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“Grand Adventure”
Review of Skoki Lodge

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Skoki Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Grand Adventure”
Reviewed 30 November 2010

Wonderful and scenic hike to the lodge. The accommodations and food were very good. We look forward to coming back soon!

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank Family_TravelBugs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 October 2010

Skoki is 14km from the nearest road - you hike in with everything you need. The lodge itself is a Canadian heritage site and the perfect log cabin. The only electricity is from a couple of solar panels (linked to the fridge for the beer, I think), limited running water and outside loos only. The rooms are small and dark, you collect water from the wet room downstairs and use an enamel jug and bowl for washing - there are no baths or showers. Despite the basic amenities, this is a fantastic place to stay. The staff are hugely helpful, suggesting hiking trails and cooking the most fantastic breakfasts and dinners (eaten around a communal table, much like a chalet skiing holiday). A buffet is set out for you to make your own pack lunch. But the real star are the mountains and lakes that surroung the lodge; Merlin Lake and Ridge, Skoki Lakes and Backpackers Pass. We saw fantastic wildlife ranging from marmots to a golden eagle. A must if you enjoy the outdoors.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
11 Thank theBeightons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North of Boston, MA USA
Level Contributor
81 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 September 2010

Stayed a night at the Skoki Lodge at the end of August. The hike in (and out) is about 6.5 miles with the help of the lodge van that drives patrons up the first 2.5 miles from a gate to the trailhead. Also saves about 1000 ft of elevation. Our two days there were punctuated by snow -- unexpected by us in August, but fortunately we were prepared for cold wet weather. Given the conditions we didn't enjoy the hiking as much as I'm sure we would have in better weather. The trail was also very muddy and rutted from horse traffic. We had a small cabin (heated), which was nice as it was very quiet. There are two outhouses: one for men, one for women. Making up for any inconvenience was the food -- spectacular!! The meals were first-rate and the kitchen staff, under super-chef Val, was friendly and attentive. The lodge itself is warm and welcoming with lots of places to sit and relax before and after meals. In addition to breakfast and dinner, Val and her helpers set out a bountiful make-it-yourself lunch buffet complete with plastic and paper bags for your mid-day travels. Fun place to travel to and a wonderful backcountry lodge!!
p.s. We heard there was a mama grizzly and cub in the area, but never saw signs of bear.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Cindy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
arlington
Level Contributor
55 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 August 2010

Just returned from three great nights here...it was our second back country lodge (shadow lake the other)...much more rustic (1930s log-cabin lodge, outhouses, sponge baths), but the hikes were better and more varied...views from deception pass coming in are spectacular...even better to hike out via packer's pass...up stairs carved into a steep rock wall and past two pristine lakes...we also loved hiking to baker lake, natural bridge, red deer lake and around skoki mountain...merlin lake pretty too, but the last hundred feet scrambling up scree not much fun! Walter gives great hiking advice. Food was fantastic, especially the salmon and salads. We met some very nice people...and two very friendly dogs...would love to return some day. As others mentioned, only minor downside is that the lodge floors are very squeaky at night as folks head to the outhouse...bring earplugs or try to get a cabin (though then you miss lots of the community of the lodge).

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank adamks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Alberta
Level Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2010

Katie & her helpers were wonderful hosts during our two day/two night stay at Skoki. There were 4 in our group, and another two couples were staying at the lodge while we were there. We were in the Lodge, and the two other couples stayed in one of the cabins. If you are in couples, there is only one double bed in the Lodge. The rest are single bunk beds. It is rustic...log cabins. No electricity. Out house for toilet facilities, that you have to walk about 150 ft to get too. When it gets dark, kerosene lanterns are used to light the main lodge where everyone gathers for breakfast & dinners. Or cozy up by the fireplace on the couches and chairs visiting with others staying at the lodge.

Immediately after this incredibly delicious fresh cooked breakfast, baked cookies, fruit, baked muffins, fresh baked breads, cheeses, deli meats, sauces, are set out for you to make your own bagged lunch that you can take with you while are out X-country skiing or hiking (depending on season) for the day. Or just stay at the lodge and relax reading the many books they have talking about the area, and the people who first hiked to the area and decided to build Skoki. Who would have guessed a Debutante from Boston, and an artistic Canadian. The first guests to this lodge were very wealthy Easterners from the Boston area.

Note, if the Lodge is full to capacity, then if you can book a cabin versus staying in a room in the main lodge...I would do it, as the tiniest noises carry through the vents from the lower floor. Even the upper floors squeak. I had to make a bathroom trip at 2 a.m. I thought if I ran through the hallway fast, it would make less noise. Instead, I scared the heck out of our friends. Oops! Better to try to tip toe. lol

It took us 5 hrs to X-country ski into Skoki Lodge. We had a beautiful sunny day, windless, about -6C. Gorgeous weather all days! We lucked out in January. Put your skins on long before they tell you...almost the beginning if you are having trouble. It's worth it. Once you put them on, keep them on all the way to the Lodge. Sometimes I tooked my skis off and walked when we had crossed over Deception Pass, as I would get going to fast. My friends did not, and there were a couple of injuries from falls. Fortunately, not serious ones. But it took a good month for my one friend's shoulder to stop bothering him. We were wearing Backcountry cross-country skis. Another group had on the kind that you can lock your heals in. These skis were really heavy when climbing up Boulder Pass, and Deception Pass. They named Deception Pass for a good reason. It is VERY DECEPTIVE! It took these people 5 hrs to ski in also. It took only 3.5 hrs to ski out, and it was very pleasant. We were also carrying 20 lb backpacks.

It would be alot quicker if one was hiking in. I could walk faster on the path carrying my skis, than I could skiing sometimes, on the up and down areas.

Enjoy! It's truly a wonderful experience in paradise!

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
6 Thank sailnsun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary
Level Contributor
154 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 September 2009

Like a number of other Canadian Rockies back country lodges, you must expect to hike in carrying your own personal effects for your 2 or 3 night stay. So no surprises as we took 4 hours 15 minutes from the trail head where the truck dropped us, to the Lodge. It was just under 11 km with 500 m vertical elevation gain across Deception Pass. You also have to climb out on your return trip, taking us about 5 hours, using a different route and stopping to admire the views.
This Lodge, unlike some others, doesn't have running water hot showers but it does have one of the best, most scenic hikes both in and out. If you're lucky like us, you will have warm / hot weather and blue skies. It does have nice stream that provided an invigorating, short refreshing bath.
The food, as we've found in all lodges to date, is great and plentiful. Beef tenderloin one night and halibut the next with some interesting side dishes. They also provided a special meal for a couple that advised that they didn't eat red meat.
We found the rooms in the lodge to be comfortable but they aren't sound-proof by any means.
However, the main reason for us to go to these back country lodges is to experience the back country and hikes that would be too long and tiring for us aging hikers if attempted as day hikes and would require too much effort to carry in your own tents and food. If you have 2 nights there, the recommended day hike is Merlins Lake which is an interesting hike ending at the lake with the potential to continue up to 2 higher lakes (which we did) or scramble up the spires of Merlin's Castle (which we didn't do).

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank BabyboomerCalgary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kingsport, TN
Level Contributor
179 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2009

We really enjoy "hike-in" lodges like Skoki, and this trip did not disappoint.

It is somewhere between tent camping and a lodge (outside toilets and no showers), but for 2 nights, I highly recommend the place.

Food was very good....staff was nice. Would have been nice if the staff spent a little more time talking about the history of the place.....very neat history to Skoki.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Matt723
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Skoki Lodge

Property: Skoki Lodge
Address: P.O. Box 5, Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta T0L 1E0, Canada
Region: Canada > Alberta > Canadian Rockies > Banff National Park > Lake Louise
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 10 Speciality Lodging in Lake Louise
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Skoki Lodge is situated in a beautiful high alpine region in Banff National Park. The eleven kilometer trail from Lake Louise to the Skoki Valley makes Skoki Lodge an ideal destination for hikers and skiers of all levels. From Skoki Lodge one can access breathtaking mountain ridges and alpine lakes, or explore five different adjoining valleys. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Skoki Hotel Lake Louise

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