We stayed one night at the Skoki Lodge, which is near Lake Louise and Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. This mountain lodge is unique in that you have to hike in - and back out! We were there in late August, and consider this one of our most memorable stays anywhere!
The hike (each way) is about 6.5 miles. It would be longer if not for the lodge van that drives patrons up the first 2.5 miles from a gate to the trail head. This ride also saves you about 1000 feet of elevation. It took most of the first day to get to Skoki Lodge, as we took our time absorbing the rugged mountain scenery and taking pictures. By mid-afternoon the snow started in earnest and we hustled the last two miles to the lodge.
Our two days were punctuated by snow -- unexpected by us in August, but fortunately we were prepared for cold wet weather. Given the conditions we didn't enjoy the hiking as much as I'm sure we would have in better weather. The trail was also very muddy and rutted from horse traffic. We had a small cabin (heated), which was nice as it was very quiet. There are two outhouses: one for men, one for women.
Making up for any inconvenience was the food, which was plentiful and spectacular!! The meals were first-rate and the kitchen staff, under their wonderfully talented chef, was friendly and attentive. The lodge itself is warm and welcoming with lots of places to sit and relax before and after meals. In addition to breakfast and dinner, the kitchen staff set out a bountiful make-it-yourself lunch buffet complete with plastic and paper bags for your mid-day travels. Skoki was a unique place to travel to and a wonderful backcountry lodge!!