After turning off the number 1 highway onto the Kananaskis 40 road, it is nearly impossible not to mention the beauty of the snow-covered mountains. The majestic giants appear to be hiding secrets to be discovered by anyone choosing to embark on an adventure. Further past the 40 is spray lakes road that is even less traveled and not as touristy. This is where all the locals escape for pristine mountain adventures away from the tourists. Tucked within these wild Rocky Mountains is the hidden gem known as Mount Engadine Lodge.

Situated in the Spray Valley Provincial Park, Mount Engadine Lodge offers all-inclusive luxury cabins, yurts, and tents a short distance from Calgary, Canmore, and Banff National Park. Surrounded by the famous Canadian Rockies, our family could literally explore the moment we stepped outside. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even après ski was all included. This meant that we could focus on what was most important to us. Adventuring together as a family.

Whether you’re a tourist or a local, Mount Engadine needs to be on your bucket list. It is truly a magical experience and a great way to spend time together as a family or to rekindle the love with your special someone. If you are going as a family, then make sure to read my insider tips for families in each section. Here are 8 reasons why Mount Engadine Lodge needs to be on your Winter Bucketlist!

Full Disclosure: Our family was given two nights stay at Mount Engadine Lodge to facilitate our review. All opinions and insider tips are 100% my own.

1.Wake Up to Rocky Mountain Views

Each and every day we opened the window from our 2-bedroom cabin, we were greeted with pristine mountain views. Soaking up the views and snuggling up with the kids before breakfast was probably one of my favourite parts. Each cabin, yurt, and tent overlook the valley and most of them have mountain views. There are also rooms available in the main lodge for rent as well. Prices range from $150 CAD for the yurt where you bring your own bedding, all the way up to $795 CAD for a two-bedroom cabin during high season.

Insider Tip: When booking a room, try to request a room with a direct mountain view.

Views of the surrounding mountains.

3. Indulge in Locally Sourced Food

Breakfast, a packed lunch for adventures, afternoon tea, and dinner are all included for guests staying at Mount Engadine Lodge. It is truly a gourmet culinary experience as the chefs use locally sourced ingredients to create mouth-watering dishes. For each breakfast, we were offered two choices and one was always some sort of pancakes which was great for the kids. Lunch was a sandwich with a cookie, veggies, and granola. Our children are not sandwich lovers and so they packaged the bread, meat, cheese, and veggies separately for them. Make sure to inform them of any food allergies or avoidances as they will accommodate all food requests.

Insider Tips: Mount Engadine has a set menu for breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner, and no specific kid’s meal. This may be challenging for picky eaters. Also, meals are served at specific times. Breakfast is served from 8:00 am-9:00 am, Afternoon Tea is from 2:00-5:00 pm. and dinner starts at 7:00 pm. Since our family was on Saskatchewan time, dinner was actually 8:00 pm for us. Regardless, our children did well with the late nights and the afternoon tea made it so that they were never really hungry. We also used the lounge rooms in the lodge to cuddle and play games as we waited for our dishes.

3. Snowshoe the Mountain Valleys

Mount Engadine faces the most incredible mountain valley. In the wintertime, have fun making tracks in the snow with snowshoes along the valley floor or head into the adjacent trees to find the various snowshoe trails. If you do not have your own snowshoes, then borrow them from the lodge.

Insider Tips: Our children enjoyed being pulled along the valley floor in a sled. We borrowed one from the lodge but bring along your own to avoid disappointment.  Also, if you have kids snowshoes then bring them along as the ones in the lodge are adult size.

Evening stroll to watch the sunset before dinner.

4. End Your Day with Afternoon Tea

Sometimes good food needs an extra mention and I needed to shine the spotlight on the mouth-watering Afternoon Tea at Mount Engadine. Seeing our girls aged 3 and 5 completely wide-eyed with huge smiles as I brought them hot chocolate adorned with marshmallows was completely priceless. Shortly after grabbing all the tea and hot chocolate we were met with an abundance of delicious cheese, meats, jam, crackers, nuts, and pickled vegetables. The charcuterie was a hit and thankfully they had no reservations about giving our two cracker loving monsters more crackers. Post charcuterie, we were each given a dessert of banana bread, chocolate cake, and whipped cream. Our stomachs and hearts were completely full.

The Afternoon Tea is available from 2-5 pm post-peak bagging and adventuring and included for overnight guests. Adventurers exploring in the area can also stop in and enjoy Afternoon Tea for $17.50 CAD.

Insider Tip:  Dinner is not until 7:00 pm so we went for afternoon tea around 4:00 pm to make sure the kids could make it to dinner.

Charcuterie board at Afternoon Tea.

5. Put Your Cross-Country Skis on and Meet the Shark

Roughly a 5-minute drive from Mount Engadine and past the Mount Shark Helicopter pad, are the stunning Mount Shark cross-country ski trails. These trails are less travelled and often well tracked with lots of snow. The views expand in all directions which makes even little adventures with kids worth the energy.

Insider Tip: The Shark Mountain Cross Country Ski trails are packed with hills making it thrilling but also more challenging. One of the easier trails to do with children is the 6.4 km Return Watridge Lake Trail. Ski all the way to the Lake or go as far as you can and return the way you came.

Cross Country Skiing at Mount Shark.

6. Cozy Up by the Fire Place

The main lodge boasts 3 rooms separate from the dining room to relax and enjoy the warmth from two large fireplaces. Some of my favourite moments from the lodge is when we simply spent time cozying up near the fire with one of the nature books that adorned the bookshelf. Teaching our 3 and 5 year old to play chess was an interesting experience especially when they had to learn that sometimes pieces have to come off the board.

Insider Tip: Bring slippers to stay warm in the lodge or use the knitted slippers left in a basket near the front door.

7. Fly Down into the Valley on a Sled

Adults and children alike will enjoy flying on a sled down the hill from the lodge into the valley. During our stay, the lodge had a red sled and GT for guests to use. After our two kids spent some time sledding, we enjoyed pulling them along the valley trails while we hiked and soaked in the views.

Insider Tip: I suggest bringing your own sled to avoid disappointment in case there is none available.

Mount Engadine Lodge and the hill we took turns sledding down.

8. Warm Up and Relax in the Sauna

Sometimes my husband and I split up to have a little bit of solo adventuring or relaxation time. Following your ski or snowshoe adventures take some me time and warm up in the onsite wood-fired sauna. It is the perfect way to warm up and relax following an outdoor winter adventure.

Book your next family vacation here.

By Annika Mang
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