Ready to be whisked to the ultimate backcountry lodge? Reachable only by helicopter (or a 17-mile hike) Assiniboine Lodge in British Columbia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site—surrounded by some of the most pristine wilderness in the world. With roots in alpine skiing, it was the first backcountry ski lodge in the Canadian Rockies, and travelers have been coming here for more than 100 years. Its iconic backdrop is majestic, pyramid-shaped Mount Assiniboine (aka North America’s Matterhorn), artfully mirrored by the turquoise glacial lake below.
Hiking trails break out in all directions and hidden benches overlook glacier-draped peaks and meadows of wildflowers. Oh yeah, and this is grizzly bear country! The lodge itself has five private rooms upstairs, with the main floor featuring a cozy lounge and plush sofas for sinking into with a cup of tea. There’s also a common dining area where guests are treated to gourmet multi-course meals. Try to nab one of the seven private cabins (pictured) looking out to Mount Assiniboine. A shower and sauna facility add creature comforts. A summer stay at Assiniboine doesn’t come easily: you’ve gotta try booking now for a spot in 2015 (or get lucky with a cancellation). The lodge is open during winter, too, where guided ski trips are pure, powdery pleasure in a snowy wonderland.
BONUS HIKE: Guided hikes of varying levels are offered during summer, or you can explore independently. On a nice day, go for The Nub, a classic, rather edgy hike to a summit with a panoramic view of the Canadian Rockies and multiple teal-shining lakes winking in your direction. It’s awesome.
Assiniboine Lodge summer 2015 rates start at $300 (Canadian) per person per night, which includes guided day hikes, all meals, and afternoon tea/snacks. Minimum two-night stay. If you helicopter in (recommended) it’s additional, with rates starting at $155 per person, each way. (We recommend helicoptering in and hiking out.) No dogs.