We were based in a two bedroomed cabin at Alpine Meadows for 3 nights. The cabin had been recently built and, indeed, much of the resort seemed to be under construction or refurbishment. Landscaping and construction work were underway in our area from mid-morning - but the work didn't disturb or affect our stay at all as we were out exploring Wells Gray Provincial Park during most of the daylight hours. We are not sure if the lack of disturbance was by our luck or by the thoughtful design of the resort management, but in any case, we would love to see how the resort looks in summer or in spring next year when the work is complete.
We had splurged on a 2 bedroomed cabin. Its lounge, dining area, kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms were excellently furnished and equipped (air conditioining AND humidity controls!) and the layout was such that my in-law could easily have the privacy she required from our boisterous 4 year old. The living, dining and kitchen areas were arranged as a spacious open plan with large and tall windows which, along with the balcony, afforded us terrific, safe views of our twice daily visitor: a big dark cinnamon-coloured black bear. So we were able to take some ace bear photos that outdid anything we obtained from the national and provincial parks we had visited elsewhere. Things did get a bit hairy when Mr. Bear decided to wander by our front door and peer at us through the side living room window, mere seconds after my mother in law had fetched something from the car. Better luck next time, eh?!
Maybe because it was a quiet time at the resort, we found the staff to be super attentive, caring and informative: not charging us for international calls and faxes to our insurers when my daughter slid in her socks on the wooden floor and hurt her head (in her excitment to see a mother black bear and 3 cubs that had popped out to dig for ants a few metres from our cabin).
We didn't eat out at the resort, so I can't comment on the resort's restaurant. The staff did frequently enquire whether we would be needing the dining facilities, so they were prepared to cater for us. We preferred to buy self-catering provisions and hiking snacks from the supermarket in Clearwater. We used the dining area and balcony of our cabin to eat rather than the resort's picnic or barbecue areas. there was no store at the resort when we stayed, but there was a table in the reception with a small selection of basic necessities (toothpaste, mosquito spray, caps, etc)
The cabin was a great place to come home to after a day of hard hiking and the one afternoon that we stayed at the resort was spent in a row boat on the lake observing the water birds and beaver dams, arguing about who controlled the outboard motor and hoping to catch sight of the moose and its young that the staff reported as being frequent visitors. I've got to say that we hadn't totally believed the resort staff when they told us that we may get bears outside our cabin ("Yeah right." we thought) - and we were utterly ashamed of our disbelief when we got more than our west Canada quota of bears on our doorstep. So, although we didn't see the moose, we don't doubt their presence in the area.
The route to the resort from Clearwater was long and winding - passing old, photogenic barn ruins and a husky kennels. It wasn't too steep for our SUV and, indeed, was a walk in the park compared to the hairy road we (mis)took over Pavillion Mountain later on our tour. However, at around 25 minutes drive from Clearwater facilities/nightlife, the resort may not be convenient for all - you do need a car.
We utterly loved Alpine Meadows - its remoteness, terrific cabins and surroundings. I'm not too sure that we would enjoy it as much later on in the summer season when it undoubtedly attracts many more holiday makers. In fact, scrub everything that I've said above: Alpine Meadows is a terrible place that should be reserved for anti-social Brits on vacation with their mother-in-law and pre-schooler. Avoid, avoid, avoid!
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- Also Known As:
- Alpine Meadows Hotel Clearwater