If you haven’t experienced it already, a winter weekend getaway to Emerald Lake Lodge must be added to your bucket list. Away from the busyness of Banff, Emerald Lake Lodge is located in Yoho National Park on, you guessed it, the idyllic Emerald Lake. I’m sure you’ve seen it all over Instagram with the location rarely tagged.
After marveling at this location for years, I finally experienced a winter weekend getaway to Emerald Lake Lodge. It was everything I hoped for – and so much more. After all, waking up and seeing the Canadian Rockies everyday sure isn’t hard on the eyes.
Location. Location. Location. The land of Yoho National Park was home to the Ktunaxa (Kootenay) Indigenous people whom used the land mostly as a seasonal route to the plains. It wasn’t until 1882 that the first non-indigenous person discovered the lake, all but accidentally, Tom Wilson, during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Today, Emerald Lake Lodge takes up a small corner of the land surrounding jade colored lake. This year – round wilderness setting is the perfect place for any adventurer to rest their head while visiting the area.
While there is no parking at the lodge, there is a shuttle from the car park located about 10 minutes up the road. Contrary to what you might think, the photos of the lodge-like building above are not the actual lodge at Emerald Lake. The main lodge is located behind that picturesque log cabin.
Arriving for check in at the lodge is something out of a children’s fairytale book – especially when it’s snowing. The lodge is made of hand-hewn timber in other words, it is constructed of fallen logs that were then hand cut with an ax/chisel and made into what you see at the lodge today! The craftsmanship is apparent upon arrival, you’ll see.
Inside are beautiful stone fireplaces, a dining area where all meals are enjoyed, cozy sitting rooms and a lounge that has an 1890’s era oak bar that was salvaged from a Yukon saloon.
The main attraction? The surrounding mountainscapes seen outside of every window. Few and far between are the destinations that offer unique luxury and wildness simultaneously, but Emerald Lake Lodge is surely one of them.
The entirety of the Emerald Lake Lodge property sits on a 13-acre peninsula. There are 24 cabin-style buildings where guests stay adorned with the same traditional architecture and mountain décor as the lodge.
There are four different room types but all feature private baths, balconies and wood burning fieldstone fireplaces stocked daily with complimentary firewood. Some are even pet friendly but those rooms must be booked by calling ahead.
The most exquisite and luxurious of the rooms is the Point Cabin. It has a wraparound balcony with unobstructed views of Emerald Lake.
Rocky Mountain Cuisine
The sucker for history that I am, I quickly learned that there’s more than meets the eye (and taste buds) when it comes to the food at Emerald Lake Lodge. While the meals may be more expensive than what you’d find in the neighboring town of Field, I highly recommend having at least one meal here during your stay!
The Chefs at each of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Resort (CRMR) properties pay homage to cuisines past. Today, it’s an ode to the hearty meals prepared by European mountain guides and the lavish Victorian cooking from early CPR rail cars. Both legendary and delicious.
Always wanted to try free-range elk, bison or caribou but never had the chance to? Well this is the place to indulge. CRMR has its own, 540-acre ranch in the foothills of Calgary where they source their Elk and Bison meat from. All raised in a natural, humane and sustainable environment without added hormones or antibiotics.
The year-round nature of British Columbia, Canada allows for endless exploration, especially when staying here. During your winter weekend getaway to Emerald Lake Lodge you must partake in all of the activities!
When the grounds are blanketed by snow there’s a newfound peace and quiet, unlike in the Spring and Summer. And with it, comes a number of outdoor experiences waiting to be had. Cross country skiing, winter hiking, and snowshoeing are all available on the property along with the freshly groomed trails and equipment rentals. The loop around Emerald Lake is a must! Its 5 miles and should take about an hour. The views are stunning! Afterwards, head inside to enjoy a hot cocoa near the crackling fireplace or soak in the stainless steel hot tub.
Nearby, enjoy all that the Canadian Rockies have to offer from skiing to dog sledding to gondola rides to ice skating – and so much more. There are winter pursuits for everyone!
You might also enjoy The Ultimate Banff Winter Guide
SAVE FOR LATER
My stay at Emerald Lake Lodge was in partnership with Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts, as always, my opinions are my own.