For a couple that lives just over an hour from the Canadian Rockies, we haven’t done as much hiking as we should be. It’s almost ironic that my first big hike was actually in New Zealand when I went overseas for my first six-month solo adventure. When I told people where I was from, they were surprised to hear that I had not done many hikes. After all, Banff hiking trails are some of the best in the world. It’s the Rockies! At the same time, New Zealand is just as beautiful and lacks bears, cougars, wolves, and other dangerous animals. That’s mostly what kept me off of the trails. As I thought about it though, I realized that if I can love scuba diving with sharks, I should be okay doing some hiking near Banff National Park. So, that’s what we did. We made it a mission to do at least one or two hikes each summer. [Read more…] about Ha Ling Peak – One of the Best Kananaskis Hikes
For anyone interested in First Nations culture, I can hardly think of a better place to visit than Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump. In fact, it’s so special that it’s one of Canada’s 19 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, helping to preserve more than 6,000 years of Blackfoot cultures and traditions that happened here in the North American plains.
Upon arriving at the site, it doesn’t look like much, which is actually a good thing. The amazing architect who designed the building did so by building it right into the Earth, allowing it to provide visitors with an incredible interpretative centre without taking away from the natural area around it. It’s such a great design that it won the Governor General’s award for Architecture back in 1990.
Upon entering the interpretive centre, we knew we were in good hands. Everyone was so friendly. They joked around and took pride in their heritage. The museum has a variety of artifacts and displays, as well as a wonderful movie that re-enacts the buffalo hunt, a must-see for anyone visiting the site. This will help make the jump come alive for you. Without watching the movie or taking a tour, it would just look like a cliff. You’d lose the magic that comes from knowing the history that made this into one of the world’s 1,000+ World Heritage Sites.
[Read more…] about Three Ways to Experience Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Alberta, Canada
If there’s anything that surprises me about tourism, it’s that there always seems to be something just around the corner. Such is the case of the Turner Valley Gas Plant. Located in Turner Valley, this place is only 25-minutes from where I live and I had never heard of it until recently.
While a gas plant wouldn’t be high on my list of places to visit, this one is special due to its history. The Turner Valley Gas Plant was the start of the oil and gas industry in Alberta, which has been one of the driving forces of the economy over the last few decades. This makes it both a national historical site and a great place to learn about the humble beginnings of the province of Alberta. In fact, without this gas plant, Calgary might not be what it is today. It’s due to the location of this plant that drove Calgary to be the place for all the head offices. [Read more…] about Exploring Alberta’s History at the Turner Valley Gas Plant
It was pretty cool to go back to Lethbridge, Alberta and take the time to see what their nature is like. After all, I lived there for four months when I went to the University of Lethbridge and never took the time to explore the natural side of Lethbridge.
I had always admired the coulee’s, a beautiful landscape formation that looks like a series of small hills. They create a canyon-like valley, which is stunning to explore. Since the coulee area is the most scenic area in the city of Lethbridge, we focused our time there, checking out the various things to do. [Read more…] about Four Ways to Enjoy the Natural Side of Lethbridge Canada
I can’t even remember how many times I’ve driven through the town of Fort Macleod, Alberta. Having gone to Lethbridge for school, and to visit friends, I’ve driven from Calgary to Lethbridge dozens of times and never took the time to stop and see what Fort Macleod had to offer. It’s a very small town and there’s this old fort I always drove by, which made me curious as to what lay behind the wooden posts. Well, I finally had the chance to check it out, and it’s really quite impressive.
The Fort, which is home to the Museum of the Northwest Mountain Police and First Nations Interpretive Centre, is situated just 30-minutes west of Lethbridge and 1.5 hours south of Calgary. For those driving from Calgary to Lethbridge, you’ll literally pass right by the main doors if you drive through Fort Macleod. For those of you interested in Alberta history, the RCMP, vintage artifacts, and/or horses, this is one place to add to your bucket list. [Read more…] about History, Culture, and the RCMP Musical Ride – Experience Fort Macleod
For many visitors to Alberta, they want to experience a little taste of the old west. Popular places to get that western vibe are usually the Bar-U-Ranch, the Cowboy Trail, and small towns scattered throughout the prairies. But old west culture is also in Lethbridge, Alberta, and we recently had the chance to experience a slice of it at Fort Whoop-Up.
Located right down in the beautiful Lethbridge Coulees, the fort is surrounded by canyon-like scenery, mixed with dry desert-like conditions, cactus, and the odd rattlesnake. As we made our way towards the fort, we imagined what it would have been like hundreds of years ago when there would have been horses instead of cars, and much less civility.
Fort Whoop-Up is a replica of an original fur trading fort built in the late 1800s, not too far away from here. It was originally called Fort Hamilton and during the late 19th century, served as a centre for a variety of trading activities, one of which was the illegal whiskey trade. Whiskey traders flourished here due to the lack of police force prior to 1874, and the high prices they could command for their goods. [Read more…] about Experiencing the Old West at Fort Whoop-Up in Lethbridge, Alberta
I’m always amazed by big attractions that lay hidden away in small towns just beyond the beaten path. I find travel is like an onion. As you peel away one layer, another emerges. Such is the case for the Remington Carriage Museum, which is located in Cardston, Alberta. Despite living in Alberta and traveling extensively within the province, I had never heard of this museum until I was on a writing assignment with Zenseekers to showcase Southern Alberta.
The Remington Carriage Museum is home to more than 270 carriages and is the largest of its kind in the world. Upon entering the museum, we were essentially transported back to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, getting a glimpse of carriages that carried pioneers and some that carried the rich and famous. As someone who grew up watching Western movies, I really loved seeing the overnight carriages, decked out in white canvas, used by pioneers traveling across the country. We learned all about Don Remington (1914 – 1987) and why he created this place. We also learned of their newest exhibit featuring Robert McLaughlin, the entrepreneur behind the largest carriage manufacturing company in the British Empire. Considering how big of an impact this family had on Canada, I was surprised I had never heard of them before. They even created Canada Dry Ginger Ale. [Read more…] about Things To Do in Cardston, Alberta | The Remington Carriage Museum
2017 was an exciting year for Alberta. We got a new provincial park! Castle Provincial Park, located just 45-minutes South of Pincher Creek, is a 105,000-hectare treasure chest of rocky mountain scenery, lakes, and rivers. It’s also much less crowded than heavily established parks like Banff, Jasper, and Waterton national park.
We recently had the opportunity to spend a day there, and although we wish we had more time to explore the park a bit deeper, we were on a busy road trip throughout Southern Alberta and had already made plans to visit places such as Frank Slide. [Read more…] about A Day in Castle Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada
Today, Frank is a very small town in Southern Alberta, but back in the early 1900s, people thought it was going to be the next Pittsburgh. Due to its rich mining industry, people were coming from all over the place in hopes of creating a better life. Then, in 1903, the mountain tumbled down with 82 million tonnes of limestone rock covering up more than three square kilometres of the valley below, claiming more than 90 lives in the process. It was a devastating morning that changed the town of Frank forever.
More than 100 years later, Frank Slide is a “bucket list” attraction, teaching people Frank Slide facts while providing dramatic views of the landslide itself. For me, it was mesmerizing to be standing on the rubble that once crowned the top of Turtle Mountain. We started off with the free “Drive Through the Slide” tour, which is basically a self-driving tour through the original road that was covered up by the landslide. Along the way, we stopped the vehicle to read the info-signs provided by the interpretive centre. At one point, we were standing in the closest place that didn’t get struck by the landslide. It’s truly hard to believe that I could have been standing here back in 1903 and had the landslide go whizzing right by me. Can you imagine that? Our next stop was where they found some skeletons in one of the houses that got demolished. In fact, there are skeletons still underneath the rock. There was just no way to find them all. [Read more…] about Standing on Top of Canada’s Deadliest Landslide at Frank Slide, Alberta
Whether you choose to walk, hike, or bike, the 23-km Crowsnest Pass Community Trail is a great way to experience the scenic area and the five small communities that make up the municipality.
We ended up renting e-bikes as it was something we had never tried before. These bikes turn even the most grueling long-distance ride into a breeze. We started off by paying a visit to the famous Burmis Tree, which has stood in the area for roughly 450 years. We then offloaded our bikes and started our adventure off with a stop at the Bellevue Mine Tour. This tour takes visitors underground into one of the mines that gave this area its start. Although the mine is truly massive, only the first 300-metres is safe to explore. It’s a cool experience to be able to go underground and see the tough conditions men had to face many decades ago. Although miners have died here, the biggest mining disaster in Canadian history is located close by in the town of Hillcrest. This area has been struck by many tragedies, with one of the most famous being Frank Slide. [Read more…] about Biking Crowsnest Pass, Alberta | The 23-km Community Trail