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Canadian Rockies

10 Delicious Banff Restaurants

Photo: Courtesy of the Fairmont Banff Springs

Photo: Courtesy of the Fairmont Banff Springs

By Where Staff

New on Banff’s Dining Scene

The newest restaurant at the Fairmont Banff Springs is 1888 Chop House. The trendy chop house concept is juxtaposed with elements from the past such as railway artifacts and a name that evokes the hotel’s opening year. Before your meal, take a seat at the cocktail bar that overlooks the Castle in the Rockies’ lobby.

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Winter Wildlife Watching

Photo: Tourism Jasper

Photo: Tourism Jasper

By Afton Aikens

What could be more picturesque than seeing a bighorn sheep with impressive horns against a snowy mountain backdrop? Wildlife add such character to the landscape of the Canadian Rockies. Perhaps you’ll be fortunate enough to spot some this winter!

The Bow Valley Parkway in Banff National Park is a slower, more scenic alternative to the Trans-Canada Highway between Banff and Lake Louise. Drive this route and you may be rewarded with more than mountain views. Aptly named Moose Meadows is an ideal habitat for these large mammals. Elk are more commonly spotted—watch for them east of Johnston Canyon. If you’re lucky, you might see wolves. Please don’t feed or get close to animals.

Wildlife is abundant in Jasper National Park. Watch at a safe distance on your own or with a guide for a more productive and informative experience. On SunDog Tours’ Wildlife Discovery Tour, “Knowledgeable guides are trained to seek out the park’s most iconic creatures,” says Laura Park of the company.

>> For more Canadian Rockies activities, shops, restaurants and entertainment, read our digital magazine.

>> Connect with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram at whererockies and tag your Canadian Rockies posts and photos with #whererockies

Mountain Heli Adventures

Photo: Courtesy of Rockies Heli Canada

Photo: Courtesy of Rockies Heli Canada

By Jack Newton & Afton Aikens

Skiers, do photos of deep virgin powder stir your desire to heli-ski? Do you wonder if you have what it takes? Good news—you don’t have to be an expert. You’ll join a group with others of similar ability, get tips from your guide/instructor, ski terrain suited to your skills and use fat skis that make deep snow turns easier. Located southwest of the national parks, RK Heliski offers daily packages with a Banff shuttle.

From Slot Machines to a Heli-High

Halfway between Calgary and Banff, Stoney Nakoda Resort & Casino is a convenient stop for fun, games and good food at The Ridge restaurant. On-site, Rockies Heli Canada offers flightseeing and adventure packages including a First Nations Heritage Tour that “follows the traditional lands of the Bearspaw, Chiniki and Wesley bands,” says company president Ralph Sliger. If you visit overnight, choose the Stay & Fly package.

>> For more Canadian Rockies activities, shops, restaurants and entertainment, read our digital magazine.

>> Connect with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram at whererockies and tag your Canadian Rockies posts and photos with #whererockies

Ski Area Fun: No Skis Necessary

By Where Staff

Canadian Rockies’ ski resorts have been drawing crowds for nearly a century. If skiing or boarding isn’t for you, or if you just want to try something different, there’s still plenty of fun to be had on and off the slopes.

Photo: Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

Photo: Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

Tube Park Fun

The whole family can delight in speeding down the slopes on an inflatable tube. Groomed lanes ensure safe, smooth sliding. At Lake Louise Sunny Tube Park, slide for $22 (yth $20, ch $15, -5 free). Norquay’s Tube Town (night-lit Fri/Sat) has six chutes, two lifts and a play zone with a small sliding area ($35, yth/sr $25, ch $20). Nakiska Tube Park ($19, ch $15) has an additional lane this year.

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5 Alberta Rockies Ski Areas

By Where Staff

For nearly a century, skiers and boarders have flocked to the alpine paradise of the Canadian Rockies’ ski resorts. No wonder. Ours is a land where peaks outnumber people and the ski season is longer than any other in the country.

Photo: Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

Photo: Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

The impressive wilderness of Canada’s Mountain Parks (Banff and Jasper national parks, and Kananaskis Provincial Park) boasts an enviable combination of tree lined and open bowl terrain, high-speed lifts and on-hill amenities that summon skiers and boarders from around the world. Local ski enthusiasts dish out insider details to make your visit memorable.

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Artist Profile: Glenn Payan

By Afton Aikens

Our 2015/16 Canmore Map hits streets in February, and we’re excited to share the cover art, a painting titled Three Sisters, Silvertip View, Canmore by Mayne Island, British Columbia-based artist Glenn Payan, whose work can be found in one of Banff’s favourite art galleries, Canada House Gallery.

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Canadian Rockies’ Best New Restaurant 2014: Tavern 1883

Photo courtesy Tavern 1883

Photo courtesy Tavern 1883

By Afton Aikens

It was a year of casual restaurant openings in the Canadian Rockies, and Tavern 1883’s award winning house-ground burgers (beef, elk, lamb, tuna and quinoa) got us hooked. Built from an early 1900s home, the Tavern has a charming mountain cabin atmosphere and a fun, welcoming vibe with live music twice a week and a DJ on weekends.

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Support for the Return of Bison to Banff National Park

MP Blake Richards with Marie-Eve Marchand of Bison Belong and Bill Luxton of the Eleanor Luxton Historical Foundation in background.

MP Blake Richards with Marie-Eve Marchand of Bison Belong and Bill Luxton of the Eleanor Luxton Historical Foundation (background).

By Afton Aikens

Visitors to Banff National Park in 2015 may see a wider array of wildlife adorning the landscape. On January 23, Blake Richards, Member of Parliament for Alberta’s Wild Rose district, received nearly 3,000 signed postcards supporting the reintroduction of wild plains bison to the park.

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Active Winter Wear

By Jack Newton

It’s a common conundrum. How do you stay warm on the ski lift, yet avoid becoming overheated during the vigorous descent? Winter enthusiasts have long struggled to keep comfortable during activities that are both sedentary and energetic.

Photo: Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

Photo: Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

You can always pull another layer from your pack to wear when you get chilly, and remove that outer shell if you’re starting to sweat. But better outdoor clothing manufacturers now offer outerwear that allows you to maintain comfort whether you’re at rest or firing on all cylinders.

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Old-Fashioned Mountain Activities: Part 4

By Afton Aikens

The final part of this four-week post series will introduce you to cross-country skiing, brought to Canada at the turn of the 20th century by Scandinavian immigrants. At first, skeptical locals thought snowshoeing to be a more practical means of winter transportation. But with the advent of ski lodges, things began to change.

Photo: Travel Alberta

Photo: Travel Alberta

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Old-Fashioned Mountain Activities: Part 3

By Afton Aikens

The third part of this four-week post series will introduce you to the horse-drawn carriage ride—the perfect addition to a winter getaway.

Photo: Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

Photo: Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

Magical Sleigh Rides

Historically, sleighs offered a practical (and preferred) way for ordinary people to get around after the snow fell. But today, it’s all about the magic of snuggling in a sleigh and listening to the rhythm of the horses’ hooves as snowflakes scatter the sky.

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Where Staff Party: Indoor Climbing

By Jack Newton

Our editorial staff at Where Canadian Rockies have been writing about the 11,000-square foot climbing gym at Canmore’s Elevation Place since the facility opened two years ago. Everyone at the magazine was eager to try the wall (up to 45 feet high), and the occasion of our 2014 staff Christmas party gave us the opportunity.

Climbing at Elevation Place in Canmore

Climbing at Elevation Place in Canmore

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