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“Gorgeous views at every turn of the trail.” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Talus Lodge

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Talus Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Calgary, Alberta
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Gorgeous views at every turn of the trail.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2010

Our family of 12 stayed at Talus Lodge in early September. The weather was cool and the ground was lightly snow covered but we were still comfortable hiking the area. The lodge is simple and basic but pleasant and comfortable. The meals made by Leah were abundant and truly delicious. The guided hikes provided by Chris were always wonderful and we were educated and amused by his knowledge and stories of each amazing vista, plant, fossil, rock formation and animal that we came upon. Chris made every effort to make all of us feel comfortable and safe both inside and outside the lodge and is a friendly, warm and engaging man. Talus Lodge provides a wonderful high mountain hiking and natural experience and the helicopter ride there and back is breath taking!

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Chapman11
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
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
41 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 September 2010

Oh. My. Goodness. Talus Lodge is a treat for anyone who loves to hike in the midst of spectacular scenery but doesn't want to backpack. My husband and I are day-hikers and appreciate creature comforts (such as a real bed and good food prepared by someone else). At Talus Lodge, that was just the beginning.
The lodge is perched at 7600 ft. in a mountain cirque that is inaccessible by road. Guests, staff and supplies are brought in by helicopter (for guests, a spectacular flight from Canmore) twice a week. The lodge will sleep 10 guests comfortably, and during our visit there were only 5 of us: a couple from Victoria, a gentleman from Edmonton, and the two of us from Ohio. Chris Espinel is the owner/guide/miracle-worker, and a more knowledgeable and congenial host you could not find. (He also plays guitar and sings with a little encouragement -- try offering him a quarter.)
Backcountry lodges tend to be pretty basic, with paper-thin walls and lumpy beds. At Talus, the lodge building, opened only in 2004, is very well built, rooms are quiet, beds comfy, and the common areas inviting, warm, and light-filled. There's a heating stove on the main level, where the kitchen, living room, and dining areas are located, as well as one on the lower level where the mud room and most of the sleeping accommodations are found. There's also an electric generator that Chris turns on at dark and off at 10:00 or so.
Connected to the lodge building by an elevated wooden walkway is the bath house, which includes 2 pit toilets, a sauna, 2 sinks (cold water, of course), 2 gas burners for heating pots of water, and 2 shower stalls. After hikers are back for the day, Chris fires up the sauna stove and the water pots. For a shower, you mix hot and cold water in either a nozzle-equipped bag or a watering can, hoist it up in the shower stall with a pulley system, and luxuriate. It works just fine! There's also a more remote outhouse a short walk from the lodge, beside a grove of trees. Chris encourages the male guests to avail themselves of this grove for "tree-watering" during the day and to reserve the toilets in the bath house for the women-folk except at night or in foul weather.
There are no hiking trails, so do choose the "guided" option for your visit. Chris -- and, if the lodge is full, his assistant -- know the area, so they will take you to the most beautiful/interesting places you'd have trouble finding on your own. (Also, given that there are bears about, it's probably safer to hike in a group.) Chris seems to know almost everything about the scenery, plants, animals, birds, and abundant FOSSILS. Even in September there were flowers blooming in some places, and I can't wait to return another year in late July/early August to see the full wildflower display.
Food is FABULOUS: a big breakfast, a pack-your-own lunch, afternoon appetizers, and a grand dinner.
Keep in mind that your schedule before and after Talus should be a bit flexible. Low clouds or bad weather render the helicopter timetable . . . approximate. On our morning flight in, we had to set down at an intermediate heli-pad for an hour to wait for clouds to lift so that we could get through the last pass to Talus. Chris said that only once has he had to cancel a group's visit entirely, and that was in winter (after 2 days of delay, the trip was called off). He said that in summer, the worst it's been was once when the morning flight in/out couldn't take place until evening. So don't plan on getting to Calgary to catch a flight home right after your scheduled departure from Talus!
The one thing that was a bit surprising to us (as I mentioned, we're not backcountry mountain hut folks where this may be the norm), was that there are no curtains on any windows. So when you're in your bedroom or in the one of the showers with a window, you'll be on view if anyone cares to gaze. Since there's a sort of terrace that runs around the outside of the bedroom level, in warm weather (which ours was not) there might be other guests out there enjoying the view. Hopefully not of you. It also means that in midsummer, when the sun sets very late at that latitude, you may want to take eye-shades along to aid your sleep.
This is a really, really great place. The scenery is superlative. You will see nobody during your stay except other Lodge guests, because there's NOBODY ELSE AROUND. (What a change from Banff!) It's your own private Eden.

  • Stayed September 2010, 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 Hamelia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, AB
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 August 2010

I took my wife here as a surprise trip for her birthday and we both loved it. You come to a place like this to hike and enjoy the outdoors and in this respect I don't think it could disappoint anyone. The setting is absolutely spectacular - peaks, glaciers, lakes, waterfalls and more wildflowers than you could imagine. It was raining the first day but we still had a very nice hike concentrating more on some of the waterfalls and flowers since many of the peaks were obscured by cloud. It was nice they have some rainy day type hikes available that are still beautiful. The next day we scrambled up White Man Mountain and it was amazing! As good a view as any in the Rockies I think (I've hiked, backpacked and climbed in the Canadian Rockies for many years). The following day we had a nice easy hike up to Angel's Landing and down past some of the tarns and waterfalls. Gina's Shower was very refreshing! While everyone else took it easy, Chris, the owner, and I did a nice short scramble up a nearby peak. Definitely not a beginner scramble (my wife would have hated it...) but it is great that there is so much variety, from gentle easy hikes to harder scrambles. There also looks to be plenty of opportunity in the area for some climbing, including some ice in the winter with all the waterfalls.

The lodge is very nice. It is relatively small (compared to say O'Hara or some of the others) with only a 10 guest capacity which makes it very cozy. We loved it though as there was a realy family feel to it. It didn't feel so much like staying at a commercial lodge as it felt like you were staying at a friend's cabin (a very nice cabin!). The rooms were comfortable and there was a sitting area as well as a large deck to relax on. The facilities were nice and clean. You are in the backcountry though so there aren't flush toilets or running water showers. The watering can shower set up worked well though and the sauna was a really nice touch, especially after a dip in a glacial tarn! They did run a generator a little bit in the evening for some lights and to be able to recharge batteries and things.

As is expected in these type of lodges the food was fantastic and plentiful. Gina did a phenomenal job keeping us well sated and we were amazed that she made so much of it from scratch. Chris was the consumate host ensuring that everyone's needs were attended to and everyone was happy. They were great company over the course of the weekend.

My wife and I always like to try new places but I have a feeling we'll be back here again.

  • Stayed August 2010, 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 lordstanley89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milton, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2010

I traveled to Talus Lodge as part of a group of 10 friends, one of whom had been to Talus Lodge twice before. We chose the self-guided option and spent many hours exploring the beautiful and secluded mountains, meadows, and glaciers surrounding the lodge. After long days of hiking I really appreciated the wood stove heated sauna. Despite being secluded and having to be flown in by helicopter (a great experience in itself), the lodge has electrical lighting and outlets (for recharging your camera batteries) that are powered with a propane generator. Toilets are pit toilets but clean and comfortable. I highly recommend Talus Lodge for a unique Canadian Rockies experience!

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with friends
    • 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 WAPaddler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Solon, Iowa
Level Contributor
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2010

My wife and I had a wonderful vacation at Talus Lodge in late July 2010. Unbelievable scenery, wonderful company and excellent food. We were the only guests from the United States and the other guests were all from Canada and they knew each other. However, this didn't matter. Everyone was cordial and we took turns sharing the kitchen duties in order to enhance the collegial spirit. After a long day's hiking and climbing, we enjoyed conversation, games, music or just reading. Chris carefully charted out a different hiking trip for us each day and we learned so much from his geology background. He was also great to point out the numerous wild flowers which were just beginning to bloom. The entire stay was carefully planned to be eco-friendly.

There are so many magical places to visit on our planet, but this certainly is a place we could seriously consider with a return visit.

Go to www.taluslodge.com to learn more about this wonderful lodge.

William and Jan Gorman
Solon, Iowa

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank wlg21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2010

From the moment the helicopter set us down at Talus Lodge, we were made to feel welcome and comfortable. The Lodge is in a remote location with 360 degree views of mountains and alpine lakes. We came for Hiking and it was better than we ever expected. With no trails other than those of the animals, owner and guide Chris Espinal took us on different hikes with varied terrains and outstanding views every day. Wildflowers were everywhere. One day while sitting and trying to spot mountain goats, a grizzly appeared upwind of us allowing a rare opportunity to observe it for several minutes while it meandered (away from us!) along the mountainside. Each afternoon when we returned to the Lodge, appetizer snacks awaited us. After a chilly day hike, the wood-burning stove sauna felt real good. Meals were creative home-cooked delicious.
Over the years we have been to many wilderness lodges. If you are looking for a remote and isolated mountain lodge for summer hiking and relaxation, in a unique location, with good food and a friendly host and staff,Talus Lodge is the place to go.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • 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?
Thank LuckySadieDog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton
Level Contributor
32 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AvidTravelerEdmonton
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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