Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Five Reasons to Take Your Family to Mosquito Creek this Winter

I could almost just post the photo below and say "this is why you should go to Mosquito Creek this winter!  Any questions?"

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

Additional Resources

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. 





3 comments:

  1. Great review and beautiful photos, Tanya! We loved being able to do activities from the door too!! The kids keep talking about what a fun trip it was. : ) All the amenities were a plus too. It was nice to not have to worry about a lantern (since we forgot extra batteries), camp stove, or water. I think you've sold me on year-round (cabin) camping!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Karen. Hope to do another trip with you in the new year.

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  2. nice post and very nice images. Looks very similar glee are kids. Happy family. Thanks for sharing.

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