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Discovering Elk Island National Park Over A Long Weekend

On Friday I wrote a blog entitled Thank Heavens for Long Weekends. And I can now say that after two nights away from the routine of the house and garden plus unplugging from the computer I feel somewhat rejuvenated. If only all weekends were long weekends - perhaps that will happen in my old age. John and I took two days to explore and discover Elk Island National Park, located just 45 minutes east of Edmonton.…

The Beauty of a Visit to Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park

Calgary was the place to be this past weekend boasting temperatures in the double digits for the first time in over six months and beautiful blue skies. In fact I saw shirtless rafters floating down the river (the ice has just left) and enough picnic baskets to make Yogi Bear happy. I also discovered one of Alberta's newest provincial parks - Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park - between Calgary and Cochrane, no more than a forty minute drive from…

26 Weird, Wonderful and Useful Facts About Edmonton

Edmonton is the provincial capital of Alberta and not a place I knew much about until I started researching for this blog. I thought of it as a city with nothing but big box stores, because that's all I'd ever seen as I drove through. And I knew it was bloody cold in the winter. But now I've been to the city on numerous occasions and love what it has to offer - especially the…

Backcountry Skiing to Skoki Lodge via Boulder and Deception Passes

Backcountry skiing to Skoki Lodge via Boulder and Deception Passes can be challenging but only under whiteout conditions. Otherwise it's straightforward. I have already written about what awaits you when you finally get to Skoki Lodge - but first you're going to have to get there. In the winter that means you need to backcountry ski or snowshoe eleven kilometres in from Temple Lodge at the Lake Louise Ski Resort, accessed via a gondola ride…

10 Winter Day Trips Out of Calgary

Here are 10 ideas for winter day trips out of Calgary. There is something for everyone. Go downhill skiing. Out of Calgary you have numerous options. The closest resort to Calgary is Nakiska in Kananaskis Provincial Park. In Banff National Park you have the choice of Sunshine Ski Resort, Mount Norquay or Lake Louise. To the south, about 2.5 hours away you'll find Castle Mountain Resort in the Westcastle Valley of the Rocky Mountains, the…

Cross Country Skiing Trails in Peter Lougheed Park

Peter Lougheed Provincial Park in Kananaskis Country has an amazing set of cross country ski trails. Last weekend we finally had a day that was clear of obligations and a weather forecast that was favorable. The mountains had been calling for some time and it was time to heed that call. Our destination was Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, about 90 kilometres west of Calgary along the Kananaskis Trail. Even the drive to get there was beautiful. Before…

A Hike to Lillian Lake – A Real Singing Lake

An October hike to Lillian Lake in Kananaskis Country was a visual and surprisingly, an auditory treat. It seems that Lillian Lake in the Kananaskis area, under the perfect storm of circumstances is really a singing lake. Let me explain. We arrived at Lillian Lake about noon yesterday. The sun was shining but it was still freezing outside - probably about -5°C and Lillian Lake was covered in about two inches of ice. Initially all…

What’s Better? Lake Louise or Sunshine Village for Skiing

Last weekend I skied two of the three downhill ski resorts in Banff National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) - Lake Louise one day and Sunshine Village the next. It had been over 30 years since I'd last skied at either of them - so it felt like the first time all over again. Temperatures both days in the morning were in the -17°C range (1°F) - and that was at the base without…

Superb Snowshoeing to Mountain Lakes in Kananaskis Country

Kananaskis Country was a shock. In my mind Kananaskis Country was the poor cousin to Banff National Park but boy was I surprised. Kananaskis Country is only 90 kilometres southwest of Calgary and less than 40 kilometres south of Banff as the crow flies. It turns out you get the same great mountain scenery that Banff offers - except you don't need a parks pass. I'd expected lower level mountains with pleasant but not stunning…

A Visit to the Banff Springs Hotel: A Rocky Mountain Classic

If you ever wanted to play hide and go seek then the Banff Springs Hotel is the place to do it. You just might never be found. We weren't trying to get lost last weekend but the labyrinth of corridors, nooks and crannies in this stately old hotel means that the odds are against being discovered. Just finding our room was an adventure. About the Banff Springs Hotel The Banff Springs Hotel has a longer history…

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