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Reviews (123)
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All reviewsred earthhot showercreek trailday hiketwin lakeshiking bootslunch itemscreature comfortsgluten free pancakescozy comfortermultiple coursesunlimited hot waterwinter trippit toiletsother guestsseparate buildingthree nights
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Reviewed 27 October 2017

I hiked to Shadow Lake Lodge last week of July. Of all the hike in lodges I have been to (Phantom Ranch, Sperry Chalet, and LeConte Lodge), this was the most luxurious of the hike in lodges. Cabins were very nice and separated from other guests. If you like hike in lodges I highly recommend this place. The hosts and food were great. There are several good day hikes like to Ball Pass or to the amphitheater beyond the Shadow Lakeshore Trail. I recommend taking Redearth Creek trail into Shadow Lake Lodge and hiking out the Arnica Lake/Vista Lake trail. You will have to leave a car at the Arnica Lake Trailhead by the Vista Lake viewpoint and then drive over to the Redearth Creek parking lot. The Redearth Creek trail is rather uneventful but the Arnica Lake trail is very pretty. The trail has several up and down parts and takes you through Gibson Pass and pass the lakes. If you are in very good shape you can take the Arnica Lake/Vista Lake trail in and out but figure on 7 hours to hike in. It took me 9 hours to hike out, but there was a slow hiker in our group. The Shadow Lake lodge hikes along with my other hikes to Sentinel Pass, Lake Agnes Teahouse and Mount Edith Cavell made it a memorable vacation.

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Peter L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2017

Cute area and nice location. Excellent hikes to the high-country lakes and summits. Great history about the owners and the building of it. Food is good although the evening entrees were not always warm but cold from setting in the kitchen too long. You make your own lunch sandwiches after breakfast for your hikes. One day there were not enough lunch items left to make a sandwich and when I asked one the employees for more I was told that there wasn't anything left to provide lunch. I asked if the kitchen was completely empty and they stated, "Yes, we don't have anything else for your lunch!" I was shocked about that statement when paying nearly 800 Canadian dollars a night. The work team are so focused on getting tips that they have taped hand-written notes about please tip them 15% or 20% on the lodge door and where one leaves their hiking boots when entering the lodge. The most surprising was when I was settling my bill at checkout and they set a large jar with "TIPS" written on it in front of me. I couldn't believe it. I've never stayed at a place that was so blatant about getting you tip them. It was the wrong way to end a wonderful stay at a most beautiful location high in the mtns. I hope the owners will review that with the workers to avoid that in the future.

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank Ibid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shadowlakelodge, Front Office Manager at Shadow Lake Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 13 October 2017

Thank you for your feedback. We are very disappointed to hear about your dining experiences during your stay. Although this is the first report we have heard of this happening, we do appreciate that you have provided this information to prevent this from happening in the future. We hope to see you again at Shadow Lake Lodge.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2017

My husband and I stayed here for two nights in late August and wished we had stayed longer. The hike in was fairly easy going and extremely peaceful. The last two miles are a bit more strenuous. It's a fine balance to pack light for 90F and 30F temp swings - but it can be done. The cabins are perfectly cozy, the staff excellent, and the meals are delicious and an excellent way to bond with your neighbors after a long day of hiking. The hike to the amphitheater and waterfalls was a great way to be introduced to the backcountry. Take advantage of the dark skies for photography and the fireplace inside the lodge when the temps drop and the rain falls. I could not think of a better experience in Banff National Park than Shadow Lake Lodge. We cannot wait to return.

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Laura G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2017

In order to reach the place you need to park in a rather large free parking lot.

The lodge is located about 14 km on a through a dirt road through the woods.

The trail has 3 legs. The 1st one is easy (although it goes up and down). When we visited there there'd been an avalanche a short while before, so the ice and felled woods had covered the trail and someone had cleared a path through it. This was the 1st time we'd seen something like this.

When we reached the point where the 2nd leg should have started, we found that sometime before there'd been a flood which covered a large area, so it was not immediately clear where the trail continued. So I walked aroud for a while and found some trees where someone had attached some small colored plastic strips, to signal the beginning of this leg.

The 3rd leg was very difficult, as we had to climb up a very steep mountain and we were quite tired by now, not being accustomed to carring heavy backpaks for such distances. After we went over that portion of the trail, there was a long strech where they put wooden boards to cross some swampy area - right up to the lodge.

The huts are comfortable enough with gas heating which the staff turn on at about 17:00. It gets very cold outside at night (we were there in July!).

There are no toilets in the huts - but there are separate M/F toilets and showers in designated huts. Not the most comforatble solution, especially if you need to go at night and don't know whether you'll encounted a bear ot other predator.
But the toilets and showers were very clean.

The lodge offers a nice breakfast as well as light food (sandwiches, cookies, fruits..) for lunch and a nice and varied dinner.

There's no reception for cell phones - and this begins at the parking lot.

Staff are very nice and helpful.

There are some very nice trails to visit, as well as Shadow Lake itself - go there early morning (07:00-07:30 latest) in order to take great photos of the reflections.

They bring in supplies by helicopter, which is also used to vacate the toilets (the container is lifted and flown to the waste disposal area and then brough back by helicopter).

Once you exit the parking lot though the raised entrance door, turn right - and then there's only one trail to the lodge and back, so you can't get lost.

The lodge sends their customers an area map. As a backup we purchased the excellent Gem Trek map of the area.

Bottom line - a long walk to get there and back - but it's highy recommended.

Room Tip: Close to the toilet huts, so you don't have far to walk at night.
  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank wisniak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2017

I stayed in Shadow Lake Lodge for three nights around the end of July with five other friends in three cabins, all of which were very comfortable. Hiking here is quite good although the best hikes like going over Whistling Pass are further away. Access to the Lodge is via Red Earth Creek from Highway 1 or from Vista Lakes on Highway 93, a much more difficult route with greater elevation. Food was very good and plentiful although A couple of situations arose for our group....one member of our party who did not eat chicken received a gorgeous tuna steak perfectly cooked instead of the chicken; on another day salmon was served and another individual did not eat fish (they had been made aware of that at the time of booking) - she was given a veggie burger which looked as though it had been found somewhere in the back of the freezer...and lastly, another woman was gluten intolerant - again Shadow Lake was aware of this - and for the most part they looked after her very well until the day we had pancakes - they came out after we had been served pancakes and said to her that they could mix up some gluten free pancakes for her - of course she declined - however that should not have happened....gluten free pancakes should have come out at the same time as the other pancakes. Not sure if that was due to a change in chefs the night before - may have been....for the money that was paid these glitches should not have happened.

Showers which have been added since I last stayed are a bonus and much appreciated.

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank skychaserCalgary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shadowlakelodge, Front Office Manager at Shadow Lake Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 13 October 2017

Thank you for your review. We do appreciate hearing about things we can improve on to make all of our guests' experiences at the lodge memorable (in a good way). Our chefs do strive to accommodate all dietary requests, but at times it can be rather challenging, especially when the lodge is near capacity.
We do hope that this experience will not prevent you from coming back to Shadow Lake Lodge.

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