In the event you’re in search of the final word Canadian Rockies getaway, then you definitely’ll need to pay a go to to Emerald Lake Lodge in winter!
An extremely lovely place to remain – Emerald Lake Lodge in winter ought to be in your bucket listing!
For all of the years we lived in superior mountain cities in British Columbia, first in Invermere, then Kelowna and at last in Revelstoke, we by no means explored the gorgeous Yoho Nationwide Park. And what a disgrace that is.
We at all times drove previous it, normally on the way in which to or from Banff, and thought we’d save a go to for ‘one other day’.
On the finish of 2018 after we had been final in Canada we lastly took the flip off from the Trans Canada Freeway and paid a go to to Emerald Lake, probably the most well-known locations in the complete Rockies.
We had been blown away with the sheer fantastic thing about all of it. A glistening turquoise lake surrounded by jagged peaks, dense pine forests and glaciated valleys.
A tiny retailer rents out kayaks in the summertime, and a bridge crosses over to the enduring Emerald Lake Lodge, an opulent but genuine lodging, that beckons guests to remain longer.
Sadly for us on that go to we couldn’t spend the night time. However that was all to likelihood on our subsequent go to to the Nice White North.
Guests stroll on the frozen Emerald Lake.
Dwelling in a Dream – Emerald Lake Lodge in Winter
In February we returned to Canada, spending every week canine sledding within the Yukon and trying out the fascinating metropolis of Quebec within the wintertime.
Afterwards we flew to Alberta and had a couple of days hanging out and snowboarding round Banff, a spot that seems as if it was plucked straight out of a fairytale.
We needed to complete our Canadian journey with a bang, so we headed again to Yoho Nationwide Park and had the privilege of crossing over the bridge and checking in to the Emerald Lake Lodge.
Issues had been totally different this time although. The lake was now frozen with a thick blanket of snow forged throughout it. The mountains had been much more formidable coated in a white protect, and the timber had been spectacularly nonetheless.
It was much more picturesque than the final time we had been there.
For 2 nights we’d be staying in one in all Emerald Lake Lodge’s incredible self-contained cabins, located completely to profit from the nationwide park’s many winter trails.
The lodge is run by Canadian Rocky Mountains Resorts, who keep numerous motels across the space and are recognized not only for their distinctive, boutique lodging, but in addition their award-winning meals.
We couldn’t consider a greater place to take pleasure in an ideal Canadian winter getaway.
An ideal winter getaway at Emerald Lake.
The First Night time
Yoho Nationwide Park is lower than two hours from Banff, simply throughout the provincial border in British Columbia and subsequent to the small city of Subject.
We drove straight there after snowboarding all morning at Sunshine Village Ski Resort, and arrived into the park within the early afternoon.
Earlier than arriving at Emerald Lake Lodge we stopped by the beautiful Pure Bridge, carved out by the turbulent Kicking Horse River. The earlier autumn, the water was gushing by in a violent rage. Within the winter although it’s utterly frozen.
We climbed down onto the river and walked contained in the cavern. The ice flowed down in rolling waves, captured in time by the chilly snap. It was phenomenal to be standing beneath the Pure Bridge, realizing that in a couple of months time it might be a tumultuous speedy.
As soon as we took our footage we drove in direction of the lake, turning off on the signal for the in a single day carpark. We unloaded the automobile and known as the lodge utilizing the direct telephone line on the skin of the upkeep shed, and moments later a bus collected us to drive the 2 minutes to the lodging.
Alesha strolling on the frozen Kicking Horse River.
The reception is situated in the principle lodge, and after a fast and simple examine in we walked to our cabin.
We had been staying in an upstairs unit with views over the lake, and from the second we stepped inside we fell in love. The subtly adorned room was spacious and heat, with a fireplace place at one finish, two sitting areas and an infinite king-sized mattress on the again.
Our wonderful room at Emerald Lake Lodge.
A small balcony regarded over the lake, however with the snow piled on the deck it wasn’t going to get a lot use. In summer time although it might be spectacular.
We dropped our baggage off and spent a little bit of time enjoyable within the room earlier than grabbing the cameras and going for a stroll to take a look at the remainder of the property.
Completely liked our room right here.
Subsequent to our cabin was an outside hearth place, and throughout the trail was the sauna and out of doors scorching tub. A few individuals had been chilling within the tub already, and we knew we’d be in there quickly sufficient.
In winter the solar units pretty early, so we walked throughout the street bridge and scouted out a spot to shoot.
Probably the most iconic photographs of Emerald Lake characteristic the Cilantro restaurant, a conventional Canadian log cabin on the Lodge-side of the bridge and proper on the sting of the river.
Organising the tripods, we bought chatting to a few different photographers who had drove in particularly for sundown. We watched in awe because the tops of the mountains turned crimson with the alpine glow and the sky turned from blue to black.
As quickly as the sunshine was gone the temperature dropped shortly, so we packed up and headed again to our cabin to drop our digital camera gear off.
The Cilantro Restaurant – probably the most photographed locations in the complete Rocky Mountains.
As soon as the our bodies had warmed up we walked again to the principle lodge and grabbed a desk for dinner. The restaurant is designed in a conventional log cabin design, with lovely decorations hanging on the wall and atmospheric lighting.
The waiter was with us nearly instantly, taking our drink orders (a scrumptious bottle of Okanagan wine) and making strategies from the menu. It was onerous to decide on with so many unimaginable choices, however we settled on two meat dishes that got here extremely really helpful.
The meals didn’t disappoint. There’s a purpose the CRMR cooks have received worldwide awards, and with the menu that includes solely the perfect natural substances sourced from native farmers, each mouthful was actually delectable.
After our meals we headed again to our cabin, bought the hearth roaring, and settled in for the night.
One of many meals we had on the Emerald Lake Lodge eating room.
Day 2 – Cross-Nation Snowboarding and Après Delights
We woke earlier than dawn and walked all the way down to the lake with cameras in hand, hoping for a spectacular show of pastel gentle.
Sadly we weren’t handled to the epic dawn we had been hoping for, however with no clouds within the sky and a tremendously calm morning, it was an ideal solution to begin the day anyway.
A number of individuals had been out snowshoeing and cross-country snowboarding already, and because the solar began to peak over the mountains, the Yoho Nationwide Park begun to return alive.
We dropped our gear again on the cabin, then walked to the lodge for breakfast. With our early begin we managed to be one of many first individuals within the eating room.
The choices had been to order off of the menu or take the buffet. After taking a fast have a look at all of the choices accessible, we selected the buffet so we might pattern every part.
Early morning at Emerald Lake.
We crammed our stomachs with French toast and eggs Benedict, baked beans and muesli, and naturally bottomless espresso. As soon as we’d completed we determined to go to the loft of the lodge and make amends for a bit of labor.
It was our first time trying out the upstairs part of the Emerald Lake Lodge, however we might see that it’d be an exquisite place to loosen up with buddies.
There was a snooker desk at one finish and a piano at one other. A convention room tucked away to the left, and some couches unfold across the room.
The piano upstairs on the lodge.
We set ourselves up on a big desk proper by the window and spent an hour or so catching up on emails, ready for the climate to heat up.
With the enterprise admin facet of issues taken care of, we packed our baggage again in our room and bought able to attempt our arms at cross-country snowboarding.
Simply over the bridge is slightly rental and memento retailer, the place you possibly can seize ice skates and cross-country skis. We picked up some boots and skis, and appreciatively took a fast lesson from the employees in easy methods to use them.
The little retailer the place you possibly can decide up your cross-country skis.
By now the solar was nicely and actually up, and the mountains round us had been merely awe-inspiring. and households had been hitting the paths, and we couldn’t wait to hitch them.
There’s a fantastic community of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails that twist their means across the Yoho Nationwide Park, venturing deep into the valleys.
With our distinct lack of expertise, we opted for a easy and flat 5km loop round Emerald Lake.
It took a couple of minutes to get the swing of issues, however quickly sufficient we had been charging throughout the lake, attempting our greatest to look as sleek as doable with out falling over.
Cross-country snowboarding throughout Emerald Lake was wonderful enjoyable.
We shortly realised why cross-country snowboarding is such a preferred winter exercise in Canada. With the one sound being your respiratory and that of the skis gliding throughout the snow, it’s straightforward to focus your consideration on the mountain peaks and forests.
It’s additionally surprisingly demanding on the physique in case you push your self, which means you may get a piece out whereas having fun with the views.
As we reached the far finish of the lake, Alesha determined to go again on her personal whereas I pushed on, attempting my hand at a barely longer and more difficult route.
The path minimize by some slender timber, and I used to be continuously stopping to take photographs as I made my means off the lake and in direction of one other valley deeper within the park.
Yoho Nationwide Park has an enormous community of epic cross-country ski trails.
I circled across the valley then again by the forest to hitch up with the Emerald Lake path. All up it had taken slightly over two hours to ski the paths, made longer on account of what number of footage I snapped.
After dropping the gear again off on the rental retailer, I headed again to the lodge and located Alesha enjoyable within the loft once more, sipping on a cocktail and admiring the views.
With the muscle mass feeling barely sore we determined to check out the out of doors scorching tub. We bought into our bathers and jumped in, letting the steaming water soothe the legs and arms.
It was so splendid to be soaking within the pool with snow surrounding us on all sides and the jagged tops of snowy peaks rising between the timber.
Finally we dragged ourselves away from the new tub, had a fast bathe at our room, then determined to go again to the principle lodge to take pleasure in an après drink,
The massive bar within the Emerald Lake Lodge is the place to be within the early night, and it was buzzing with content material company sipping on craft cocktails.
Strolling by the Emerald Lake Lodge property at nightfall.
We grabbed a sofa by the fireside, ordered our drinks and struck up a dialog with one other couple.
They had been from Calgary, only some hours drive away, however staying at Emerald Lake Lodge in winter had at all times been on their bucket listing. Lastly, after years of dreaming, they had been right here and loving each second. It had surpassed their expectations, similar to it was surpassing ours.
We regarded across the bar and will see the nice and cozy smiles on all people’s faces. The environment was relaxed but energetic, and with the picturesque views of the snowy Yoho Nationwide Park simply exterior the window, it was straightforward to see why so many individuals love this place.
As soon as our drinks had been completed we walked over to the restaurant and had been led to our desk.
We had the identical waiter, and remembering what we had the night time earlier than he made another suggestions so we might attempt one thing new from the menu.
Once more the meals didn’t disappoint, and we washed all of it down with a few boutique beers from a close-by microbrewery.
Though our day had been removed from quick paced, we had been each exhausted, and headed to mattress as quickly as we completed our desserts.
The views on the again valley previous Emerald Lake.
Day three – Farewell Emerald Lake Lodge
We didn’t need to depart within the morning, however we had an early begin to make it again to Banff for a day of mountaineering. We awoke earlier than dawn, packed our baggage and walked to the lodge.
The employees had kindly made us a breakfast field to take with us, crammed with a sandwich, contemporary fruit, yoghurt and juice. They fired up the espresso machine, and we settled our invoice.
The bus took us again throughout the bridge one ultimate time, and we grabbed our automobile and hit the street.
We completely liked our time at Emerald Lake Lodge in winter, and will simply have spent one other 2 or three days exploring the beautiful mountains of Yoho Nationwide Park and sipping cocktails within the bar.
For now we’ll simply need to dream about returning once more, maybe to see the park coated in its legendary autumn colors…
The walkways of Emerald Lake Lodge within the evenings.
Ideas for Staying at Emerald Lake Lodge
The Emerald Lake Lodge is likely one of the greatest lodging choices in the complete Canadian Rockies, and your keep right here is assured to create wonderful lifelong recollections.
Right here’s our ideas that will help you profit from your keep:
You Want a Nationwide Park Cross: As a result of the Emerald Lake Lodge is contained in the nationwide park, you’ll want to purchase a cross to convey your automobile inside.
Convey Snacks: In the event you’re going to be out exploring in the course of the day, it’s good to have some snacks with you resembling muesli bars or fruit. Purchase earlier than coming into the park.
Eat on the Restaurant: The meals is solely legendary, and surprisingly not too costly for what you get. Ensure you eat right here a couple of occasions.
Guide Forward: In the event you’re planning to remain on the Emerald Lake Lodge it’s completely important to e book forward of time, because it’s an immensely standard spot.
It’s Cheaper within the Winter: Summer time is the busiest time of yr at Emerald Lake Lodge, and likewise the costliest. If you need an actual genuine expertise that received’t break the financial institution, try to go to within the wintertime or within the shoulder season.
Convey Layers: It will get chilly in Yoho Nationwide Park, so be sure to convey loads of layers to maintain heat. In the event you’re right here within the winter it’s not remarkable to get temperatures as little as -30. Gown appropriately!
Have a Sense of Journey: As straightforward as it’s to easily lounge across the lodge all day, the actual fantastic thing about staying at Emerald Lake is having so many nice actions proper in your doorstep. In the summertime go climbing, kayaking or climbing, and within the winter go snowshoeing, cross-country snowboarding or ice skating.
Disclaimer: Our keep at Emerald Lake Lodge was made doable because of our collaboration with Banff & Lake Louise Tourism. All ideas, opinions and craft cocktails loved on the bar are, as at all times, our personal.
Alesha and JarrydHey! We’re Alesha and Jarryd, the award profitable writers and photographers behind this weblog, and we’ve been travelling the world collectively since 2008. Journey journey is our ardour, and thru our tales and pictures we promote thrilling off-the-beaten-path locations and interesting cultures as we go. Observe our journey in actual time on Fb, YouTube and Instagram. Newest posts by Alesha and Jarryd (see all)