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“Fabulous experience!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Talus Lodge

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Talus Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
calgary, alberta
Level Contributor
41 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Fabulous experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 September 2013

My husband and I went to Talus Lodge in August with another couple. There were a total of 12 guests, two guides, and 1 cook. This had to be the best backcountry mountain experience that we've had, and we've been to many. Our two guides, Aaron and Grant were the best. They had so much knowledge of the area, and knew how to tailor the hikes to the needs of the group. On the last day we split into two groups, as some people wanted to go up the last peak, and some did not. This worked out very well, and everyone had an amazing day. The great company, the beautiful scenery, and Gina's amazing cooking.....we didn't want to go home! Thanks to all of you for such a great experience.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rockymountain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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82 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Calgary, Alberta
Level Contributor
59 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 September 2013

This is a remote backcountry lodge located 2,350 metres above sea level, accessible only by helicopter, situated on a plateau high above two nearby valleys and surrounded by mountains.

The staff of three (a chef and two guides, the latter of whom were also assistant cooks, room housekeepers, etc, etc) were outstanding in their service to the clientele.

The lodge holds a maximum of 12 people in 6 bedrooms with 2 single beds each. The chemical toilets and the two showers (operated by the "showerer" manually filling overhead containers with water heated on a propane stove) are in a separate building next door as is the wood-fired sauna.

The hikes were guided and were chosen based on the overall ability of the 12 clientele (thus, in many ways, the weakest link reigns, though the guides can break the groups into two if there is a big disparity in ability).

This is not a place to come if you are looking for luxury accommodation or topnotch amenities. However, if you want a very comfortable backcountry experience, sleeping in a bed, rather than on a mat in a tent, with great food cooked for you by their most excellent chef, you can't do much better than this. And the hiking is sublime.

Mid-July to mid-September are the best times to come.

We have hiked into almost every backcountry mountain lodge in this area, including Skoki Lodge, Mistaya Lodge, Mt Assiniboine Lodge, Shadow Lake Lodge, Sperry Chalet and Granite Park Chalet as well as many mountain lodges in Europe, and this was truly one of the best.

Being avid "purist" hikers, we would have preferred to hike in, but there is no trail! However, the helicopter flight from Canmore over the Three Sisters Pass to the lodge and then out over West Wind Pass to Canmore was stunning and unforgettable. As we had recently hiked to West Wind Pass and Wind Ridge, it was doubly exhilarating to see these hiking destinations from the air. And flying among all those mountains that we have, at one time or another, ascended in our hiking lives - Wind Tower, Ha-Ling Peak, Middle Sister, Mt Sparrowhawk, Pigeon Mountain, Mt Allen, Mt Columbola, Mt Lady McDonald, Yamnuska and Mt Rundle - was truly awe-inspiring.

Room Tip: Downstairs is better
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Intrepid_Hikers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 September 2013

We have hiked many backcountry lodges in the Rockies for the past 20 years including Shadow Lake, Skoki Lodge, Mt. Engadine, and several on horseback.
But the remote surroundings, pristine setting, the DRAMA, and beauty of Talus Lodge makes this destination special. The helicopter ride in will take your breath away, and the location of this lodge on a platform (with a massive drop-off a nearby hike away), at the base of "The Talon" peak is breathtaking. Chris Espinel and his team provide safe, spectacular hiking, plentiful lodge-gourmet food, and the lodge rooms are warm and comfortable. Its low-impact, sustainable tourism, that leaves no trace behind. Chris' knowledge of the terrain, flora, and day-hikes are so informative. Be aware as you are remote, there is no one else around, and no trails to follow. Its truly a backcountry experience.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CanadaGeeseVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 September 2013

Perfect place for a quick mountain retreat for Calgarians. Short helicopter ride (included in lodge price) departing from Canmore takes you to the isolated lodge in time for a morning hike. The guided hikes were a pleasure with stunning scenery and an experienced guide who is informative but unobtrusive, and goes the distance to ensure all guests needs and desires are accommodated while keeping everyone safe.

The food was plentiful, varied and good with homemade baking daily. There was plenty of fresh produce which is an unexpected treat given the remote location.

The lodge and in particular the shower and toilet facilities were extremely clean and well maintained. In this regard the Lodge sets a standard not achieved by many other back country lodges.

The remote location makes watching the night sky a trip highlight.

The lodge has a very home-like character. You are immediately at ease and can enjoy relaxation in the manner you prefer whether that is a cocktail on the deck, doing a puzzle or reading a book. The lodge is perfect for a family gathering for those that enjoy the mountains and the back country environment. The lodge is suitable for a wide range of ages and abilities.

Talus lodge and its hosts are rare gems to which we will eagerly return.

Room Tip: Corner downstairs rooms are very desirable. All downstairs bedrooms have terraces. For an extra fee...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Calgaryhikers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 September 2013

This is a back country lodge like no other. The helicopter lands above treeline near a tarn surrounded by peaks . We were welcomed with tea and goodies and introduced to the area by Chris, who is the owner and guide. We highly recommend taking advantage of his guiding skills as there are no trails and one would miss out if exploring solo - even with topo maps. There was lots of evidence of grizzly activity , but for once I was disappointed not seeing a bear hiking as I felt perfectly safe with our group and guide. Chris tailors the hiking to the interests and abilities of the group and brings in extra guides if necessary. The food was fantastic and the staff friendly and helpful. Grew to enjoy the showers (a separate building with wood stove and unique water dispensing system). Unlike other back country helicopter lodges, the maximum number of people is 10-12 hiking in this beautiful area. Hikers rarely make it to Talus without being guests at the lodge because of the remote location between Canmore and Invermere (as the crow flies). The alpine flowers (beginning of August) were spectacular and best we've seen. Interesting geology also. Highly recommended. Janet D

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jedcalgary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2013

One quickly runs out of superlatives to describe this adventure, but I will try. First the fun helicopter ride over the Rockies to the lodge. The spacious lodge is located at the 7600' elevation in a remote area, south of Banff National Park. The vast hiking terrain includes a variety of alpine meadows, clear streams, waterfalls, mountains, forested and unforested lakes, limestone formations, hills, peaks, and fossil beds.

This was our second summertime visit and our first time with Chris and Aaron hosting. Each day was a different and spectacular hike starting at 0930 and returning, happily exhausted, at 1600 or later. Chris, our guide, is an expert on the flora, fauna, and geology of this unique area. He easily shares his knowledge and adapts the routes to the abilities and interests of each specific group of guests.

The flowers were vivid, vibrant, and maybe even vivacious. Our hikes were mostly above treeline – our preference in this top-of-the world environment. The food (variety, quality, taste, appetizers, entrees, desserts) and the accommodation (large bedrooms, spacious decks, sitting area) were great.

This is a true retreat from the real world – a private paradise. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and recommend it to all.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank M K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
30 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2013

After 4 days ( August 12-16, 2013) in the awe-inspiring wilderness area encompassing Talus Lodge one returns reluctantly to the 'real world'. Host Chris doubled as our guide and tailored the hikes to the abilities of the group but no matter where we went the scenery was breathtaking and the flowers seemingly endless in their colours and variety. Drink out of crystal clear mountain streams where voles/shrews? scurry in and out of their burrows, then nearly trip over ptarmigan hoping they won't be noticed.
Delicious meals cooked by Aaron await us at the lodge then when tired fall asleep under cosy comforters. Or observe the brilliant night sky which those of us from cities rarely see. If you are lucky you may see a shooting star. Chris is a very knowledgeable guide who is always keen to learn something new and share it with his guests.
An unforgettable experience.

Room Tip: We had Buttercup from which you can see Mt Assiniboine to the north.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank calgarian69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Talus Lodge

Property: Talus Lodge
Address: Box 731, Invermere, British Columbia V0A 1K0, Canada
Region: Canada > British Columbia > Kootenay Rockies > Invermere
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Invermere
Number of rooms: 6

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