After being re married at Lake O'Hara this August, we travelled to the Mt Shark heliport for the exciting heli trip into Mt Assiniboine Lodge for our two night / three day honeymoon. Two friends, Pierre and Kelly Lee from Ontario, joined us at Lake O'Hara and Mt Assiniboine Lodge and Provincial Park.
Having riden helicopters many times in the past, it was exciting for me to see this 8 minute flight through Margaret's neophyte helicopter eyes. Exciting, fast and safe, it was GREAT ! The support staff at both ends of the flight were well prepared and well versed in the needs of both the guests and the safety of the flight crew.
It just so happened, that the official Reopening of the Lodge, was occuring just after we arrived so we were able to listen to interesting speakers and stories of the history of the lodge over the last 100 years or so. The new leasees are the third in the long family line of operators.
The entire lodge has been revamped by Parks BC over the last year. Moving the lodging part, refurbishing the logs in both the main building and the residents' building and then putting the entire complex on a firm foundation. They did a great job. The place is like new after decades of use. Aaaand, they have a composting toilet for your use and enjoyment.
We spent three days hiking, viewing landscapes, walking high ridges and low meadows on well defined trails that are very well signposted and distance set on the signs. The wild flowers were profuse and vivid. They were everywhere.
In a word, especially for families, and even with little people of 4 or 5 years in age, this a great place. If you are into high mtn pitons and death defying drops, you can do that activitiy. If you want meadow walks and meadow flowers, you can do that and/or walk the ridges either guided or non guided day trips.
Our foursome went out to Windy Ridge for the full day hike. I chose to walk into Og Pass and into the adjacent National Park only to find on my return, that the area was / is Restricted access due to Grizzly activity. Oops. But no signs off trail to indicate any such restrictions.
I was very fortunate to find, laying in the heather and sedge grasses, a 40 lb rock with approximately 35 or 40 fossiles protruding from the rock. It is the most amazing fossil rock I have ever found in some serious hunting in BC / Alberta and the NWT's.
After a 6.5 km carry back to the Lodge, I learned that such rocks cannot be removed from Provincial Parks. News to me, so I donated the fossil rock to the Assiniboine Lodge folks who now have it settled over the fire place mantel in the dining room. Check it out, it's still in the provincial park.
The huts adjacent to the Lodge are wonderful for greater privacy than the lodge rooms. And then, if you don't want the "Lodge / hut " experieince, you can check out the Nissan Huts. $25 / person / day, a common cooking cabin very well stocked and you can fly in and out, your gear and your feet if you choose. Great for families and little folks as well.
Margaret and Kelly Lee walked out through Wonder Pass and down past Marvel Lake back to the parking lot. But . . . it was the wrong parking lot, The heliport was another 2 km further, and up hill. Ooops and ouch after about the previous 25 km walk out.
All in all, a very great experience for our 2nd time around honeymoom under the full moom those nights as well.
What a life.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Assiniboine Lodge is Canada's first backcountry ski lodge that has kept its historic charm. It is set in a remote mountain setting amongst some of the world's most spectacular peaks. Mt. Assiniboine is the lodge's sentinel, watching over all who venture to this remarkable place. Known as the Matterhorn of the Canadian Rockies, Mt. Assiniboine is the highest point in the area. Whether you are skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, walking or simply taking in the majesty of this place, we will ensure your time here is a luxurious escape. No phones, no flat screens, no connectivity. Simply you and nature. We look forward to welcoming you to this magical place we are so lucky to call HOME!! ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Mount Assiniboine Hotel Canmore