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Review: Emerald Lake Lodge in Western Canada

Hotel Emerald Lake Lodge
Country Canada
City Calgary
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Emerald Lake Lodge
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To the point If you're planning a trip to Western Canada and are looking for an immersive nature experience with notable accommodations, I suggest the fabulous Emerald Lake Lodge.

Located in British Columbia’s Yoho National Park, I fell in love with this place, which I visited once in fall and once in winter! Here are the details of my experience and the activities offered.

Emerald Lake was discovered in 1882 during construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The original Lodge was built in 1902, and it was only in 1920 that the Lodge and road were upgraded for the general public.

How to get there

From Calgary airport, it’s a 2.5-hour drive. Emerald Lake Lodge is a 30-minute drive from Lake Louise. The park is therefore very close to the other activities you’ll be planning in this area. Thanks to the Aeroplan program, you can get a non-stop ticket to this destination, which is always much appreciated!

Emerald Lake Lodge

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Situated directly on the shores of Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park, the location of this establishment makes it a favorite for all nature lovers! If you’re not interested in camping, you’ll be delighted! Emerald Lake is a very popular spot. Many tourists flock here during high season. But there’s no need to worry about that. As soon as you start an activity in the area, or in the evening when all the tourists not staying on the site have disappeared, the magic happens!

Your reservation will include directions to the parking lot reserved for guests staying at Emerald Lake Lodge. This parking lot is located 2 minutes from Emerald Lake. A shuttle will pick you up and take you to reception. The shuttle is available at all times if you need to get to your car, for whatever reason.


On this visit during the month of September, the rate for one night booked on the Expedia platform with a special offer of 30% off cost me $378, taxes included. The price without the rebate was $520.

Several rewards programs and credit cards offer savings on Expedia bookings:

To compare with my trip in January 2023, the room rate was $284, taxes included. You can see the price difference during high season!

This is where it’s really interesting to pay all or part of the cost of the room with HSBC points, which can easily be applied to travel expenses. You’ll earn 6 points per Dollar in the travel category. On the other hand, if you have a TD First Class Travel card, renting a room through the Expediafor TD platform can be a very good choice, earning you 8 points per dollar. You can also double dip as a member of Expedia’s loyalty program.


  • Internet is available in some common areas: Wi-Fi and free wired Internet access
  • 1 restaurant and 1 snack bar/café.
  • 1 lounge bar.
  • Day and night reception
  • Concierge services
  • Baggage storage
  • Ski storage
  • Outdoor hot tub with mountain view
  • Not all rooms have a direct view of the lake
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From the Lodge’s large lounge, you can order alcohol and a selection of food from the Kicking Horse Lounge.


  • A wood-burning fireplace and coffee/tea maker.
  • All rooms have balconies.
  • Separate lounge area in each bedroom.
  • Beds made with down comforters and quality bedding.
  • Bathrooms feature bath/shower combinations with whirlpool tubs, complimentary toiletries and hairdryers. Housekeeping is provided daily, and the following service is available on request: hypoallergenic bedding.
  • Please note that WiFi is only available in the main building.
  • Pets are welcome for an additional $25 per night.

View of the lake from our balcony. My only negative point about the room is the carpet, which looks a few years old…

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Emerald Lake Lodge - Surroundings and activities

Natural Bridge

Just before you reach the lake, you’ll come across this spot, which is well worth a visit in winter and summer alike! In winter, you’ll be virtually alone and can go straight into the slit. Be aware! During thawing, be sure to evaluate the ice! People have already been rescued because the ice has broken.

Natural Bridge in winter

Paddling on Emerald Lake

Surely one of the most coveted activities on this turquoise water! The lake is large enough to observe wildlife and the surrounding mountains.

Here are the details:

  • $90 per hour and per canoe
  • Opening hours 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
  • No reservations possible
  • Season ends in October
  • If you have your own paddleboard, you can go without renting.
  • Visit The Boathouse official website for all your questions

For comparison, if you choose to do this activity at Moraine Lake, the cost per hour is $115, and at Lake Louise, $145.


The best way to soak up the scenery is, of course, by hiking! There’s something for everyone, and you won’t get stuck in the busloads of organized tours!

Around the lake

I’ve never done the whole 5.2 km loop, just the round trip to the end of the lake. I really like the view from this side. Bring your own picnic to enjoy the beauty of the area, a serene and soothing moment to look forward to!

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I did the same route in winter in all its white splendour! If you don’t have snowshoes, you can rent them at the same location as the canoe rental. In winter, however, The Boathouse is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

To find out which trails are open and accessible in all seasons, please visit the official Parc Canada website. If there are trail closures due to bear presence, road work or avalanche warnings, they’ll keep you informed.


There are two restaurants on site where you can enjoy a delicious meal! The first is the Cilantro Café, located just off the bridge, which offers homemade pizza, sandwiches and soup. Vegan and gluten-free options are available. A selection of wines and cocktails is also available.

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MOUNT BURGESS restaurant

One of my favorite restaurants! Exceptional food quality, and great favors are to be expected! The wine selection is equally outstanding, giving you the opportunity to discover wines from the region. In fact, I’ve fallen in love with Kitsch Wine, a winery I’d love to visit in summer. I also order bottles from their website from time to time!

The restaurant serves lunch and dinner, and the view from the glassed-in dining room is breathtaking. Dinner reservations are recommended. For lunch, you don’t need to reserve.

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The prices of the dishes may seem expensive, but I assure you that you won’t be disappointed. The menu also offers vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. The service is impeccable.

During my two visits to this restaurant, I ate the same main dish twice, which is listed on the menu as Free range chicken breast. It’s to die for!

For starters, we had the scallops, the salmon was exquisite with its beet terrine and what can I say about the orange cake!

To wash it all down, I suggest you put on your clothes and go for a walk. In winter you can walk on the lake, and if you have a clear sky, hello stars!

Takakkaw Falls

Takakkaw Falls are just a 40-minute drive from Emerald Lake. At 384 metres, they are among the tallest in Canada. Its free fall is 254 metres! There is a short forest trail and it will only take a 10-minute walk. Not difficult at all.

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There’s no shortage of ideas when you’re planning a trip here! Perhaps I’d advise to avoid visiting in the spring, if you want to do some hiking in the hinterland. Trails are often closed due to avalanche risk. It’s a good idea to be well-informed before planning for this time of year.

For me, Emerald Lake Lodge remains one of my most memorable experiences in Western Canada. Costs can be considerably reduced by accumulating points. If I ever go back to this area, I’ll definitely make another stop there!

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!
4.3 Milesopedia Rating
Originally from the Gaspé Peninsula, the sea air, nature and mountains have always been part of me. I always have a thousand and one travel projects running through my head! If through my travels I can inspire people to go on an adventure: mission accomplished! Make your dreams come true, don't wait until tomorrow! And we can make our dreams come true thanks to milesopedia!

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