Posts tagged Destination Canada

Far & Wide: 10 Top Hikes In Alberta With Jeff Bartlett

Based in Jasper National Park, adventure photographer Jeff Bartlett knows a thing or two about the area. When I asked him to pick his top ten, Jeff replied:

“I am a touch biased about my 10 top sights and hikes in Alberta. I could visit a dozen locations that all qualify for this list without going more than an hour from my house; however, when I force myself to be impartial I’m always shocked by how diverse and, most importantly, beautiful Alberta is from border to border.”

Calling Alberta home for the past five years, Jeff has been fortunate to explore the majority of the province whether on assignment or simply exploring on his own. Take a look at Jeff’s top 10 Sights and Hikes in Alberta alongside his words below…

10. Hike Window Mountain Lake In Crowsnest Pass

Crowsnest Pass is so often overlooked as people race back and forth between Calgary, Alberta, and Fernie, British Columbia, but it is quite the destination in its own right.

While scrambling Crowsnest Mountain would be the region’s highest attraction, hiking to Window Mountain Lake remains memorable. The sunrise blew our minds.

9. Canoe To Spirit Island

It’s easy to reach Spirit Island on a Maligne Lake Boat Cruise, but it’s far more rewarding to canoe there while checking out the many coves and bays. For a true wilderness experience, spend the night at Hidden Cove or Fisherman’s Bay.

Another evening at Spirit Island and another image that I love. This place is amazing. #myjasper #explorealberta

A photo posted by Jeff Bartlett (@photojbartlett) on

8. Watch Sunset Above The Peace River Valley

The Peace River doesn’t get a lot of attention; however, it cuts straight across Northern Alberta before joining the Athabasca River to form the world’s largest freshwater delta.

7. Hike/Scramble Mt Indefatigable

Upper Kananaskis Lake is one of the most stunning locations in Alberta, but it’s often overlooked because it’s located just outside the Banff National Park boundary. Hiking Mt Indefatigable to get an aerial view of the lake is stunning and it’s possible any month of the year.

Photo: Jeff Barlett
Photo: Jeff Barlett

6. Jasper’s Night Sky

As the world’s second largest dark sky preserve, Jasper is known for its limited light pollution footprint and the clear views of the night sky. The result is a stunning opportunity to see millions of stars and, on occasion, the northern lights.

Photo: Jeff Bartlett
Photo: Jeff Bartlett

5. Travel The Entire Icefields Parkway

The Icefield Parkway links the two Rocky Mountain towns of Jasper and Lake Louise and passes the 230 ice fields that it’s named after. It’s hard to imagine a more scenic road anywhere on the planet.

Photo: Jeff Bartlett
Photo: Jeff Bartlett

4. Stand Amid The Endless Prairies

The Rocky Mountains are Alberta’s most known destination; however, the majority of the province is located on the Canadian Prairies.

Photo: Jeff Bartlett
Photo: Jeff Bartlett

3. Hike Bears Hump In Waterton Lakes National Park

It’s a short 45 minute hike from the Waterton Lakes National Park visitor centre to Bear’s Hump, which might make it the most rewarding hike for the effort required in the entire province.

Waterton Natuonal Park, you are one beautiful place! #explorealberta #stayandwander

A photo posted by Jeff Bartlett (@photojbartlett) on

2. Hike The Tonquin Valley

There are plenty of backcountry experiences in Alberta, but hiking the Tonquin Valley wins my vote for the most spectacular. It’s a 40-km round trip hike that takes 2-3 days. The sight of the Rampart Mountains above Amethyst Lake is unforgettable.

Photo: Jeff Bartlett
Photo: Jeff Bartlett

1. Take in Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake is one of the easiest viewpoints to reach in the entire Canadian Rockies – it’s a 5-minute hike from the parking lot – but it remains the most stunning location to visit.

Photo: Jeff Bartlett
Photo: Jeff Bartlett

Do you agree with Jeff’s top 10 Sights & Hikes? Let us know in the comments below…

Far & Wide: How To Ski 3 Resorts In 3 Days This Winter

Wake up early to watch the sunrise… you won’t regret it. Photo: Mt Norquay

There is a reason Banff, Alberta, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Canada. Not only does it have some of the most jaw-dropping landscapes and grin-inducing skiing in the country, but it is so easy to experience it should definitely be on your travel list. Located only 1.5 hrs from the Calgary International Airport, Banff is the home of three world-class ski resorts that you can ski with one lift ticket. That means three days of riding, three different mountains, all while staying at the same hotel and using one tri-area lift ticket. Bonus: If you read all the way to the bottom you can find out how to save money on lift tickets!

 

Sunshine Village Ski & Snowboard Resort

Situated on the Continental Divide of the Canadian Rockies within Banff National Park in Alberta and Mt Assiniboine Provincial Park in British Columbia is Sunshine Village Ski Resort. Due to its location, Sunshine receives more snow than any of the other resorts and is just 18 minutes out of the town of Banff. Local’s Tip: Go here on a sunny day… you won’t regret it.

Marie-France Roy and Craig McMorris flipping for Sunshine Village

 

Mount Norquay

Want to go night skiing? Mount Norquay is your resort. Just minutes from the town of Banff, Mount Norquay offers the only night skiing in Banff-Lake Louise and it has a fully lit terrain park so you can hit jumps into the evening. Local’s Tip: This is a great place to take a lesson to learn how to ski or snowboard.

 

Lake Louise Ski Resort

Want spectacular scenery and over 4,200 acres of terrain spread across four mountain faces? Head north to Lake Louise Ski Resort, one of the largest ski resorts in North America to experience an iconic rocky mountain resort. And best of all there is an 8-kilometer long novice run to experience. Local’s Tip: On a windy day head to Lake Louise because the trees help protect the terrain from exposure.

A little sunshine ride at Lake Louise.

 

Everything You Need To Know To Go

How to purchase lift tickets:

The best part about skiing at all three resorts is you only need to purchase one tri-area lift ticket. And, if you purchase your tickets 21 days in advance you can save up to 17% off. Click here to purchase lift tickets.

Where to stay:

Check out the Juniper Hotel, Banff Aspen Lodge (which features Whitebark Cafe in the lobby) or Banff’s only ski-in-ski-out accommodation, Sunshine Mountain Lodge.

Where to eat: 

At Sunshine Village head to Creekside Grill, serving everything from ‘breakfast to beer’. Want to sit outside? Try the Mad Trapper’s Smokehouse for pub fare and aprés.

If you find yourself at Mount Norquay ski to the high alpine and eat at The Cliffhouse Bistro (originally built in the 1950’s) and experience some true Mount Norquay history.

While you’re at Lake Louise, head to the ten peaks lodge and enjoy a traditional aprés at Powder Keg Lounge which features an array of pub fare and local beers on tap. Want to switch it up? Try out their newest eatery Kuma Yama Sushi which features hot bowls of ramen and fresh sashimi.

Where to party:

If your legs aren’t skied out from a big day on the hill, head on down to The Dancing Sasquatch or Hoodoo in the town of Banff. If you think the locals are good at skiing, just wait till you see them party. Local’s Tip: Get there early. There is nothing worse than standing outside in the cold waiting in line to get into the club.

How to get there:

Far & Wide: Road Trip Alberta This Winter

Road trips aren’t like they used to be. With the selection of luxury, glamping and spa offerings in Alberta, you can experience the most luxurious five-day winter road trip ever by simply following our route below. You can thank us later

Day One:

Fly into the newly renovated YYC Calgary International Airport and stay at the brand new Calgary Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel . Not only can you check into your hotel without leaving the airport, but there is a full-size gym, pool and multiple lounges to enjoy in the morning and evening. Once you are ready to start your road trip, rent a car from the airport and hit the road. First stop is UNA Pizza & Wine on 17th Ave for lunch. And when we say lunch we mean the best pizza you have ever had paired with a tasty glass of wine. And don’t worry if pizza isn’t your thing they have noteworthy salads. After lunch, explore 17th Ave (between 2nd and 14th st SW) for some shopping and then grab dinner at Pigeonhole for some world class vegetarian dishes. Is shopping not your thing? Why not check out The Calgary Tower instead and take in the best sights of the city. Once you are satisfied head to Le Germain Calgary, get a treatment at The Sante Spa and a good night’s sleep. If you are looking for a more rustic accommodation, why not drive 45 minutes south of the city to Aspen Crossing where you can glamp in the converted train cabooses.

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Far & Wide: Normandy Shoppe Owners Interview

Photo: Oledenim
Photo: Oledenim

Meet Amanda Redmon, Christopher Saniuk, and their mini auburn-coated golden doodle named Norman. Longtime Winnipeg locals, Amanda and Chris have a deep connection to the community and a clear eye for high-quality goods and aesthetics. On top of that, this good looking family also founded and recently sold one of Winnipeg’s finest menswear, housewares, accessories and lifestyle stores @NormandyShoppe. Thus, when we wanted to learn more about the growing Canadian city, there were no better people to ask than this power couple.

Itinerary from Amanda and Christopher ensures you will find the best of the best in Winnipeg. So what are you waiting for? Here are the best places to shop and snack in The Peg!

The Exchange District

Forth

A good Saturday morning. #forthwpg

A photo posted by Forth (@forth_wpg) on

The team behind Parlour and Lil Sister Coffee have brought a heritage building back to life with the creation of Forth. It’s a coffee roaster, a cocktail bar, a cafe, an art gallery and an event space. Forth has a little bit of everything and is a must see for those passing through Winnipeg. @forth_wpg | 171 McDermott Ave

Into the Music

Give yourself a few hours to scan through everything one of Winnipeg’s oldest record stores has to offer. No matter your taste in music, you’ll end up leaving with an old favourite or a new artist (or two). / 245 McDermott Ave

Tiny Feast

Heaps of lovely cads for mum in the shop! 👉🏻Mother's Day is Sunday, May 8.

A photo posted by Tiny Feast (@tinyfeast) on

If you’ve got a soft spot for quality greeting cards, stationary, calendars, office supplies, textiles or if you’re looking for a great house warming gift, you’ll have to check out Tiny Feast. @tinyfeast | 217 McDermott Ave

Antiques and Funk

Photo adventure in the Exchange District today 🙌🏼 #wpg365 #fromhereandaway

A photo posted by Zachary Oulton (@zachoulton) on

Antiques and Funk is a Winnipeg institution for anyone who prefers their housewares to come with a story. The treasure chest of a store carries everything from the old to unusual in one room. | 474 main

Downtown

Goodwill Social Club

If you can’t decide whether you want a coffee or a Caesar cocktail or maybe a piece of pizza, then stop in at Goodwill. It’s the best new venue in Winnipeg for live music and events like Drag Queen Bingo, Motown Mondays, and awesome weekly karaoke in the city. @thatgoodwill / 625 Portage Ave

Modern Supply Co. + Thom Bargen

A tropical paradise in the middle of downtown! Grab a coffee from the team at Thom Bargen and pass through the glass doors to Modern Supply Co. You’ll find a beautiful shop filled with ethically sourced housewares, womenswear, skin care, accessories and tropical plants, and you won’t find a selection like this anywhere else in the city. @modernsupplyco | @thombargen | 250 Kennedy St

Urban Bakery

Nike Roshe NM TP. Men's sizes 8-12 up for grabs. $140 #Winnipeg #WpgsGotSole

A photo posted by TUB // The Urban Bakery (@tub204) on

The original tastemakers for street wear and sneaker heads in Winnipeg since 1999, Urban Bakery is a great stop for casual wear for men and women. @tub204 / 407 graham Ave

West Broadway/Osborne

Tallest Poppy

We are open today. We have fried chicken and mimosa.

A photo posted by The Tallest Poppy (@tallestpoppy) on

Home of the best chicken and waffles in Winnipeg and also an impressive cocktail list, Tallest Poppy also host the occasional party, which is guaranteed a good time. @tallestpoppy | 103 Sherbrook Ave

Lil Sister Coffee

Serving up your Friday coffee + treats allllllll day. ✌🏻️ Photo by @fullwpg

A photo posted by Little Sister Coffee Maker (@lilsistercoffee) on

Lil Sister Coffee is the cutest little coffee shop in the city, a fantastic place for a pit stop on your adventures around Winnipeg, and never short on good vibes and a great selection of baked goods, warm and cool drinks. @lilsistercoffee / 470 River Ave

Off The Beaten Path

A l’epi de ble

Hands down the best bakery in the city. You might end up leaving with one of everything, including a loaf of fresh baked bread, a dozen macaroons, and a couple pastries. Just make sure you get there nice and early before your favourites are sold out. | 1757 Main St, Winnipeg.

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Far & Wide: Exploring Hot Springs Cove

Tofino is a magical little peninsula located on the west side of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. If you haven’t been, think pristine beaches, small town, and epic surfing. Often I find myself daydreaming how simple life could be as a Tofino surf bum… wake up, surf, get breakfast, surf, get lunch, take a nap and then… the crux of the day: surf and sleep or hit Shelter Restaurant and socialize into the night.

Day 3 - Shelter-7
Photo: Nathaniel Atakora

For committed surf bums, this is enough entertainment to last a lifetime. For those on the brink, this routine can make you go a little loopy. That is why it is important to break free (like Ariana Grande), hop on a boat or plane and pop the bubble the beach dwelling culture affords. From water or sky (we recommend both), view the pristine coastline and many magical islands surrounding Tofino, and realize how expansive of a place Vancouver Island really is.

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Photo: Nathaniel Atakora
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Photo: Nathaniel Atakora
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Photo: Nathaniel Atakora

Or at least, this was the case for me… I had spent so much time in Tofino surfing, eating and house partying but had never ventured farther than the surf break. To change this, I grabbed some friends and set out to Hot Springs Cove. If you have a boat (a real boat not an explorer 3000) you can go out without a tour, but if you are like most of us, to get there you will have to join a tour. We signed up with Ocean Outfitters on their boat & fly package to the Hot Springs Cove, talk about setting up for #TumblrGold! On our way there we weaved through the islands and into the open water. While venturing 27 nautical miles north-west of Tofino, we saw grey whales breaching, spouts of water spewing and seals lounging on their private islands. It was like we received a bonus wildlife boat tour on the way to the dock that marks the start of the trail to the hot springs.

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Photo: Nathaniel Atakora
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Photo: Nathaniel Atakora
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Photo: Nathaniel Atakora
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Photo: Nathaniel Atakora
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Photo: Nathaniel Atakora

The walk in is half the fun, the trees are so beautiful and the path is a hovering deck that journeys above the forest floor with carved out messages from previous visitors. It is easy to get lost in the surroundings as you venture through the rainforest towards the springs. Eventually, you can start to smell the sulphur and see the steam rise from a waterfall to the left. Excitement sets in and we ended up semi sprinting to drop the bags and get our butts down to the cove for some good ol’ BC hot springin’. The hot Springs are nestled in a cove of rocks rushing out from the waterfall above, here is where we parked ourselves. There were so many hidden nooks that it was easy for the other groups to find a secluded area to warm their bodies in the natural hot spring. The feeling you get from Hot Springs is amazing, if you have never experienced it, this gem is a wonderful place to try for your first time.

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Photo: Nathaniel Atakora

After some serious soaking, we headed back to the docks to wait for our float plane. This was almost the best part. I had never been in a float plane, so the surreal experience of boarding a plane floating on water and sitting so closely to the pilot was unreal. We lucked out and had a perfectly clear day, allowing us to shoot photos of all the islands littering the coastline.

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Photo: Nathaniel Atakora
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Photo: Nathaniel Atakora
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Photo: Nathaniel Atakora
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Photo: Nathaniel Atakora
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Photo: Nathaniel Atakora
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Photo: Nathaniel Atakora
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Photo: Nathaniel Atakora

Like all good things, the 20-minute flight came to an end and we walked away with an SD card full of heaters and smiles from ear to ear.

Thinking about travelling to Tofino? Here are 5 must do’s to help you better plan your trip:
1) Stay here: Pacific Sands
2) Eat here: Shelter Resturant
3) Don’t do this: Stress about finding WIFI or Cell Service… it can wait.
4) Do this: Check out all the local shops, cafes, and the brewery along the main road. My favourites are Tofino Coffee Co., Merge, Storm Surf Shop and The Tofino Brewing Company.
5) Try this: Surfing… don’t let the cold water scare you!

Like the photos in this post? Check out more photography from Nathaniel Atakora on his Instagram.

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