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“Outstanding Rocky Mountain Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Talus Lodge

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Talus Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Edmonton
Level Contributor
33 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Outstanding Rocky Mountain Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 April 2010

We're a group of guys who annually hike at a different lodge in the Canadian Rockies. Talus was our choice for our 10th year and we couldn't have made a better pick. As expected the vistas from the lodge are breathtaking. The food was authentic Rocky Mountain fare, yet they managed to serve up a twist for us each night. The hospitality of our host Chris Espinel was genuine and sincere. Moreover the heli flight is from Canmore, so Talus is easy access if you're from Calgary / Edmonton. The pricing is very competitive with other lodges and the variety of hiking options appeals to all skill levels.
I realize the above may be table stakes for back country lodges; what really makes Talus stand out from the pack is the attitude of the Owners/Staff. They are a genuine and warm bunch with a real love of their lodge and the environment . Their enthusiasm is most welcome but not overpowering. They really work hard for their guests.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AvidTravelerEdmonton
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
Mammoth Lakes California
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 March 2010

We got to Talus Lodge just after a mighty avalanche swept the nearby slopes of Talus (Talon) Mountain. It snowed for the first time in a month the night before we got on the heli. As a result, the icy slopes were overloaded with a foot of fresh pow. Talus Lodge was situated on a rise in the middle of a gigantic glacial cirque and was definitely the jewel in the crown. The accomodations were lodge-comfy and Chris Espinel, our host, was gracious and super-attentive, it was like hanging out with a good friend instead of a professional backcountry hotelier. The skiing was fabulous, the new snow like fresh cream poured over mountains and Chris was careful not to get us into max-dangerous avalanche terrain. The food could not have been better, a local restaurant owner and Canadian National Team cross-x ski coach, Dieter, cooked for us and showed us how the hard guys ski. To top it all off, our fellow travelers were an investment banker from Toronto and his pediatrician girl-friend (fiance-to-be?) who couldn't have been more cordial or better informed about Canadian and American politics. A perfect trip. A perfect slice of heaven in the Canadian Rockies!

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rudderlaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Monica, CA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 August 2007

We visited Talus Lodge in late July and had a truly unique experience. The lodge is somewhat new, having been built in 2003, and they're finishing work on a small "honeymoon" cottage about 50 yards from the main building.

There's only one way to get to Talus, and that's meeting the helicopter in the town of Canmore, just south of Banff. From there it's an absolutely stunning, 20-minute ride back into the wilderness, finally reaching Talus, and total isolation. Built on a small plateau at around 7500 feet, the lodge is adjacent to three postcard blue glacier-fed mountain lakes, and surrounded by steep faces and rocky peaks. We could hardly believe where we were. Views for miles, and the only sounds you hear are the three small waterfalls draining the snow into the lake, and the nearby streams cascading down the hillsides.

Now, this isn't the Ritz; it's a backcountry lodge. Yet if you're a hiker you've never had it so good. The rooms are clean, and the place has the feel of slopeside ski house. (And if you're there in the wintertime, that's exactly what it is.) The bathroom wing is rustic, but serviceable. However, you won't mind once you realize the reason it's rustic is that all the waste must be helicoptered out. The lodge is designed to have very little impact on the surrounding area, and it doesn't. There is running water, which is drawn from the nearby spring and piped in. However, the showers are simply a oversized flower-watering can that you heat, then fill, then hoist up over your head -- and there's your shower. Actually, we were surprised how well it worked.

The food was plentiful and very, very good. Full breakfasts, lunch meats and fix-ins were laid out in order to pack a lunch before you head out for a day hike, and the dinners -- grilled steaks, lamb, salmon, risotto -- were just what the doctor ordered after a long day of hiking. i always expect to lose weight when I'm hiking for four days straight, but I'm not sure I lost a pound at Talus because the food was so good.

I must say, however, that what really made Talus special was getting to know Chris, who is one of the partners who built the lodge (Dan is the other, who we met in Canmore). A 30-year veteran of the forest service and mountain rescue, the lodge is obviously a labor of love for Chris. He also served as our hiking guide, and tailored each hike the group's pace and experience level. If you just want to relax by the lakes, that's fine too.

One word of advice -- there is a guided and a non-guided option. (Though Chris informed me that this may change.) I strongly recommend the guided package. Not only is this grizzly country, but there are no trails in this area. It's best to go with someone who knows the area intimately, even if you're an experienced hiker. It also helps the lodge maintain a limited footprint, which was obviously an important concern for Chris. He wants the area to remain pristine for his guests.

On our last day, when Chris took me for a private hike up some terrain that was a bit more challenging than the rest of the week's hikes, he blurted out, "I live in paradise, man!" And he does. And the joy he obviously gets from sharing these mountains with you is palpable.

Hopefully you get to enjoy it as well.

  • Liked — The scenery, food, and company
  • Disliked — I'm having trouble thinking of one.
  • Stayed July 2007
    • Value
Helpful?
1 Thank KJCal
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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