Only 22.3 Kilometers from Canmore, Kananaskis Country boasts some of the most scenic and stunningly beautiful mountain terrain to be found anywhere in the world.
Kananaskis Country is one of the true hidden gems of the Canadian Rockies boasting over 4,000 square kilometers of mountain parks and foothills containing four wild land provincial parks, one ecological reserve and five provincial parks.
It is also home to the Canmore Nordic Center which was built for the 1988 Calgary Olympics. As well as its beautiful mountain scenery, this part of the world is a training ground for many world champion athletes.
26 kilometers of pristine Canadian Rockies seperate Canmore and Banff, the two jewels of the west. At 4,537 feet Banff, Alberta is the highest town in Canada with the Bow river flowing from Banff right across Canada to the Hudson Bay.
The name ‘Banff’ derives from Banffshire, Scotland, which was the birthplace of two of the original directors of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The town itself covers only 2.5 square miles and it is fixed under federal law that it cannot expand. This helps to retain the magnificent beauty and great charm of this luxurious outdoorsy mountain town.
The town is located within Banff National Park, which covers 6,641 sqaure kilometres. 96% of the Park is wilderness and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Banff National Park was established in 1885 as Canada’s first National Park (and only the third in the world).
With over 1,600 kilometers of hiking trails you will certainly have the oppurtunity to use and abuse your boots. Keep your eyes open for critters including grizzly bears, moose, elk, caribou, deer, marmots, and the hawks and eagles overhead. Canadas largest cave can be found just outside Banff – the Castleguard Caves are well worth the visit.
The area around Canmore has a wealth of geological and historic sites to visit – the only problem is that it is a big place. To visit the great outdoors of the Canadian Rocky Mountains then your best option is a car. You can take in the magnificence of the majestic mountains and its towns, the ice field park way and jaunt off where ever else in this mountain paradise that your heart may desire.
In 1807 a pioneer named David Thompson traversed the Rocky Mountains, travelling up the Blaeberry River to a place that was to become Golden. In 1807 Golden boasted just one building, simply called The Cache.
Today, Golden is one of western Canada’s outdoor recreational Meccas. Some of the best down hill mountain biking in the world can be found here, with incredible steeps for skiing and snowboarding and fantastic rock climbing and mountaineering.
Just 164km from Canmore, Golden is a must see for all you powder monkeys out there.
Kicking Horse Pass
Kicking Horse mountain resort, which today makes Golden famous, finds the roots of its name in some good ole west coast folk lore.
A geologist named James Hector had suffered a run of bad luck and ended up stumbling upon the Kicking Horse Pass. As the legend goes, he was camped out at the Great Divide with his team, when one of the horses got free. Hector jumped into the water giving chase on foot and eventually rounded up the horse. While trying to tie the horse to a nearby tree, he received a knockout kick from his own steed. He suffered multiple broken ribs and his guides where convinced he was dead as he was unconscious for so long.
On the way to his own burial Hector suddenly came to, to the astonishment of all. Upon his return to health, he found great success exploring the new terrain on the other side of the river. And that, folks, is how Kicking Horse Pass got its name.
Jasper house was established in 1813 as a North West Company outpost for the fur trade. Ownership of the outpost later switched to the Hudsons Bay Company and in 1907 the Jasper National Park was established by the Grand Trunk Railway. In 1917 the town was surveyed and was named Jasper after the former trade post. In 1940 the scenic Ice Fields Parkway was opened
Boasting 313 kilometers of the most spectacular scenery to be found anywhere in earth, the Ice Fields Parkway is a wonder to behold for all who take this journey of a lifetime. There is so much fun to be had whether in summer, winter, spring or fall, from simply marvelling at the magnificence of the great outdoors, including the diverse wildlife and the greatest light show on earth, the Aurora Borealis, to hiking, horseback riding, camping, dog sledding, white water rafting, snowshoeing and more. The majestic beauty of the Canadian Rockies awaits.
If champagne powder and/or good old bubbly champagne in your chalet hot tub is your kind of thing then Revelstoke is your dream powder heaven in waiting. Perhaps the world’s leading resort for heli and snow cat skiing and snowboarding, Revelstoke is a paradise of snow that has to be experienced to understand. There are numerous backcountry skiing lodges in the area.
Revelstoke is also a major snowmobiling destination. In the summer, mountain biking, rock climbing and kayaking are popular activities. Being a year round historic mountain community, Revelstoke has something for everyone: adventure seekers, families, lone wolves and couples looking for a magical winter wonderland romance.