I just got back from the most beautiful two day mountain escape with my boyfriend. We are so lucky to live within driving distance of the mountains but sometimes you can take it for granted – I had never been to any of the places we visited. This winter I have been doing a lot of skiing and one day trips out to the mountains but I have never stayed over. Especially when you get as far as Emerald Lake it’s nice to stay the night so you don’t have to spend half the day in the car.
I saw Emerald Lake Lodge on a local blogger’s Instagram and knew it would be the perfect place to spend a night at – it was the most beautiful place I have ever seen. To make it worth the drive we stopped in Lake Louise on the way up and Norquay on the way back. There are so many places in the mountains that I want to see, I could spend weeks up there, but we only had two days.
Skating on Lake Louise
There is nothing like skating in the mountains. It is beautiful between the mountains; I could never get sick of that view. Outside of Chateau Lake Louise they have ice sculptures set up, as well as an ice castle on the lake to skate (or walk) around. They also have a separate rink for hockey. Skating on the lake has been on my bucket list for awhile but I never seemed to make it all the way out there to skate. But it was definitely worth the drive. They have skate rentals there if you don’t have your own, and people come and go so it was never that packed when we were there. The weather was gorgeous too, we only had to wear sweaters to keep warm.
I highly recommend staying at the Lodge – it’s about a half hour drive from Louise and you actually have to park in a separate lot where a shuttle will come get you. So make sure you have everything you want with you because it is a bit of a pain to get back down to your car. Another recommendation is to request a lake facing cabin – it is a gorgeous view to wake up to in the morning.
The room itself was pretty nice – it had a rustic feel with the wood furniture and the wood burning fire place – which they leave you wood and matches to get your fire going. It was so cozy at night, sitting by the fire and drinking a few beers.
When we got there after Louise we rented snow shoes and walked along the 5.7km trail around Emerald Lake. If you are staying at the Lodge you’re allowed to keep the equipment overnight so then you don’t have to worry about making it back before the rental shop closes. Our snow shoeing trip was beautiful as expected, it took us about an hour and a half and we only saw two other people. The quiet and calmness really make you appreciate being out of the city and in nature.
They have a restaurant and a lounge open in the Winter and we just ate in the lounge so that we didn’t have to make any reservations. With the lounge menu you don’t have to worry about over paying for the food. I had a flatbread and Chris had a bison burger which were both delicious! Breakfast the next morning was in the restaurant and it was equally as delicious.
Tubing at Norquay
Our last stop was Mount Norquay where we rented tubes and spent a couple hours riding in their tube park. So fun! I had never done it before, and I definitely recommend it for all ages. It can be a little pricey if you only go for a short time, but I don’t think I could stay longer than a few hours.
I try to take the time to stop and realize the beauty that is just in my backyard a few hours away. People come from all over the world to see the Rockies and I have to start taking more time to get out there myself in the winter and in the summer. We had a lovely two days out there, and I would absolutely go back and visit again.