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(the way they used phone books in the good old days!)
ACCESS > see Access / Location

ACTIVITIES > see Activities

ADDRESS > our mailing address is Aurum Lodge, PO Box 76, Nordegg, AB, T0M 2H0, Canada
> municipal / street address is 374021 Hwy 11 at Cline River.

AIRPORTS > nearest international airports are in Calgary and Edmonton, each is about 350km / 4 hour drive.

ALCOHOLic Beverages > We are not licensed to sell alcohol, but you are welcome to bring your own. If you are a guest in the lodge and booked for dinner, we offer a complimentary glass of wine or beer with our evening meals.

APARTMENT > see Vacation Rentals

ALLERGIES > our indoor and outdoor environments are relatively allergen free. If you do suffer from allergies we do suggest you bring medication along, inquire and let us know ahead of time.

BANKS > nearest bank branches are in Rocky Mountain House. ATM’s can be found in Nordegg and Lake Louise

BARRIERFREE access > our groundfloor corner room in the lodge is wheelchair accessible but there is no roll-in shower, so please inquire. See Lodge Rooms.

BEARS > we are in bear country and you may encounter bears from late April to early October, but primarily in May and June. Keep your eyes open when on the trails. As long as you allow them sufficient space and take the necessary precautions, they are rarely ever a problem (more people are attached by elk than by bears…!). If you are concerned, do ask. See All Seasons

BIRDS > birdlife may not be as plentiful as in some other regions. However, the avid birder can expect to encounter two to three dozen species over a period of a few days when in this area.
There are of course great seasonal variations and the best time is spring and fall migration.
See All Seasons.

BOATING > Abraham Lake is not considered a safe lake for boating or swimming. Cold water, unstable shore lines, high wave action and driftwood require caution and experience. Every year it seems, people have to be rescued from the lake...
Smaller lakes near Nordegg (Goldeye and Fish Lake) are more suitable for (non-motorised) craft. Canoeing / kayaking on the North Saskatchewan River is also more for the experienced adventurers, as there can be great fluctuations in water levels, log jams, eddies, etc. to deal with.
BUBBLES in the ice > Abraham Lake is a reservoir, created in 1972 by the Bighorn Dam.
Fluctuation in water levels and rotting vegetation cause methane bubbles to rise up from the bottom throughout the year. In some locations, these make for amazing patterns in the ice when the lake is frozen and bubbles are trapped at different depth within the ice. Timing varies but generally a good time is from mid December to end of February. Ice conditions often change though and it is NOT recommended to go on the ice unless quality and safety can be assessed with certainty. A local company, Pursuit Adventures, will offer guided tours for those unfamiliar with ice safety. 

BUGS > our location, lack of stagnant water bodies, cooler temperatures and wind mean mosquitos, black flies or horse flies are in short supply near the lodge. You will find areas in the region though (around Nordegg or certain trails in the National Parks), where some form of prevention will go a long way to enjoy your day. Wasps are rare. Wild bees generally solitary and quite docile. Ticks are reasonably common in grassy areas in spring / early summer, but tick borne diseases are rare.

CAMPING > we do not offer facilities for camping or RV’s on our property. There is a serviced campground nearby at the David Thompson resort and some provincial recreation areas (Thompson Creek, Two o-clock Creek, Crescent Falls)

CANCELLATIONS > terms are outlined in your reservation confirmation and can vary. We ask that you advise us right away if you need to cancel or change your reservation. Normally, there is a minimum C$ 35 cancellation charge if cancellation made with more than three weeks notice. At shorter notice we charge 50% for every night which cannot be resold.
We recommend taking out trip cancellation insurance, if guests book well in advance.

CANOEING > see boating above

CAR RENTALS > available at the airports, in Banff and Jasper.

CHECK-IN / CHECK-OUT > generally from 3:30 to 9pm and 10:30 am

CHILDREN > the lodge is more adult oriented and not “child-proofed” and all rooms are designed for double occupancy. Our only family unit is the two bedroom loft apartment. Feel free to inquire though.

CLIMATE > see All Seasons

CLOTHING > bring comfortable outdoor clothing which you can layer. Good boots, wind / waterproof outer shell, UV protection. Our elevation and location in the mountains often make it a little cooler that what one might expect. For hiking above treeline you may need a cap / tuque, light gloves and a fleece jacket even in the summer (especially when going on the glacier walk).

COMMUNICATIONS > Aurum Lodge is about disconnecting!  There are no phones in the guest rooms / vacation rentals and there is no cell phone coverage near the lodge (only available 3 or 8km down the road, but not between here and Lake Louise or Jasper, except at the Icefields Center). Limited WiFi is available at the lodge. If you need to be connected 24/7 or you have to work online, unfortunately, our facility may not be for you.

CONSERVATION > as an eco-tourism lodge we make an effort to reduce our impact on the area and environment in general as much as we can. We do ask our guests to help us in doing so, by conserving water / power / energy, staying on designated trails, not damaging vegetation, avoiding motorised recreational pursuits.

COTTAGE > see Vacation Rentals

CREDIT CARDS > we accept all major credit cards, Interac, cash and traveller cheques

DANGERS > we are located in a natural area and when going out, guests must realise that this is NOT a city park. There is no cellphone coverage to call for help in much of the region and help can be a long way away.
Inform yourself, plan ahead, make sure you are properly equipped and that you do not attempt outings or activities which are beyond your level of fitness or expertise.  Know your first aid, how not to get lost and how to secure help, if needed.  Inform someone of where you are going and your expected return.
Whereas visitors are often concerned about wildlife, your major risk are mostly slipping and falling, drowning, weather related incl. hypothermia, avalanches and other natural occurrences.   If at all concerned, we encourage our guests to ask.

DINNER > we offer evening meals by advance booking only for guests who stay in the lodge rooms, since these rooms do not have food storage or preparation amenities. Do give us three days notice, as we can only go grocery shopping twice weekly. Dinner time is 6:30 pm Cost is C$35 plus GST per person and our set-evening meals (usually buffet style) include main course, salad, dessert and all beverages.

DISCOUNTS > the only discounts we offer are on longer stays, i.e. 15% on four to six night stays, 25% for a week or longer.

DOGS > a resident dog lives in the lodge but lodge rooms are essentially pet free. We do welcome dogs (sorry, no other pets) in our vacation rental units, with the usual conditions and a maximum number of two per unit. There is a small charge of C$ 20 per dog / per stay.

DRIVING in Alberta > American visitors should have no problems with traffic rules and signage. Overseas visitors are advised to read up on some of the major differences compared to their country of residence. Road markings, traffic signs, traffic lights, right of way (four way stops), stopping for school buses, school / playground zones, construction areas are likely very different from home. Speed limits are generally posted wherever they change, and remember the maximum speed in the National Parks is 90km or less.
Service stations can be far apart in the mountains, especially in winter.

DRONES > we do not allow the use of drones on our property. They are also not allowed in National or Provincial Parks or protected areas such as Kootenay Plains. Use on public lands is generally allowed but we recommend informing yourself as to any regulations / restrictions as these may change and permits may be required.

ENVIRONMENTAL Policy > see above under CONSERVATION

FIREPLACES > our vacation rental units are equipped with air tight wood stoves in addition to central heating.

FISHING > is popular in the area. You will need a provincial and / or National Park license and there are differing regulations on the timing and locations, number and type of species you are allowed to keep, permitted type of bait or lures, etc..  Fly fishing in most rivers usually does not open until mid July. Ice fishing is possible on Abraham Lake in winter, providing you have the necessary equipment.  Fishing regulations can be obtained at visitor centers and some outdoor equipment stores, where you should also be able to obtain the relevant licenses.

Flora / Flowers > see All Seasons

Food > There are no grocery stores and few restaurants in the area (none in the winter season).
Vacation rental guests should bring all groceries along and plan their meals. Lodge guests have breakfast included with their rooms and can book the optional evening meals ahead of time. We do not offer lunches though, so bring some snacks or picnic when heading out on the trails.
The only year round restaurant can be found in Nordegg, with seasonal options at the Miners Café in Nordegg, at the David Thompson motel / campground nearby or at Saskatchewan River Crossing.

FOREST FIRES > from spring to fall in warm / dry weather fires are always a possibility and some can be severe. About half are natural (lightning strikes), whereas the other half are human caused (camp fires, cigarettes, etc.). Visitors are encouraged to be extra careful in this regard and also to inform themselves about any fire bans which might be in place at certain times.
There is a fire lookout across the lake from Aurum Lodge and provincial fire fighting crews are always on standby in the fire season. To report forest fires, call 310-FIRE (3473).

FUEL / GASOLINE > It is always a good idea to top up your fuel tank before heading to this area or into the National Parks. The closest year-round gas stations are around Nordegg, Lake Louise and Jasper. In summer you can fuel up at the motel/campground nearby and at Saskatchewan River Crossing.

GIFT CERTIFICATES > if you know someone who loves nature and would like to stay in the area, we can provide a variety of gift vouchers, so feel free to inquire

GROUP bookings > Our facility is more geared towards individual travellers and couples. Outside of the busy season, we can accommodate small groups (max 10 guests) only. However, we no longer host social functions such as weddings, family re-unions, etc. or any group events in the busy season.

HEALTH > the nearest drug stores / doctor / hospital are in Rocky Mountain House, a 136km drive. Make sure you bring all your medications along. If you have any concerns, do let us know at the time of booking, so we can discuss. Our elevation at 4500 feet is generally unproblematic, however when venturing into the parks, some mountain passes and hikes are above 6500 feet, so elevation may affect some visitors there. See also ALLERGIES above.

HIKING > we are in hiking country and there are many options, some year-round and ranging from easy walks to full day hikes or overnight treks and more challenging scrambles. We have some guide books available and can always make suggestions for your daily activities based on weather, trail conditions, personal interests or energy levels… Unfortunately, there are no trails which are wheelchair accessible.

HORSES > we recommend the trail riding operation nearby (McKenzie’s Trails West) which are open in the summer season. Unfortunately however, we do not have the facilities for boarding horses at the lodge.

HOSPITAL > see HEALTH above

HOT-TUBs > sorry, we do not offer this amenity for environmental reasons.

ICE-CLIMBING > Bighorn country and adjacent National Parks are popular with ice-climbers from all over the world. For novices, the Center for Outdoor Education (COE) near Nordegg offers guided climbs and training (also for rock-climbing, mountaineering, etc.).

INTERNET > Satellite internet is slow with limited bandwidth. We provide WiFi for guests in the lodge. It does not reach into the vacation rental units but signal can be picked up in the parking and picnic area. To conserve bandwidth and reduce EMS, the service is turned off at night.

KITCHENETTES > our vacation rental units are equipped with full kitchens. Lodge rooms do not include cooking or food storage amenities though.

LAKES > Aurum Lodge is a five minute stroll from Abraham Lake, Alberta’s longest man made lake formed in 1972 by the Bighorn Dam on the North Saskatchewan River. It is best known for its amazing turquoise colour in late summer / fall and the frozen methane bubbles in the ice in winter.
See also BOATING above. Smaller lakes in the area include Goldeye and Fish Lakes near Nordegg and many picturesque mountain lakes between Saksatchewan River Crossing and Lake Louise.

LAUNDRY > unfortunately we cannot offer laundry facilities at the lodge as energy resources are limited. There are laundromats at the David Thompson resort nearby in the summer as well as in Nordegg, at the two gas stations.

LUNCH > you will want to bring your own. See also FOOD above

MAPS > good maps for the region are rare. We have copies of the Bighorn access map for free at the lodge (covering the area outside of the National Parks, but not very detailed). Short of obtaining topographic maps, your best options are a variety of maps produced by GEM TREK and National Geographic which can be obtained in most souvenir stores. See also TRAILS and guidebooks further down.

MEALS > see FOOD above

MEDICAL services > see HEALTH above

MEETINGS > a meeting room is available but we can only host very small groups. See GROUP bookings above. Please inquire.

NATIONAL PARKS > we are a 25 minute drive from Banff National Park. Park visitors require a National Park pass, which is valid for all the mountain parks and available for one day up to one year. You can obtain a parks pass at most National Park entrances, visitor centers, online and through the Alberta Motor Association.

Northern Lights > rare but not impossible at our location. The next peak of solar flare activity will be towards 2025. See All Seasons.

PAYMENT > see CREDIT CARDS above

PETS > see DOGS above

PHOTOGRAPHY > there is no shortage of subjects. Bring ample storage and batteries / chargers.

POSTAL SERVICE > Nordegg (limited days and hours), Rocky Mountain House, Lake Louise and Jasper.

PRICES > see Rates and Policies

PUBLIC TRANSPORT > there is no public transportation into this area. Shuttle services from the airports to Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper towns are available with very limited service between Lake Louise and Jasper. To get around you will need a private / rental vehicle unless you go on a guided group tour.

RAIN > there used to be somewhat of a rainier season (May / June) but precipitation patterns have changed much over the years and become increasingly hard to predict. Fortunately, extended spells of heavy rain are very infrequent and weather can change often (even in the course of one day). The Kootenay Plains area, which includes our location, tends to be noticeably dryer than around Nordegg or in the National Park. It’s always good to bring a rain jacket along though, if only for the wind or as an extra layer when temperatures drop.

RATES > see Rates and Policies

RESERVATIONS > call us (if local) or use the online RESERVATION FORM. Once we know your dates and preferred units, we will let you know what is available. We do request a reservation deposit on Credit Card over the phone rather than on-line, but that always makes for a good opportunity to answer any questions you may have. Best time to reach us on the phone is usually between 6 pm and 9 pm Mountain time (see TIME below).

RESTAURANTS > see FOOD above

RISKS > see DANGERS above

ROAD CONTITIONS > can be checked at 511Alberta. Summer roads are generally easy but it means construction season and there may be closures / obstructions after severe weather events. In Winter, Hwy 11 is mostly well maintained, while the Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93) is mostly snow and ice covered and may be closed occasionally during or after heavy snowfalls (always allow extra time in winter and look at alternative routes). The forestry trunk road (#40/734) is a winding gravel road which is often in poor shape, with some sections closed in winter. It should only be attempted in good weather with reasonable ground clearance and rental car contracts often do not allow for taking roads like this.

SHOPPING > sorry, wrong place! There are convenience or souvenir stores in Nordegg, at the motel nearby and at Saskatchewan River Crossing, but we recommend stocking up on essential gear and groceries in Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper or Rocky Mountain House. Feel free to inquire.

SKIING > the terrain around the lodge is more suitable for snow shoeing and even then we do not always have sufficient snow on the ground in winter. There are no groomed X-country ski trails, so you need to break your own trails. Nearest downhill skiing can be found in Lake Louise and Jasper (1.5 or 2.5 hour drive one way!). Backcountry skiiers mostly venture out in the Bow Pass area, closer to tree line (about 1 hour drive from the lodge). Always check avalanche reports ahead of time when heading into the Parks.

SMOKING > all our buildings are smoke free indoors. Outside is fine with the usual precautions.

SNAKES > sorry (or hurray), no snakes can be found in this area.

SNOW > you may experience a very rare snowfall even in the summer months and more likely at high elevations. However, lasting snow can occur between October and mid May and often more towards the end of winter (March or so). Snow on the ground near the lodge can range from zero to 50cm (20”) with a little more in the Nordegg area and easily three times as much in parts of Banff Park along the Icefields Parkway. Hiking trails above treeline often still have some snow covered sections until the end of June. See All Seasons.

TAXES > 5% GST on all products or services plus 4% Provincial Tourism Levy on accommodation portion of your stay.

TELEPHONE > see COMMUNICATION above

TIME > Alberta and the BC Rockies are on Mountain Time, i.e. 1 hour ahead of Pacific time in Vancouver, 2 hours behind Eastern time (Toronto, New York), and usually 7 hours behind GMT or 8 hours behind Central European Time.

TOURIST INFORMATION > provincial visitor centers can be found in Hinton, Golden and Canmore, regional tourist information offices in Rocky Mountain House, Jasper and Banff.
We are always happy too to provide our guests with information / advice regarding their stay with us, how to get here and where to go. However, we are not an information center and do not have the resources to offer advice to the general traveller / public including lake access, ice safety, etc.

TRAILS and guidebooks > Trail guides are available for our guests and we are happy to point you in the right direction. Note that most trails outside of the National Parks are not regularly maintained, not always marked and with fewer facilities such as outhouses, garbage bins, information kiosks or even off Hwy parking. It is important therefore to plan ahead and be prepared. A great resource for this area is “the David Thompson Highway hiking guide” by Jane Ross & Daniel Kyba, whereas a multitude of guide books are available for the National Parks. Unfortunately, there are no trails suitable for wheelchair access.

TV > Sorry no TV reception at Aurum Lodge (and our WiFi cannot be used for Netflix). We recommend to bring a good book or catch up on those magazines which always end up unread…

VEGETATION > we are in a montane eco-system similar to the Bow Valley and Jasper region. Relatively open forests, mostly coniferous with some aspen and lots of ground cover. However, a fairly dry climate and short growing season pose a challenge for many plants. Top soils are sparse and wind and water can easily erode the surface. Tread softly and keep to the trails.

WATER > We have our own excellent groundwater supply from an underground stream 80 meters (260ft) deep. There is no shortage but we still ask guests to conserve water, also because water supply and waste water treatment use a significant amount of energy.
When out hiking, it is highly recommended to take drinking water with you, rather than obtain water out of creeks, due to the presence of Giardia (which causes beaver fever).

WEATHER > see All Seasons

WEDDINGS > experience has shown that our facility and resources are not suitable for weddings and other social gatherings. Thus, we can no longer offer this service. We do have our anniversary / honeymoon suite available for newlyweds though.

WHEELCHAIR Access > our groundfloor

WILDLIFE > Wildlife populations in the Rocky Mountains have never been what coffee table books and marketing brochures make you want to believe. This is not the Serengeti and there is never any guarantee that you will see a lot of animals or a specific species on your “must see” list. You may see nothing one day and half a dozen large mammal species the next… Anyone spending a few days in the mountains and National Parks will stand a good chance though to encounter a variety of wildlife. So, keep your eyes open and watch for the occasional critter that decides to cross the road right in front of your vehicle. Keep your distance, give them space, enjoy.

WINTER > see All Seasons
Cannot find the information you need? 

+1 (403) 721-2117

info@aurumlodge.ca