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Jasper & Area

Take a look at the Canadian Rockies

Our first ever magazine cover contest was a smashing success! We received an incredible 239 submissions from 29 photographers. After we chose our cover (and our Last Look on the final page by Bryce Brown –see below), we reached out to everyone who submitted to the contest and asked if they would allow us to showcase some of their work. Read on to see a few of our favourite entries and you’ll understand just how hard our selection for the cover photo really was!

Bryce Brown

@brycebrownimages

www.brycebrownimages.ca

Kahli Hindmarsh

@kahliaprilphoto

www.kahliaprilphoto.com

 

Pam Jenks

https://500px.com/jenksphoto

 

Elnaz Mansouri

@elnaz555

www.elnazmansouri.com

 

Leslie Price

@leslieprice1121

 

 

Brad Orr

@wbradorr

www.bradorr.ca

Tyler Parker

@tylerparkerphotography

Kyla Black

@gatheringdustphotography

www.gatheringdustphotography.com

 

Mike Hopkins

@mikehopkinsphotography

www.mikehopkinsphotography.com

 

 

Of course this list only scratches the surface of the work of these photographers and all of the incredible photography here in the Canadian Rockies. If you are dying to see more mountains, sunsets, skies and wildlife (who isn’t?) we’ve got you covered online (@whererockies)!

Thank you to everyone who submitted and keep an eye out for future contests!

Photographing Winter: an Interview with Cai Priestley

In October Where Canadian Rockies held a photo contest for our Winter magazine cover. For several weeks, we were overwhelmed by the number of quality submissions sent to us by photographers from all over the world. After much deliberation and debate, we chose Cai Priestley’s photograph of a red fox, taken on the Bow Valley Parkway, as our winner. The fox captured our attention because we couldn’t help but think it was looking right at us, demanding that it become our selection (we hope you feel the same way)!

Cai’s skills as a photographer extend well-beyond the fiery fox in the snowy landscape; his website (www.caipriestley.co.uk) offers stunning wildlife photography from Asia, North America, Europe, and Africa—we really think you should buy one of his calendars (!)

We wanted to know more about Cai, and he took the time to answer our questions about his bucket list, his training as a photographer, and the craziest thing he’s ever experienced while out photographing. Have a read below to learn more about the man behind the Winter 2017/18 cover:

WHERE ROCKIES: You are from Wales, but you specialize in Canadian wildlife photography; what brought you to Canada?

CAI PRIESTLEY: Back in 2008 I decided to do some traveling, with the intention of finding and photographing some wildlife along the way. I spent a couple of months in Africa and then came to Canada to meet some friends who were living in Banff.

My plan was to keep traveling around Canada for six months, but after seeing the mountains and some local wildlife, I decided to stay in Bow Valley for as long as I could. I’ve run out of work visas now, but I was able to live and work in Banff for five of the last ten years, and I hope to call it home again someday soon.

WR: You capture what seem to be really intimate moments with animals (a bear cub looking back at you while walking with her mom and siblings, the peek from a pine marten, the fox…!); how are you able to capture them so perfectly?

CP: I put in a lot of time looking for wildlife. I try to get out as often as I can, and by doing so, I’m always increasing my chances of having an incredible encounter with something really cool. When it comes to capturing an image that I’m happy with, it’s a whole other story. It’s not always glorious wildlife and great photos. There are a lot more failed attempts and missed opportunities.

WR: Were you formally trained in photography or are you mostly self-taught?

CP: I’m mostly self-taught, but I did do a short photography course as part of my art foundation in college. That was mainly working in the darkroom learning film processing and developing though. I’ve also had some great mentors along the way who have taught me lots, especially since arriving in Canada. John Marriott and Peter Dettling were both instrumental in helping me learn the ropes when it came to Canadian wildlife.

WR: On your website, you note that you came home because you’d reached the end of your working visa; do you want to come back to the Canadian Rockies anytime soon?

CP: I’d love to make the Rockies my permanent home someday, but in the meantime I’m visiting for a couple of months every year. It’s not ideal, but it’s the best I can do at the moment until I’m in a better position to be able to move back for good.

WR: Is there anything that you haven’t captured on camera that still remains on your bucket list?

CP: The holy grail of Canadian wildlife for me would be a wolverine, a cougar or a fisher. I’ve spent a lot of time looking for wolverine but the chances of ever seeing one let alone photographing one, are incredibly small.

WR: How do you describe your photography style?

CP: I’ve never really pinned down a particular style as far as I can tell. I like shooting very wide scenes that show a subject in its environment or habitat, but I equally like a nice intimate portrait where fur or feather detail can be easily seen.

WR: Where is your favourite non-Canadian place to shoot?

CP: I love photographing on home soil here in Wales, but most of my photography is done abroad these days. I visited Alaska very briefly a few years ago and it’s somewhere I’d love to return to someday.

WR: In a landscape with sublime mountains (the Rockies), why animal photographs?

CP: I love the mountains, and I can’t say no to a good sunrise or sunset, but I’ve been obsessed with wildlife from a very young age, so wild animals will always take priority over landscape images for me. Every time I stop to shoot a sunrise, I can’t help but thinking there could be a pack of wolves waiting patiently for me in a meadow somewhere, and that’s all it takes for me to turn my back on the scene and keep searching.

WR: Can you tell me about some of your Rocky Mountain Favourites (best places to dine, visit, etc.)?

CP: I used to be a huge Barpa Bill’s fan, and I still recommend it to anyone looking for the best burger in town, but since turning vegetarian my favourite dining experience has got to be Nourish.
When it comes to my favourite places to visit or spend time at in Banff, I’d have to say the Cave and Basin or the Banff Springs Golf Course. Both places are seriously beautiful and great for a stroll close to town.

WR: What is the craziest thing that’s happened to you while photographing?

CP: Luckily I’ve not had many crazy moments when I’m out taking photos. I try my best not to put myself in those situations, or in scenarios that could potentially turn ‘crazy’. Sometimes though, things happen that are unforeseen, and there’s been a couple of times where things could have turned sour.
One that comes to mind was not long after I moved to Canada, and I got fairly close to a cow moose in a meadow in Kananaskis. I had made quite a long silent approach towards her, and I was fully visible so that I didn’t spook her. She was comfortable enough with me to carry on doing what she was doing, as I’d shown her that I wasn’t a threat.

What I hadn’t seen though, was the big bull moose that had emerged from the trees behind me and was making his way towards her. I got quite a shock when I eventually heard him thrashing his antlers in the willows just a few yards away. My exit was now blocked, and I had a river to my right that was way too deep and fast flowing to try and cross, especially with my tripod and camera. What ensued was a very intense twenty minutes where I stood still right in between the cow and bull, as the bull slowly closed the gap with his approach. Luckily, I didn’t have to get wet to make my escape in the end, as the cow decided to walk off in a different direction, which drew the bull away from my exit. As soon as I had enough room, I snuck out of there with a huge sigh of relief, and let him continue his advances alone.

Do yourself a favour and follow Cai on social media, @caipriestleyphotography + Cai Priestley Photography, you’ll be happy that you did.

The Winter 2017/18 issue of Where Canadian Rockies can be read here: http://rmvpublications.com/whererockiesdigital/

The Winter Issue of Where Canadian Rockies, featuring the photography of Cai Priestley

 

Take a Hike!

Today is the last day of summer, but the smell of pumpkin spice has been creeping into the Canadian Rockies for at least a week as the temperatures have been steadily dropping. As sad as we are to bid another summer farewell, we are equally excited to usher in a colourful fall filled with new adventures and hiking. If you are visiting the Canadian Rockies for the first time, you are in for a treat: it’s larch season! Because we want you to make the most of your visit, we’ve turned to expert hiker, Marie-Eve Bilodeau (the Mini Mule), to give us some of the best larch hikes in the Canadian Rockies.

If you are in the Lake Louise area, Marie-Eve recommends Larch Valley, the Tea House at Lake Louise, and Saddleback-Fairview Mountain. Should your visit have you in and around Banff, try exploring Taylor Lake or Healy Pass. Finally, if you are on your way to the Rockies from Calgary, consider stopping at Chester Lake/Chester Creek for a mid-drive hike.

We recommend that you visit Marie-Eve’s website for information on the hikes (and to get some ideas for other fantastic hikes in the Rockies).

Some the of scenery on the way to Chester Lake.
Photo Credit: Marie-Eve Bilodeau

For trail conditions, closures, and warnings, visit:

Kananaskis Trail Reports

Banff National Park Trail Report

Jasper National Park Trail Report

Yoho National Park Trail Report

Kootney National Park Trail Report

-Happy hiking!

Everything on Our Jasper Summer Shopping List

By Where writers

From what you’ll wear on the trail to what you’ll eat on it, here’s everything we recommend for a summer stay in Jasper.

Rub Some Dirt on It

Fjallraven Wild Mountain Jasper

Looking for a mountainwear staple? Vidda Pro cargo pants by Fjällräven handle anything you throw at them (literally). Wild Mountain’s Dave MacDowell has a customer who wears a pair that’s 20 years old! Dave recommends applying Fjällräven Greenland Wax (originally used to waterproof tents) to make ‘em even more durable.

Trail Wear for All

Columbia On-Line Sport jasper

On-Line Sport displays the largest selection of Columbia Sportswear in the Canadian Rockies. “We fit all shapes and sizes,” notes store owner Mike Merlovich. Waterproof shells, fleece, convertible zip pants and fashion styles in plus sizes range from 1X to 3X for women and XXL to XXXL for men.

Inside Out

Maaji bikini Mountain Air Jasper

One bikini purchase; four style options. Maaji makes it possible by engineering reversible, mix-and-match tops and bottoms. Columbian sisters Manuela and Amalia Sierra refer to their bathing suit creations as “little pieces of art.” Their Jasper dealer Karen Jacobs at Mountain Air notes, “It’s unlikely that you’ll ever see another person wearing the same swimsuit as yours.”

A Cut Above

Slice and Dice Knives Jasper

Boris Bukovec reflects his German craftsman roots. At Slice & Dice Knives, this fourth generation blacksmith uses traditional methods to forge kitchen, folding and hunting knives as well as handmade leather sheaths. Picture an anvil, red-hot metal and a hammer turning Damascus steel (and even railway spikes) into quality blades. Also buy Boris’ beard products, inspired by his once chest-length facial hair.

Heed Your Health

Nutters Jasper

On vacation, but your diet isn’t? Head to Nutter’s Bulk & Natural Foods to stay on track. The quaint natural food store helps you stay health-conscious with organic and alternative options. Find trail snacks, energy foods, vitamins, supplements, health and skincare products, and even treats for your dog.

Heal with Crystals and… Fudge?

Jasper Rock and Jade

I intended to interview Jasper Rock & Jade owner Neil Byatt about crystals. But he could not stop raving about his fudge that is shipped worldwide and offered in classic and unexpected flavours like maple, cookies and cream, and carrot cake (their most popular). Have a free sample as you browse the shop’s array of gems and rocks that are available rough or polished, set in jewellery and as collector pieces.

>> For more Canadian Rockies activities, shops, restaurants and entertainment, read our digital magazine.

>> Connect with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram at whererockies and tag your Canadian Rockies posts and photos with #whererockies

What To Do in Jasper this Summer

By Where writers

Jasper comes alive in summer. Here are five things to do while you’re there:

Guided Glacier

Photo courtesy of Athabasca Glacier Icewalks

Photo courtesy of Athabasca Glacier Icewalks

The Athabasca Glacier at the Columbia Icefield is 6 km long, up to 300 metres thick and studded with caves, cravasses (cracks), seracs (columns and ridges) and millwells (holes where water flows). Get there by the scenic Icefield Parkway, then venture onto the ice during a guided tour.

Note: It’s dangerous to glacier icewalk on your own.

Best by Bike

Photo by Ryan Bray

Photo by Ryan Bray

This off road (but easy) cycling loop offers views, a beach and luxury hotel amenities. From your bike rental shop, ride south on the trail by Hwy 93A then turn left to Old Fort Point; rack your bike and walk the stairs to a stunning vista. Continue around Lac Beauvert to Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge restaurants and activities. Take crushed gravel Trail 18 to Lake Annette beach, playground and picnic site. Detour to Maligne Canyon 5th Bridge for a canyon rim walk, or ride directly back to town via Big Horn Alley Trail 13.

Chasing Waterfalls

Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain Canyoning

Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain Canyoning

A stroll over the footbridges of Maligne Canyon is an iconic and accessible experience. But to truly immerse yourself in the crooks and crags, sign up for a Rocky Mountain Canyoning  adventure. Four canyons offer differing levels of difficulty and duration. “Aided by technical gear, we take you on a wilderness journey that can include rope work like rappelling plus sliding, hiking, climbing and swimming,” says guide Trevor Lesgard.

Green with Envy

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

SCOREGolf Magazine’s top rated golf resort in Canada that opened in 1925 was meticulously created by Stanley Thompson, our country’s most famous golf course architect. The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club features elevated tee boxes, 73 bunkers (many dramatic), holes in line with peaks and wide fairways that follow natural contours. This course blends beautiful landscapes with a world-class golf experience.

Get Hooked

Photo courtesy of On-Line Sport and Tackle

Photo courtesy of On-Line Sport and Tackle

Wade into a glacier-fed stream and learn how to fly fish. Jasper guides know the best spots, and teach you how to “read” the water and find the seven fish species native to the area. On-line Sport & Tackle guide Ryan Catherwood is hooked; he fishes everyday before, during and after work. “It’s peaceful,” he says. You’re “one with nature, in the water and surrounded by mountains.”

>> For more Canadian Rockies activities, shops, restaurants and entertainment, read our digital magazine.

>> Connect with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram at whererockies and tag your Canadian Rockies posts and photos with #whererockies

Eye on the Sky in Jasper

By Keili Bartlett

Join the Jasper Planetarium to watch the 2017 solar eclipse. Photo courtesy of NASA.

Join the Jasper Planetarium to watch the 2017 solar eclipse. Photo courtesy of NASA.

What’s up in Jasper? The astronomy experts at the Jasper Planetarium would love to show you! Aided by a domed star theatre and the largest telescopes in the Rockies, these interpreters reveal Jasper’s Dark Sky Preserve in all its glory.

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Limited Access Hike at Edith Cavell

By Jack Newton

Photo by Travel Alberta

Photo by Travel Alberta

Highlights of the Path of the Glacier and Cavell Meadows hike (open June 19-Sept 18) are Angel Glacier, an iceberg-filled pond and alpine terrain ablaze with wildflowers. This summer, construction on Cavell Road and parking lot requires hikers to obtain one of 180 free vehicle access permits dispensed daily from Jasper Information Centre from 8 to 10 am, up to two days before their trip. Staggered road access times are between 8:30 am and 8 pm. Alternatively, book a Cavell Meadows interpretive tour; local guides have road access priority.

>> For more Canadian Rockies activities, shops, restaurants and entertainment, read our digital magazine.

>> Connect with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram at whererockies and tag your Canadian Rockies posts and photos with #whererockies

A Guide to Mountain Top Moments

By Naomi Witherick

To get to the top, hitch a ride on a sightseeing lift. In minutes you’re whisked from the valley floor to heights of up to 2,400 m/7,874 ft where peaks stretch as far as the eye can see.

But gondolas and chairlifts give way to more than awesome views. While all five rides in Banff and Jasper national parks promise perfect mountaintop moments, each offers differences.

New Height, Historic Site

Hike or ride up Sulphur Mountain to look down on the Town of Banff. Photo by Brewster/Pursuit

Hike or ride up Sulphur Mountain to look down on the Town of Banff. Photo by Brewster/Pursuit

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A Toast to Craft Beer and Local Liquor

By Keili Bartlett

Something’s brewing in the Canadian Rockies, and it’s not just the bubbling hot springs. Local businesses have tapped into the fresh (and cold!) glacier-fed waterways to produce a more alcoholic type of liquid.

Park it here. Gleaming stills and tanks are prominently positioned for all to see at Park Distillery.

Park it here. Gleaming stills and tanks are prominently positioned for all to see at Park Distillery.

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What to Pack for a Day Hike in the Canadian Rockies

By Kaitlyn Forde

Step one: Find a trustworthy backpack to carry essentials.

Step one: Find a trustworthy backpack to carry essentials.

I came to Banff clad in Lululemon leggings, a blanket scarf, Sperries and no expectations. A recent university graduate, I planned to have one easygoing summer in the mountains before returning to my city-girl Toronto lifestyle. When I first arrived, I questioned the difference between a canoe and a kayak, didn’t understand the semantics of bear spray – let alone understood the possibility of seeing an actual bear – and had a pair of fashionable (not very functional) Nikes. Although athletic, I was the farthest thing from outdoorsy, and everyone let me know it.

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Summer Bucketlist: Top 10 Mountain Musts

By Kaitlyn Forde

Don’t have a bucket list for summer in the Canadian Rockies? Borrow ours!

1: Reach new heights: Ride Banff Gondola, Mount Norquay Chairlift, Lake Louise Gondola and Jasper Skytram for easy access to unbeatable views.

2. Snap a selfie at an iconic lake: Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Bow Lake and Maligne Lake.

Time to update your profile photo with a glacier-blue background. Photo by Travel Alberta

Time to update your profile photo with a glacier-blue background. Photo by Travel Alberta

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Indoor Activities in the Canadian Rockies

By Where Writers

Too cold outside? Need a break from skiing? There’s another frontier to discover in the Canadian Rockies: the great indoors. Wind down or rope up with these favourite indoor activities in Canmore, Banff and Jasper.

indoor activities in the Canadian Rockies, things to do in the Canadian Rockies

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