I admit that I was already a fan of Mount Engadine Lodge before I tried their new glamping tents. I’d been twice before; the first time on a winter trip before we’d even moved to Calgary where we lucked out with a weekend of live music and the second in September a few years ago when we took my elderly mother-in-law, promising her moose sightings. “We” delivered with at least four moose seen in the meadows in front of the lodge.
What’s changed since our last visit is the addition of five glamping tents along the approach to the lodge. They’ve been available since November 2018 and judging from our weekend trip are extremely popular, especially with people like myself who have an adventurous spirit – and a dog.
What does the glamping experience at Mount Engadine Lodge look like?
If you’ve never glamped before I think you’d be pleasantly surprised at how luxurious the experience actually is. Unlike most of the camping I do, where you can’t even stand up inside the tent and a bathroom is usually a smelly outhouse, glamping here is pretty much like staying in a well-appointed hotel room, but with a mountain view.
Scroll down a few photos and the first thing you’ll notice is a king size bed (with a super-comfortable mattress) and a thick duvet. In this part of the world night-time temperatures in the dead of winter can drop to the -25°C to -30°C range – not often but when they do, you’ll still be warm and cozy. The winter game changer in the glamping tents is the thermostat-controlled gas heater. It pumps out the heat – so hanging out on the two seater couch with your special somebody and a glass of wine will have you toasty in no time. And the private bathroom has its own heater so you’ll never be frosty when you step out of the shower. You’ll smell good too with their lemongrass and mint Rocky Mountain Soap products.
Having said that, on frigid nights you’ll be able to chill a bottle of wine in the far corners of the tent so a pair of slippers is probably something you’ll want to pack. There is a supplementary heater – but we never turned it on.
The glamping tents are smaller than the lodge rooms and cabins – but chances are you won’t be spending full days inside them anyway. The common areas at the lodge with their homey wood-burning fireplaces beckon, especially if you’re a reader as they have a great book selection. And all three meals along with their famous charcuterie plate at tea time are taken in the dining room in the main lodge. The rest of the time you’ll want to be out exploring the truly fantastic mountain landscape – on foot, bike, snowshoes or skis.
A note about the meals at Mount Engadine Lodge is in order.
If Mount Engadine could bottle the camaraderie they create around the family-style served meals, they’d be billionaires. There are very few places in the world where conversation flows as easily as it does here. I don’t know if it’s the shared passion for the outdoors or what sparks the warm feelings – but what I do know is if you need new friends, come here for a few nights.
If you’re just not a glamping type of person
If the glamping experience doesn’t speak to you, there are lots of other options at Mount Engadine. Lodge rooms are well-appointed and only a flight of stairs away from a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. And a couple of cabins with views over the meadows are but a 30 second walk away.
What to do near Mount Engadine Lodge
If you love cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, you’re in for such a treat as truly exceptional trails like Chester Lake and the Mt Shark trails are but minutes away. Visit in the summer and the trailheads for some of the best hikes in the Rockies like Tent Ridge, Burstall Pass and Buller Pass are also literally in their backyard.
On this trip we spent one day cross-country skiing on the Mount Shark trails, five kilometres away. You can also access the trail to the Bryant Creek shelter if you want a longer option.
We also spent part of a Sunday morning snowshoeing on the nearby easy, family-friendly Hogarth Lake Loop. It will only take you one to hours to do the loop, depending on your pace.
And the trail to Chester Lake is a must do in summer and winter. On a bluebird winter day, it’s hard to beat. You can read about my snowshoeing experience here.
Things to know if you go to Mount Engadine Lodge
- The lodge is about a 40 minute drive from Canmore via the Spray Lakes Road.
- Complimentary snowshoes and Yactrax are available to guests of the lodge.
- There is WiFi in the main lodge but it’s slow. It’s available from 7 AM – 11 PM. There is no cell service and no TV.
- There is a wood-fired sauna available from 9 AM – 10 PM but staff need at least an hour to get it ready.
- Housekeeping services are only provided every third day.
- Dogs are allowed to stay in the glamping tents and cabins at a rate of $20/dog. Well behaved dogs can visit the main lodge but not the dining area.
- Rates for all rooms and glamping tents include three meals per day and the fabulous afternoon tea.
- Alcohol is additional. There is a corkage fee of $20.
- Glamping tents are $420/night double occupancy with all meals included. (They are offering 20% off before the New Year though the base price is slightly higher over Christmas.)
- You don’t have to be an overnight guest to enjoy afternoon tea. It’s served from 2 PM – 5 PM at a cost of $17.50 per person. More information here.
- For more information visit mountengadine.com
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Thank you to Mount Engadine for hosting my stay. As always I thoroughly enjoyed myself here and highly recommend the glamping experience.
Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta
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