Monday, December 20, 2021

Ski out your Cabin Door at Baker Creek Mountain Resort in Banff

My family recently had the opportunity to spend a weekend at Baker Creek Mountain Resort near Lake Louise for some amazing "ski out your cabin door" fun in a beautiful winter wonderland setting.

Baker Creek Mountain Resort is one of twelve incredible properties with the Charming Inns & Small Hotels of Alberta and from my personal experience, adventure awaits just outside your door at each one of their inns or resorts.

Baker Creek Mountain Resort near Lake Louise, Alberta

An Authentic Rocky Mountain Experience at Baker Creek Mountain Resort

Baker Creek Mountain Resort is located along the Highway 1A in Banff National Park just 20 minutes east of Lake Louise. The resort has cozy cabins and suites, most with kitchenettes and all with fireplaces (including wood burning fireplaces in the cabins.) The largest cabins fit up to 5 people.

A stay at Baker Creek gives you an authentic Rocky Mountain experience, tucked away in a pristine wilderness setting off the beaten tourist path. We also appreciated the "intimate" nature of this cozy resort with only 16 suites & beautiful log cabins. It was a far cry from a loud ski hotel one might find in a busy mountain town.

Creekside firepits at Baker Creek Mountain Resort (firewood included)

Amenities at the property include a fitness centre, steam room, sauna, ice skating rink, and outdoor firepits along the creek.  There is also a café on site with basic food and beverage supplies in case you've forgotten anything (from marshmallows to a bottle of wine.)

My family stayed in a deluxe one bedroom suite in one of the lodge buildings. We thoroughly enjoyed our fireplace which provided heat to our room and warmed us up from an afternoon on the ski trails. We also loved having a separate bedroom (rather than the standard hotel room where the whole family sleeps in the same room) and our son was able to sleep on the pull out sofa.

The lodge that we stayed in with cozy suites, each one very much like a private cabin

Our kitchenette was just large enough for us to enjoy a simple breakfast each morning and we appreciated the amenities including a hot plate for cooking, fridge, microwave, coffee Bodum, and electric kettle. We were given fresh ground coffee when we checked in, and our fridge was stocked with coffee creamers. Our kitchen also had sugar, tea, and cooking supplies/dishes. 

We brought supplies with us to make lunches for our ski outings but chose to eat out for dinner each night. If that sounds like something you'd enjoy, there are several options for great dining at both Lake Louise and in the Town of Banff. Otherwise, should you choose to eat in your cabin, we discovered that the resort has outdoor barbecues on the property which would make it very easy to grill up some burgers or steaks for dinner.

A snowy winter evening at Baker Creek Mountain Resort near Lake Louise

Tips for planning an amazing stay at Baker Creek:

  • Bring slippers or thick fuzzy socks. The cabin floors can be chilly,

  • Bring a board game, fun card game, or crib board for cozy evenings in your cabin.

  • Bring your ice skates for the skating rink.

  • Bring your swim suits if you want to use the sauna.

  • Bring your indoor exercise clothes if you want to use the fitness centre.

  • Bring a sled if you have young children. You can pull them around the resort on the snowy pathways.

  • Bring roasting sticks and marshmallows for the outdoor firepits. I'd also recommend bringing travel mugs and hot chocolate to enjoy by the fire.

  • Bring your winter boots if you want to walk around the resort or play in the snow with the kids.

  • Download any movies you want to watch with the kids on an iPad before coming out. The WiFi at the resort is "basic" and certainly not high speed. - Which means you can unplug, leave the work behind in the city, and relax!

  • Pets are allowed at the resorts so you can bring Fido or Fluffy with you.

  • Our suite had a microwave but not a full oven (so maybe don't bring a frozen pizza for dinner - or at the very least, ask the resort if your cabin has a microwave or an oven)

A look at the inside of our cabin suite at Baker Creek

Ski Out Your Cabin Door at Baker Creek 

Baker Creek Mountain Resort grooms 10 kilometres of Nordic trails for cross-country skiing and all you have to do is walk across the road to access the trailhead. The first 3.5 km of trail is very flat and perfect for families with young children. Ski to the Protection Mountain Campground and back in an easy 7 km return trip outing before switching to your ice skates, relaxing in your cabin, or playing in the snow around the resort with your family.

For a longer ski, continue past Protection Mountain towards Castle Mountain Lookout, another 6.2 km past the campground for a round trip distance of 19 km. There are incredible views between Protection Mountain and Castle Mountain Lookout, and train lovers will get plenty of opportunities to watch trains go by as you ski alongside the tracks or traverse high above the river and the train tracks, with several great vantage points along the ski trail.

Skiing along the Highway 1A between Baker Creek and Castle Mountain Lookout

If you're fortunate to have a second vehicle, you can also set up a shuttle to ski one-way from Baker Creek back to Castle Junction, 15 km away (and 30 km round trip for adults wanting a long day tour from the resort.)

Gorgeous views can be seen from the Nordic Ski Trail from Baker Creek

To read more about the ski trails between Baker Creek and Castle Junction check out my recent story below.

All the Trains and Snowy Rockies Scenery!

Easy family-friendly skiing from Baker Creek Mountain Resort

Other Winter Activities to Enjoy from Baker Creek Mountain Resort

There is no shortage of adventure to be had while staying at Baker  Creek. Below are just some of the possibilities:

  • Visit Lake Louise for a day to skate on the lake, enjoy cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, participate in a guided dog sled tour, or even go on a horse drawn sleigh ride.

  • Visit the Lake Louise Ski Resort for downhill skiing, family tubing, a sightseeing chairlift ride, or a guided snowshoe tour.

  • Take a scenic drive along the Icefields Parkway towards the Columbia Icefields (winter tires required) where you'll see some of the most stunning scenery in Banff National Park.

  • Visit the Town of Banff for a day where opportunities are endless. Enjoy shopping, dining, a visit to the Banff Gondola, a soak in the Banff hot springs, cross-country skiing or hiking, or even fat biking with rentals available in town.

  • Enjoy some relaxing time at the resort, borrow a few hockey sticks and start up a casual game on the skating rink, or unwind with a hot chocolate and s'mores by one of the creekside firepits. 

  • Go snowshoeing near the resort. There are several trails nearby and the resort lends out complimentary snowshoes to its guests. 

  • Visit nearby Johnston Canyon, a winter wonderland of frozen ice where you'll see two large frozen waterfalls. Ice cleats or spikes highly recommended.

Cross country skiing under the cliffs of Castle Mountain near Baker Creek

A Unique and Special Stay Every Time with the Charming Inns of Alberta

The Charming Inns & Small Hotels of Alberta are a collection of 12 boutique independent inns and hotels found in locations across Alberta. The inn keepers of these properties work together to support each other and share resources. They stand out from the generic hotels you find when traveling that look as if they were cut out using a "hotel cookie cutter."

Baker Creek Mountain Resort is one of these unique properties where one stay will never be enough, and an annual trip is certainly guaranteed after you spend a couple of nights here.

Every Stay at a Charming Inns of Alberta Property is Unique and Distinctive

A quick glance at the Charming Inns of Alberta website introduces you to a wide range of experiences (because a stay at one of these properties is always more than just an overnight accommodation.) You'll find everything from honeymoon getaways to quick overnight escapes, mountain or wilderness retreats, private cabins, and spa vacations. Some of the properties are also pet friendly and many are very welcoming of children as well.

The common ground between each property is that you'll always find something distinctive, unique, and "local" in flavor. We've stayed at two other Charming Inn properties now, Mount Engadine Lodge in Kananaskis, and the Bear and Bison Inn in Canmore. At both properties it was very clear we were staying in the Rocky Mountains, and that atmosphere was present everywhere around each resort from the art work to the décor and even to the meals we ate. 

A Rocky Mountain Winter Wonderland at Baker Creek Mountain Resort

Mount Engadine Resort allows you the unique experience of staying in a winterized glamping tent where "camping" gets a whole lot more decadent with indoor plumbing, comfortable king sized beds, and fireplaces in each cabin. All meals are included at the resort including afternoon tea, a charcuterie board, and dessert for each group. You'll also feast on a delicious three course dinner, a two course breakfast the next day, and a packed lunch for the trails.

Pets are welcome at Mount Engadine, and you'll find a wide assortment of rooms in addition to the glamping tents including cabins, suites, and cozy lodge rooms. There's truly something for everyone. And kids are always more than welcome here as well.

For couples looking for a romantic getaway close to shopping and a wide variety of find dining options, look no further than the Bear and Bison Inn in Canmore. Each comfortable suite includes breakfast in your room the next morning, and I loved our room so much I was ready to move in permanently. 

From your basecamp in Canmore, you're close to winter hiking or snowshoeing trails, the Canmore Nordic Centre for XC skiing, The Town of Banff to the west, and the incredible wilderness playground of Kananaskis just up the Spray Lakes Road.

Glamping Tents at Mount Engadine Lodge, Kananaskis 

Visit Baker Creek Mountain Resort during the Lake Louise to Banff Loppet

If you time your visit to Baker Creek right, you can also ski the special Lake Louise to Banff Loppet Course mid to late January. The section from the Lake Louise Campground to Baker Creek Mountain Resort only gets groomed for the loppet in January each year, and so you can only ski between Lake Louise and Baker Creek during this time.

Visit the link above to register for the loppet. 

The distance from Lake Louise to Baker Creek during the loppet is 20.7 km. Total distance to Castle Junction is around 34 km one way.

Last year we set up a shuttle with friends and skied from Lake Louise to Castle Mountain Lookout. It was an incredible experience.

Skiing the Lake Louise to Banff Loppet Course in January 

Give the Gift of a Getaway with a Charming Inns Gift Card

The Charming Inns of Alberta has gift cards available for their properties and the best part is that one gift card allows for 12 different getaway options. Buy a gift card for a special person in your life and let them choose whether they want a mountain getaway, a romantic spa weekend, or a wilderness stay.

Family members, friends, and even coworkers can be difficult to shop for, but this is truly a gift that's meaningful, simple to buy, and guaranteed to please any recipient! 

Gift cards are great for corporate incentives, anniversaries, birthdays, wedding gifts or any special occasion. - And there's still time to buy a gift card for Christmas!

Visit the Charming Inns of Alberta website for more information on ordering gift cards. They can be mailed or emailed to the recipient.

Give the Gift of a Getaway this Winter!

Disclaimer: Our stay at Baker Creek Mountain Resort was hosted in partnership with the Charming Inns of Alberta. All words and opinions are my own and I wasn't compensated beyond the stay.

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