The hike to Skoki Lodge in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada is one that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, six years in fact! I was lucky enough to do the hike at the start of October, twice in fact. The first attempt I made it to Deception Pass and back – it had snowed so we were late up at Deception Pass, as we were doing it as a day hike it made sense to turn back at this point.The view towards Skoki from Deception Pass (10/02/2014)
A week later the snow had cleared and the weather was perfect, not too hot, not too cold. Most importantly we had a really early start! The first part of the hike from the trail head parking lot up to the Larch Area of the Lake Louise Ski Area is mostly in the trees. Once you’re past this section the are opens up and the views are amazing.
Getting to the Halfway Hut is an ideal snack point, and it’s great to have a look around the little cabin. It’s signposted on the right hand side of the trail.Halfway Hut – the ideal snack stop!
After having a good break at Halfway Hut, we made our way up through Boulder Pass and then by Ptarmigan Lake. Instead of taking the more frequently used Deception Pass (which we’d hiked up the previous week), we took the route up Packer’s Pass. This gave us great views over Ptarmigan Lake and Lakes Zigadenus and Myosotis.Lake Zigadenus from Packer’s Pass
From Packer’s Pass it’s mostly downhill to Skoki Lodge, walking past Lakes Zigadenus and Myosotis.Lake Myosotis
After Lake Myosotis we followed the trail through a gap in the cliff band (some careful research of the trail beforehand is useful), to the valley floor. This section travels through an open meadow-like area and then back into the woods, which we travelled through until we reached the signposts pointing to Skoki Lodge.
I’d been so excited to finally see Skoki Lodge after waiting six years to go there. It was amazing to cross the creek and see the lodge in the woods. We stopped and had lunch on some rocks by the creek, and then went to have a look at the lodge.Glimpsing Skoki through the forest
The lodge is such as fascinating building and I am certain I will go back and stay there overnight sometime soon. It has such an important part in the history of skiing in the Canadian Rockies.Skoki Lodge Interior
We didn’t spend too long at the lodge – although I didn’t really want to leave! So we made our way back out to Lake Louise. This time we took Deception Pass and made pretty quick progress. Again there were brilliant views, the scenery is really just incredible.Ptarmigan Lake from Deception Pass
We made a few stops on the way back from Deception Pass to take photos and have a few snacks, but didn’t stop as much as we had on the way to the lodge. It’s nice to admire the view of Mt Temple hiking back down before you get back into the trees of the road to the parking lot.The view of Mt Temple on the way back down
It was a long day hike and I really enjoyed it. I am so happy to have finally been to Skoki Lodge after six years of waiting, I can’t wait to go back. The route out through Packer’s Pass is great but I’d recommend getting some good knowledge of the trail beforehand – another option could be to hike to Skoki Lodge over Deception Pass as it still has fantastic views.
© RockiesOutdoors 2014