HI - Mosquito Creek Hostel




Hostelz.com's Review

If you want to experience a bit of the true Canadian experience, you have come to the right place at HI - Mosquito Creek Hostel. This hostel seems to attract climbers, cyclists, cross country skiers, snowshoers, photographers, and anyone looking for a rustic wilderness experience, versus the shopping malls, crowds, and nightlife of Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper. If you want nightlife or shopping, look elsewhere! Wildlife (including bears!) is plentiful in the area.


The hostel, located twenty-six kilometers north of Lake Louise, is part of the Hosteling International "Wilderness Hostels" located between Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper on the Parkfields Highway connecting the three resort towns in the Canadian Rockies. A creek runs through the hostel property.

Rooms and Bathrooms

There are two basic sleeping cabins that can accommodate twelve people each (six bunk beds in each cabin). The cabins are all coed and have comfortable mattresses. The only downside is if you are over six feet tall, you may have to curl up a bit as the bed dividers are spaced six feet apart. Linen, including towels, is provided. There are no lockers for your belongings.

There is also an additional cabin containing two private rooms (one private room on each side of a shared kitchen). Each private room sleeps four to six people. The hostel has both high season and low season rates. As a wilderness hostel, there are no showers, pit toilets (aka "poo-with-a view" or "long-drop"), and very basic amenities. If you really need that hot shower, you can drive twenty minutes and use the hot showers and bathrooms at the HI-Lake Louise for no charge.

Common Spaces

The largest cabin contains the communal kitchen and lounge area. The kitchen has a stove, fridge, and basic kitchen utensils. You also have guest privileges at the HI-Lake Louise, so you can eat at their renowned cafe. The lounge has a nice gas fireplace, and comfortable couches. The hostel is powered by propane and solar lighting. There are no phones or electricity. But incredibly, the hostel has recently obtained high speed Wi-Fi, so your laptop will work -- and it's free! There are no individual internet terminals however. There is a large parking lot for your bike or car.

The hostel, which is open year-round, has two great features. The first is a campfire pit where you are sure to get to know your fellow travelers under a starry sky and a roaring fire. The real draw, though, is sweating in a wood-fired sauna, followed by a quick cool-off in the nearby glacier-fed creek. Clothing (or lack thereof) is by mutual consent of those present and the volume and type of beverages consumed! It's a great time and a unique place to meet people (especially if they're naked!). But wearing a towel is just fine too.


We love this hostel, as did everyone we met there. Nick, the manager, is simply the nicest guy around and will greet you by name every time and make you feel totally welcome. One caution, this hostel fills up quickly in summer, and you must reserve two days in advance -- call HI Central Reservations toll-free 1-866-762-4122 to guarantee a spot as there is no direct phone at the hostel. You can also reserve a spot from the HI-Banff, Hi-Lake Louise, or HI-Jasper hostels.
by Don Wolff
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
August 2010


(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "HI - Mosquito Creek Hostel" at 20 minutes north of Lake Louise on Hwy93/Icefields Parkway on the left.)


20 minutes north of Lake Louise on Hwy93/Icefields Parkway on the left, Near Lake Louise, Banff National Park (Lake Louise), Alberta, Canada
51.630485, -116.331997
+1 (403) 670-7580
+1 (403) 283-6503
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Hostelz.com Guest Reviews

Better every time!!
I've been to Mosquito creek three times, and I love it more and more every time. It is a great and memorable experience! There are extensive snowshoeing, cross country ski, and hiking trails all around the hostel, and with the detoxifying sauna experience, there is always something new to do. Mark was an extremely helpful and cheerful manager, and our fellow occupants were friendly and interesting. I completely recommend visiting this hostel any time of year!!! One word of warning -- if you visit in the winter, be sure to have winter tires for the hwy 93 portion of the road, or you will have a white-knuckled drive up that highway!!!
  Absolutely lovely hostel! I've been here twice, and both times have been great. The location is stunning. I really enjoy the wilderness atmosphere of the hostel and the multitudes of skiers who stay there.
Amy Illingworth
  Stayed at Mosquito Creek Hostel with bunch of friends over the New Years 2006-2007. For a rustic hostel with no electricity the place is luxurious! Mark, the manager of the place, takes excellent care of the place, the dorms are perfectly clean, so are the common areas and the kitchen. Outhouses are very close, and in the winter the seats are really cold but that is to be expected. I would definitely strongly recommend this hostel to anyone who wants to stay and explore the area -- great hiking, snowshoeing, and backcountry skiing places!
HI - Mosquito Creek Wilderness Hostel is a little like camping, but with a nicer bed and a solid roof over your head. Dorm cabins have eight or more bunks. A spacious common room surrounding a fireplace is good for large groups. Propane powers everything -- there's no electricity or plumbing, but there is a fresh water supply. Did we mention the wood-fired sauna? Do not underestimate the power of the sauna, especially with the cold creek nearby! The sign on the hostel office says it all -- "Please knock, I may be naked." When you check in evenings, you may find host Mark in the sauna or cooling off in the creek (not naked). Mark is one of the most enthusiastic managers and will help you find the best hikes in the area. Everybody (guests included) doesn't just know you by name, it seems they will all be expecting you if you have a reservation -- "Oh, you must be Pete," was how all the other guests introduced themselves. A fire pit makes for a good setting for backwoods bonding if the common room doesn't suit your mood. Don't Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies lists fifteen must-do day hikes in various parks in the region. Four of the fifteen, including Helen Lake/Cirque Peak, start from trail heads very near this hostel. The hostel is also relatively close to the popular Lake Louise and Moraine Lake (pictured). Nightlife is mostly campfires and saunas after a long day of hiking -- you did come here to hike, right? For the hiking and a wilderness setting without the sleeping bag, nothing beats Mosquito Creek!
Pete Alwin

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