On my recent trip, I stayed exclusively at properties in Alberta. However, I have long recommended two lodges in Yoho National Park in the adjoining province of British Columbia. At 507 square miles, Yoho is the smallest of four contiguous parks, the others being Banff, Jasper and Kootenay. Collectively, they form the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Emerald Lake Lodge, Banff
The historic enclave of Emerald Lake Lodge is set on a forested peninsula overlooking a glacial lake, 30 minutes west of Lake Louise. Massive stone fireplaces and antique furnishings embellish a hand-hewn timber lodge. The 85 comfortable accommodations are housed in two dozen weathered-wood cabins, most offering fieldstone fireplaces, twig chairs and scenic decks. (Spacious “Point Cabin” has the best lake views.)
The formal Mount Burgess Dining Room offers excellent “Rocky Mountain Cuisine.” Chef Valerie Morrison’s seasonal menu features free-range elk, bison and caribou, along with specialties such as grilled Alberta beef ribeye, and seared Skuna Bay salmon, with beet risotto and a single malt scotch buerre blanc. Elsewhere, the atmospheric Kicking Horse Lounge features an original 1890s oak bar from a Yukon saloon. Activities include superb hiking, as well as canoe and rowboat rentals, plus skiing and skating in winter. A sauna, gymnasium and outdoor hot tub are the principal amenities.