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Hiking from Assiniboine Lodge

"Guided backcountry-hiking with lodge and/or cabins"

By: Joel Blatt + Save to a List

Backcountry shelters span austere to luxury.  On the luxury end of the spectrum is CMH and to a far lesser degree Assiniboine Lodge.  I've enjoyed heli-hiking at both, most recently at Assiniboine Lodge.  To get there is quite easy...fly to Calgary (YYC) in Alberta.  The Assiniboine Lodge straddles Alberta and British Columbia.  From Canmore, drive Smith-Dorrien gravel road to Mount Shark Helipad; apparently there are few flights from Canmore Helipad, as well.  Assiniboine Lodge is minutes from either helipad.  Alternatively, you can hike-in via Assiniboine Pass, Wonder Pass or from Sunshine.

In contrast to other backcountry lodges, the hiking routes from Assiniboine Lodge offer visible placards.  We like to log 20-25km per day, which is easier when there is trail versus bushwhacking.  There are also many peaks to bag, even in early summer.  While you could self-guide, our fleet of foot group of four was designated private guide each day, which added to experience per their extensive regional knowledge.  In three days, you can take quite a bit in, given they start hikes at 9:30am and return around 4:30 or even later, if you like.

Claude and Andre were our incredible guides. We stayed in Nub cabin, which is in close proximity to Lodge and sleeps four adults, two in bunk-beds.  Again, this is luxury with outhouses (which are clean), but there are private (hot) showers.  Meals are good, but not feasts.  You pack a hearty lunch, as necessary.  For dinner, wine list was greatly appreciated.  While you can charge your phone/iPad in the lodge, there is no wi-fi, which is nice.

Our dates were June 23-26, 2019, their first week of summer operations.  Snowfall was not a problem, but did affect a few possible hikes.  We got lucky, weather was perfect, but that is not predictable.  All in all, we loved it.  Assiniboine Lodge finds the sweet-spot of luxury-backcountry-lodging-hiking.  

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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