There’s just something about being in the backcountry. Spending the day surrounded by a towering mountain range, inhaling crisp alpine air, adventures like paddling and hiking to waterfalls just steps away, then finishing the night with a stargazing session or cozying up around a roaring campfire.
It all sounds so dreamy…until of course it comes time to use the outhouse. Or battle a swarm of mosquitoes threatening to penetrate your tent. And how about not being able to shower for days on end, to the point where even bears aren’t interested in being around you?
And that, my friends, is where glamping comes in to save the day– specifically the glamping tents found at the charming Mount Engadine Lodge in Kananaskis, Alberta.
This beloved hideaway is found in Kananaskis Country, which just might be the best-kept secret in the Canadian Rockies. Vast, flower-filled meadows are dotted with streams and turquoise lakes, soaring peaks cast magical reflections into glass-like ponds, and bighorn sheep lazily graze on the roadside. Since most tourists drive right past the Highway 40 turnoff towards more crowded spots like Banff and Canmore, it’s not uncommon to find yourself mesmerized by yet another epic view without another soul in sight.
Mount Engadine Lodge is nestled into a hillside just off the Smith Dorrien Trail in Spray Valley Provincial Park, under the shadow of its namesake ridge about one hour past Kananaskis Village. Being only a two-hour drive from Calgary makes it a favourite weekend escape for city slickers, who are lured here by the promise of no cell phone reception (don’t worry, there’s WiFi in the lodge) and a chance to reconnect with nature. Guests can spend their days exploring the incredible alpine trails right on the lodge’s doorstep like West Wind Pass, Karst Spring and Chester Lake, unwinding in the on-site sauna or at the nearby Kananaskis spa, then return to Mount Engadine in time for afternoon tea which includes fresh baked goodies and charcuterie board overflowing with fresh fruit, local meats and cheeses.
The quaint, inviting lodge is the perfect place to kick off your shoes and curl up on one of the comfortable couches with a good book, or relax in front of the big stone fireplace while striking up conversation with the other guests who come from all around the world to experience these idyllic surroundings. All meals are included, with breakfast and dinner served family-style around large, wooden tables which makes it easy to connect with everyone staying at the lodge. Those multi-course suppers are known to stretch late into the evening as people swap stories about the day’s adventures, with tales of a bear or moose sighting a usual occurrence.
Mount Engadine Lodge glamping
While the spacious cabins and lodge rooms at Mount Engadine are fabulous in their own right, the glamping tents are what really get people talking. The white canvas tents are a quick walk away from the lodge, and feature huge balconies decked out with red Adirondack chairs that overlook the serene valley below.
Once they head through the front door, guests will be forgiven for forgetting that they’re not inside an actual hotel room–these tents are that large and well-appointed. A fireplace in the corner means you’ll stay warm no matter what the weather is like outside, there’s an incredibly comfortable king size bed (which can be converted into two twins), a closet, and even a seating area with a pullout couch. Safe to say your usual camping tent can’t compete with that. Oh, and say au revoir to those bleary, late-night runs to a gross campground bathroom or *gasp* outhouse…the glamping tents at Mount Engadine even have their own private bathrooms.
In a nod to the lodge’s Canadian locale, pillows and welcome mats have a moose theme, and bath amenities are made by local favourite Rocky Mountain Soap Company. The five glamping tents are side-by-side which means it’s possible to hear your neighbours, so earplugs are provided. However, around these parts most people are usually so relaxed and ready for a night of slumber that the only sounds you’ll hear are animals scampering around, or perhaps the sound of rain drops overhead soothing you to sleep.
From the fantastic dining experiences to the pristine surroundings to the luxe accommodations, it’s easy to see why Mount Engadine Lodge is one of the best places for glamping near Calgary, making it the ultimate, backcountry escape.
Kananaskis glamping: Details for booking Mt Engadine Lodge
When to go: The glamping tents are available year-round, thanks to heaters and heavy blankets to help ward off the cold. There’s plenty to do in Kananaskis in every season, from hiking and paddling in the warmer months to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on the nearby trails during winter.
Pricing: Room rates start at $350 per night in winter, and $500 in summer based on double occupancy. There are pull-out couches to accommodate additional guests, and rates include all meals as well as afternoon tea. It’s worth noting this is one of the few pet friendly hotels in Kananaskis.
Globe Guide experienced Mount Engadine Lodge as a guest of the property. As always, hosts have no editorial influence on articles.
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