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Alberta’s Fabulous Table Mountain Hike

You're in for a treat if you do the fabulous Table Mountain hike in southern Alberta's Castle Provincial Park. Locals have known about the hike for years but it's only starting to come into its own now that the area has received provincial park status, more infrastructure is in place and images are starting to show up on Instagram - capturing people's imagination. What's so special about the Table Mountain hike? It's the views and…

A Visit to Southern Alberta’s Castle Provincial Park

Southern Alberta is the new home of not one but two provincial parks - Castle Provincial Park and Castle Wildland Provincial Park, the only fresh additions to the park system in over a generation. Between the two they cover 105,500 hectares, protecting a landscape of big mountains, forests, meadows and rolling hills. The land, considered sacred to local First Nations groups, safeguards watersheds and important wildlife corridors for a number of species including grizzly bears…

Kananaskis Hikes: Opal Ridge South

If you're looking for Kananaskis hikes that deliver big time on mountain views be sure to include the steep hike up Opal Ridge South. The hike is full of surprises - the good kind - especially after you get through a steep, rather nasty section of scree. The route up Opal Ridge South Start at the north end of the parking lot at the gas station across from the Fortress Mountain turn-off on Highway 40.…

Banff Hikes: The Aylmer Lookout Trail

One of the great early season Banff hikes is the Aylmer Lookout Trail with the option to add extra mileage and hike to Aylmer Pass or even up Aylmer Mountain. The trail follows Lake Minnewanka for much of its length - and after a stiff climb delivers superlative views up and down the lake. But be warned. Although it's not a hard hike, it is a long one. To Aylmer Lookout its 23.4 kilometres return;…

Hiking in Kananaskis: The Wasootch Ridge Trail

With good weather and some free time on weekends I've been chomping at the bit to go hiking in the Rocky Mountains. Although I have a hiking wish list, I know many of the peaks I want to climb this year are still snow bound. That's where Instagram comes in handy. You can often see in real time the condition of hikes you want to do - and get ideas for future ones, especially if…

125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

It took 15 months to give birth to my second book - 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta - The Best Parks, Conservation Areas and Wild Places, co-authored with my friend Debbie Olsen, who in fairness wrote a whole lot more of the book than I did. I swore after my first book I'd never write a second. It's just like babies; you forget about the sleepless nights, the lack of free time, the bleary…

Northern Lights Viewing: The Fort McMurray Experience

Fort McMurray gets a lot of press but almost never for Northern Lights - yet. While the lights have been around since time immemorial, a Northern Lights viewing experience for tourists is a newer thing - and all part of diversifying the local economy. Fort McMurray has lots going for it. It's a short easy flight from both Calgary and Edmonton, the viewing season is longer than in other Northern Lights hot spots like the…

An Alberta Rockies Health and Wellness Retreat You’ll Want to Try

This guest post was kindly provided by Evolve Retreat Co. Last weekend I set out on one of my favourite mountain walks, one that I’ve taken uncountable times over the years, in every season. Whenever I have a visitor from another part of the country—or of the world—I insist that we make this pilgrimage. It requires no special equipment—one of my friends did it in heels and her business suit. It won’t make much of…

Spring Skiing in Alberta

The champagne powder might be gone but spring skiing in Alberta is just revving up. Cue warm sunny days, live music on weekends, a beer or two on an outdoor patio and a party time atmosphere on the ski hill. It's not so much about the skiing but the fun, camaraderie and that heady feeling of being in the mountains on a bluebird day. And in my books it's a treat that you never get…

A Snowshoeing Adventure at Fortress Mountain

Even if you're a keen Alberta based snowshoer, there's a pretty good chance that you've never had a snowshoeing adventure at Fortress Mountain in Kananaskis Country. Access is restricted to snowshoe tours led by White Mountain Adventures, cat skiing with KPOW or film makers including those that make Hollywood movies like The Revenant, Inception and The Bourne Legacy. Just don't go expecting to take pictures of anyone filming or the movie stars. That's all verboten…

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