Emerald Lake…. it sounds stunning doesn’t it? I hadn’t even heard of it when I first started researching our trip to Canada. I’d heard of Banff and Jasper National Parks and of course I’d heard of the famous Lake Louise but I hadn’t heard of Emerald Lake.
Emerald lake is in Yoho National Park to the west of Banff. Its smaller that its neighbours and we loved it because it was so much quieter. For people like Adam who prefer plants and trees to people, that’s quite important!
I booked us a night at Emerald Lake Lodge as a bit of a treat to celebrate our two year wedding anniversary and I’d read that this little collection of lodges has the lake to itself after 5pm when the tour buses leave – perfect 🙂
On arrival we were shown to our little slice of heaven and were so happy with the private balcony overlooking the lake and a cute little fireplace and seating area at the end of the bed. Sweeeettt!!
Dinner that evening was a bit of an occasion for us because it was our anniversary dinner and we dressed up nicely for each other! We sat in the restaurant with a view of the lake and talked about when we first met, a little romantic reminisce. Suddenly out of the corner of my eye I saw a man I recognised (I won’t say who in case this is somewhere he likes to go). I did a double take which made Adam look and he said “oh my god, thats ****”. We couldn’t believe it, this Hollywood movie star was staying in the same place as us?! Well that killed the romantic chat because all I could talk about was him and his body, you know, in THAT film!!
Anyway, moving on from the hunk….. ahem….
We had a relaxing evening that night reading by the fire and making the most of a little bit of downtime on our road trip.
The next morning we had a lazyish start before heading out onto the lake for a couple of hours. We got to the canoe hire early as you can’t reserve them so its first come first served. We needn’t have worried, the lake was quiet all day. We paid (I think) $55 for one hour and you can stay out as long as you want, settling the bill on your return. They staff were great actually because they will charge per 15 minutes rather than per hour giving more flexibility.
The water was like a mill pond and the reflections of the mountains were incredible. All around us were magnificent views of towering rock and white peaks. When I look at the photographs now, its hard to imagine the scale and you really can’t grasp it from the pictures.
I enjoy canoeing and dabbled for a while with Adam talking to me about my technique etc. but then I let him take the lead, sat back and relaxed – you know, messed about with my hair and that kind of stuff!
It was calm and peaceful on the water, at times no one else was on the lake and we saw just a few people walking around it (one guy was loudly signing opera to keep the bears away!)
At the far shore we jumped out (with the bear spray nearby of course) and Adam decided he’d like to lift the canoe out of the water and carry it above his head (you know how you do). I decided it wasn’t for me so just took a few pictures of this crazy husband of mine!
We then had some time in the canoe by ourselves and this was a real treat for both of us. For me, I got to practice my canoeing technique somewhere extremely calm.
For Adam, canoeing in the Rockies is the equivalent of a small child going to Disneyworld!
After a couple of hours on the water we decided to explore the area further and do the easy 5k hike round the lake. This was the first time we’d walked through the forest so I was a little nervous of bears and made sure we talked loud with the bear spray within reach at all times!!
The hike was great and the views of the lake beautiful. Eventually the clouds parted a little and when the sun shone we really found out why this place was named Emerald Lake
Of all the places we visited in the Rockies, I think we both agree this was our favourite…
Facts about Emerald Lake Lodge;
- their water is not suitable for drinking so they provide bottled water or tell you to boil any water before drinking it or brushing your teeth. We didn’t find this a problem at all.
- guests at the lodge don’t park at the lake itself, there’s a guest car park a little way down and you can call for a hotel shuttle to collect you and your luggage
- there is an outdoor hot tub which unfortunately we didn’t get round to using but looks great and has epic views of the lake
- not all rooms have lake views so if this is important to you, make sure you specify it on your booking
- there are lots of short and easy hikes from right outside your lodge including a walk to Takkakaw Falls which is the third highest waterfall in Canada at 302 metres.
- this is bear country so make sure you are bear aware (as if I know what I’m talking about – I just talk really really loudly much to Adam’s annoyance!!)