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camping

5 Places Outside of Calgary to Visit This Summer

By KYLEE PEDERSEN

From awe-inspiring national parks to fascinating historical sites, there is plenty to experience beyond the city limits. Take a quick day drive or plan a weekend away around a visit to one (or all!) of these must-see stops.

Photo courtesy Michael Matt

WATERTON LAKES NATIONAL PARK
Nature has revived the prairies, shorelines and mountainsides of Waterton with new growth since the park was affected by the Kenow Wildfire at the end of summer last year. While some areas of the park remain closed, the Upper, Middle and Lower Waterton lakes, as well as the townsite, entrance road and Chief Mountain Highway, are open and ready to be explored. Camp, canoe, kayak, bike, hike, spot wildlife and take in the incredible natural beauty of the national park. Waterton is a three hour drive due south of Calgary.

LIVE LONG AND PROSPER
See Christopher Reeve’s Superman 3cape and take a seat in Tom Hardy’s Shinzon Captain’s chair at the eccentric Trekcetera museum in Drumheller, just an hour and a half northeast of Calgary. Canada’s only Star Trek museum goes beyond the final frontier to include a plethora of props and costumes from an array of films and artifacts from the Titanic and the U.S. 7th Cavalry. With experience on film sets and insightful anecdotes, the curator of the museum makes the displays at Trekcetera come alive.

Photo courtesy Frank Slide Interpretive Centre

LEITCH COLLIERIES
In 1907 when the Leitch Colliery was opened it was considered the most cutting-edge mining operation in Canada. Although the mine was only in operation for ten years, the stone remains of the mine’s powerhouse invoke a once grand operation. Take a scenic drive south of Calgary along highway 22 to Crowsnest Pass to learn more about the lives of the miners who worked there, the surrounding town, and the untimely demise of the fruitful business.

FATHER LACOMBE CHAPEL
This small wooden chapel is Alberta’s oldest standing building, constructed in 1861 by the Métis community who lived in what is now St. Albert. The chapel was part of the Roman Catholic mission led by Father Albert Lacombe. Make the three-hour trip north of Calgary to get a tour of not only the chapel, but its accompanying crypt, grotto and cemetery.

OKOTOKS ERRATIC
If it’s natural history you’re looking for, don’t miss the geological wonder of the world’s largest known glacial erratic, located just south of Calgary near the city of Okotoks. Here, jutting out of the prairie horizon, sits 16,500 tons of quartzite; a massive rock formation which looks as if it has been dropped from the sky. But in fact, Big Rock got a ride from a glacier thousands of years ago and assumed its final resting place when the ice receded.

 

 

5 Insider Camping Tips

Sep. 9, 2016
By Naomi Witherick

Planning a camping trip in the Canadian Rockies but new to the wilderness? Take some advice from local pro Tom Coker.

Canadian Rockies camping tips

Coker appeared on Woods Canada to compete for the title of “Canada’s Greatest Explorer”. Image by Woods Canada.

The Canmore-based outdoor enthusiast and contestant on this summer’s Woods Canada knows what he’s talking about. As well as his recent appearance on the show, Coker has diploma in outdoors activities. (more…)

Stop and Stay in Fernie

Aug. 26, 2016
By Naomi Witherick

Tackle the whitewater or throw out a fishing line. With the Elk River flowing through its district, Fernie is the perfect spot for a vacation on the water. And now you can stay even closer.

RV camping Fernie (more…)

The Best Spots in Canada to Stargaze

2011-01-30 ORION NEBULA - Version A

The haunting Orion Nebua (Photo: Ken Lord)

With over 80% of Canadians living in densely populated urban areas, it’s inevitable that light pollution keeps most us from seeing the true beauty of the night sky. Away from the city, there is a different type of glow that fills the heavens: stars, nebulae and planets. To experience this spectacle first hand, check out this list of the best locations in the world to stargaze. Six out of 11 of them are right here in Canada, and may be a short distance from where you live or travel, such as Jasper National Park, Point Pelee, McDonald Creek Provincial Park in B.C., Kejimkujik National Park in Nova Scotia, Fathom Five National Marine Park on the Bruce Peninsula and Cypress Hills in the Prairies. Perhaps one day Wood Buffalo, Canada’s newest dark sky preserve, will be added to the list.

Let us know your favourite places to stargaze and share your own awesome travel photos on our Flickr Group or Pinterest boards.

 

LIKE STAR GAZING? YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY:
Say Hello to Canada’s Newest Dark Sky Preserve
12 Quintessential Canadian Road Trips
Go Glamping in Canada

TRAVEL TREND: Glamping in Canada

By BRITTANY HENDRY

Glamping in Canada

Glamping in Canada: Soule Creek Lodge in Port Renfrew, BC (Photo: TJ Watt)

Tired of waking up in a tent stiff-necked and sore, yet love being surrounded by nature? The blossoming trend of glamping may be for you. Glamping—a term that combines “glamour” and “camping”—has brought a whole new breed of traveller to the great outdoors, allowing for more comfortable accommodations like queen-sized beds, bathrooms and electricity. Hardcore wilderness enthusiasts may shake their heads at this, but glamping gives you the same type settings as camping in the wild but with the comfort of a hotel room. Chatelaine has compiled a list of some of the best spots to go glamping in Canada, including everything from teepees to tree spheres. Check out their list here!

• To check out more places for prime glamping accommodations see Reader’s Digest‘s list of 10 places to go glamping in Canada
• Also check out 15 Deluxe Wilderness Retreats
• Leave a comment and let us know what you think about this travel trend

7 Father’s Day Gift Ideas For Calgary Dads

 

H

Hanson’s Fishing Outfitters is the shopping destination for dads who love the outdoors. Photo: Adele Brunnhofer.

Dads are notoriously difficult to shop for, but these seven papa-approved local shops offer something more than the standard “zany” necktie or drab coffee mug.

(more…)

Gulf Islands: A Photographic Tour of BC’s Maritime Jewels

Gabriola Island

The majestic Gulf Islands (Photo: Jo-in-BC)

The Gulf Islands have a lot going for them. They are rustic and tranquil, yet have fantastic opportunities for more refined tourism: spas, marinas, golf courses, vineyards, tours and resorts. Wedged between Vancouver Island and British Columbia’s mainland, the southern Gulf Islands have a climate that is almost Mediterranean, making the region one of the warmest places in Canada.

And, of course, the Gulf Islands are relentlessly beautiful. There are countless viewpoints that show how breathtaking it is when the mountains collide with the Georgia Straight, or when an orca whale breaks the surface of the water. The Gulf Islands National Park Reserve has territory throughout most of the region, providing ample opportunities to take in the vistas, go on a hike, or camp far out of reach of other humans.

Our photographic tour of the southern Gulf Islands gives a great survey of what to expect, and where to go whether you’re looking for a great photo, relaxing massage, comfortable beach or historical monuments.

Start the Gulf Islands slide show »

Teepee Camping—Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta

Submit your photo to our Flickr Group to see your favourite travel shot as part of our Photo Friday feature on Where.ca! We’ll credit you and link to your photo.

Why We Chose It

Have you ever seen so many stars? Getting away from it all is the name of the game at southern Alberta’s Waterton Lakes National Park, the quieter little sis to Glacier National Park in the U.S. The colours captured in the night sky over the Rockies is absolutely gorgeous here—patience is key as you wait for that moment right when the sun slips behind the ridge. It’s also genius to mirrors the slopes of the mountains with the peak of the teepee.

Photo: bcarlier

Wildlife Viewing Tips in the Canadian Rockies

By Peter A. Dettling

Although archeologists have determined that First Nations used the Canadian Rockies regularly for 11,000 years, the idea that bears, cougars and other ‘predators’ were vermin to be eliminated was a European notion that arrived with the explorers in the late 1700s. As the non-Native presence in the Rockies grew, over hunting brought these large carnivores to the brink of extinction, and also depleted the ungulate population including elk and moose.

Thanks to the creation of protected areas, re-introduction efforts, hunting restrictions and changing attitudes towards large carnivores, we now find all pre-European settlement species in the Rockies, except free roaming bison. But don’t take a grizzly or wolf sighting for granted. Seeing large animals in their natural habitat is a privilege.

Since you are a visitor in their home, treat animals with respect by giving them space to decide what to do and where to go. When viewing wildlife from your car, pull off of the road, shut off the engine and silently enjoy the sighting. Stay in your vehicle, especially when watching wolves or bears. It will ensure a safe and pleasant experience for both you and the animal you’re observing.

Wildlife sightings in our mountain parks are frequent and widespread occurrences. Elk are common. In fall, visit Vermillion Lakes, Lake Minnewanka Loop or Golf Course Dr near the town of Banff, or Athabasca River flats near Jasper, to see bugling elk. Your best chance to see bears is in early summer north of Lake Louise on Icefields Parkway’s avalanche slopes and in roadside dandelion patches, or beside Jasper’s Maligne Lake Road (Map 5, 5P). Elusive wolves can sometimes be spotted early summer west or south of the Jasper townsite. Kananaskis Country often hosts moose, bears and wolves.

Try walking scenic mountain trails to feel truly connected with your surroundings and yourself. It is especially exhilarating to see animals on slopes and meadows away from the road.

Editor’s Note: Peter Dettling owns Canmore’s Terra Magica gallery and is the author and photographer of The Will of the Land. Visit TerraMagica.ca for details on his award-winning work.

10 Tips for Avoiding Mosquito Bites on Your Summer Vacation

By RED HUNT

Sunset is prime time for mosquito attacks (Photo: phlchpp)

If there is one Canadian summer tradition we could go without, it’s the abundance of mosquitoes and other flying, biting insects that seem determined to drive us crazy, or send us indoors.

Chances are you’ve tried a few different solutions for dealing with these blood-thirsty insects. If mosquitos find your blood to irresistible, don’t give up yet, as here are 10 great tips for avoiding being bitten this summer. (more…)

Book Now for the Best National Parks Campsites this Summer

By WAHEEDA HARRIS

Waterton Lakes' busy Townsite campground (Photo: canoe too)

For those of us who plan to commune with Mother Nature at one of Canada’s National Parks this summer, it’s time to pick a date and make a reservation.

Parks Canada has started accepting summer reservations for popular camping spots across the country through its reservation system. While booking for most parks’ campgrounds opens the first or second week of April, campers can already call dibs on sites at Elk Island and Pacific Rim national parks. (more…)

10 Tips for Winter Camping

By Red Hunt

Cold-weather camping presents a whole new world of outdoor experiences that can’t be enjoyed during other seasons of the year. Whether you’re roughing it in a tent or sipping hot cocoa in the comfy confines of a yurt, winter camping can be as peaceful or as adventurous as you want it to be. (more…)