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Banff, Canmore & Area

Canmore’s Street Art

By Where writers

Greeting visitors with a quiet welcome is Canmore's Big Head.

Greeting visitors with a quiet welcome is Canmore’s Big Head.

The Big Head sculpture comes to mind first as Canmore’s most recognizable public art installation. This summer a new contender joins the scene when the colourful Canada 150 mural is unveiled June 30 at the Civic Centre.

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Fun Ways to Sightsee

By Where writers

There are many sights to see in the Canadian Rockies, and plenty of ways to see them. Here are a few options:

Photo courtesy of Banff Trail Riders

Photo courtesy of Banff Trail Riders

  • By Bike: Rent one and ride to views off the beaten path. ROAM Public Transit and Hike ‘n’ Bike Shuttle allow one-way routes, while Rebound Cycle gives tours.
  • Walk and Talk: Learn about mountaineering and local legends on Discover Banff Tours guided hikes of the “jewels of the Canadian Rockies,” Lake Louise and Lake Morraine.
  • Giddy-Up: Discover the Old West atop a horse for an hour, day or overnight.
  • Your Way and the Highway: Download a GyPSy Guide driving tour app that automatically plays at activation points without data or cell service.
  • Hop on Banff: Jump off and on the bus to explore your choice of Banff, Bow Valley Parkway and Lake Louise attractions (403-609-5242).
  • Ultimate Explorer: Visit ultimate-explorer.com to buy value priced combo passes to popular Pursuit attractions like Banff Gondola, Mountain Lake Cruise and Glacier Adventure.

>> 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

Seven Sizzling Summer Activities in the Mountains

By Where writers

Summer is well underway, and hopefully so is your bucket list! If you need help figuring out the best way to spend your time the Canadian Rockies, look no further.

Banff by Boat

Photo courtesy of Brewster Inc.

Photo courtesy of Brewster Inc.

Thanks to a new Roam bus route, isolated Lake Minnewanka is more accessible than ever. Take the classic 1.5 hour Banff Lake Cruise. Or, book a specialty trip such as First Nations history and myths, park wildlife or family excursion. On our cruise we nibbled cheese and sipped wine as our guide shared tips for photographing the landscape. We disembarked with beautiful photos, full bellies and a desire to return for another themed tour.

Canoe Like a Canadian

Photo by Dan Evans

Photo by Dan Evans

To find a peaceful activity with mountain views and wildlife spotting opportunities minutes from downtown Banff, walk three blocks to the Banff Canoe Club docks. Every canoe, kayak and stand up paddleboard rental includes basic instruction before you paddle the tranquil river, creek and lake waters. Tip: joining the Club saves you money if you rent for more than one hour.

Dog Days of Summer

Photo courtesy of Yamnuska Dog Sanctuary

Photo courtesy of Yamnuska Dog Sanctuary

Howl along with man’s (and woman’s) best friend as you tour the Snowy Owl Sled Dog Kennel or Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary. Both facilities offer experts to explain unique breed behaviours, and opportunities to interact with the animals. Have your own pal? Let ‘em run free at Banff Off Leash Dog Park or Quarry Lake Park in Canmore.

Climb On

Norquary Via Ferrata Pic 3

Last fall I tackled Mt Norquay’s Via Ferrata course of assisted rock climbs, scrambles and a swinging suspended bridge. Despite knowing that my harness would always be fastened safely to the handholds or cables, I was nervous when approaching the first pitch. My adrenaline level was elevated, my heart rate increased and my hands trembled. But once I stepped on to the first rung, my feelings changed to pure exhilaration! The route was dynamic and fun, allowing for spectacular views of Cascade Mountain and Mount Rundle.

Off the Beaten Path

Mount Engadine Lodge. Photo by Sebastian Buzzalino

Mount Engadine Lodge. Photo by Sebastian Buzzalino

Live clandestinely at Mount Engadine Lodge in Kananaskis. Although accessible by car, the lodge still possesses a solitary ambience. Sip your drink on the deck and overlook a mountain-ringed meadow often frequented by wildlife. Reserve a meal or drop in for afternoon tea by the fireplace in the rustic dining room. Enquire about hiking and fishing hotspots; bagged lunches are available if you call ahead.

Reach New Heights

Photo courtesy of Rockies Heli Canada

Photo courtesy of Rockies Heli Canada

I’ve been a passenger on many planes, but flying in a helicopter was a first. On my Rockies Heli Canada tour, the hovering sensation was exciting and smoother than expected. Soaring above towering mountains revealed a breathtaking new perspective. We landed in a high alpine meadow to hike an otherwise inaccessible area, and chatted with our pilot over tea. You can also pair your flight with yoga, camping or horse riding. Whichever adventure you choose, you’ll enjoy the ride.

Take Your Shot

Photo courtesy of Try Biathlon

Photo courtesy of Try Biathlon

Get your heart racing, bring it back down quickly and take your best shot at the Canmore Nordic Centre rifle range. The Try Biathlon class includes Bond-worthy action shots. Are you up for it?

>> 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

Canada Live on Stage at the Lux

By Keili Bartlett

This summer, live theatre takes centre stage at the Lux Cinema. Director Bridget Ryan offers three “hilarious and heart-warming,” plays that celebrate Canada’s beauty, community and music:

  • Family-friendly The Adventures of the Curious Bear and the Red Canoe follows a bear on the move across our country (2 pm, Tues-Sat, every 2nd Sun)
  • Canada the Musical features “every Canadian song you know and love.” (7 pm Tues-Sat)
  • The Mavericks of the Mountains introduces stories, adventures and stand-out personalities from our past (4 pm, Tues-Sat, every 2nd Sun)

Watch them perform Jun 22-Sep 3.

>> 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

A Guide to Mountain Top Moments

By Naomi Witherick

To get to the top, hitch a ride on a sightseeing lift. In minutes you’re whisked from the valley floor to heights of up to 2,400 m/7,874 ft where peaks stretch as far as the eye can see.

But gondolas and chairlifts give way to more than awesome views. While all five rides in Banff and Jasper national parks promise perfect mountaintop moments, each offers differences.

New Height, Historic Site

Hike or ride up Sulphur Mountain to look down on the Town of Banff. Photo by Brewster/Pursuit

Hike or ride up Sulphur Mountain to look down on the Town of Banff. Photo by Brewster/Pursuit

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Sounds of Summer

By Kaitlyn Forde

Canmore Folk Fest

Canmore Folk Fest

Don’t miss our summer music festival highlights:

>> 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

Market on Your Calendar

By Kaitlyn Forde

Photo courtesy of Tourism Canmore Kananaskis

Photo courtesy of Tourism Canmore Kananaskis

“It’s like your soul wakes up,” says a juicing booth patron of the Canmore Mountain Market’s return on Thursdays. Or, visit Banff Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays. Both feature regionally grown produce, artisanal eats, handmade jewellery and crafts, and tunes courtesy of local musicians.

>> 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

A Toast to Craft Beer and Local Liquor

By Keili Bartlett

Something’s brewing in the Canadian Rockies, and it’s not just the bubbling hot springs. Local businesses have tapped into the fresh (and cold!) glacier-fed waterways to produce a more alcoholic type of liquid.

Park it here. Gleaming stills and tanks are prominently positioned for all to see at Park Distillery.

Park it here. Gleaming stills and tanks are prominently positioned for all to see at Park Distillery.

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Cowboy for the Evening

By Where writers

Photo: Brewster Lake Louise Stables

Dinner is served – cowboy style! Photo: Brewster Lake Louise Stables

The Brewster family has offered trail rides and western cookouts for over 100 years. The tradition continues Wednesday evenings with a horse or wagon ride to the barn dance in Lake Louise. Star of the buffet is a 35-pound hip of beef roast that is barbecued, basted in its own juices, transported by pitchfork to the table and custom carved for each guest. Dance the night away to the country and rock band.

 

What to Pack for a Day Hike in the Canadian Rockies

By Kaitlyn Forde

Step one: Find a trustworthy backpack to carry essentials.

Step one: Find a trustworthy backpack to carry essentials.

I came to Banff clad in Lululemon leggings, a blanket scarf, Sperries and no expectations. A recent university graduate, I planned to have one easygoing summer in the mountains before returning to my city-girl Toronto lifestyle. When I first arrived, I questioned the difference between a canoe and a kayak, didn’t understand the semantics of bear spray – let alone understood the possibility of seeing an actual bear – and had a pair of fashionable (not very functional) Nikes. Although athletic, I was the farthest thing from outdoorsy, and everyone let me know it.

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Summer Bucketlist: Top 10 Mountain Musts

By Kaitlyn Forde

Don’t have a bucket list for summer in the Canadian Rockies? Borrow ours!

1: Reach new heights: Ride Banff Gondola, Mount Norquay Chairlift, Lake Louise Gondola and Jasper Skytram for easy access to unbeatable views.

2. Snap a selfie at an iconic lake: Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Bow Lake and Maligne Lake.

Time to update your profile photo with a glacier-blue background. Photo by Travel Alberta

Time to update your profile photo with a glacier-blue background. Photo by Travel Alberta

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Endless Vacation in Canmore

Small town; big adventure. Canmore is what mountain life is all about.

By Keili Bartlett

Mountains. Lakes. Wildlife.

With such access to natural wonders and outdoor recreation, it’s not hard to find a reason to visit Canmore. But once you’re here, it is hard to find a reason to leave.

Bike trails with dynamic mountain views. Photo provided by Canmore Nordic Centre.

Bike trails with dynamic mountain views. Photo provided by Canmore Nordic Centre.

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