|Snowshoeing along Mosquito Creek in winter|
Scenery aside, I have five big reasons why you should plan a family trip to the Mosquito Creek Wilderness Hostel in Banff National Park this winter:
One - Solitude!
This photo below was taken outside the hostel on the Icefields Parkway. In summer, this is a very busy highway that links Lake Louise with Jasper. In winter, it is deserted.
Two - Private Cabin
There is a private cabin on site that sleeps two families or a group of 8-10 people. And if you can't get into the private cabin, try asking about reserving a dorm room for your group. You'll have to pay for all 12 beds but it guarantees a positive experience with young children not old enough to share a dorm room with strangers.
|Our happy group at Mosquito Creek|
Three - Great snowshoeing right outside your door
Head over to the campground next door and hike up the creek or cross the highway as we did this time and hike up the creek which leads to a set of beautiful frozen waterfalls. Note, to hike up the creek on the other side of the highway, it is very important that the creek be frozen! You are not hiking on the main summer trail that goes up towards Molar Pass. You are just following the creek bed towards a canyon. We couldn't go very far (maybe half a km at most) because of open water. So be careful please!
|Hiking up Mosquito Creek|
|Mosquito Creek in winter|
|Kids on their ski bikes - riding over an ice bridge I might add!!|
Four - Comfortable introduction to winter camping
The hostel has a warm cozy fireplace room, a kitchen stocked with the basic cooking supplies you'll need, AND two refrigerators. There's no microwave or indoor plumbing, but you will have filtered water for drinking and washing dishes lest you fear having to boil and melt snow. Winter camping doesn't get much comfier than this!
|Roasting marshmallows in the fireside room|
Five - Snow everywhere!!
It doesn't matter how brown and dry it is in Calgary because there is always snow out at Mosquito Creek from November through April. We come to the hostel and the kids spend hours playing in the snow, playing in snow quinzees at the campground next door, hiking around the area and sledding on little hills outside the hostel. We even go snowshoeing in the dark before bed.
|Playing outside the Mosquito Creek Hostel|
|Playing in Mosquito Creek|
|Ski-Biking along Mosquito Creek|
|Playing on snow piles along the highway|
|There's always snow for sledding|
|Snowshoeing under the stars at Mosquito Creek (photo: Karen Ung)|
Read about our past trips to Mosquito Creek and see more photos here:
Winter Paradise at Mosquito Creek
Winter Camping in Style
Also check out Karen's new story on Mosquito Creek. Karen is another local Calgary blogger and writes at Play Outside Guide.
Karen's story is here: How to Weather a Wilderness Hostel with Kids in Winter
And for more info. on the ski bikes the kids were riding in several photos, check out the Run Bikes YYC website, owned by my good friend Suzanne and her husband Paul.