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Canadian Rockies

Top 5 Spa Treatments in the Canadian Rockies

The Canadian Rockies are known for fast-paced activities like alpine skiing, mountain running, cross country skiing, biking, hiking, and rapid-fire Instagram posts. But sometimes, it’s nice to slow down, relax a little, and soothe your body after a day (or days) of mountain pursuits. Even if you haven’t pushed your body to its physical limits, there is no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of the exceptional spa treatments available in the Canadian Rockies; a little self-care goes a long way.

1. Aromatic Moor Mud Wrap

Winter’s cold weather can be really hard on our skin. Battling the frigid temperatures of the outdoors and the dry air of the indoors can leave skin feeling a little lizard-like, especially if you’re not used to the climate of the Rocky Mountains.

At Wild Orchid Salon and Spa in Jasper, indulge in a Moor Mud wrap to exfoliate your skin and absorb the rich vitamins, minerals and enzymes of the warm aromatic mud. Wash away the mud (and your stress) in a cleansing steam shower before your skin is moisturized with high-quality products.

If you are someone who is prone to chronic pain, fatigue, rheumatism/arthritis pain, or post-sports injury, this treatment will alleviate sore muscles, aches and pains as your body’s circulation is stimulated.

To request an appointment, call 780-852-2111

Moor Mud Wrap Wild Orchid Jasper

 

 

 

 

 

 


2. Purifying Detox Facial

A new addition to the Spa at the Chateau Lake Louise, the Purifying Detox 60-Minute Facial is created to address all skin types and to help reverse environmental signs of aging. Unique purifying products powered by fruit enzymes, purple clay and essential oils, detox and deep clean your skin so that you can make the most of your wellness experience in Lake Louise.

To book an appointment, call +1 403 522 1545

Detox Facial at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Couple’s Massage

Relax and connect during a couple’s massage at Wildflower Massage and Esthetics in Canmore. While two people receive massages from two different therapists at the same time, a couple’s massage can encourage bonding and mindfulness, and it’s a great way to carve out time with a partner.

While studies have shown that couples who work out together report higher levels of connectedness and motivation, it’s also important to slow down and share in the recovery together, too. The benefits of massage will see both partners with reduced pain, anxiety, and stress.

Book online or call 403.678.4644

Couples massage at Wildflower in Canmore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Signature Pedicure

When was the last time you thought about taking care of your feet? And not just putting on clean socks or keeping your toes warm, but really taking care of your feet? Our feet go through a lot: we shove our toes into too-tight ski boots, we wear fashionably freezing footwear, we step on pieces of abandoned Lego, and more than once, a toe has stubbed the corner of a bedframe.

At the Meadow Spa in Banff, thank your feet for all they do by getting a Signature Pedicure. The pedicure includes a soak, cuticle work, nail shaping, exfoliation, a soothing foot mud wrap, a lower-leg massage, a paraffin treatment, and a pressure point massage on the bottoms of the feet.

Call 866-379-0022 or 403-760-8577 to book your appointment

Pedicure Room at Meadow Spa Banff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Mountain Hot Stone Massage

No trip to the Canadian Rockies should ever be complete without a visit to the Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Banff Springs, and no one should ever go without a hot stone massage. In a Mountain Hot Stone Massage, feel the release and relief of deep-seated tension. During your treatment, an expert therapist uses a combination of hot basalt river stones, healing hands, and a warmed oil blend of lavender, ylang ylang, ginger and eucalyptus. You will leave with a feeling of increased mobility and relaxed muscles, while the aromatic oil blend will leave your senses feeling uplifted.

Call (403) 762-1772 for more information or to book your treatment.

Hot Stone Massage Fairmont

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you want to relax in a spa setting without getting a treatment? Many spas allow clients to use their facilities by paying an access fee. Among many features, the Willow Stream Spa boasts three waterfall whirlpools and an indoor European mineral pool that are guaranteed to melt away your stresses and soothe your soul. At Meadow Spa in Banff, you can access the rooftop pools, private spa hot pool, sauna and fitness facility. Call for bookings and availability.

Fairmont Banff Springs Mineral Pool

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By: Nicky Pacas

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!

Canada 150: Reflections on People, Place and What the Country Means to Me

By Jack Newton

Canada, now celebrating its 150 anniversary, has been ‘my home and native land’ for 61 years. Indeed, I have fond memories of attending Canada’s 100th birthday celebrations at the Expo ’67 world fair in Montreal. Was that really 50 years ago?

Milestones provoke contemplation, and so I pause to reflect on the meaning of Canada. Laudable Canadian virtues include civility, responsibility and the rule of law. But I believe that our country is defined first and foremost by geography. And I have seen the glory.

Canoeing on a glacier lake in the Rockies. Can it get more Canadian? Photo by Travel Alberta.

Canoeing on a glacier lake in the Rockies. Can it get more Canadian? Photo by Travel Alberta.

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Facts & Legends: Alberta’s Ammolite Gemstone

July 4, 2016
By Jack Wennot

Ammolite gemstones are prized by tourists, First Nations and feng shui practitioners. Derived from the colourful shells of 70-million-year-old Alberta ammonite fossils, these rare gems have immense appeal to Rockies visitors.

Quality ammolite is found within the Bearpaw Formation near the St. Mary River. Although Indigenous peoples of southwestern Alberta have cherished ammonites for centuries, it was only in 1981 that ammolite was awarded official gem status by the World Jewellery Confederation.

Ammonite fossils make beautiful ammolite jewellery.

Ammonite fossils make beautiful ammolite jewellery.

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Centenarian Club: Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

April 11, 2016
By Afton Aikens

Peaks may be our claim to fame in the Canadian Rockies, but we’ve also got roots.

The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is nearing the end of its 100th year. The hotel has joined other celebrated institutions that have made it into the Centenarian Club.

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Lakeshore Luxury
In true Canadian tradition, the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge began in June 1915 as a cluster of 10 tents on the shores of glacier-fed Lac Beauvert. The accommodation was known as Tent City, and the nightly rate was $2.50 to $3, or $15 to $18 for a week.

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Spring Skiing in the Canadian Rockies

March 11, 2016
By Naomi Witherick

Stay and ski for a few days at Sunshine Mountain Lodge (background), Banff's only on-hill accommodation. Image: Banff & Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka

Stay and ski for a few days at Sunshine Mountain Lodge (background), Banff’s only on-hill accommodation. Image: Banff & Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka

Spring skiing in Banff and Jasper is about BBQs, music and spring passes at killer prices. Expect great conditions too, with sunshine and late winter snowfall. Here are the deals and events not to miss.

The Annual Slush Cup Competition at Sunshine Village, Banff.

Sunshine Village’s Annual Slush Cup will be making a splash May 23. Image: Sunshine Village

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12 Best Mountain Activities in Winter

By Jack Newton

Banff, Jasper and other Canadian Rockies locales are a winter enthusiast’s paradise. Below are some of our favourite ways to enjoy the great outdoors.

Browse activities in Banff and area

Browse activities in Jasper and area

Image: Grotto Canyon, Tourism Canmore Kananaskis

Image: Grotto Canyon, Tourism Canmore Kananaskis

1. Canyon Ice Walks: Guided tours of Johnston, Grotto and Maligne canyons pass through towering walls of limestone to stunning frozen waterfalls. Ice cleats are provided; headlamp-lit night tours are an option. (more…)

7 Ideas for Winter Fun in the Mountains

Dec. 10, 2015
By Afton Aikens

We talked to local extreme sports athlete Will Gadd in our winter feature Big Mountain Adventure about some of his favourite places to ice climb and backcountry ski. But if the suggestions in that article are a little too adventurous for you, Gadd has more ideas for fun:

Grotto Mountain Ice Walk, Canmore Kananaskis

Grotto Mountain Ice Walk, Canmore Kananaskis

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Western Canada’s 12 Best Hot Springs

By WAHEEDA HARRIS

Lussier Hot Springs (Photo: Tourism BC/Dave Heath)

With cool nights year-round in the Canadian Rockies and on Canada’s the west coast, a soak in a warm pool is a welcome end to a hard day on the trail or a bonus for surviving another work week. The lack of options in eastern Canada isn’t an oversight: the subterranean thermal activity that feeds the springs only exists out west. (more…)

5 Reasons Why You Should Take the Train Across Canada

By BRITTANY HENDRY

The Canadian passing through Alberta (Photo: Jamie McCaffrey)

Via Rail’s long-standing passenger route across our homeland, aptly named The Canadian, is one of the most exquisite ways to experience the vast space between Toronto and Vancouver. Covering 4,466km, the train offers incredible views of the Rockies, the Coast Mountains, the Prairies and the pre-Cambrian shield. Here, we offer the five top reasons to experience this unforgettable journey.

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