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Canadian Rockies

Iconic Images

Aug. 22, 2016
By Naomi Witherick

Striking and unforgettable. The Canadian Pacific Railway’s posters have the same characteristics as the mountains they advertise. Both have been significant in the history of Canada’s tourism industry in their own right. And while you can’t roll up and pocket the peaks, you can at least take the vintage artwork home.

Banff, vintage poster

Attractive images promoted Banff and Lake Louise as stylish tourist destinations. Photo courtesy of About Canada.

But what’s the story behind the posters? When the company then known as CP Rail finished the railway in 1885, it had successfully connected the whole of Canada. From Ontario to British Columbia (with additional lines in places like Quebec and Lake Superior), the network opened the potential for trade, commerce and major economic growth. Read more…

Mountain Legends

Aug. 17, 2016
By Naomi Witherick

Exhibitions and gift shop books at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies tell the stories of Banff’s historical figures. From the early explorers in the late 1800s to the people who established the towns’ businesses and ski hills, uncover the legacy of those who made Banff what it is today.

3 books web

A collection of stories in the museum gift shop. Photo courtesy of the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies.

Read more…

Western Adventures in Jasper

Aug. 10, 2016
By Naomi Witherick

For centuries Indigenous people navigated the Canadian Rockies on horseback. And when traders like David Thompson arrived in 1811, horses were used to negotiate northern trading routes and establish trade posts.

Follow in their footsteps and have an old time western adventure in Jasper. Here are the horseback rides, rodeo events and country style steakhouses not to miss this summer. Cowboy hats at the ready…

Jasper Horseback Riding

Escape to rugged wilderness with a horseback ride in the mountains. Photo from Jasper Stables.

Riding

Discover the mountains like the early explorers on a trail ride with Jasper Riding Stables on Pyramid Road and Jasper Park Stables at the Fairmont Park Lodge. The former offers one-, two- and three-hour rides through rugged wilderness and landscapes that have been unchanged for centuries. Try the Ridgeline and Cottonwood Loop ride, a two-hour excursion that passes beaver dams and wildlife.

Or go on the Happy Trails ride with Jasper Park Stables, taking you along the Athabasca River and ascending to stunning viewpoints on a trail where there’s a good chance of bear sightings. Trips offered by both companies are suitable for all experience levels and are led by knowledgeable guides who share tales of horsing history along the way.

If you’ve got little ones or elderly family members, take a wagon ride instead. Both stables run short carriage rides in Jasper town or in the award-winning grounds of Jasper Park Lodge.

Rodeo, Jasper

Jasper Heritage Rodeo has been town tradition since 1926. Photo Jasper Heritage Pro Rodeo.

Rodeo

Don’t miss the Jasper Heritage Rodeo, August 17 to 20, which has been a long-standing Jasper tradition since 1926. Competitive events include bull riding, bare back, saddle bronc and tie down roping. But it’s not just for burly cowboys. There’s a Sticky Pony Parade (August 17 at 10 am) and Lil’ Britches Corral (daily 11 am to 1 pm) for kids, with entertainment for the whole family.

And if the good old western fun works up an appetite, get a hearty pancake breakfast at Jasper Fire Hall (daily 9 am to 11 am) and a flame-grilled lunch at the fundraising BBQ in the CIBC parking lot (daily 11 am to 2 pm).

Steakhouses, Jasper

Get a taste of the west in Jasper’s steakhouses.

Restaurants

In the evening, relax in one of Jasper’s rustic steakhouses. Prime Rib City serves sizable juicy steaks with horseradish, vegetables and potato – a classic western feast. Enjoy the warm cabin-like atmosphere at Embers Steakhouse in Marmot Lodge with a stone fireplace and chophouse menu. Or choose Villa Caruso’s wild game specialties; sit on the balcony and watch the sunset behind the rugged mountain surround.

See more Jasper activities and tours.

>> 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

Escape to Calgary and Grey Eagle Resort & Casino

Aug. 5, 2016
By Naomi Witherick

Fancy a taste of the city during your mountain vacation? Calgary is a dynamic and friendly urban oasis at the foot of the Canadian Rockies.

Canadian Rockies, Calgary, places to stay

Why Calgary?

Just an hour and a half from Banff, Calgary is right on your doorstep if you’re staying in the national park. If you’re flying through Calgary International Airport, the city a great place to explore before or after your time in the mountains.

From historic sites to urban glitz, the city is pocketed with eclectic districts. Sample the unique shops, funky bistros and buzzing nightlife in Kensington Village, Stephen Ave Downtown Pedestrian Mall, Inglewood and 17th Avenue SW. With endless bike and walking paths (many along the Bow and Elbow Rivers), it’s very safe and child-friendly.

Canadian Rockies, Calgary, places to stay

Where to Stay

Calgary has plenty of accommodation options. But for something exciting, convenient and budget-friendly try the Grey Eagle Resort & Casino, a recently built four-star entertainment and lodging venue in southwest Calgary. Situated on Tsuut’ina First Nation land, it offers expressway connections to the airport and the Canmore-Banff area.

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Grey Eagle’s sophisticated interior and ultra-modern bedrooms promise a touch of luxury, as do the indoor pool, Jacuzzi and fitness suite. Dining options include buffets and upscale Little Chief restaurant. Relax with a drink in the Stage Bar with HD sports screens and poker machines, or experience Vegas-style action at the Casino and Event Centre.

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Parking is complimentary (as are bikes to ride adjacent Fish Creek Park trails), and downtown is just a 15-minute drive away. Go online to discover current, value-priced Grey Eagle room and package deals.

What to Do

Calgary is full of attractions with appeal for the whole family. A 10-minute drive from Grey Eagle Resort is Heritage Park that interprets pioneer times with steam train and paddle boat rides, a working farm, a fur trading fort and an impressive array of historic homes, shops, churches and a hotel. Fascinating Calgary Zoo is one of North America’s best, and Calaway Park amusement rides are always a big hit with the kids.

The city’s shopping scene boasts designer labels to high street favourites in the malls and outlets, and since Alberta has no provincial sales tax you can justify a spending spree! Chinook Centre, Calgary’s biggest and most popular shopping mall, is 10-minutes from Grey Eagle Resort.

Canadian Rockies, Calgary, places to stay

After a fun day in the city, head back to your resort and hit the casino. Grey Eagle has 84,000 square feet of gaming action, with 40 table games, 867 slot machines, poker room and daily bingo sessions.

Canadian Rockies, Calgary, places to stay

Check out the Grey Eagle Event Centre calendar to see what big names are performing during your stay. This attractive venue is suitable for all ages and features country, pop, rock and indie music artists. A dose of lively entertainment is the perfect way to enhance your big city break.

Sponsored by Grey Eagle Resort & Casino. Discover the resort’s specials and packages and book your stay.

See more attractions, tours, restaurants and shops in Calgary.

 

Photography Tips: Capturing the Rockies

A local photographer tells us how he got “the shot”

Aug. 3, 2016
By Afton Aikens 

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Amar Athwal’s interest in photography began when he moved to Banff in the 1990s and turned into a passion a few years ago. His repertoire has expanded from landscapes to include night skies and flora; his wildlife images include bears, wolves, elk, birds and cuddly looking pine martens. Read more…

Relax & Revive at Banff & Canmore Spas

July 29, 2016
By Where writers

Many visits to the Canadian Rockies are action-packed, and for good reason with the abundance of outdoor adventure at our doorstep. But you should also make time to unwind with these relaxing spa treatments. Your tired muscles will thank you!

Rapuzel_0150 Read more…

Top Jasper Sights and Adventures

July 24, 2016
By Where writers

Jasper is an adventure playground – its wilderness beckons to many. Here are some ideas for your summer adventures:

Maligne Lake Cruise to Spirit Island

Maligne Lake Cruise to Spirit Island

Through the Lens
Spirit Island is one of the most photographed locations in Canada. On the Maligne Lake ‘Through the Lens’ Cruise snap incredible shots with the help of an on-board professional photographer. Learn to how to use filters, frame the scene, capture clouds and compensate for difficult light. Read more…

Summer Folk Festivals

Lying back on the grass listening to some of the best folk music in the world, breathing in the alpine air and relaxed atmosphere. What could be better? The Canmore Folk Festival and Japser Folk Festival are two events you don’t want to miss in the Canadian Rockies this summer.

Canmore, Folk Festival, music festival, event

Photo by Pam Doyle

Read more…

Mountain Lifestyle: Find Yours in Canmore

July 19, 2016
By Naomi Witherick

Waking up in the mountains with a choice of hiking trails or funky cafés out the front door is what attracts tourists and would-be residents to Canmore. But long-time locals will tell you the warm people and vibrant community make this place home.

Canmore epitomizes alpine village life. Main Street is dense with locally owned shops, quaint eateries, interesting galleries, and health and wellness facilities. Combine that with the great outdoors—superb hiking, biking, skiing, golfing and canoeing—and the picture of Canmore life is as bright as the weather (said to be 330 sunny days a year).

The Canmore Mountain Market (photo credit: Tourism Canmore Kananaskis)

The Canmore Mountain Market (photo: Tourism Canmore Kananaskis)

Read more…

Best Bow Valley Summer Entertainment

July 14, 2016
By Where writers

Summer in the Canadian Rockies isn’t just about hiking and cycling (although we do have an amazing outdoor playground). It’s also about live music backdropped by mountains, farmers’ markets with fresh local produce and gathering around a campfire with family and friends. Here are some ideas to get you stoked for summer fun!

The Banff Centre Shaw Amphitheatre (photo credit: Rita Taylor)

The Banff Centre Shaw Amphitheatre (photo credit: Rita Taylor)

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Iconic Adventures: Alpine Hikes & Via Ferrata Climbs

July 9, 2016
By Afton Aikens with notes from Where writers

In the Canadian Rockies we take our cues from the mountains—we go big. We also get creative. Our tour operators offer activities that allow everyone to explore our wild alpine playground. We’ll get you to the summit; you choose whether you want to ride, fly or climb.

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Sunshine Meadows (photo credit: Jack Newton)

Read more…

Banff by Horseback

July 6, 2016
By Naomi Witherick

I hadn’t been on a horse in years. So when I was invited on a horseback trip with Banff Trail Riders I could see it going one of two ways. I’d either be a natural or my horse would break into an unexpected trot hurling me from the saddle into pile of mud.

Despite that possibility of the latter, I was excited. I’ve been living in Banff for the last eight months and I hoped the trip would offer sights from new perspectives. And having written about early explorers’ use of horses to navigate the mountains for Where Canadian Rockies, I wondered if the trip would conjure a sense of discovery.

Warner Stables on Sundance Road is the starting point for Trail Riders' tours.

Warner Stables on Sundance Road is the starting point for Trail Riders’ tours.

Read more…