As others have said, the Shadow Lakes Lodge exceeded all our expectations!
We are a family of four, with two teenage girls. I was the one that signed everyone up for this 2 day , 3 night overnighter in the backcountry, and the one that committed them all (with some trepidation) to riding bikes for 8.5 miles, and then hiking another 1.5 - and it could not have gone better. We rented mountain bikes in Banff, drove them to the trail head, and with a game but nervous crew, started up the Red Earth Trail. Others had warned us that the first few hills were steep, and not to get discouraged - that was helpful. We walked a few, road a few, and everyone had time to get used to being on mountain bikes. And while I read others had said that the trail was boring, we thought it was tremendous -- very beautiful forested trail, with room to ride, and which eventually tracks along a raging river. In the end, it only took us a bit over two hours to do the ride before the last hike in, which took another 45 - 50 minutes.
And at the end of the hike, we were blown away by the setting of the Lodge itself. It is on a lovely meadow, with spectucular vistas from every lodge porch of the surronding mountains. We had two lodges -- a king bed in one, and two doubles in the other -- side by side -- and they were both very comfortable.
In addition to the individual sleeping lodges, there is a communal lodge for meals, and a seperate communal lodge with comfortable couches, games, books and a fireplace.
The food was excellent, the staff went out of their way to be accomodating, and the owner was information and delightful. I recommend this place to anybody who wants to get a feel for the backcountry.
- 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