Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park Cross Country Skiing

Built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1928 as Canadas first Rocky Mountain ski lodge, the Mount Assiniboine Lodge remains a back-to-basics rustic retreat, with 12-volt electricity and wood- and coal-stove heating. The Assiniboine area offers cross-country skiing, ski touring, and snowshoeing. Beginning Nordics stride along ungroomed trails through open larch forests, then across to Cerulean and Sunburst lakes a couple of miles from the lodge. Intermediate skiers head for Nublet, below Nub Peak. Touring skiers outfitted with avalanche transceivers skin to the top of 9,300-foot Ellys Dome.

As a backcountry lodge, its either ski-in or fly-in. A spectacular eight-minute helicopter ride from the Mount Shark Helipad 25 miles south of Canmore, Alberta, is one way to get to this lodge in a roadless provincial park abutting Banff National Park. The other way: a 16-mile uphill ski from Mount Shark. Let s go with the chopper: After threading forested valleys, skimming ridges, and cresting the Continental Divide, it zooms down toward the north face of the lodges 11,870-foot namesake, the Matterhorn of the Canadian Rockies, to deposit guests beside a cluster of red-roofed log buildings near frozen Lake Magog.

The kitchen and dining room are in the original steeply pitched one-story log building. An adjoining building contains a first-floor living room and six second-floor rooms. On a bluff above the lake, six single-room log cabins sleep two to six. Dinners are served family style. Round-trip helicopter flights are $135.


Local Contact(s):  MAPP (250) 422-4200; BC Visitors (800) 435-5622; Canadian Tourism (800) 577-2266; Cross-Country BC Assoc. (604) 545-9600; Avalanche Info (604) 290-9333

Recommended Book:  "Basic Cross-Country Skiing" from J Scott McGee

Best Season:  Feb. - Apr.

Average Difficulty:  Mixed

Base Camp:  Assiniboine Lodge (403) 678-2883

Luxury Loding:  Mount Engadine Lodge at Mount Shark base (403) 678-4080

Date Published:  

Date Updated:  8/12/2016


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For cross country skiing the Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park in British Columbia, our printable trail guides offers trail descriptions, maps, lodging suggestions, driving directions, levels of difficulty and points-of-contact.