Winter Hiking to Johnston Canyon’s Frozen Waterfalls

Johnston Canyon Upper Fall

  • Attraction: Johnston Canyon
  • Location: Banff National Park
  • Walking distance: 5.2km (3.2 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 135m (443 feet)
  • Cost: Free

Like a scene from the Chronicles of Narnia, the Johnston Canyon frozen waterfalls are truly remarkable. It’s like standing beneath a giant rock-cake with icing sugar running down the sides. The views are simply breathtaking and if you’re visiting Banff National Park in the winter, this is a must-do experience.

Hiking to Johnston Canyon during the winter is usually quite easy. From the car park, it’s only a two or three-hour return trip. You’ll want to hike the entire 5.2-kilometer return trip so that you see both the Upper and Lower Falls. Although you don’t need snowshoes, you may want to bring ice cleats to put on the bottom of your hiking shoes as it can get icy in spots. My family wore regular hiking shoes without ice cleats and although it was quite slippery in some areas, we made it there and back just fine. Sometimes it depends on the weather. [Read more…]

Three Days in Jasper National Park

Driving the Icefields Parkway

Driving the Icefields Parkway

Our trip began under a blanket of clouds but it wasn’t long before they opened up to reveal the mighty peaks that make the Icefields Parkway so famous.

Known as one of the world’s most scenic drives, it didn’t take long to understand why. Snow-capped mountains, deep valleys of pine trees, sparkling glaciers, and turquoise-coloured lakes are just some of the attractions that make the drive so spectacular.

Although the drive between Lake Louise and Jasper only takes three hours, you’ll want to double that for the many scenic stops you’ll be making along the way. While it’s incredibly easy to keep busy for weeks in Canada’s first national park (Banff NP), we only had three days and decided to pack them with as much activities and scenery as possible. [Read more…]

Living the Cottage Life at Clear Lake, Manitoba

Martese Clear Lake

When my wife and I moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba for the summer of 2015, I was told that we were entering cottage country. There’s plenty of jokes about Winnipeg, ranging from that flat landscape to the harsh winters but when it comes to lakes and cottage life, there’s no better place to be.

Experiencing some of the lakes was on my must-do list and when my parents came to visit for a weekend, I did some research and found Clear Lake, which is nestled inside Riding Mountain National Park. This is the one of only two national parks in Manitoba and although the mountains are nothing compared to the Rockies, the wildlife and serenity is unmatched.

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Flying High Over the Canadian Rocky Mountains

“Look to your right” the Pilot said as we passed some mountain sheep resting high up on the cliff. It was amazing to fly so close to the mountain peak and witness these amazing creatures in their natural habitat. They were basically resting on the peak of a mountain! I fell in love with helicopters as we soared up high and over some of the most magical scenery in the world.

Helicopter Tour Rocky Mountains

It was only a few minutes prior that I was sitting in the office of Alpine Helicopter Tours, listening to a quick safety video and anticipating the adventure ahead. It was a beautiful day with blue skies and sunny weather. It’s incredible how quickly you can go from being at the base to being above the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

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WhiteWater Rafting on the Kicking Horse River

There are many ways to see the Canadian Rockies. You can ride a bike, fly over them in a helicopter, drive the scenic highways, go for a hike, take a gondola ride, ski down them or sit on a patio drinking a beer with the mountains as your backdrop. I’ve done all of them. But another great way to see the jaw-dropping scenery with a dose of adrenaline is to go whitewater rafting. There are a number of rivers one could raft but the most popular is no doubt the Kicking Horse. As you can imagine from the rivers name, it packs a punch or well, a kick. Though I probably should have been resting after a 6-day horseback riding trip in the backcountry, we decided to add a rafting trip with Alpine rafting in Golden, British Columbia.

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Become a Cowboy or Cowgirl Amidst the Beautiful Backdrop of the Canadian Rockies

horseback riding canadian rockies

I honestly thought that I knew everything about the Canadian Rockies. Okay, maybe not everything, but after living in Calgary for the last 10 years, I’ve had my fair share of Rocky Mountain experiences. I’ve spent a lot of time camping near beautiful mountain lakes, enjoying world-class skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, hiking, and even riding in a helicopter for a birds eye view of one of the most incredible places on earth. I really did think I had experienced everything the rockies had to offer. That is, until I heard about Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies. This non-profit group, which has been around for more than 90 years, takes customers for six-day journey’s on horseback through the backcountry of the Rockies. [Read more…]

Three Moose and a Mountain | Hiking Gros Morne, Newfoundland

Gros Morne National Park Hiking

It surprises me that after visiting Newfoundland more than a dozen times, I had never hiked their treasured UNESCO World Heritage site. When I look back though, I was never as adventurous as I am now. With a curiosity and passion to visit the most beautiful places on earth, it was without a doubt that I would hike Gros Morne National Park on my latest visit to the rock.

Located on the West coast of Newfoundland, Gros Morne is the provinces second tallest mountain, standing tall at 806 m. Created from eroded remnants of a mountain range formed more than 1.2 billion years ago, Gros Morne is an exquisite and rare example of continental drift, a process where deep ocean crust and the rocks of the earth’s mantle are exposed.

In other words, it’s gorgeous and educational.

Gros Morne Summit

We were lucky to arrive on a hot sunny day, something rare in this “neck of the woods”. After purchasing our park ticket and getting some great advice from one of the friendly park rangers, we headed to the base of Gros Morne mountain to prepare for our climb. We packed plenty of water, some protein bars and fruit and of course, a good camera.

The beginning of the climb was nice and shady with the trail taking us over freshwater streams and plenty of vegetation. We also took time to read some information signs, where we learned that ….

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