The Overlander Mountain Lodge sits just two minutes drive from the east entrance gates of Jasper National Park. It’s the perfect base from which to explore one of Canada’s most spectacular natural areas.
But this convenient location is only the first of many reasons to stay at the Overlander, near Hinton, Alberta.
With an unbeatable combination of incredible natural beauty, exceptionally comfortable accommodation, top notch service and gourmet dining, the lodge is a destination in its own right.
Read on to discover more about the Overlander Mountain Lodge, the Charming Inns of Alberta, and why you should be planning a trip to the Overlander ASAP!
This post is in partnership with Charming Inns & Small Hotels of Alberta. We were invited to spend two nights at Overlander Mountain Lodge in August 2021. All opinions are our own.
Introducing the Overlander Mountain Lodge
Blink and you may just miss the entrance to the Overlander Mountain Lodge. The property is tucked away above Highway 16, between Jasper and Hinton, Alberta.
The curving access road quickly climbs away from the traffic to reveal a collection of cabins and chalets. The main two-storey lodge takes pride of place, flaunting heritage charm.
The Overlander is the gatehouse to the natural beauty beyond. Behind the building lies dramatic views of Roche a Perdrix (2134m) and Bedson Ridge, which are backdropped by the endless peaks of Jasper National Park.
Facing west, the sunsets are naturally spectacular, with the light disappearing behind the mountains. We were also elated to experience two extraordinary pink-tinged sunrises during our visit.
Gateway to Jasper National Park
As mentioned, the Overlander is situated unbelievably close to Jasper National Park. If you look carefully, you can even see the Parks Canada booths from the Mountain View Lodge Rooms!
The Jasper townsite is a quick 40 minute drive, with many of Jasper’s most popular attractions (Miette Hot Springs, Athabasca Sand Dunes, the SkyTram, Maligne Canyon, Pyramid Lake) can be reached within an hour or less.
Go a little further and it’s also possible to visit magnificent Maligne Lake, the Edith Cavell Trail and, of course, the Icefield Parkway.
The Overlander’s location is also exceptionally convenient for road trippers passing through the area on a longer Rockies adventure.
The Overlander’s access road is right on Highway. 16. The town of Hinton is only 20 minute (26km) drive away and is the ideal place to top up on gas and other road trip supplies.
Overlander Mountain Lodge accommodation options
The Overlander has six types of guest rooms on offer, as well as six chalet rentals. The rooms not located in the main lodge are just 30 seconds walk away.
For the best views, choose a Mountain View Lodge room or one of the heritage cabin patio rooms.
The Mountain View Lodge rooms have spacious private balconies to enjoy as well as large windows to help bring the outdoors in.
If you don’t manage to get a front row seat from your room, don’t worry. All guests can take in the stunning vistas from the Stone Peak Restaurant, Fireside Lounge and other shared Lodge spaces.
The Overlander Mountain Lodge was built in 1963 and have been telephone and television free ever since. Time to disconnect and reconnect with nature instead! There is wi-fi in the lodge if you need it.
Older buildings sometimes have issues with soundproofing but I can happily confirm that this isn’t an issue with the Overlander’s lodge rooms (the balconies do have some ambient noise from the restaurant and highway).
A stay at Overlander Mountain Lodge
Looking for the perfect place to escape with a loved one?
The Overlander is a great choice, offering a sense of solitude with the convenience of an on-site restaurant and bar, as well as a choice of cosy accommodation. It’s open almost all year round too (with an exception of a short break in January).
And, of course, beautiful views as the perfect backdrop to it all!
Things to do around the Overlander
If you feel like being a little more active, there are plenty of options for things to do in the area immediately around the lodge:
- Go hiking. With a collection of hiking trails out the Overlander Lodge’s front door, it’s possible to connect with nature within minutes. We followed Route #2 to reach a spectacular viewpoint overlooking the Lodge and across to the peaks of Jasper National Park. We also used the trail network to walk to Folding Mountain Brewery (approx 3km one-way, more details below). Keep in mind that this does require crossing Highway 16, at your own risk
- Sip local beers at Folding Mountain Brewing, just a stone’s throw from the Overlander Mountain Lodge. There’s a little something for everyone here, from easy drinking sours and lagers to the more complex dark beers (JR loved the porter). During our visit, there were as many as nine beers on top. We shared two flights on the patio
- Browse local art at the Jasper East Cabins Gallery. Conveniently in the vicinity of Folding Mountain Brewery is the East Gate Cabins Gallery, which showcases the work of local artists. You’ll find paintings of classic Jasper scenes (Maligne Lake, Edith Cavell Glacier et al) alongside artisan food products and unique souvenirs
- Hike to the summit of Folding Mountain (which you can see from the Overlander itself!) The challenging trail is 17km return, with over 1000m of elevation gain (mostly in the first 4km). The rewards include stunning views and a free beer at the brewery with a summit photo. According to reviews on AllTrails, there is a short scrambling section at the end
Dining at Overlander Mountain Lodge
The Stone Peak Restaurant is a definite highlight of any stay at the Overlander. The concise yet varied dinner menu showcases upscale cuisine made with the freshest meats and vegetables.
And it’s all served with the most spectacular views of Jasper National Park.
The mussels, salmon and beef tenderloin were our top picks from the current menu, with the latter being perfectly cooked to JR’s liking and described as ‘melt in the mouth.’ Make sure to save room for dessert.
Breakfast is also available, with four excellent options – my favourite being the open face Omelette with goats cheese.
Be sure to make a dinner reservation for the Stone Peak Restaurant, as there is limited seating. I’d suggest checking the sunset time first, so you can enjoy dramatic views while eating!
Other things to do while staying at Overlander Mountain Lodge
You can do as much or as little as you like while staying at the Overlander Mountain Lodge.
I’ve already mentioned some of the fun things you can do without straying very far from the property, but here’s a taste of what lies in nearby Jasper National Park:
- Soak in the Miette Hot Springs, the hottest (54ºC!) mineral springs in the Rockies. Usually open from mid May to mid October, Miette Hot Springs is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day on the trails! Due to a lifeguard shortage, Miette Hot Springs is unfortunately closed in 2021
- Hike the Sulphur Skyline. This is, in my opinion, the best ‘bang for buck’ hike on this side of Jasper National Park. The path climbs 700m in elevation over 4km up to a mountain top lookout with 360 degree panoramas of the surrounding peaks. It’s uphill all the way but the effort is definitely worth it. With the trailhead being located at the Miette Hot Springs, it’s also the perfect pre-soak workout! Allow 3-4 hours for the 8km return trip
- See the source of the Miette Hot Springs. It’s possible to dip your hands right into the toasty 50c water rushing straight out from the rocky cave at the end of this easy 1.2km return hike. The path also takes in the ruins of the Miette Aquacourt, which was built in 1938 and then closed in 1984
- Visit spectacular Spirit Island on Maligne Lake. One of the most photographed places in Canada, Spirit Island is surrounded by towering snow capped peaks. There are up to 18 boat departures each day. Experienced paddlers can rent a canoe or bring their own to reach Spirit Island (28km return, reservation required for camping)
Whatever you do while staying at the Overlander, make sure you keep your eyes peeled for wildlife! Elk and big horn sheep are regularly sighted in this area, often very close (or indeed, on!) the highway.
Charming Inns & Small Hotels of Alberta
The Overlander Mountain Lodge is a founding member of the Charming Inns of Alberta, a collection of 12 uniquely styled destination properties.
Independently operated, these boutique inns and small hotels (ranging from 5 to 50 guest rooms) are located in some of Alberta’s most spectacular places such as Banff National Park, Waterton Lakes and Canmore.
The owners/operators are hands on and often live on-site, so you also receive incredible personalised service and attention by locals who love where they live.
Over the last few summers, we’ve been lucky enough to visit four other Charming Inn properties:
- Mount Engadine Lodge, Kananaskis Valley
- Baker Creek Mountain Resort, Banff National Park
- A Bear & Bison Inn, Canmore
- Georgetown Inn, Canmore
Each offers the ideal opportunity for a weekend escape or romantic getaway. Alternatively, you could also visit as part of a longer Alberta road trip adventure.
For the ultimate digital detox experience, consider a stay at Mount Engadine or Baker Creek. With no TVs in the rooms and limited wi-fi, these properties offer the perfect way to unplug.
Click to discover more about the wonderful Charming Inns & Small Hotels of Alberta.
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One half of the Canadian/British couple behind Off Track Travel, Gemma is happiest when hiking on the trail or planning the next big travel adventure. JR and Gemma are currently based in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada