodge building by an elevated wooden walkway is the bath house, which includes 2 pit toilets, a sauna, 2 sinks (cold water, of course), 2 gas burners for heating pots of water, and 2 shower stalls. After hikers are back for the day, Chris fires up the sauna stove and the water pots. For a shower, you mix hot and cold water in either a nozzle-equipped bag or a watering can, hoist it up in the shower stall with a pulley system, and luxuriate. It works just fine! There's also a more remote outhouse a short walk from the lodge, beside a grove of trees. Chris encourages the male guests to avail themselves of this grove for "tree-watering" during the day and to reserve the toilets in the bath house for the women-folk except at night or in foul weather.
There are no hiking trails, so do choose the "guided" option for your visit. Chris -- and, if the lodge is full, his assistant -- know the area, so they will take you to the most beautiful/interesting places you'd have trouble finding on your own. (Also, given that there are bears about, it's probably safer to hike in a group.) Chris seems to know almost everything about the scenery, plants, animals, birds, and abundant FOSSILS. Even in September there were flowers blooming in some places, and I can't wait to return another year in late July/early August to see the full wildflower display.
Food is FABULOUS: a big breakfast, a pack-your-own lunch, afternoon appetizers, and a grand dinner.
Keep in mind that your schedule before and after Talus should be a bit flexible. Low clouds or bad weather render the helicopter timetable . . . approximate. On our morning flight in, we had to set down at an intermediate heli-pad for an hour to wait for clouds to lift so that we could get through the last pass to Talus. Chris said that only once has he had to cancel a group's visit entirely, and that was in winter (after 2 days of delay, the trip was called off). He said that in summer, the worst it's been was once when the morning flight in/out couldn't take place until evening. So don't plan on getting to Calgary to catch a flight home right after your scheduled departure from Talus!
The one thing that was a bit surprising to us (as I mentioned, we're not backcountry mountain hut folks where this may be the norm), was that there are no curtains on any windows. So when you're in your bedroom or in the one of the showers with a window, you'll be on view if anyone cares to gaze. Since there's a sort of terrace that runs around the outside of the bedroom level, in warm weather (which ours was not) there might be other guests out there enjoying the view. Hopefully not of you. It also means that in midsummer, when the sun sets very late at that latitude, you may want to take eye-shades along to aid your sleep.
This is a really, really great place. The scenery is superlative. You will see nobody during your stay except other Lodge guests, because there's NOBODY ELSE AROUND. (What a change from Banff!) It's your own private Eden.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Hamelia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, AB
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 26, 2010

I took my wife here as a surprise trip for her birthday and we both loved it. You come to a place like this to hike and enjoy the outdoors and in this respect I don't think it could disappoint anyone. The setting is absolutely spectacular - peaks, glaciers, lakes, waterfalls and more wildflowers than you could imagine. It was raining the first day but we still had a very nice hike concentrating more on some of the waterfalls and flowers since many of the peaks were obscured by cloud. It was nice they have some rainy day type hikes available that are still beautiful. The next day we scrambled up White Man Mountain and it was amazing! As good a view as any in the Rockies I think (I've hiked, backpacked and climbed in the Canadian Rockies for many years). The following day we had a nice easy hike up to Angel's Landing and down past some of the tarns and waterfalls. Gina's Shower was very refreshing! While everyone else took it easy, Chris, the owner, and I did a nice short scramble up a nearby peak. Definitely not a beginner scramble (my wife would have hated it...) but it is great that there is so much variety, from gentle easy hikes to harder scrambles. There also looks to be plenty of opportunity in the area for some climbing, including some ice in the winter with all the waterfalls.

The lodge is very nice. It is relatively small (compared to say O'Hara or some of the others) with only a 10 guest capacity which makes it very cozy. We loved it though as there was a realy family feel to it. It didn't feel so much like staying at a commercial lodge as it felt like you were staying at a friend's cabin (a very nice cabin!). The rooms were comfortable and there was a sitting area as well as a large deck to relax on. The facilities were nice and clean. You are in the backcountry though so there aren't flush toilets or running water showers. The watering can shower set up worked well though and the sauna was a really nice touch, especially after a dip in a glacial tarn! They did run a generator a little bit in the evening for some lights and to be able to recharge batteries and things.

As is expected in these type of lodges the food was fantastic and plentiful. Gina did a phenomenal job keeping us well sated and we were amazed that she made so much of it from scratch. Chris was the consumate host ensuring that everyone's needs were attended to and everyone was happy. They were great company over the course of the weekend.

My wife and I always like to try new places but I have a feeling we'll be back here again.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lordstanley89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed August 17, 2010

I traveled to Talus Lodge as part of a group of 10 friends, one of whom had been to Talus Lodge twice before. We chose the self-guided option and spent many hours exploring the beautiful and secluded mountains, meadows, and glaciers surrounding the lodge. After long days of hiking I really appreciated the wood stove heated sauna. Despite being secluded and having to be flown in by helicopter (a great experience in itself), the lodge has electrical lighting and outlets (for recharging your camera batteries) that are powered with a propane generator. Toilets are pit toilets but clean and comfortable. I highly recommend Talus Lodge for a unique Canadian Rockies experience!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WAPaddler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Talus Lodge

Property: Talus Lodge
Address: Box 731, Invermere, British Columbia V0A 1K0, Canada
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Kootenay Rockies > Invermere
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Invermere
Number of rooms: 6

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