Lizard Creek Lodge - Adventure and Luxury - All Year Long
by Adele Wickett
Contributor to Travelink Publishing
Everybody loves the Rockies so discovering a getaway that's away from the crowds is a delight.
And to have it epitomize everything great about Canada's mountain wilderness makes it even better. Lizard Creek Lodge, near Fernie, is such a find - an eye-popping log-beamed lodge with luxurious accommodations, superb meals served beside a cozy fire and a stunning location.
Situated at the bottom of the Elk Quad chair lift - one of nine lifts that take skiers (or hikers or mountain bikers) up the Lizard Range of mountains, the lodge is located at Fernie Alpine Resort and so shares a close proximity to an amazing range of activities.
Of course, there's excellent downhill and cross-country skiing in the winter - right from the door - not to mention snowboarding, dog-sledding, snowshoeing, lugeing, snowmobiling, winter fly-fishing, and even cat-skiing. (Fernie's powder has a great reputation.)
But we visited during warmer climes and found even more things to do! Within minutes of the lodge we could golf or flyfish. Mountain bike trails of all levels thread their way around the mountains. Whitewater rafters share the thrills of the Elk River with you. We could have ridden the horses stabled just down the road, or taken a trek with a llama carrying the luggage. We opted for a scenic bicycle ride along the Elk River on an excellent path at the edge of Fernie and later, we drove up the peaceful Elk Valley and hiked to spectacular Josephine Falls. Intoxicated by the scent of alpine air, our imaginations lifted us to the Austrian Alps .... except this was truly much better!
At sunset the mysterious shadow of a "ghostrider" appears on a rocky mountain face near Fernie - our cue to head back for the pleasures of Lizard Creek Lodge. After a plunge in the lodge's all-season pool, the hot tub was a perfect way to relax after an active day. Massage, aromatherapy and other services are available at the pampering spa and the lodge's state-of-the-art health club features all the best cardio and weight-lifting equipment.
By this time, we were feeling very much at home at the Lodge. The staff are exceptionally friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. Everyone had time to talk and exuded a passion for their work, always attentive and caring for the comfort of guests. Award-winning chef Gary Dayanandan produces an amazing variety of culinary specialties such as the smoked salmon-and-caviar appetizer we enjoyed before dinner, followed by baby game hen in a "truffle-infused chicken broth", and a cherry clafoutis with kirsch. The presentation was a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.
As for Lizard Creek accommodations, all are condo-style units with beautifully-equipped kitchens, gas fireplaces, and balconies. They range from an intimate studio to a family-oriented two-bedroom with loft with a living room couch that pulls out into an extra double bed.
Summing up the Lizard Creek experience, Josephine Wasch, the marketing director, says it best, "Our forte is the fact that you can have all the adventure and all the luxury and relaxation you want, and never have to go very far!" We couldn't have agreed more although we would add something more.
Getting to Lizard Creek Lodge is half the fun. It's an ideal stop if you're exploring the great circle route through the southern Rockies: From Calgary, head south to Waterton/Glacier National Parks which are lovely beyond words, before travelling through the Crow's Nest Pass towards Fernie in B.C. Don't miss historical Fort Steele, the restored frontier town near Cranbrook. Continue on beside the Kootenay and Thompson rivers to the ever-popular hot springs in Fairmont and Radium. A little further north, and you'll join the Trans Canada Highway to complete your circle through Yoho and Banff parks.
If You Go:
Lizard Creek Lodge
5346 Highline Drive,
Fernie Alpine Resort,
Fernie B.C., Canada
Toll Free: 1-877-228-1948
Phone: (250) 423-2057
Fax: (250) 423-2058
The Crow's Nest Highway (#3) winds through southern B.C., passing close to Lizard Creek Lodge just south of Fernie. Turn at the sign for Fernie Alpine Resort, then right on Highline Drive.
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