Skoki Lodge is an incredible place with an amazing amount of history. Not to mention, it provides a spectacular journey anytime of year. I’ve been lucky to have gone in fall, amid the stunning larches changing to bright yellow and spring (which looked more like winter). I wouldn’t say I enjoyed one over the other, but I did really enjoy the challenge of skiing in and being greeted with hot chilli, a charcuterie and a glass of wine! The food is exceptional and I love how everyone comes together to eat around one big community table.
The hike, ski or snow shoe in is about 10km. Depending on what time of year you go and how many people are in your group it can take anywhere from 3-6 hours. There is no access by vehicle or cell service or showers or running water. There is however plenty of cozy cabins, big fireplaces, oil lamps, exceptional people and conversations. You will meet people from all over the world. Many who have this on their “bucket list” and many who have been coming back for years.
The lodge was built and operated by the Ski Club of the Canadian Rockies in 1931. The original cabin which is part of the main lodge is still standing. It’s like walking into a museum. Old ski pictures from the club decorate the walls as well as, old ski equipment that make you wonder how people ever made it there wearing it. In 1935 an expansion was added which allowed for guest to sleep above the main lodge. The floors creak like crazy when you walk down the hall (which isn’t great if you are like me and have to pee in the middle of the night), but the smell of coffee and bacon wake you in the morning. There are also private cabins, but the experience of staying in the lodge is pretty cool (just make sure to bring earplugs!). The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge actually stayed at Skoki when they visited in 2011. It’s the only time there has been running water and toilets.
Besides world class hiking and skiing, Skoki Lodge offers a step back in time. It invites you to slow down and reconnect with nature, friends and yourself. Whether it’s a game of cards, reading a book by the fire or conquering a mountain, the memories you bring back will last a lifetime.
As a side note, you do not need avalanche gear for the ski into Skoki. We brought it, because we weren’t sure where we would go the following day. Also, you can rent skis and skins at Mountain Equipment Co-op and a couple other ski shops in Calgary.