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Summer Alternatives to Banff National Park

I love visiting Banff National Park but in the height of the summer I tend to avoid the town of Banff and any of the mainstream sites and hiking trails. Fortunately there are excellent alternatives to Banff National Park during the peak summer period. If you're like me and a little crowd adverse try some of the following equally awesome experiences. Kootenay National Park If you're driving to Kootenay National Park from Calgary you'll still end…

Banff in Winter: 6 Superb Activities You’ll Want to Do

Banff in winter is sublime. The crowds are gone. Hotels are far less expensive and best of all there are loads of activities to try.  No matter what the temperature is outside (even if its -25°C) you can slip into Banff Hot Springs at the end of the day to warm up and relax. Then eat at one of Banff's many fine restaurants. Getting up to date information on Banff in winter. For the most…

25 Larch Photos That Will Make You Wish You Were in the Mountains

I've had the pleasure of hiking in the mountains of Alberta on three different days in the past week. On one I had perfect weather while on the other two I had snow and below freezing temperatures. The bottom line - you never know what the mountains will deliver so pack lots of layers. Don't shortchange yourself on a visit either. Allow several hours to revel in the beauty and the magic of the larches. My hope is that these 25 photographs…

Done in a Day: Kayaking the Beautiful Bow River in Banff

If you've ever driven the Trans-Canada Highway through Banff National Park you've seen the Bow River. It's a beautiful ribbon of turquoise-blue that you can't miss. I've wanted to paddle it since moving to Calgary. I finally did. The Bow River starts in the Rockies and flows onto the prairies to meet the Oldman River which then drains into the South Saskatchewan River. In Banff  National Park there are three sections of the Bow River that…

Everything You Need to Know About Camping on the Icefields Parkway

The Icefields Parkway, also known as Highway 93 North, runs from Lake Louise to Jasper for 232 spectacular kilometres passing through Banff and Jasper National Parks. With 11 campgrounds along the parkway, it's easy to slow down and explore the region. Here's what you need to know about the Icefields Parkway campgrounds. There is no cellphone coverage along the parkway but campgrounds have pay phones. For payment have exact change or a credit card. You won't find any…

5 Stunning Hikes You’ll Want to do Along the Icefields Parkway

Not only is Alberta's Icefields Parkway a spectacular stretch of road to drive, it offers quick access to world-class hikes (and backpacking trips) with most trailheads immediately beside the highway. Over its 232 kilometres (the distance between Lake Louise and Jasper) there are roughly 30 hikes or backpacking trips you can do. All are in either Banff or Jasper National Park. Here are five stunning hikes all of which could be done as a family, perhaps with a little…

Skiing the Wapta Traverse in Alberta

One of the premiere hut-to-hut ski trips in North America is the Wapta Traverse. It rivals the classics - like the Haute Route that you'll find in the Alps. And it's very accessible. Over its 45 kilometre length (if you do the whole thing) you are treated to big in your face mountain and glacier vistas, incredible morning and evening light shows, epic, spine-tingling descents along with some incredible glacier skiing if you hit the…

3 Amazing Rocky Mountain Lodges You’ll Want to Visit

Are you looking for a winter getaway - one that offers three different lodge experiences - all set against a Rocky Mountain backdrop? Last weekend I had such a getaway. My only complaint - especially with all the great snow in the mountains - is that I wish it was longer. Two nights in each lodge would be ideal - or a couple of three night stays would be even better so you could really…

What Makes a Night at Sundance Lodge so Magical

Most people do not book a night in a backcountry lodge that requires an 11-13 kilometre trek in on skis or snowshoes. Why would you when it's so much easier to drive to the front door of a hotel, slip someone a tip to carry your luggage to your room, lounge in a hot tub and order room service from the comfort of a king sized bed? One word - magic. That's what you'll find…

A First Time Rider’s Fat Bike Adventure in the Banff Backcountry

Fat tire biking is big and growing in popularity. Over the past four years outdoors enthusiasts across the country have embraced the sport - partially as an alternative to cycling indoors in winter but mostly because fat tire biking in winter is an adventure. And while it can cost upwards of $1600 to purchase a bike, there are lots of affordable rental options so you can try the sport without breaking the bank. I set out…

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