Emerald Lake, British Columbia is one of our favourite destinations in the Rockies, we have visited several times both summer and winter. The lake is famous for its is clear jade-colour during summer – surrounded by mountains the view is breath taking! There is no cell phone connection and no internet. This makes it the perfect getaway for a social media detox. Just enjoy the tranquility and beauty of this secluded Rocky Mountain lake.
Emerald Lake Lodge is the only property by this secluded lake, the lodge has 24 cabins hidden among the threes. During winter this is the perfect getaway destination as there are almost no tourists during winter- an additional bonus is that the rates for the cabins are significantly less during winter. You can probably get away with rates close to 180CAD per night during winter, if you go during summer expect the price to be close to double.
Cilantro – one of the newer buildings at Emerald Lake Lodge. The lodge and cabins are hidden behind the threes.
The lake is surrounded by mountains, and the most famous of them is probably Mt Burgess. Burgess Shale Formation close to the top if Mt. Burgess has a large amount of well preserved fossils. It is actually one of the world’s most celebrated fossil fields and between 1954 and 1971, Mount Burgess was featured on the back of the Canadian ten-dollar bill. I remember seeing a program with David Attenborough where he travels up by helicopter to the shale formation. In summer there is a hiking trail that takes you there.
Take in the beauty of the area. For photographers there are endless opportunities for a great shot.
The discovery of the lake and development of the lodge is also an interesting history. In every cabin there is an book called Emerald Lake Lodge ‘A History and A Celebration’ for the guest to borrow during the visit telling you about the first discovery of the lake by mountain guide Tom Wilson back in 1882s and building of the lodge by Canadian Pacific Railway in 1902. Word has it this was a popular spot among ‘high society’ in the early 1900s.
The groomed cross country ski tracks around the lake offers easy skiing for anyone who wants to get some fresh air and try out their cross country skis. Don’t have skis? No worries, there is a small rental shop where you can rent them. The rental shop also has a small gift shop that is worth stopping by.
When cross country skiing we discovered this beautiful creek towards the end of the lake. We tried exploring it on skis, but had to give up. We came back later on show shoes.
Mount Burgess dining room at the main lodge building is known for it’s fine dining and well worth a visit. The menu usually has a Rocky Mountain theme to it with buffalo and elk, we have never been disappointed!
Mount Burgess dining room – picture courtesy: https://www.crmr.com/emerald/
And last but not least, we enjoyed a glass of hot apple cider in front of the fire place after skiing around the lake. Every cabin at Emerald Lake Lodge has its own fire place and fire wood is delivered to the door as part of the rental.
The lake and lodge is located in the heart of Yoho National Park, about 30 minutes past Lake Louise. The turn off from highway 1 is just after you pass Field, then the road in is about 10km. If you are staying the night there is an overnight parking, once you get to it you’ll find a waiting room with a phone. Call the lodge and they will send the shuttle to pick up you and your luggage.
Are you ready for a winter getaway? Where would you go?
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