Alberta Rockies

Photographer
Dax Justin

Alberta Rockies

Visiting the Alberta Rockies is like being transported to a world of infinite possibilities for soft or hard-core adventures. Between the vast snowy peaks, jewel blue lakes, forests, campgrounds and trails you can luxuriate in a “castle” in the Rockies or get rustic hiking into a historic back-country lodge, like the Skoki. Banff is Canada’s oldest national park with a deep heritage of exploring. Hire an outfitter and horseback ride on the same trails as the famed explorers, crossing streams and setting up camp in the forest. Not that adventurous? Banff town offers adventures in shopping and dining, like taking a tour of the new Park distillery and then dining on elevated camp food. Further afield is the tiny hamlet of Lake Louise with gigantic opportunities for skiing, ice climbing, hiking, or soaking up the awe-inspiring views. The Icefields Parkway drive to Jasper is another bucket list activity, guaranteeing gob-smacking views and the chance to see wildlife around every corner. In the most southwestern corner of the region lies Waterton Lakes National Park, a breathtaking Peace Park that borders on Montana. The small lakefront town is surrounded by colossal peaks and abundant wildlife in every directon. Hike to iconic Crypt Lake for a brag-worthy adventure that includes taking a boat to the trail and climbing a ladder up the side of a mountain. During the winter months, Waterton is inhabited by only 30 people, making it the perfect peaceful getaway for the anti-tourist.

Province
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    On an unusually cold October in the Canadian Rockies of British Columbia, craggy towers are all around me. The wind and my heavy breathing are the only sounds I hear.

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    When I get too wrapped up in my daily responsibilities, I close my eyes and picture myself outside surrounded by fresh air and immersed in a natural world. Spending even the smallest amount of time in nature centres me.

     

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    Mesmerized by the powerful and hypnotic beat of the ancient drums, we pull ourselves away from the fire-warmed trapper's cabin (after a delicious bannock and beef stew feast, a Métis favourite!) and hop on the wagon for the short ride to the main stage.

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    On April 29, 1903 at 4:10 a.m., 82 million tons of rock broke off Turtle Mountain’s summit and came hurtling down on the sleeping town of Frank. While the slide avoided the main part of town, at least 90 people were killed. The Frank Slide Interpretive Centre describes what life was like before, during, and after the disaster, and shares amazing tales of heroism and survival through modern, hands-on exhibits.

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    From icing a cake to walking on ice, Sheri Landry of Edmonton is up to the challenge. As the creator of the popular This Bird’s Day web page featuring advice, antidotes and recipes Sheri keeps pretty busy.