Of all the pleasures in life, soaking in a hot outdoor pool with a rocky crag looming above while surrounded by even higher peaks is truly magical. Many have heard of Banff and its namesake national park, but those who crave lesser known spots and the associated benefit of far lighter crowds should try Canmore Kananaskis region of Alberta. Each month has its own appeal, but fall is highly recommended. You can enjoy these five adventures while even mixing seasonal pursuits; ski in the morning, and hike the afternoon away. This part of the Canadian Rockies might not be as well known, but it sure is full of adventure.
The newly built Nordic Spa is not only a real treat after hitting the slopes or the trails, but given the spectacular mountain backdrop you’ll enjoy while immersed in one of the many hot pools, your mind will thank you and say ‘hello calm’!
A myriad of trails abound, from real bucket-listers to family-friendly alpine strolls; take your pick! Step around in snowshoes with adventures as brief as 30 minutes or longer forays lasting a couple of hours. Enjoy the gentle valley bottom portion of Ribbon Creek Trail, or for more energy, hit Chester Lake as another option. Visit Alberta Parks for more info on snowshoe and hiking trails in Kananaskis Country.
A premier site of the 1988 Olympics, Nakiska Ski Area was officially put on the map. But did you know that Nakiska is usually Canada’s first ski area to open each winter? Earning joyful fall turns is possible here, taking laps off the aptly named Gold Chair and giving you that opportunity to blast out "first turns of the season" posts over Instagram.
It happens all over the world, but there is only one opening premiere each year. Hit up the Banff Mountain Film Festival by going to the main event held each fall in Banff. This gives you the chance to meet and greet some of the all-stars of adventure in person, and an exclusive look at screenings of films that may not make the touring show that year.
During the winter, 65 kilometers of groomed trails make the Canmore Nordic Centre the place to stride in early season. Check out the 2-kilometer trail called Frozen Thunder, spin your wheels mountain biking, or even play a round of disc golf. And, if it is chilly, maybe skate on a pond – all good ways to spend your fall days in the mountains.
Lastly, after all that body movement, you’ll need a place to rest, sip wine, or maybe drink a cold craft one. Call it a day in your designer bed and get mountain comfy by spending the night at Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge.