Located in Spray Valley Provincial Park on Highway 742 South (Smith Dorrien/Spray Trail), Mount Engadine is a front country lodge that provides an incredible backcountry experience. Whether you are visiting Banff, Canmore, Kananaskis, or Calgary, Mount Engadine truly stands out as a unique option for families looking for a wilderness escape. Having drive-up access only makes it that much easier to visit Mount Engadine with kids. Here’s what you need to know before you go!
Mount Engadine Lodge with Kids
When my kids and I decided to escape Canmore for a few days and check out Mount Engadine Lodge, I must admit I hesitated at first. I was unsure if the setup and location would be kid-friendly enough to plan adventures with ease. I also wondered about the pre-set menu, not because mine are not adventurous eaters, but due particularly to their allergies.
I was more than a little surprised, as we sat down for the well-loved Mount Engadine afternoon tea when I realized we in fact were one of four families with kids under the age of 10 staying at the lodge.
It was during that first hour on the patio with my kids sipping on local craft soda and snacking on one the best charcuterie boards we’ve had that I saw how incredible a visit to Mount Engadine Lodge with kids really can be.
Mount Engadine Lodge Accommodations: Cabins, Lodge Rooms, Glamping Tents, and Yurts
When booking a trip to Mount Engadine, you can choose between a variety of accommodations at varying price points. Here’s a look at the Mount Engadine lodge accommodations for families.
Mount Engadine Lodge Cabins
On our visit, we stayed in the Whiskeyjack cabin. This cabin, truly built for families, features a queen bed room and a second room with beds that can be made up as two twin beds or a king bed. What I loved most about our room was the oversized deck that provided more than enough space for our family to stretch out and relax. The Whiskeyjack cabin also contains a bathroom with shower and huge entry space with plenty of room for adventure gear.
The Whiskeyjack cabin is located next to the lodge and shares that same incredible view as the main patio. There wasn’t a morning where we didn’t all settle into the red Muskoka chairs and simply enjoy the view. On the first night of our stay, we were also able to enjoy watching a mom moose and two calves frolic in the valley below us. On our second night, we set an alarm for 2 am and were treated to a night under one of the darkest skies I have experienced close to Canmore or Calgary. The kids loved seeing shooting stars and identifying the planets and constellations.
For an adult-only escape or a single parent and single kid vacation, families of 2 can book one of the two other cabins located in the same area. The Mount Engadine Burstall and Birdwood cabins feature a private entry, queen size bed, and private bathroom. Learn more about the Mount Engadine Cabins.
Mount Engadine Lodge Rooms
The Mount Engadine Lodge contains various sitting rooms, the dining room, and numerous guest rooms. A number of the rooms feature both a queen size bed and pull-out couch making them perfect for families. They also have gorgeous decks with views of the surrounding mountains. I can imagine when visiting in Winter that families love being about to head to breakfast without dressing up in boots and coats. Learn more about the Mount Engadine Lodge room options.
Mount Engadine Glamping Tents and Mount Engadine Yurt
The moment you arrive at Mount Engadine, the first thing you will notice is the row of glamping tents. These tents are larger than any glamping tents I have ever seen. Each tent features a king-size bed that can be split into twin beds as well as a full pull-out couch. They also surprisingly contain a full ensuite bathroom, a chandelier, hardwood floors, and a gas fireplace. To complete the experience, each tent has a sizeable deck with views of the mountains and valley below.
While we were visiting Mount Engadine Lodge, the tents were filled by families with kids who had lots of room to play and explore.
The another accommodation option is the Mount Engadine Lodge yurt. The yurt is a great option for adventurous families who want a true camping experience. Located a 7-minute walk from the main lodge, the yurt sleeps up to four people in bunk beds and is open year-round. There are no plumbing or shower facilities and no electricity. You are given access to bathrooms in the main lodge and your stay includes all-inclusive dining. A great option for families looking to truly unplug with a backcountry experience.
However, if you are interested in an exploratory getaway and want to have a complete experience of camping, you can check out the types of tents available in the market and choose one which is suitable for you. Camping might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it can turn your vacation into a thrilling and unforgettable experience.
Mount Engadine Lodge Dining
For families planning any vacation, the cost of dining can be taunting. What I love about Mount Engadine Lodge is that meals are all-inclusive in the price of the stay. Lodge guests are fed a hearty breakfast, provided with a to-go lunch, and served a three-course dinner each evening. You also have the option of enjoying a charcuterie board made up of local meats and cheeses each afternoon.
During our stay, the day began with a savory or sweet choice at breakfast. One morning, blueberry pancakes and jam made in house were served or you could choose a delicious egg benedict.
At breakfast, guests fill out a lunch request sheet that features sandwiches on bread made in house and a choice between vegetables, trail mix, or fresh baked cookies. Lunch is prepared while you eat breakfast and ready early enough that you can head out and explore the various hiking, cross country skiing and snowshoe trails in the area.
Dinner each night varied but included offerings like homemade bread, fresh salad, homemade soups, rib-eye steaks, and duck leg.
Mount Engadine Lodge takes allergies very seriously. At each meal, the kids were provided with dairy-free alternatives including dessert.
Mount Engadine Lodge Pet-Friendly Accommodations
Mount Engadine Lodge pet-friendly policies make it possible for pets to take part in your family vacation. Our dog loved staying in our cabin and joining us when dining. While pets are not allowed in the dining room, guests with pets can dine in the adjacent living room spaces or on the outdoor deck.
Mount Engadine Lodge Activities for Families
Before booking you may be wondering about nearby activities for families. Year-round there is plenty to do. The lodge is located on the same road as the Mount Shark Day Use area which features hiking and swimming options in the summer and numerous cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails in the winter.
Each day of our stay, we chose a local hike and planned some opportunities to swim. On the first day, we headed to the Karst Spring Trail just down the road from the lodge. This is an easy family hike that features a wide access road in. The Karst Spring emerges from the mountain with impressive force. Kids will love the plank walkways, overgrown wildflowers, and the ability to swim at isolated Watridge Lake during the hike.
Our second day involved a short drive to Ptarmigan Cirque. One of the most impressive family-friendly hikes in the area. While the initial climb is short it can be steep. Once you arrive at the cirque, you will see why it is worth it. An easy family hike with jaw-dropping views. We ate our packed lunch while mountain pika ran around us and then played in the snow during a heatwave in July. We finished the day with a swim in the river that runs in the valley behind Mount Engadine Lodge.
Families will also enjoy exploring nearby Rummel Lake, downhill skiing at Nakiska or Mount Norquay, and visiting the town of Canmore.
Mount Engadine Lodge with Kids
As I reflected on my time at Mount Engadine with kids, I couldn’t decide what I loved most. In the end, I concluded, that while the individual elements were incredible, it was the whole package that makes this a must-do experience for families.
At Mount Engadine, we found an easy way to disconnect from everything happening today. We brought along plenty of board games and laughed together as we played on the deck until the sun went down. We roasted marshmallows and made s’mores with no regard for how many we ate or bedtime. We went to be tired and woke up relaxed and ready for the adventures ahead. We didn’t worry about rushing home and instead had time to truly explore our own neck of the woods. From the cheerful staff to the roaming moose and everything in between, Mount Engadine is one stop that needs to be added to your family’s rocky mountain bucket list.
I was a guest of Mount Engadine. All views expressed in this review are my own.