Summer might be the best time to get outdoors and enjoy what the mountains have to offer in our amazing backyard in Canada. In recent years, ski resorts in British Columbia have made a series of additions, upgrades and updates to have family friendly activities for adults and the little’s as well as keeping the hardcore activities available for the summer thrill seeker.
Summer is a great time to escape the hustle and city bustle, to relax and recharge. The tranquility of fishing will help those kids forget all about the stress of making the grade at school and will help you take a real mental vacation from work. Fishing provides kids (of all ages) a great lesson about being calm and one with nature in an authentic environment. More information about fishing in Golden is on the Tourism Golden website.
- Take a Hike
No, we’re not telling you to get lost, but we are literally telling you to take a hike. Fernie, Kimberley and Kicking Horse all offer hiking in a mountain setting with amazing views at Fernie and Kicking Horse the lift accessed hiking provides some epic views you won’t on any regular old hike. For more information about hiking in mountain towns visit the Tourism Fernie, Tourism Golden or Tourism Kimberley websites and for more information about lift accessed resort hiking visit the Fernie Alpine Resort or Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
- See a real bear up close (and learn too)
Perhaps one of the most unique aspects at Kicking Horse is Boo the Bear who lives year round at the resort and has made a name for himself as a local celebrity. Boo has an interesting story of how he ended up making his home at Kicking Horse, in the largest protected Grizzly Bear habitat in the world. While living at the resort he’s offered us humans a rare and special opportunity to learn about the life and practices of Grizzly Bears. Kids and adults of all ages will enjoy taking a Grizzly Bear Interpretive tour and learning about his life at the horse! Get more information about Boo and Interpretive tours on the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
- Monkey Around
The Aerial Park at Fernie Alpine Resort is a good introduction to find out how the little’s in your family feel about heights. They can try out the free kids aerial park, or if they meet the height restrictions can venture up in the trees. The lesson beforehand from our knowledgeable guides and extensive safety system will allow them to feel safe while far away from the ground! If you have a very adventurous little one (who is at least 10), use the Aerial Park as a stepping stone to trying the Via Ferrata at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Get more information and book the Aerial Park on the Fernie Alpine Resort website.
- Explore historic towns
Many towns in British Columbia have a strong history in mining and have museums or memorials in town to commemorative and conserve the memories. Along with learning about history, try out some of these unique town experiences;
- Visit Beanpod Chocolate (Canada’s Traditional Chocolate maker) in historical Downtown Fernie. Beanpod website.
- Walk the downtown platzl in Kimberley (also location of the Kimberley museum). More info.
- Walk with Wolves in Golden, a truly unique experience in the Canadian Rockies. More info.
- Visit the Heritage town – Fort Steele (near Kimberley, B.C). More info.
- Pop into the Clawhammer Press in Downtown Fernie. Clawhammer Press website.
- Take a golf lesson
Getting them started young is a great way to build impressive golf skills! Check out our websites to see about specials like ‘take a kid to the course day’, ‘family stay & play packs’ and family golf lessons.
- Sunbathe and Swim in the outdoor pools
Staying at ski resorts in the summer offers a full service experience! While many of our hotels have in house or nearby Spas to pamper, gyms to keep in shape and outdoor pools/hot tubs for the kids to keep entertained for hours! Shown in below photo – Lizard Creek Lodge at Fernie Alpine Resort.
- Eat all the food
It might be a bit of a hidden fact (although gaining more and more recognition), mountain towns are the best place to have great food! Each have their own unique restaurants, bars or cafes to check out – all come with an authentic mountain town vibe (guaranteed).
- Mountain Bike ON a mountain
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is a great starting point to get the passion flowing for mountain biking, with a kid’s skills course in the base area set up each summer. Fernie Alpine Resort has also added a myriad of beginning trails over the last couple season to provide a gentle ride down the summer ski slopes. In addition to beginner trails, Fernie Alpine Resort along with the Fernie Trails Society and Fernie Nordic Club unveiled a new Peak to Park multi use trail last summer. Adding a different experience to the mountain biking game – ride the chairlift at Fernie Alpine Resort and bike your way back down to the town. More information about mountain biking at Fernie Alpine Resort and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort can be found on our websites.
- All the best fests
What’s your jam? Outdoor music? Farmers Markets? Hardcore racing events? There is something nearly every weekend in Fernie, Kimberley or Golden. Check out the online events calendars on the resort websites or town tourism websites to find out the schedule for this summer!
Photos: Tourism Golden, @calsnape, Cali Sammel and Patrick Majer.
Words by: Cali Sammel & Lindsay Minor
Photos by: Abbybarret, Dave Best and Dax Justin.
Ski resorts love to tell their potential guests about all the ‘unique’ experiences they have to offer all the while trying to entice with perfectly staged images and colourful descriptions of the surrounding beauty. The only problem with that is, many of the ‘unique’ experiences ski resorts offer are the same across the board!
That’s why, at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, when we say people visit us for a Truly ‘Unique’ Experience we aren’t just saying it as a shameless self promotion, hoping to seduce on words alone, we really mean it. Whether you are a skier, snowboarder or simply have a deep appreciation and love for nature’s beauty, you’ll want to visit to be whisked 7,700 feet to the top of our Eagle’s Eye Express Gondola to our mountain top observation area and dining experience at Eagles Eye Restaurant.
The aptly-named restaurant sits at the top of the gondola, at over 2300m above sea level and is the Highest Elevated Restaurant in all of Canada. The multiple award-winning dining venue (including Tripadvisor’s 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2019 Certificate of Excellence) offers stunning views of the five surrounding national parks and the breathtaking mountain peaks, down to the valleys. Eagle’s Eye is the crown jewel of ski resort dining, offering far more than your typical ski resort burgers-and-fries, and won’t break your holiday budget for lunch, après ski and open for dinner Friday & Saturday nights in the winter. Your meal could consist of one of many of our Chef’s creations (made with fine local ingredients) anything from – Wild Boar Poutine, Summit Salad, or even Duck Confit (please note menu options change per season).
Not only is Eagle’s Eye the Highest Elevated Restaurant in Canada, but it’s also the ultimate bedroom with a view. Home to two luxury suits, where you can sleep on top of the world with all the amenities of a high end hotel. A night at Eagle’s Eye includes a private chef, butler and instructor guide to help you get around the mountain. But, perhaps the best perk is a guaranteed first tracks in the morning from the front door of your very own mountain top private mountain chalet.
Visiting in the summer? Visit Eagle’s Eye during our summer operations for a different view from the top!
So this winter, wake up with this view….
Now THAT is what we like to call a real unique experience.
Kokanee has released a brand new brew of beer, a beer infused with water from a glacier that’s been around since 1962. Glacier water from 1962 was chosen as that’s the year Kokanee beer was first brewed in Creston, B.C.
Pick up the Kokanee Deja Brew at a liquor store near you, and get fueled up for winter with the glacier fresh taste of the beer out here!
Matt Mosteller, For The Calgary Herald
Published: December 26, 2014
No disrespect Canmore. Golden truly is a more edgy, hardcore, a seat of your pants, go for it mountain town. Not as polished or refined. Golden and Canmore both have rivers running through town. But the similarities differ like the rivers.
The Bow River, elegant, slowly moving through Canmore. The Kicking Horse River, charges, tearing through its namesake canyon, go for it pace until it slams into the Columbia River on the edge of town hitting its brakes.
Golden, framed by two mountain ranges, far away from being cookie cutter anything, a place where adventurer’s, rippers, mountain guides, river guides, go-for-it types and hardcore athletes hideout, mixed, in a community good way with loggers and railroad workers.
Logging trucks still run down main street in Golden. The centrepiece is a wooden bridge across the Kicking Horse River, a symbol of the logging industry backbone and a deep connection to the natural environment that the people share, one skis it, walks it, bikes it, climbs it and the other sleds it, cuts it, hunts it and drives it. The lines are blurred for sure and it is not that simple but the key is they get along, joined in this place full of do it yourself, help your neighbour care and go for it adventure spirit.
You may have driven the Trans Canada Highway, catching a glimpse of the spectacular mountain scenery around Golden, just a quick blur on your road trip, maybe to the Shuswap, or Vancouver, but this place deserves pulling off the road. It will grow on you. Not as quick as Canmore so give it some time. Canmore is a refined tea and Golden is strong, black, kick ass coffee that sinks in, becoming a dear friend over time.
Friday. Slide in for foodies delight. Pack your sleigh up, make the breakaway from the daily grind, finally that feeling, you know the one you get when you escape. The Trans Canada Highway enhancements have made it easier to get to Golden, with a 2.5 hr. drive from Calgary, one can easily leave after work and make it to Golden for eats. Foodies finds abound hidden in and around town. Score one for Eleven 22, a renovated old house that serves up a 91% rating on Urban Spoon, known for its original comfort cuisine, your tummy will thank you.
Check in. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort will surprise you. Having probably one of the nicest offering of private homes of any mountain resort in Canada, secluded in the woods, ski to your door, hot tub adorned and all ready for your classic cabin escape. John Lush, escaped Whistler-Blackcomb, on a road trip to check out the best skiing in British Columbia. He literally was pulled off the highway, he blames magnets in the go on forever mountain views and the champagne powder. A cabin in the mountains. For a family huddle, making everyone connect, fireside chats, story time, there is no place better for an escape. You need to check this out for yourself. Lush Mountain Accommodations at Kicking Horse nothing short of ‘Family Amazing’ time. A little secret, large family gathering, Valhalla is perfect.
Big Mountain Skiing and Snowboarding taken to a new level at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Many other ski resorts use this description. It comes to life here. One cannot fathom the magnitude of skiing terrain here, one bowl beckons, then another, another, phew your legs say as you try to make it to the 4th bowl. Still un-discovered, many don’t know that the place has the 4th biggest vertical in North America, and more chutes than any other resort in Canada. The hardcore knows this. But don’t you worry, beginners and intermediates have a home here as well with a massive lower mountain terrain and much-needed recent enhancements to the skiing egress out of Crystal Bowl. Besides even if you don’t ski the dining at Eagles Eye Restaurant, perched high in the Purcell Mountains, is the only place where both the food and views will amaze.
Saturday afternoon. Sip, Soak and Skate. A glass of BC wine led to a bottle, sitting by the fire at Eagles Eye Restaurant, ending a great day in the mountains, we decide to drink, eat and it is probably better to ride the Gondola down to the base. Back at the cabin, steam is rising from the deck, beckoning us in. Settling in, relaxed as my daughter yells, ‘don’t forget the cross-country skiing we planned before dinner’. The Golden Nordic Ski Club, operates one of the finest Nordic centres in British Columbia, with 33 km of track-set skiing, snowshoe loops and an incredibly homey and warm timber frame club house, right at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
Sunday. caffeinated, books and wild animals. Boo is famous but sleeping. If you don’t know he is the resident grizzly bear at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, so while Boo naps, don’t miss checking out a walk with wolves or the resident bison. Coffee first. Bluebird Cafe, good joe and atmosphere or Bacchus Books and Cafe, for great eats and reads. Stroll main street of Golden, browse the shops and more importantly share in some local conversation, more than likely, someone excited about their next adventure. Now fuelled, you’re ready for the wildlife. Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre, offers a forest walk, where wolves are freely roaming. One of kind experience for sure!
Add on. Helicopter skiing, Cat skiing or backcountry touring. It is all here. Golden is truly the epicentre for powder lovers. Featuring the jumping off point to the best of resort, Helicopter, Cat skiing and backcountry ski touring. There are many good operators, here are a few to get you going, Purcell Heli Skiing, Chatter Creek Cat Skiing and Golden Alpine Holidays operates a string of backcountry ski touring lodges.
Source: Calgary Herald
© Calgary Herald 2014
Matt Mosteller, For The Calgary Herald
Published: Thursday, December 13, 2012
Jammed with deadlines, gridlocked traffic, and more family and social scheduling then you know what to do with? Not only are you a candidate for a quick Rocky Mountain escape to refresh your mind, with a multitude of flavours and locally sourced ingredients, the food offerings of the mountain towns around Calgary are becoming increasingly known as foodie havens. With that in mind, here are the top foodie stops – in a mountain town near you.
Quick tips to start: Don’t overpack. Have your bags pre-packed and loaded, and beat the traffic by leaving the office early. Don’t forget to program the iPod with your road-trip playlist.
Food to thaw frosted taste buds abounds in Fernie, a three-hour drive from Calgary, where a foodie transformation has changed this Rocky Mountain town named by Rolling Stone magazine as the coolest town in North America into a stomach pleaser.
Loaf Bakery and Restaurant is the newest kid on the Fernie block, with new digs on Main Street. Known far and wide for its honest bread, Loaf has created a notable offering for your Friday feast. Start with the roast beet salad and move to what the establishment is known for; artisan pizzas. Try the Vegetariana or the one aptly named for the legend of powder, The Griz. Both won our recent group over, but many also enjoy such new menu main dishes as braised elk osso bucco and a tantalizing Parmesan risotto.
Sushi in the mountains? Yamagoya is a place that delivers the goods. So get here early as the lines can be long if you come after 7 p.m. The tuna sashimi melts in your mouth.
Time for a Picnic? Take your classic outdoor feast to new heights with farm-to-fork freshness at Picnic, a top dining spot in Fernie. It offers simply celestial cuisine and endlessly flowing wine.
Another hour from Fernie, along the beautiful Kootenay River valley, is Kimberley, sitting on a forested perch on a bench of the Purcell Mountains, complete with a walkable, car-free German-style village.
Dinner in a 350-year-old Bavarian farmhouse should pique your interest. The Old Bauernhaus Restaurant (which was taken apart and transported from Germany and reassembled in Kimberley) is a regional favourite that prides itself on locally sourced ingredients. Your hosts and chefs Nils and Michelle Fuhge are passionate about their freshly prepared specialties with a menu full of stunners like Buttermilk Marinated Heritage Farms Free Range Chicken Breast and Venison Geschnetzeltes. It is vital to book in advance so you don’t miss out.
Like riding a bike for a meal? Check out Pedal & Tap, a place that hugs the pedestrian-friendly Platzl like an old friend. A casual, fun foodie delight that feels more like you are at a good friend’s kitchen party than a restaurant, dining here is simple and good. Start with Lettuce Ride or Speedy Spinach and end with my favourite, Pedal to the Meadow; a burger for vegi fanatics.
Just shy of three hours from Calgary takes you to a whole new world. Wrapped in endless views of Rocky Mountain spires, the town of Golden gives you time to time to relax, dine and take in nature.
Are the Top 50 Best Places to Eat in Canada on your bucket list? Just winning this award once is a huge coup, but Golden’s Cedar House Restaurant has won it six times. Adorned with local art, warm colours, crackling fire and candlelight dining, Cedar House brings everything together to create a unique ambience. If that is not enough to get you going, then the espresso and maple syrup marinated buffalo steak will rev your senses up. Or check out the black sesame crusted wild Pacific halibut fillet.
Love Grill & Liquids? My stomach frequently takes me to the front door of Eleven 22 in downtown Golden, tucked away in a renovated turn-of-the-century house, Eleven 22 is a perfect escape for fine food and a warm atmosphere. Warm the belly with house-made seasonal soups, the lamb shank Australian or the Asian fusion miso-sake bowl filled with a bounty of savory ocean delights.
Looking for a quickie? An hour from Calgary, Can-more has grown over the years into a foodie and fitness Mecca.
Trough Dining Company in Canmore may only have 10 tables, but that just makes this spot all the more of a romantic secret. And the food fits the bill, with free range chicken and, of course, the local choice, AAA Alberta beef tenderloin.
Crazyweed isn’t something residents of Nelson, B.C. partake in regularly, rather it’s a place full of foodie fun and energy on Railway Avenue in Can-more. A rich wine list matching a star lineup, from Alberta sterling rib-eye to my spicy star, the red seafood curry bowl, Crazyweed will leave you fulfilled and on Rocky Mountain time.
Need a health stop? Communitea in Canmore is aptly named because it is a great place for socializing and enjoying and warm beverages. But it is the healthy offering and friendly staff that keeps me coming back to this place. Communitea has fresh food worth the wait, from picture perfect salads to a dish that takes you to a spiritually special place, the Buddha bowl with tofu.
Matt Mosteller is better known as Powder Matt through his blog at PowderMatt.com or at Calgary Herald.com. He spends his days on the slopes working at Resorts of the Canadian Rockies. Check out this adventure lover’s first book at mattmosteller.org
Source: Calgary Herald
© Calgary Herald 2012