Skoki Lodge is what I would call a true getaway. Situated 11 kilometers from Lake Louise Ski Resort in the heart of Banff National Park. No wifi or cell phone service. No electricity. Only pure winter bliss! Even the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, or better know as Will and Kate, have visited this historical lodge.

The trip to Skoki Lodge is one of Canada’s most profound backcountry winter experiences. The 11 kilometer trip will bring you through the high alpine region and into Skoki Valley. You’ll pass the tree line and cross frozen alpine lakes. The highest point is Deception Pass at 2510 meters above sea level.

skiing skoki lodge

There are no short cuts on this trip, you’ll have to sweat your way in. But that is what draws outdoor adventurers to this experience. And it is well worth it when you receive the warm welcome from the Skoki Lodge’s staff. They will greet you with a hot meal and a warm stove in the historical lodge from 1931.

skiing skoki lodge

The skiing trip – a photographic journey

Lets me take you through the spectacular scenery from Lake Louise Ski Resort to Skoki Lodge. You’ll have to check-in in downtown Lake Louise and a van will drop you off close to Temple Lodge which is your starting point. Skoki Lodge has a detailed description on their home page so no need to repeat all the details here.

skiing skoki lodge

After passing the woods around the Lake Louise Ski Resort an open meadow will reveal itself. You will be surrounded by majestic mountains. 

skiing skoki lodge

Before you reach Boulder Pass you will pass the Halfway Hut, which will be on your lefthand side. This is a great stop for a lunch break, especially if the weather conditions are not ideal.

skiing skoki lodge

Once you have passed the tree line at Boulder Pass a gorgeous alpine scenery will emerge. Note that there will be no protection from the weather from this point until you have climbed Deception Pass and descended into the valley on the other side. 

skiing skoki lodge

Deception Pass is a bit of a climb and it will take you to the highest point of the trip. Many choose to put on skins on their skis for this climb. Maybe you can spot me halfway up the hill?

backcountry skiing banff

Make sure your hubby is strong enough to carry all the gear… 🙂

skoki lodge banff

On top of Deception Pass we experienced the funniest thing. While taking a well-deserved break I saw something small running towards us at full speed. It was a tiny mouse – and it started climbing my husbands leg. I have never experienced anything similar.

skiing to skoki lodge

Views from Deception Pass, from this point it is a downhill trip to Skoki Lodge. If you don’t like speed while going downhill you can keep your skins on for the first, steepest part to slow it down. 

backcountry skiing banff canada

The lodge is nested in the forest and you won’t see it before you are suddenly there – in the heart of the frozen Banff National Park.

The lodge – a national historic site

Skoki Lodge was specifically built to cater to ski-tourists and the first visitors arrived in 1931. The lodge was built with local logs and was expanded in the years after 1931 with a kitchen and with several smaller lodges around the main building.

When you step inside the lodge after 11 kilometres of skiing you’ll be greeted with afternoon tea. Enjoy a hot soup or a cup of tea before you snuggle up in front of the crackling fire place waiting for dinner to be served… The service is top notch and all meals are made from scratch in the rustic backcountry kitchen.

skiing skokie lodge

We stayed in the Honeymoon Cabin which is one of the smaller lodges around the main lodge. There are several rooms in the main lodge as well. The accommodation is rustic which is to be expected. We had a propane stove to keep us warm and in the morning hot water was available for an old fashioned washing.

skiing skoki lodge

skiing to skoki lodge

I once read an article where the author called this trip a pilgrimage. I couldn’t agree more. There is a reason people are still seeking this destination after more than 85 years in service.

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