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Hiking a Loop Trail in the Skoki Area, Banff National Park

Last week I wrote about my backpacking trip up to stunning Baker Lake in the Skoki area. But what I didn't mention is the beautiful loop hike that you can do starting and ending at the Baker Lake Campground. It's worth spending two nights at the campground so you can do this. Read: Backpacking to Baker Lake, Skoki Area, Banff National Park Before leaving the campground for the day we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and didn't…

Backpacking to Baker Lake, Skoki Area, Banff National Park

Last week I did a three day backpacking trip to Baker Lake in the Skoki area of Banff National Park with my brother and my 13 year old niece - neither of whom had ever backpacked. I'd chosen the trip to Baker Lake because it was rated as easy. But frankly anytime you're carrying a heavy backpack up into the mountains for four plus hours it's not easy. But it is definitely worthwhile! Our plan…

38 Fun & Interesting Facts About Calgary

Since making Calgary my permanent home I've been keen to learn some of the fun and interesting facts about this ever evolving city. Here are 38 interesting facts about Calgary I've discovered Calgary is referred to as Cowtown by some and it still has the Wild West image. The Calgary Stampede, an annual 10 day event (starting this year on Friday, July 6th) bills itself as "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth." It features the…

Banff Hikes: Castle Mountain Lookout

I have a friend in town visiting from Ontario. It's been 25+ years since she's done any Banff hikes so she's overdue for a dose of the Rocky Mountains. We debated how to get high in the Rockies especially in early June when most trails are still snow covered. We nixed the rigorous 23.4 kilometre Aylmer Lookout hike - too tough for the first real hike of the season. We thought about doing the hike…

A Stop at The Columbia Icefield on the Icefields Parkway

Over Easter weekend John and I drove the Icefields Parkway from Lake Louise to Jasper. I've driven it many times but always in the summer. In the winter it's a drive you should only do when the conditions are right. And even though the calendar says spring, in late March it's still very much a winter drive. We were exceedingly lucky. The roads were clear and there wasn't a snow storm in the forecast. Even…

Skiing in Kananaskis: Ribbon Creek to Skogan Pass

With another sunny weekend in the forecast it was time to do some skiing in Kananaskis Country. Our goal was to ski to Skogan Pass from the trailhead for Troll Falls. We'd almost made it to Skogan Pass a few weeks before from the Dead Man's Flat trailhead and relished another chance to actually summit the pass. We were slow to get going and didn't actually start skiing until 10:45 AM. But as this was…

Cross Country Skiing to Skogan Pass From Dead Man’s Flat

I don't think many people think about cross country skiing to Skogan Pass from Dead Man's Flat. But last weekend that's exactly what John and I set out to do. We wanted a trail that was reasonably close to home and this one fit the bill. Access is via an easy one hour drive from Calgary. The trailhead itself is just a kilometre up the road from the Dead Mans Flat exit off the Trans-Canada Highway…

Frozen Mirror Lake With The Beehive In The Back

Snowshoeing on the Lake Agnes Trail to the Teahouse

I spent a few very enjoyable hours snowshoeing by myself on the Lake Agnes Trail. I took it all the way to the Lake Agnes Teahouse above Lake Louise. I'd hiked the same trail in July. The experience was 100% different - though both were great.  In the summer the Lake Agnes trail is known for its crowds. On the day I snowshoed to Lake Agnes I met one person at the very beginning of…

Great Views From The Ridge Section Of The Trail

Snowshoeing the West Bragg Creek Trails, Alberta

The West Bragg Creek area is home to a fantastic network of hiking, biking, snowshoeing and cross-country ski trails. I only seem to visit in winter for snowshoeing and skiing when I know West Bragg Creek has had a fresh dump of snow. It's less than an hour's drive from Calgary and ideal destination for full or even half day trips, if that's all the time you have. There are two main snowshoe loops at…

The Search for Alberta’s Snowy Owls

Yesterday I spent the better part of the day searching for Alberta's snowy owls. I'd been invited to join a photography friend who has an abiding love of nature and all things related to photography. The plan was to meet in northern Calgary and head east into the prairies. It wasn't any more detailed than that.  I sure learned a lot about snowy owls. How do you find snowy owls? The snowy owl loves the prairies…

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