Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Family Spring Ski Touring Weekend in Banff

We just spent a weekend in Banff based out of the HI Castle Mountain Wilderness Hostel and enjoyed the proximity to great ski trails from our location at Castle Junction in Banff. We've been building up to light ski touring as a family all winter, and from the hostel, had several great options of trails to choose from.

Ski Touring in Paradise Valley, Lake Louise

Introduction to Ski Touring (how is it different from cross-country skiing?)


Cross-country ski trails are usually groomed and track-set, making them enjoyable and relatively easy (with experience) on skinny skis designed for speed and glide. The hills have pretty corduroy grooming, and the trails are usually wide enough to accommodate two ski tracks (one for each direction.)

Cross-country trails also have a wide groomed area in the middle for skate skiing or for use when skiing up and down hills. The wide trails make it easy to herringbone climb up hills with a large "v" or to snowplow down hills in the traditional "pizza."

Skiing the Fairview Trail at Lake Louise (a traditional x-country trail)

When we head out for a day of light ski touring, we are choosing trails that are ungroomed and that are not track-set. The trails are either summer hiking trails, winter snowshoe trails, or all-season multi-use trails (sometimes even summer mountain biking trails.)

A ski touring trail is narrow (think of your average hiking trail,) and there is very little room to execute a good snowplow when going downhill. If the trail has been popular with snowshoers there could also be a good trench that you are skiing through (meaning that your skis have to go in a straight line and can't go out to the side when climbing or descending hills.)

Climbing narrow steep hills on cross-country skis is not an easy thing to do (Ross Lake Trail)


Ski touring requires incredible finesse if you choose to use cross-country skis. Below are just a few of the skills you'll need to master:

  • You must climb hills that are often too narrow for the traditional herringbone technique (as shown in the photo above.)

  • Hills are steep, twisty, winding, and again - narrow! It's often not possible to snowplow down them. The only way to stop is to either launch yourself into a soft pile of snow, or to drag a ski through soft snow beside the trail.

  • Skiers must be able to avoid natural hazards (tree stumps, logs down across the trail, tree wells that trap you with your skis high above your body so that you can't get out, small trees partially buried by fresh snow, etc.

  • If skiing near or across creeks, there are other risks associated which could include falling in the creek if not careful or trying to cross snow bridges (deciding if they are firm enough to hold you.)
Tree well on the Ross Lake Trail

Last weekend we encountered everything above (including logs or trees down across the steepest of hills out of sight around a sharp corner.) And we definitely navigated some sketchy snow bridges along Paradise Creek Saturday.

And note: skiers must also know if and when they are in avalanche terrain, and have the required skills to ski in this terrain if they choose to enter it. (We chose to stay out of avalanche terrain this past weekend and only skied as far as was safe.)

Skiing beside (and often across) Paradise Creek at Lake Louise

Trail Number One: Paradise Valley, Lake Louise 


Paradise Valley has always been one of my favourite ski tours. The trail is never overly narrow or steep and the scenery is stunning as you ski beside Paradise Creek between bridges. 

Skiing up the Paradise Valley Trail at Lake Louise 

Approach: There are two approaches for this one but both start off from groomed cross-country ski trails at Lake Louise. Approach one starts from the Moraine Lake Road which you'll ski for approximately a kilometre and a half before turning off onto the Fairview Loop. The Paradise Valley trail takes off from here at the top of a steep hill before the Fairview Trail starts turning right to head for Lake Louise. 

We prefer a different approach, starting from the Lake Louise parking lot up at the lake. We jumped onto the Fairview ski trail from here until we came to the junction with the Paradise Valley Trail. This saved us a bit of height gain and was more interesting than skiing up the Moraine Lake Road. When we finished our ski tour we just dropped down to the Moraine Lake Road and then continued on the Tramline Trail ending at the Village below. (My husband climbed back up to the lake for the car.) 

For complete directions please invest in the book Ski Trails in the Canadian Rockies. (Affiliate link to a book I swear by! It is my favourite ski reference guide.) 

One of the snowy bridges along the Paradise Valley Trail 

How far we skied: We skied up the Paradise Valley trail until we came to the first bridge (shown in the photo above.) Here we were able to follow the creek instead of the hiking trail. In the summer there is no trail up the creek, so it is a winter trail only and requires good snow coverage if you want to avoid swimming. (Right now it's perfect.)

Skiing up the valley beside Paradise Creek 

We were able to follow other ski tracks up the valley without having to break trail (thank goodness!) We chose the ski trail to the right of the creek on the way up the valley (mistake!) and had to cross several snow bridges. On the way back we chose the trail on the other side of the creek (left side if looking up the valley) and it was a much better choice. 

We stopped at the second bridge (I think there are four bridges total.) Beyond here, it starts to get steeper and you eventually enter avalanche terrain.

The Second Bridge on the Paradise Valley Trail

Highlights of this ski tour:


Off-Trail Ski Touring in a Winter Wonderland - Seriously look at the photo below. This is not a trail in summer. 



The Snow! Seriously, this is March - late March! And there is still this much snow. 



The creek is stunningly beautiful to ski alongside. And the mountains! This is a ski to save for those gorgeous bluebird days.

The bridges were a lot of fun and were so pretty 

We loved the bridges! They were so snowy and you could hardly see them. 

You can hardly tell that my boys are on a bridge here! 

We loved how easy it was to ski up the valley once you got there. The hiking trail is a bit challenging at the beginning up to the first bridge, but then you're just skiing up a valley that's relatively flat and easy to follow. And we've always had other ski tracks to follow, showing us the way.

This is one of the best ski tours in Banff

The Ski DOWN is so much fun! Check out the video below for a quick glimpse at the trail from the first bridge back down to the Fairview Ski Trail. (It's really short and just taken on from my phone so don't expect anything too awesome.)




Total Trip Distance: Roughly 16 km from Lake Louise with the Fairview Trail, Paradise Valley extension, Moraine Lake Road descent, and Tramline descent down to the Village of Lake Louise.

We  skied for about 3 km at the most (one way) on the Paradise Valley Trail.

Happy Skier in Paradise Valley 

Trail Number Two: Ross Lake Circuit, Yoho National Park 


Disclaimer: I know Yoho National Park is not exactly "Banff," but the trailhead is located just over the British Columbia border and is a 10 minute drive from Lake Louise.

As for the Ross Lake Trail, this was one of those decisions that you look back on and say, "Hmm, maybe we should have tried it without kids first, hey?"

It was challenging and I have to admit we won't be repeating the circuit anytime soon! The one-way up/down route we'd happily do again next winter.

Ross Lake, Yoho National Park 


Route One: The Ross Lake Circuit: We started at the Lake O'Hara parking lot and skied up the Lake O'Hara road for 2 kilometres (skiing on a wide snowy road that's often track set) At the 2km mark, we turned off to our left on the signed "Ross Lake Trail."

Trailhead off the Lake O'Hara Road
Once we got on the Ross Lake Trail, we climbed for 200 metres on a very narrow trail. I had climbing skins on my skis but my boys didn't. My sons skis are short enough that he was able to herringbone up the hills but I'm still not sure how my husband got up. The trail was steep enough that you definitely need climbing skins (or else might have to take your skis off and walk sections.)

We finally got to the high point above the lake and then had a terrifying descent down to the lake (only terrifying because snowshoers had carved a deep trench in the trail and you couldn't snowplow or do anything other than point your skis straight down and follow the steep twisty luge track with no way to stop.) My son used the "my body's still young" method of stopping which involved lots of falling and getting back up again, my husband used skill (he's a backcountry skier and used to trails like this,) and I tried dragging a ski through soft snow above the trail to slow down (somewhat successfully.)

We had lunch at the lake and then descended a different trail down to the Great Divide (an old highway that is now a groomed ski trail in winter.) The descent down to the Divide was actually a lot of fun and wasn't as steep as the previous trail. I was actually able to snowplow in spots and there were far less wipeouts.

The narrow climbing trail up to Ross Lake

From the Great Divide Trail we turned left and followed the road back to the Lake O'Hara Parking Lot. Total distance is 9km for the loop.


Trailhead sign from the Great Divide Trail

Route Two: The Ross Lake Circuit in Reverse: Do the loop as described above in reverse. This would mean a better climb to the lake on a trail that's far less steep from the Great Divide Trail. It would however involve a much steeper descent down to the Lake O'Hara Road.

Tree well crash after falling off the narrow hiking trail

Route Three: Up and Back from the Great Divide: This is the route you want to do with children!! It is a much more gradual climb, (and descent) and reduces the overall trip distance to roughly 5 km round trip. We'll be repeating this one next winter. The full circuit can wait until we get backcountry skis.

Access to the Ross Lake Trail via the Great Divide Trail

And again, For complete directions please invest in the book Ski Trails in the Canadian Rockies.

And for a fun look at a part of our descent from Ross Lake, check out the short video below. (again, just taken with my phone.) - Most of the time we were going way too fast to stop and take any videos.





Weekend Accommodations 


As much as I love my own bed, driving to Lake Louise and back two days in a row is a bit much. It's also a long drive for the day from Calgary (why this is the first time we've skied in the Louise area all winter.)

We chose to spend the weekend at the HI Castle Mountain Wilderness Hostel because of its central location between Banff and Lake Louise. From the hostel we could easily be at Louise in 15 minutes, or be back in Banff or Canmore even if conditions looked more favorable there. And when it comes to spring, you want the option of flexibility.

HI Castle Mountain Wilderness Hostel

I've written all about the HI Castle Mountain Hostel in a previous story here: Winter at the HI Castle Mountain Hostel with Kids.

In a nutshell though, what you need to know:


  • The Castle Mountain Hostel is OPEN. It was scheduled to close at the beginning of 2018 but I can assure you it is very much open (and will be through the end of this year for sure.)

  • From the hostel, you are 15-20 minutes from both Banff and Lake Louise. You're also close to Canmore and within easy reach of either Yoho National Park or trails along the Icefields Parkway. It's the perfect hostel in Banff for convenient access to everything!!

  • From the hostel you are a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Johnston Canyon Trailhead. There are also great cross-country ski trails right outside the door.

  • Children must be 6 years of age or older to stay at this hostel. Sleeping is in communal dorms separated by gender (so I got to sleep by myself in the women's dorm while my boys found bunks in the men's dorm.)

  • There is a communal kitchen complete with two ovens, a microwave, a toaster, all the dishes and cooking supplies you'll need (perhaps minus sharp knives,) and space for a large group of guests.

  • The hostel is very comfortable for a wilderness hostel. It has indoor plumbing, electricity, heat, and showers. There's also a lovely fireside room with fireplace, several games, a house guitar, and plenty of seating.

  • There is a manager on site in case you have questions, want trail suggestions, or need an introduction to hosteling. This is the perfect hostel for "first timers."

  • You can book the entire hostel (read the story here) if you want to stay at Castle Mt. with a group of other families (with kids of any age allowed.) 

Fireside room at the Castle Mountain Hostel 

Read more about our adventures in this area here: Ice Caves and Frozen Waterfalls in Banff National Park.



Other Recommended Reading 


Family X-Country Skiing at Lake Louise

Family Backcountry Ski Touring in Banff (Boom Lake Trail) 

Parting Shot: Ross Lake Ski Tour 

Disclaimer: Our stay at HI Castle Mountain Hostel was provided for us compliments of Hostelling International. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Yes, Take the Kids out of School for the Day - and Go Skiing!

I've always been a big supporter of regular school attendance and would never have considered pulling my son from classes for the day - to go skiing! That is until this year, when I did it for the first time, and realized how much fun it was to spend a day at a ski hill without the weekend crowds!

Nakiska Ski Resort really does look like this at 9am on a Friday!

My son gets out of school at 12:40 on Fridays and so I decided one week that we'd just skip the morning, and go skiing instead. We got to our local hill, Nakiska, by 8:30, got dressed and ready to go, and were on the lifts by 9am - ready to greet the day and ski the fresh corduroy.

The glorious run shown in the photo above was our first run of the day, and that perfect corduroy was ours for the taking.

See all the people on the hill? Me neither!


5 Reasons You'll Love Midweek Ski Days



  1. Fresh corduroy till noon! (Seriously, we were skiing groomed black runs off the gold chair at Nakiska at noon, and still had fresh corduroy.) - and if you prefer fresh powder, just go out after a big dump of snow. The hill will still be yours.

  2. No crowds! We walked into the mid-mountain lodge at one point and there was one other person in the lodge. One!

  3. Plenty of parking! I'm pretty sure we were parked in the first row of the closest parking lot at Nakiska. Try to do that on a Saturday!

  4. No lineups. We never waited for a single chair. We skied right on to every lift.

  5. The hill was quiet. You know that feeling when you go cross-country skiing, and it's just quiet. Peaceful. Serene? Well, that's what you'll get at a ski resort as well when you go anytime other than over a weekend.

A boy and his private mountain. 

Working with the School for Planned Absences


It doesn't hurt to show a bit of respect to your child/children's teacher(s) and ask if they will miss anything special on that particular day or if it would be better to choose a different day.

I told my son's teacher that we were going to take the morning off to go skiing, and was given a solid green light! (and tons of encouragement!) The principal even jokingly asked if she could come along.

And yes, I realize you don't technically "have" to get the teacher's blessing, but I used to be a teacher and I know it can be a pain in the butt trying to catch children up on projects or work they've missed while away.

Happy to be skiing for the day!

Otherwise, if you're not comfortable taking the kids out of school for a day, choose to go skiing on a PD day or go over Spring Break - when the hill will be busier for sure, but still much quieter than it would be on a weekend. 

And if your child gets those half days on Fridays, these can be an amazing time to head to the mountains. 


What Nakiska looks like on a Friday


Spring Skiing and Sunshine Ahead 


I know a lot of you have moved on from winter and are just waiting to bring the bikes out. And that would be me too (ready to start biking,) but I'm not done with ski season yet.

We have at least 5 more ski days planned (hopefully more,) and are looking forward to some awesome mid-week spring skiing days!

Hopefully we'll meet some of you on the slopes over the next couple of months because we plan to ski well into April before we put our skis away.

Sunshine and Warm Ski Days Ahead! Come Join us on the Slopes!

All photos were taken at Nakiska Ski Area the last time we went skiing on a Friday morning. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Climbing Mountains with Kids - On Skis! (Skogan Pass, Kananaskis)

Skogan Pass might not be a true "mountain" but we still climbed 600 metres to the top of the pass, so I'm going to call it a mountain because it sure felt like one on the way up!

Skogan Pass Summit, Kananaskis

Trailhead and Location


The Skogan Pass Trail is accessed from either the Ribbon Creek Day Use Area (below Kananaskis Village,) or from the Nakiska Ski Area. Start from Nakiska and you'll climb the first 50 to 100 metres in your car instead of on skis. You'll also save a kilometre and a half each way in distance.

If starting from Ribbon Creek, hop on the Skogan Pass trail from the parking lot and go up.

If starting from Nakiska, ski past the Bronze Chair and follow signs for the cross-country ski trail. You'll connect into the trail system near the Troll Falls junction.

From Ribbon Creek it is 2 km to the Troll Falls Junction. From Nakiska it is 0.4 km. I'll let you guess where we started!

Total round trip distance to Skogan Pass is 17.6 km from Nakiska.

Starting up the Skogan Pass Trail with High Spirits

Up to the Junction with the Sunburst Lookout Trail 


From the Troll Falls junction, the trail really begins to climb and you'll start up the only section that's rated a true "black" on the map. And on the way down, this section is FAST!

I'm not sure how long it took us to ski the 2.6 km to the junction with the Sunburst Trail, but I wouldn't be surprised if it took an hour. On the way down it took 5 minutes.

The sign to Skogan Pass  I never thought I'd see while skiing with my 9 year old!

And then we had the "talk." Should we go on and continue climbing up the Skogan Pass Trail, or would it be smarter to call it a day and just tag the Sunburst Lookout instead.

My husband voted for Sunburst, but I was rather insistent that I wanted to reach the pass. Noah agreed to ski to the next junction with the High Level Trail and said he'd decide there.

It looks so flat but I assure you we climbed the whole way up!

Sunburst Junction to High Level Junction - Still Climbing 


This part of the trail was blessedly short at 0.8 km, but then we had to decide - take the High Level Trail and complete the much shorter Sunburst Lookout Loop, or keep going.

A BIG factor in our decision making was that we were skiing through tons of fresh snow on an ungroomed ski trail that had only been skier-tracked by two people ahead of us. Normally this trail is groomed and easy to travel in winter.

With all the fresh powder and the current challenging conditions, we were looking at a 17.6 km round trip distance in light touring conditions rather than the normal nordic skiing experience we'd expected.

The final challenge we had to consider was that our son only has skinny cross-country skis. Both my husband and I have slightly wider light touring skis with metal edges. Our skis are meant for skiing through powder and for off-trail touring. Noah's skis however are meant for skiing at Nordic Centres on groomed trails.

Rest break at the Sunburst Junction


Deciding to Push on to the Top of the Skogan Loop


My husband was pretty convinced that there was no way we'd reach the actual pass in all the fresh powder with a 9 year old child. Noah had never done an 18 km ski tour before and we really didn't know if he could do it.

That being said, we decided to continue on to the top of the Skogan Loop, another 3 km ahead of us, and VERY uphill.

So much Snow! Climbing up the Skogan Pass Trail

And I'll admit it was me pushing for the pass. Thankfully I somehow managed to convince Noah to keep going. (Mostly because he knew none of his friends had ever made it up there before and he thought it would be cool to do something nobody else had ever done.)

It was an absolute winter wonderland!

We Reached the Top of the Skogan Loop - and met an angel


It was a tough climb up the powerline to reach the top of the Skogan Loop - and we knew we still had 2 more kilometres to go if we were going to reach the true pass.

We'd also just passed the two skiers who'd been ahead of us all day on their way down, and they had told us that nobody had gone to the pass ahead of them - which meant we'd be breaking trail the final 2 kilometres.

I finally conceded that my husband was probably right that we should turn around, and said it was ok if we stopped at the top of the loop.

Climbing up the powerline to the top of the Skogan Loop - through crazy deep snow!

And then, just as we were admitting we'd have to turn around, we met another skier coming up behind us - heading for the pass! Our "trail angel" asked us where we wanted to go and said he'd break trail. I said ideally we wanted to reach the pass, and that was all I had to say before he wished us luck, encouraged Noah that he could do it, and took off up the trail to give us a set of tracks to follow up to the pass.

Skiing the final 2 kilometres up to the pass 

The Final 2 Kilometres to the Top of Skogan Pass 


It should have been a loooong 2 km, and it was, but honestly Noah was a rockstar on this part and he just kept trudging along.

He only got upset when the trail would dip and start descending at times (because he knew he'd have to climb back up on the way out.)

Reaching Skogan Pass 

Skogan Pass - we made it!!



I don't know if we climbed the full 600 metres or not since we started at Nakiska, but we climbed over 500 metres for sure and it was a challenging ski with the distance (almost 9 km one way,) the fresh deep powder, the lack of grooming, and the touring conditions.

Noah is very proud of himself for making it to the pass and he LOVED the ski down (who wouldn't!)

The first 2km on the way down is hard because it's actually quite flat in spots and even has a few uphill sections, but once we reached the top of the Skogan Loop, the downhill really began and we were laughing and screaming our way down the powerline.

Skogan Pass, Kananaskis 

And I apologize that I didn't really take any photos on the way down (or any videos,) but it was getting late and we really just wanted to get back down to the car. We were also having too much fun to stop.

The top of Skogan Pass, Kananaskis

In total, our trip took roughly 6 hours round trip. I expect it would be much faster if the trail was groomed. (especially on descent where we were actually going quite slow at times with all the fresh snow.)

Parting Shot of Skogan Pass

Follow this link to see a map of the Ribbon Creek Trail System. Distances are slightly different from those on the trail maps you'll see while skiing but it gives you a good idea of where you'll be going.

To read more of our winter cross-country ski adventures, check out my previous story: Winter Adventures in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.

Also check out my previous story on skiing in the Ribbon Creek Area: Exploring Ribbon Creek in Kananaskis (on skis!) 

Skogan Pass! We made it!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The BEST of Spring in the Canadian Rockies (Gotta do THIS!)

It's starting to feel like spring in Calgary, and the warm sun has me dreaming about first hikes, camping trips, and dry bike trails.

Spring returns and the bikes come out! (Pictured: Biking the Canmore Town Trails)

The list below is in no particular order, but I did start out with the "snowy spring stuff" at the beginning. Scroll down if you're totally DONE with snow.

All links go to stories I've already written on the subject, or to other websites that will help you. I also plan to add to this story as we discover new and awesome things to do in or near Calgary between March and May (so save it to reference often.)

Our annual first hike on Prairie Mountain in the Elbow Valley 



The BEST of Spring in the Canadian Rockies 



Early Spring / Say Yes to More Snow 



1. Ski into April at Nakiska Ski Area in Kananaskis - Visit the Nakiska website for full info. on spring events, Easter skiing, and this year's closing date.


2. Ski into May at the Lake Louise Ski Resort - with spring skiing passes available for only $389, valid from March 1st through May 6th, 2018.


3. Ski through May at Sunshine Village Resort - With skiing until May 21, 2018 (Spring skiing passes available, and moms usually ski for free on Mother's Day!)


There's still lots of great snow for spring skiing!

4. Plan a Cross-country Ski Weekend at Lake Louise - Book affordable accommodations at the HI Lake Louise Alpine Centre and enjoy good snow through April.


5. Spend a Weekend at a Wilderness Hostel - HI Kananaskis, HI Castle Mountain, and HI Mosquito Creek are all situated close to ski resorts, cross-country ski trails, and hiking trails.

- Read: Affordable Ski Vacations in the Canadian Rockies (HI Kananaskis Hostel)

- Read: Spring Adventures on the Icefields Parkway, Banff National Park (HI Mosquito Creek)

- Read: Family Spring Touring Weekend in Banff (Hi Castle Mountain)

Mosquito Creek is magical in winter or spring

6. Enjoy the Last of Winter on the Icefields Parkway - We love spring snowshoeing while staying at the HI Hilda Creek Wilderness Hostel. And HI Rampart Creek is another great hostel along the Parkway as well. You'll find snow well into May if you travel out past Lake Louise towards the Columbia Icefields.

Read: Easter at the Best Wilderness Hostel in the Canadian Rockies - HI Hilda Creek

Read: Rampart Creek: Our New Favourite Wilderness Hostel 

Read: Spring Adventures on the Icefields Parkway, Banff National Park - HI Mosquito Creek



7. Enjoy one final winter hike, one last snowshoe outing, or one more cross-country ski day

Read: The BEST of Winter in the Canadian Rockies (Gotta do THIS!)

Spring on the Icefields Parkway aat Hilda Creek

8. Go Snowshoeing - When snow is too warm for skiing, it's still great for a winter hike!


9. Visit the Canmore Nordic Centre for a day - With daily fresh grooming, this is a great place to enjoy some spring cross-country skiing.

Skiing to the Meadow Hut at the Canmore Nordic Centre

10. Enjoy those frozen waterfalls and canyons before they melt!

Read: 5 Reasons families Love Visiting Troll Falls in the Winter

Read: The Most Popular Hike in Banff - without the crowds (Johnston Canyon)

Read: Grotto Canyon Ice Walk - 5 Reasons we Love this Hike 

Read: The Wildest Winter Canyon Hike in Kananaskis (Jura Creek)

Read:  Spring Adventures on the Icefields Parkway, Banff  (Mosquito Creek Icefalls)

Playing on ice in Grotto Canyon in spring


Late Spring / NO More Snow Please!! 



1. Hike Prairie Mountain in the Elbow Valley - our annual first summit (most years in March) 


2. Go Biking on Highway 66 in the Elbow Valley - An annual tradition for us as soon as the snow melts off the highway (in some years, as early as mid-March!) Bike on the closed highway which doesn't open to traffic until May 15th.


3. Bike and Hike around Bow Valley Provincial Park - Another early season favourite, bike to the Many Springs Trailhead for a short hike in the Bow Valley Campground. Roads are closed to traffic until the end of April (the campground opens on April 27, 2018)

Read: The Best Spring Bike Rides in Kananaskis 

Biking the campground roads through Bow Valley Provincial Park 

4. Bike the Paved Bill Milne Trail at Kananaskis Village - Free of ice and snow by mid to late April 


5. Plan a Day Trip to Canmore - the bike trails around town are always dry by mid April 


6. Go Camping in Bow Valley Provincial Park - the Bow Valley Campground opens late April!(And last year we were there opening weekend as pictured below. - story in the link)


April camping in Bow Valley Provincial Park

7. Plan a Day Trip to Banff 




8. Enjoy one of our TOP TEN FAVOURITE SPRING FAMILY HIKES in Kananaskis 

Spring Hiking in Bow Valley Provincial Park

9. Take a Day Trip to Drumheller and Bike to a Ghost Town 

Read about the adventure in last year's Gotta do THIS April Story (paragraph 3)


Biking in Drumheller on the road to Wayne

10. Take a Spring Road Trip to the Columbia Valley - mountain bike trails are good to go by April in this sunny valley, and we love camping in Radium Hot Springs for Mother's Day.





Spring biking in the Columbia Valley



12. Bike to the Cat Creek Falls Day Use Area on Highway 40 - The highway doesn't open until June 15th.


Family Road Ride on Highway 40 to Cat Creek Falls

13. Go Camping for Mother's Day Weekend - We personally love camping at Redstreak in Radium Hot Springs. 


14. Go Camping in the Alberta Badlands - Before it gets too hot and while the bugs are still sleeping.





Hiking in Dinosaur Provincial Park 

15. Plan a Spring Biking Weekend at Nipika Mountain Resort in BC - Ideal for the Mother's Day weekend.


16. Get the Boats out for the Season - We paddled on the Kananaskis River one year in April, and we love floating down the Red Deer River late May.



April paddling on the Kananaskis River

17 Play Tourist in Banff - without the Crowds! Ride the gondola, visit the Hot Springs, and hike the trails around town.


18. Take a Spring Glacier Adventure on the Icefields Parkway! - Ride an ice explorer bus onto the Athabasca Glacier, walk around on the glacier, and then explore the Glacier Skywalk, a cliff-edged glass sidewalk. The season opens on April 13th for 2018. - And you know it'll be a lot less busy in April!

Glacier Adventure on the Icefields Parkway

More adventures to be added as we continue to explore, travel, and discover new awesome ways to have fun in the months of March, April, and May.

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