If you’re prepared to lace up your hiking boots for a true mountain experience, consider spending time at Skoki Lodge (403/256-8473 or 800/258-7669 www.skoki.com, mid-June–mid-Oct. and mid-Dec.–mid-Apr., from $194 pp), north of the Lake Louise ski resort and far from the nearest road. Getting there requires an 11-kilometer (6.8-mile) hike or ski, depending on the season. The lodge is an excellent base for exploring nearby valleys and mountains. It dates to 1931, when it operated as a lodge for local Banff skiers, and is now a National Historic Site.
Today it comprises a main lodge, sleeping cabins, and a wood-fired sauna. Accommodations are rustic—propane heat but no electricity—but comfortable, with mostly twin bedrooms in the main lodge and cabins that sleep up to five. Rates include three meals daily, including a picnic lunch that guests build from a buffet-style layout before heading out hiking or skiing.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition