skip to Main Content
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
The view from our cabin at Heather Mountain Lodge in BC

Heather Mountain Lodge BC – The Summer Experience

If you’ve driven the Trans-Canada Highway between Golden and Revelstoke, British Columbia then you’ve passed Heather Mountain Lodge & Cabins – but perhaps unknowingly. I know I’ve seen a sign pointing to heli-skiing in the winter but not once on the multiple times I’ve driven the Trans-Canada, did I clue into the fact that there was a beautiful lodge, just off the highway. But there is, and though it does cater to the heli-skier in winter, it’s a destination lodge come summer and fall, especially if you’re either getting married or you’re into hiking.

In fact, Heather Mountain Lodge makes a wonderful basecamp for hiking in Glacier National Park. There are 18 day-use trails across a full range of difficulties, with most just a 15 – 25-minute drive west. What a treat it was to enjoy world-class hiking so close by – and then to return to a beautiful roof over our heads, a super comfortable bed, a large bathroom with fabulous Rocky Mountain Soap amenities and memorable food.

Cabin living

There are two cabins, tucked some distance away from the lodge that are available to rent. In the winter that might mean walking past human-sized snowbanks but in summer, it’s a 3-minute stroll through wildflowers. 

Our cabin was roomy and well-appointed. It came with a king bed, a sofa bed, a fireplace, a couple of red chairs on the deck, a fridge, a Nespresso machine (but with Coffee-mate – my biggest pet peeve in higher end places) and a bathroom with both a shower and huge soaker tub – which in hindsight I should have used after our Abbott Ridge hike.

Although the lodge and cabins are just a short distance off the Trans-Canada Highway, I didn’t find the noise level to be troublesome. It’s certainly there in the background starting in the morning and ending around 8ish in the evening. I am super sensitive to noise and have been cursing the Calgary helicopters flying over our house at all hours of the day, so this paled in comparison. It was also quieter than many stays I’ve had in the Banff – Lake Louise corridor where there can be a terrific amount of train noise all night long.

We stayed in one of the two super cute cabins
We stayed in one of the two super cute cabins
The view from our cabin
The view from our cabin
Our cabin had a large bedroom with a couch and fireplace
Our cabin had a large bedroom with a couch and fireplace
Soaking tub in our bathroom
I should have used this soaking tub after our hike up Abbott Ridge in Glacier National Park
I'm always very happy to see Rocky Mountain soap products
I’m always very happy to see Rocky Mountain soap products

Around the lodge

We didn’t actually spend a lot of time around the lodge, partially because we visited during a hot spell. If I was visiting on a cool day, I’d want to try out their barrel sauna. Instead, we did watch numerous helicopters come in to refuel – as it saved them a lot of time by not having to fly all the way to Golden. There were some forest fires nearby – but nothing that came close to threatening the lodge.

Indoors on the upper level of the main lodge, there’s a large room with a pool table, comfortable seating and a big fireplace that would be appealing on a cold day. 

I was content to enjoy the view from both inside and outside our cabin. John would kindly go down to the lodge at the end of the day and reappear about 10 minutes later with a glass of wine and beer. It was a treat to read, relax and yes – drink wine in bed.

Trail from our cabin to the main lodge
Trail from our cabin to the main lodge
A view of Heather Mountain Lodge from the back
A view of Heather Mountain Lodge from the back – outdoor dining area on the second level
A gathering spot at the lodge where you can play pool, get a drink and hang out with old and new friends
A gathering spot at the lodge where you can play pool, get a drink and hang out with old and new friends
A helicopter refueling at the lodge
A helicopter saving time by refueling at the lodge as they are home to a winter heli-ski operation – note the barrel sauna beside the pond
It was interesting to see the helicopters with their basket for water
It was interesting to see the helicopters with their basket for water

Swoon worthy meals at Heather Mountain Lodge

I am not a food blogger, but I know great food when I taste it. I would have to say the beet salad and wild mushroom pappardelle are as delicious as anything I’ve tasted in a restaurant. Interesting their chef is Stephan Drolet from Whistler’s Bearfoot Bistro, a restaurant that consistently makes Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants list. He is committed to sourcing ingredients from as close to the lodge as he can, followed by in province and then in country. 

Behind the lodge, there’s a new outdoor cooking set up where live-fire and smoked flavours can be judiciously added to a wide range of ingredients. Cue the smoked pistachios in the beet salad and the house smoked pappardelle we enjoyed on the first night and the smoked Swiss chard and grilled leeks on the second. 

The presentation of all meals as you can see below is mouth-watering. 

Everyone is welcome to dine

You don’t have to be a guest at Heather Mountain Lodge to dine in the restaurant. More and more people are seeing some signage on the highway and coming in to eat. It’s a great way to break up a long drive on the Trans-Canada Highway. The only word of caution I would offer is to be extremely careful turning left off the Trans-Canada as you’re driving east. Turning into the road to the lodge when you’re heading west is not an issue.

Beet salad with beets presented 5 ways
Beet salad with beets presented 5 ways – chewy, roasted, pureed, crispy & crumbled
Memorable wild mushroom pappardelle
Memorable wild mushroom pappardelle
Celeriac baked in embers
Celeriac baked in embers with birch cream, cauliflower carpaccio and organic barley and birch risotto
Locally sourced flame broiled beef
Locally sourced flame broiled beef with pomme puree, grilled leeks, cippolini onions and smoked swiss chard
Chocolate lovers delight
Chocolate lovers delight
Rhubarb dessert - with everything pictured made of rhubarb
Rhubarb dessert – with everything pictured made of rhubarb
Caramel pudding to die for
Caramel pudding to die for

Hikes – both guided self-guided in the area 

With its premier location near the east entrance to Glacier National Park, Heather Mountain Lodge is well positioned to be used as a basecamp for day hikes. We did exactly that – hiking Abbott Ridge one day and Glacier Crest another. Both are exceptional full-day hikes with over 1000 metres of elevation gain over a return hike of 13 to 16 km. Another shorter but steep hike I would recommend is Hermit Trail.

There are other easier hikes to choose from in the park but since we didn’t have to drive more than about 20 minutes each way, we wanted to be able to take advantage of full day hikes. 

The lodge is also able to organize a guide for you. This would be especially helpful to anyone who isn’t used to hiking in bear country. A guide is also terrific at being able to assess your hiking abilities and then recommending a hike that would be a great fit. The lodge was kind enough to organize Golden-based guide, Alison Dakin, for us. She was easy company and well-prepared with a Garmin inReach, water filters, bug and bear spray, extra poles – basically, a lot of the things you might not be traveling with, especially if you flew in from somewhere and rented a car. She can be reached at al@uniserve.com.

Reflection in a pond beneath Abbott Ridge, Glacier National Park
Reflection in a pond beneath Abbott Ridge – Photo credit: Alison Dakin
Walking out on Abbott Ridge
Walking out on Abbott Ridge
On the Glacier Crest hike you get within spitting distance of the Illecillewaet Glacier
On the Glacier Crest hike you get within spitting distance of the Illecillewaet Glacier
View from the top of the Glacier Crest Trail
View from the top of the Glacier Crest Trail

Lodge location

On Google maps the lodge is located here.

From Golden it’s a 42 minute drive west via the Trans-Canada Highway. From Revelstoke, it’s a a 1hour, 6 minute drive east via the Trans-Canada Highway.

Signage you'll see from the highway
This is the sign to look for on the highway. It’s on the north side. Photo credit: Heather Mountain staff

                         

Booking a night or more

It’s amazing what a few nights at the lodge can do to make you feel like you’ve been away for much longer. I was a guest at the lodge but can honestly say I loved the experience, especially staying in the cabin. I can’t speak for the lodge rooms, but they would be similarly outfitted.

You can book directly on the Heather Mountain Lodge website. What you might notice if you click on Summer is that they also offer several programs including “Being Bear” in Canada’s Glacier National Park with Reno Sommerhalder and a 2-day-2-night package walking in Glacier National Park with Indigenous Interpretive guide Tim Patterson.

Further reading on things to do in the general area

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

The Heather Mountain Lodge & Cabins summer experience at the edge of Glacier National Park in BC

 

 

Leigh McAdam

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 61,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Cart

Pin It on Pinterest