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“A Hiking Trip At it's Best”
Review of Shadow Lake Lodge

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Shadow Lake Lodge
Ranked #4 of 18 Speciality Lodging in Banff
Certificate of Excellence
Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“A Hiking Trip At it's Best”
Reviewed 20 July 2016

We hiked in to Shadow Lake Lodge on last Tuesday and hiked back out on Friday. The 14K was a bit of a challenge for us I had a heavy 25 lb. plus pack & we decided to hike in with a group of younger guests. We made it up in 3 hours with a 15 min. lunch break. As there are usually bears in the area, you should have bear spray with you.
Due to the rains during our trip, most of the trails were very muddy. Our biggest problem during our stay was getting our boots to dry for the next day. We managed to go on 2 great hikes; the Amphitheatre and Gibbons’ Pass.
The Lodge was very comfortable and cozy. The beds in our room were so comfortable I don't think that I moved all night. The toilets & showers are located in a separate building not far from the cabins. The showers were hot and clean. The lodge has a separate cabin with a fire place where you can just sit and enjoy the fire. It is a great place to read and unwind after a hike.
The food was wonderful and is served in the main cabin. There were plenty of lunch selections to pack each day for the hikes. Breakfasts are served at 8:30 am and supper is served at 6:30 pm. The gourmet meals vary from day to day and are served by the friendly lodge staff. You can choose from a variety of wines and local beers to enjoy with your suppers.
This is not a place to go to plug in all of your electronics. Everything has to be conserved as they use solar panels for power. We found the lodge to be very peaceful and serene. It was a great stay and we hope to come back in the near future.

Room Tip: A room closer to the bathrooms is best.
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  • Stayed July 2016, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dawn D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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109 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
309 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 217 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2016

During an especially crowded summer in the Canadian Rockies, Shadow Lake Lodge was an oasis. Our family had our own little log cabin deep in the wilderness among the mountain peaks, with ready access to lightly-travelled trails beyond the reach of day-trippers. No cell phones, no WiFi, no TV. There was no need. The gorgeous scenery occupied our full attention.

We visited early in July and the wildflowers were putting on spectacular displays of colourful blooms. We experienced a bit of rain and some muddy hiking boots but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We stayed four days /three nights: one day to hike in, one day to hike out, and two days to explore the trails around the lodge. I wouldn't recommend any shorter visit and you'd find lots to do with an even longer stay. The cabins were basic but cozy and very comfortable.

The various hiking trails offered good contrast: we could walk along the lake and mountain streams, over mountain passes, and even scramble up to a peak or two. The trails were well-defined and easy to follow but directional signage was rare. Carry a good map and make sure to get precise directions from the staff if your hike involves turning off one trail and onto another.

Meals were served family-style. A staff member would clang the wrought iron dinner triangle to call everyone to the dining cabin at once. The tables sat eight, four on each side, just the right size for two or three parties to sit together and get to know one another. Breakfast was hearty. Then, you'd assemble your packed lunch for the trail. You'd return in the late afternoon to light snacks of fancy cheeses, crackers, and fruit. The final meal of the day was a three-course candlelit dinner. The substantial main courses were served buffet style and you could return again and again for seconds and beyond.

Because one of the members of our party is celiac, we made an advance request for gluten-free options. We couldn't have been more pleased. The chef really went out of her way and made every possible accommodation, right down to gluten-free pancakes for breakfast. This attention to detail, and to guests' comfort, permeated our entire stay. The staff was fabulous.

Throughout the day, delectable scents emanated from the kitchen with bread, biscuits, and cookies all baked on site. The deserts were remarkable. One evening, we enjoyed the lightest, fluffiest, richest chocolate soufflé I've ever tasted. All this in the back country, 14 km from the nearest road. Truly an unforgettable experience. Highly, highly recommended.

  • Stayed July 2016, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TorontoJK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 15 July 2016

We hiked up there on a Friday and came back down Sunday. The setting was breathtaking and the staff, food and guests we met there were incredible. We would highly recommend it although suggest staying a minimum of three nights. We were too tight on time to do all the hikes.

  • Stayed July 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank _J_C_E_YYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peterborough, Canada
1 review
Reviewed 25 June 2016

For those who want an authentic back country "luxury mountain experience" Shadow Lake Lodge is a must. So much of the history of the National Parks is preserved in the Brewster Family's labour of love. It needs to be experienced as there are no words to truly describe it.

Room Tip: They are all good rooms
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  • Stayed July 2015, travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank trainrider592016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canmore, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 29 February 2016

Shadow Lake is a precious gem. Lesser known than other backcountry lodges in the Rockies such as Assiniboine and Skoki, Shadow trumps its competition with better value, better accommodations, and better food. The individual log cabins hand built by the Brewsters (the lodge has a wonderful photo collection on the building) are super comfortable and the sauna and hot showers are a luxury in the backcountry. You can tell the staff love the beauty of the spot as much as the guests as Shadow has that extra-special feeling that makes a stay feel magical. Even with the not great snow conditions we had this week, the trip was a highlight of the winter.

  • Stayed February 2016, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SkierKate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland, Oregon
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2016 via mobile

My husband and I stayed here for 3 nights in September. The weather was quite rainy and foggy, but despite this we had an amazing and memorable visit. When the clouds parted, the views were spectacular.

Some things to know:
-Bears? We didn't see any and felt safe on our hike in. We were constantly passing/ passed by others
-The hike in: we parked in the Redearth Creek parking lot which already had several cars parked in it. They had a decent pit toilet in the parking lot. The hike is uphill, but very doable. It took us just about 4 hours with light packs. We wished we had our gators as it was quite muddy at the top.
-The cabins: adorable. Like camp. They have dim lights, wash basins, and heat. Very cozy and comfortable. We did accidentally lock ourselves out, so make sure you practice with the lock.
-the bathroom/ showers: Ladies! Don't bother hiking in with your favorite shampoo and conditioner. They have an environmentally friendly version affixed in the showers. It is highly recommended you use these. The bathrooms and showers are very clean with hot water.
-The food: This is camp for adults (and kids). They wake you up every morning with a knock on the door, and it is 30 minutes to breakfast. Walk on down to the food cabin and you are greeted with coffee and tea ready for you to enjoy. The menu is a set menu, however they are very willing to accommodate food allergies. After breakfast a huge spread is laid out for you to pack your lunch for the days hike. On the trail, staring up at a mountain peak, these will be the best sandwiches in the world. Tea time is in the afternoon, and a three course meal for dinner. Wine and beer are available for purchase.
-the staff: all are very knowledgeable about the surrounding area and are happy to help you decide where to hike that day. They will also unlock your cabin for you and make you laugh in the process. :)
-What to do when not adventuring: there is a separate cabin with a cozy fireplace and plenty of games and books.


Things to bring:
-shoes to wear and easily slip off when entering the cabins
-gators
-layers
-your camera
-a kindle/ book for your downtime


We loved every moment of our stay and will definitely be going back.

Stayed September 2015, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Shelly B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rancho Cucamonga, California
2 reviews
Reviewed 7 October 2015

This backcountry experience was the absolute BEST. My husband and I had such an amazing few days here. The food is AMAZING and you meet the funnest people. The hike was well worth it and the lodge has awesome day hikes.

  • Stayed September 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Merman G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shadow Lake Lodge

Property: Shadow Lake Lodge
Address: Box 2606, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1C3, Canada
Region: Canada > Alberta > Canadian Rockies > Banff National Park > Banff
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 18 Speciality Lodging in Banff
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Shadow Lake Lodge 2*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in the high alpine meadows of Banff National Park, Brewster's Shadow Lake Lodge is a remote back country lodge with private cabins, accessible only by hiking, cross country skiing or snowshoeing. Included in the rate are three mountain gourmet meals as well as afternoon tea served to you daily in our dining lodge. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Shadow Lake Hotel Banff
Shadow Lake Lodge Banff, Alberta

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