Compiled by the Road Trip Alberta team
Last Updated on January 11, 2023
With 660,000+ square km of rugged land around us, we’re a province rich in gorgeous sights and ways to enjoy them. And when the time comes to get away from it all, to take a brief reprieve from the world’s chaos, you, my friend, are spoiled for choice. So we suggest you indulge in some new scenery by road-tripping to a retreat at one of the coolest cabins in Alberta.
No matter where you go in the province – from the cold, quiet woods of the north to the looming mountains in Banff and Jasper, all the way to the vast skies and prairie lights in the south – the cabins in Alberta will always connect you with nature. With so many options, each amazing in its own right, the most challenging part will be deciding where you should go.
So, let’s help you out with that.
Cabins in Alberta: The Rocky Mountains
HI Rampart Creek Hostel (Saskatchewan River Crossing)
Are you looking for ‘rustic’ with a capital ‘R’? The HI Rampart Creek Hostel is your place – as long as you don’t mind bunk beds. Featuring a complete lack of both electricity and – gasp! – wifi, this hostel is the perfect ‘back-to-basics’ getaway from the modern world. Located just north of Saskatchewan River Crossing, it’s smack dab in between Jasper and Banff on the Icefields Parkway, right in the heart of the mountains where you belong.
The Gingerbread Cabin (Jasper)
This ‘Gingerbread’ Cabin may not be made of its namesake, but we think it’s just as sweet. Situated on the border of Jasper National Park, this log cabin sits on half an acre of forest within sight of the park. That gives you plenty to see and do, with Jasper townsite only a half-hour away, Miette Hot Springs just kilometres away, and mountains and lakes for miles. But that’s if you can tear yourself away from this cabin’s comfy embrace, including a classic log interior, plenty of room to cook, and of course, a crackling fire!
Tekarra Lodge (Jasper)
Tucked into the heart of Jasper National Park, you’re surrounded by tall pines and babbling brooks as you snuggle in close at Tekarra Lodge. A particular favourite for couples, Tekarra features stone fireplaces and balconies in each cabin.
For some fresh air, there are hiking and walking trails nearby, as well as the town of Jasper which is just 2km away. For a longer trek, visit Marmot Basin, a half-hour drive away, then head back to Tekarra Restaurant for some globally-inspired cuisine you can sink your teeth into.
Pocanhontas Cabins (Jasper)
The Pocahontas Cabins will have you in awe of the surrounding mountain peaks and crisp Rocky Mountain air right outside your door in Jasper National Park. The cabins are available year-round and are located 30 minutes from the Jasper townsite. They are the perfect choice for family vacations or romantic getaways. These cozy cabins have kitchens, and some also have an extra bedroom and balcony.
Johnston Canyon Lodge and Bungalows (Banff)
Surrounded by nature in Banff National Park and operating since 1926, Johnston Canyon Lodge & Bungalows are family owned and located at the trailhead of the beautiful Johnston Canyon. There are 42 heritage bungalow/cabin accommodations with a number of sizes and amenities offered. If you don’t bring your own food to the cabins, there is a market/cafe and a restaurant bistro in the lodge.
Baker Creek Mountain Resort (Lake Louise)
Panoramic mountain views coupled with a crackling fire await you at Baker Creek Mountain Resort – and you don’t get much more Canadian than that! With various cabins, from Loft to Heritage Trapper, you can choose the floor plan that best meets your needs and family and cabin vacation style. Once you’re ‘cozied in,’ there’s plenty to do, from outdoor adventures to the delicious, on-site bistro.
Cabins in Alberta: South
Caboose Cabins (Mossleigh)
Nestled amidst trees at Aspen Crossing just outside Mossleigh sits a charming attraction maintaining strong ‘ties’ to history – The Caboose Cabins. Choose to stay at several iconic CPR cabooses (cabeece?) that suit your personality. And just because it’s got a historic feel doesn’t mean it’s short on amenities, either. With your own private deck and luxury design, you’ll feel like a veritable tycoon! You can bring your trusty side-kick pup for an extra $50.
Mountain Haven Lodge and Cabins (Mountain View)
Mountain Haven Cabins are located in Mountain View, just 15 minutes from Waterton Lakes National Park. It’s a perfect spot for a base to explore Waterton or just unplug and relax for a few days (we’ve done both!). There are three cabins to choose from that are ideal for couples or families. The cabins can sleep up to 6 people and are equipped with a full kitchen and BBQ grill outside. The view from the back door is mesmerizing, with incredible views of the rolling hills and Rocky Mountains in the distance.
Prairie Rose Cottage (Fort Macleod)
Only ten minutes south of Fort Macleod lies the Prairie Rose Cottage, and it’s a fantastic spot to catch a prairie sunset. This charming “little cottage on the prairie” is fully equipped with a queen-sized bed, a fully stocked kitchen, a patio with a bbq, bicycles for guests to use, and a fire pit to sit around in the evening. It’s also a great spot to stay if you want to explore many surrounding attractions, including Waterton Lakes National Park, Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, or Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.
Enchanted River Cottage (Drumheller)
Cottage or cabin – they both mean cozy in our books. At the Enchanted River Cottage, you’re immersed in tons of rustic, old-world charm. With a lazy river, water features and hearth worthy of the word, this cottage is the perfect place to kick up your tootsies and melt into the furniture. And if the view isn’t enough, you can visit Drumheller’s giant dinosaur just metres away or check out some hoodoo hiking a short drive away. If you’re extra distinguished (old chap!), then head to the Royal Tyrrell Museum for a laid-back perusal.
Stardust Inn and Chalets (Pincher Creek)
On the more modern side of things, the Stardust Inn and Chalets offer all the amenities of home on the doorstep of the southern Rockies. Nestled nearly equidistant from Frank Slide Interpretive Centre, Waterton National Park and Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo Jump, there’s plenty of hiking, learning and exploring available within about a half-hour drive. If you prefer to relax with a club in your hand, Pincher Creek Golf Club is just 3 km away.
Midsummer Cottage (Crowsnest Pass)
In the heart of Crowsnest Pass and minutes away from the PowderPass Ski Resort is the Midsummer Cottage, a creation by Charmed Family Resorts. One of the most magical cabins in Alberta is inspired by Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Rumour has it that if visitors pay close attention, they will find themselves amongst flying fairies. The cottage comfortably sleeps 6 (220 square feet) and is perfect for a family getaway. Inside are two queen beds, two single bunk beds and a willow tree fireplace to keep you warm and cozy on cool Alberta nights.
Outside there’s a cooking area with a grill, a fire pit, a hot tub and a full bathroom (sink, shower, toilet). There are currently five cottages to rent – Elvyn’s Cottage, Lia’s Cottage, Rapunzel’s Cottage, and Rumpelstiltskin’s Cottage are the others.
Cabins in Alberta: Central
The Burrow (Three Hills)
Fans of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit rejoice! Now open and welcoming guests is The Burrow. The Hobbiton-like cottage is snuggly nestled into the hillside and offers guests a relaxing Alberta prairies experience. This cute cottage is open year-round, is equipped with all the amenities and can accommodate up to 6 guests (4 adults). There’s a full kitchen, so guests can bring their own food to prepare. Inside is a comfy living room with a stone fireplace and a private cedar hot tub outdoors. The Burrow is a perfect retreat for those looking to get away from the city and one of our favourite cabins in Alberta.
Shanti Yurt (Bragg Creek)
The Shanti Yurt in Bragg Creek is open year-round, and we love this unique, romantic place to stay. It’s glamping to the max! This gorgeous Bohemian-decorated yurt is on a 2.5-acre lot with plenty of surrounding nature and forest. The yurt is equipped with many modern amenities, including the COMFIEST bed. And best of all, there is a private hot tub to soak and look up at the stars. In addition, the yurt is designed to stay cool in the summer and has a powerful wood stove to keep guests warm on those cold winter nights. So leave the city behind and find your zen at the Shanti Yurt.
Boreal Forest Geodome (Wetaskawin)
Staying at the Boreal Forest Geodome allows guests to unwind in nature. The domes are an authentic glamping experience in one of the quietest settings and can sleep up to 4 people. The domes are incredibly comfortable with a queen bed, a sofa bed, a chair swing, a propane fireplace and a compostable toilet (located outside). At night, the dome has a star constellation projector lamp to shine on the dome’s wall for ambiance. What we love most is that included with the stay is a shared Nordic wood-fired sauna. So be prepared to relax and have your stress melt away here.
Fox Lake Retreat (Hanna)
Are you looking for that charming ‘lake side’ of life? The Fox Lake Retreat, right outside of Hanna, boasts beautiful lake views from your own private patio, along with a requisite BBQ. Unwind your hours away fishing, canoeing, hiking, or just sitting around the fire enjoying the serenity. If it gets a bit too quiet for your liking, The Fox Lake Park and Playground is a quick walk away, or for restaurants and a golf course, you can take a short drive into town.
Cabins in Alberta: North
Pine Lake Cabin Rentals (Wood Buffalo National Park)
Parks Canada manages the two off-the-grid Pine Lake Cabin Rentals in Wood Buffalo National Park. These are two of the most remote cabins in Alberta since Wood Buffalo is the most northernly national park in Alberta. Plus, it’s one of Alberta’s best spots to see the northern lights. But guests need to be prepared before staying here. Being off the grid means the cabins have no electricity, cell service, wifi, or potable water here.
The cabins are very basic and are available from May thru September. They are equipped with a double bed and a bunk bed in separate rooms, a table with four chairs, a couch and armchair, a wood stove, firewood, an axe, propane-powered two-burner camp stove, pots and pans, dishes, utensils, cutlery, and a dishpan and soap, and battery-operated lamps. Guests must bring their own food, cooler and water, sleeping supplies (blankets, sheets, pillows), dishcloths, flashlights and bug spray (mosquitos can be bad at night). The complete list of supplies is on the Parks Canada website.
Elk Island Retreat (Elk Island)
Forty-five minutes east of Edmonton is the Elk Island Retreat. There are a variety of cool accommodations here, including yurts, cabins and domes for guests to stay in from March – November. There are two different yurts that can sleep up to four guests. There are three different cabins – Patty’s Porch and Frog Hair Lodge each sleep five guests (bring your own bedding), and the Wood’s Cabin sleeps two and is fully equipped. And, the most unique accommodations are the geo-domes. The domes sleep up to 2 people each and have an open-face window wall to perhaps see the northern lights. To make the stay even more special, guests can order the Bits & Bites Charcuterie Board – a locally sourced board including cheese, cured meat, crudites and fruit that comes with a bottle of wine.
And it’s a gorgeous little spot in the province. Elk Island National Park is next door, where guests can go canoeing, kayaking, hiking and see various wildlife. Plus, there are several walking trails throughout the resort for the guests to enjoy.
Peace River Cabins and Outdoors (Peace River)
From full-service cabins to something a little more ‘rustic,’ these Peace River Cabins give you options. Placing you right there on the banks of the mighty Peace River and out of the reach of all that city stress, these small cabins are the perfect cure for too much hustle and/or bustle. So hang out by the fire, or launch your boat and explore the river – your options for relaxing are endless.
Gone Fish Inn (Alberta Beach)
Just 35 minutes west of Edmonton, the Gone Fish Inn offers the whole rustic experience of a cabin without the long drive to the mountains. Fixed on the shores of beautiful Lac Ste. Anne, these cabins in Alberta boast almost half a kilometre of private lakefront property for you to enjoy. From fishing to water skiing, to just embracing that serene lake life, the Gone Fish Inn has just about everything you could want from your cabin retreat!
Christina Lake Lodge (Conklin)
Love to fish? Christina Lake Lodge is your spot to cast! Get up early, rent a boat and glide across that crystal clear water – then head back to your cabin for a freshly barbecued meal (fresh fish, or like us unlucky fishermen, a hot meal from the A La Carte menu on-site). That’s what (cabin) life’s all about, right? Simple. Living. Of course, when you get back to the cabin, all the modern amenities (wifi, bathroom, electricity, heat, television) are waiting to keep you snug.
Wondering about how to get from A to B? We’ve got an extensive list of Alberta route guides that not only outline the quickest routes, but also gives options of alternate (more fun!) routes.
And don’t forget to download our FREE Road Trip Alberta bingo cards to make any journey more fun!
Pete is a co-founder of Road Trip Alberta. Growing up in Edmonton he has an extensive knowledge of Alberta and everything the province has to offer. He loves to eat good food, hike (especially in the winter), play tennis and curl. Apart from running Road Trip Alberta, he is a director with HMI, a digital media agency, half of the Hecktic Travels duo, and a co-creator of the popular card game Trip Chaser.