Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Just Another Day in Paradise at Mount Engadine Lodge

This past winter we were blessed to be able to spend a night at Mount Engadine Lodge as part of my "research" for a story on snowshoeing in Kananaskis.  I discovered a few things that weekend.  One - Research is a lot more fun these days than it was in university!  Two - We HAD to return to Mount Engadine Lodge and while I wasn't sure how we would pull it off, I knew I had to try!  And Three - We had to bring our son with us the next time.  It just wasn't fair to leave him at home while we were living it up in paradise without him.

Just Another Day in Paradise at Mount Engadine Lodge

You've probably heard the saying, "we came for the skiing but returned for the hiking" before and this rings very true with Mount Engadine Lodge.  In our case, we went for the snowshoeing, but returned on Father's Day weekend for the biking.  We enjoyed two glorious days of family mountain biking in Canmore and Kananskis joined by a night of decadent luxury at the lodge.  It was truly one of the best weekends ever and I can't imagine how I'm going to top this experience for next Father's Day!  Just sayin - honey you may be disappointed next year.  ;(

Playing in the meadow outside the lodge

Mount Engadine Lodge is a front country lodge tucked away in the Smith-Dorrien Valley outside Canmore, Alberta.  The lodge backs onto a magnificent meadow with snowy mountain peaks, moose, and bears waiting to greet you outside the large picture windows of the main dining area.  There are few places so gloriously remote, wild, and awesome! While you can drive right up to the front door of the lodge, you will definitely feel as if you have been transported into the backcountry of Kananaskis or Banff during your stay with no cell coverage, wi-fi or other unnecessary distractions.

Mountain Bliss at Mount Engadine Lodge

We were pretty blown away when we walked into our private family cabin with two separate bedrooms, a bathroom with hot water and shower (something you wouldn't likely see in the backcountry) , and our very own deck looking out over the meadow.  We spent a lot of time in the afternoon soaking up the sun from our deck and I know without a doubt now, that our son is being magnificently spoiled.

The view from our deck
Playing with Daddy on our private deck
A view of our private cabin overlooking the meadow

We had a LOT of fun exploring the meadow as well.  We looked for frogs in the creek, discovered a secret beach, and had fun squishing through the soft grass. Afternoon tea was served from 3 to 5pm and we made sure to eat as much coffee cake as our bellies would hold.  We took turns on the rustic swing outside the lodge and had a thoroughly pleasant afternoon.

Frog!  How Cute is he?!
Exploring in the meadow
Our secret beach
Best swing ever!
Dinner was served in true backcountry lodge style with all of the guests sharing a table together.  We feasted on salmon wrapped in puff pastry - that even my four year old ate with enthusiasm, and had a great time bonding with the other guests who felt like family members by the time we left the next morning.  Evening at the lodge was a casual time of swapping stories and sharing drinks in the fireplace room with  the other guests and staff members.  With our son tucked safely in bed next door it was a time for us to relax and we loved that the staff chose to spend their evening down time with us rather than retreating to their own quarters.

Mount Engadine Lodge
 Breakfast was another decadent meal that fueled our day's mountain biking adventures and sent us on our way with glad bellies and hearts.  One night is never enough time at Mount Engadine Lodge but we were grateful to have even that amount of time in paradise and left with huge smiles our faces and promises to return again some day.

Finally saw a moose in the meadow right before leaving
Families wanting to make a day trip out of visiting Mount Engadine Lodge  before committing to an overnight stay can drop in anytime for afternoon tea from 3-5pm.  The cost is $13.60 per person which is reasonable given the amount of food served up and the atmosphere in which you get to enjoy your feast.  While there is no official discount for children, special consideration may be given to those that are particularly young. Reservations don't need to be made in advance but it is a good idea to call ahead if possible, and groups of 6+ people do need to give the lodge a head's up that they are going to be stopping in.

The Smith-Dorrien Valley outside the lodge

Dinner Reservations can also be made if you are camping in the area or spending the night in Canmore.  Reservations must be made 24 hours in advance and a price of $45 per person (plus tax and gratuities) is charged for the gourmet buffet style dinner including dessert.  Wildlife sightings over dinner are extremely common with the meadow referred to as the Serengeti of the Canadian Rockies by many guests.  Dinners at Mount Engadine are always a highlight of any stay at the lodge and visiting for at least a meal is something I highly recommend if you're looking for a romantic dinner to celebrate an anniversary or birthday.  For reservations, please call the lodge directly at 1-403-678-4080. 

Mount Engadine Lodge is also host to the Music in the Meadow concert series over the summer season where overnight and dinner guests get to enjoy an intimate concert by award winning local artists. More information can be found by following the link above. You can also check out the story that was recently featured in the Rocky Mountain Outlook newspaper.

Mount Engadine Lodge

For more information on the lodge, amenities, meals, and location, please visit the Mount Engadine Lodge Website directly. 

To read about our biking adventures, read this story:  We Went for the Snowshoeing and Returned for the Mountain Biking.

For a look at winter at Mount Engadine Lodge, please take a look at my last story, Escape to Snow Paradise, for Snowshoe Magazine along with the story on my blog here:  Paradise at Mount Engadine Lodge. 

For information on activities, tours, and recreation  in the Canmore Kananaskis area, visit the Tourism Canmore Kananaskis website to read my latest story:  Top 10 Things To Do As A Family In Canmore Kananaskis

Disclaimer:  Mount Engadine Lodge graciously sponsored our family's visit on this trip but as always, all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.

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