Can anyone really spend enough time in the mountains? We didn’t think so! Whether you’ve gotten out to the mountains regularly this summer, or have been dreaming about getting out there and haven’t been in a while, there is something truly special about a mountain adventure that gets to your core.
The Canadian Rocky Mountains are one of the most unique and special geographic regions on earth – with world renowned views, craft food and drink, cozy vibes and harmonious energy is an experience that people all across the world can only dream of experiencing. Luckily, this mountainous heaven is in Alberta’s backyard. Tourists travel from all across the world to visit the extraordinary Canadian Rocky Mountains. The major parks can be found in Banff, Jasper and Revelstoke, offering everything from the esteemed winter sports, summer hiking, camping or fishing and picturesque glacier lakes. Banff National Park is the most impressive National Park in all of Canada, Established in 1885, this natural treasure offers over 6,000 kms of gorgeous Rocky Mountain views and over 1,000 kms of hiking trails. With campgrounds, hot springs, endless shops, diverse restaurants and notable hotels, there is something for everyone.
We are launching tickets for our Mountain Festival Series on Monday, September 11th that includes the Banff Craft Beer Festival November 23 – 25, 2023; Jasper Beer & Spirits Festival February 9 – 11, 2024; and Revelstoke Beer Festival April 5 & 6, 2024! The only experience better than spending time at our mountain festivals is having the knowledge of the secrets and history that turn a great trip into an epic mountain adventure. We’ve put together some top highlights and history for three of our favourite mountain towns, Banff, Jasper and Revelstoke, so that you can impress your crew with your knowledge.
Unlike many mountain towns that first started out as mining towns, Banff was always meant to be a place for visitors. Filled with amazing energy, spectacular views, and so much to eat, drink, see and do, every visit to Banff will be special. To help with that, here is a list of some of our favourite experiences we’ve collected over the years:
- Just outside of Banff lies a chain of lakes, Vermilion Lakes. Standing on the shore offers a peek into a complete mountain ecosystem. Squirrels play in the trees around the lake, muskrats swim through the reeds, geese float on the water, and countless species of birdlife flit amongst the trees and across the water. Aspiring photographers, visit early or late in the day for a chance to share the shores with elusive moose as you soak up the view on the dock. Don’t forget your camera to capture a classic shot of Mount Rundle reflected in the lakes.
- Hike the Bow River Trail to Bow Falls. This easy hike delivers much more than you might expect from a 1.2 km walk. Fuel up with a velvety latte or an ice cream and set out right from downtown Banff over the historic Bow River Bridge. The wooded trail along the river stays cool even on the sunniest of days, leading to an intriguing wooden staircase ascending above the trees. The viewpoint above cascading Bow Falls will make you stop in your tracks – and pull out your camera – before descending to feel the mist of the falls below.
- Journey up Sulphur Mountain where you can dine to spectacular views at the Rimrock Hotel, soak your worries away in the Upper Hot Springs, and get lost in the clouds at the top of the Banff Gondola with some of the most spectacular views in the Rockies.
- Bring your skis! Located in Canada’s first National Park are Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise and Mt. Norquay, the three world-class ski resorts offer incredible skiing in a landscape so unbelievable you’ll want to take off your gloves and pinch yourself.
- Visit the historic Cave & Basin where 3 railway workers first discovered the hot springs in 1883, or check out the microscopic snails that can’t be found anywhere else on earth. The fantastic walkways found at this historic site are the perfect places to take post-worthy photos. HINT – this is where #BanffBeerfest is!
Not all roads are created equal. The Icefield Parkway between Lake Louise and Jasper, also known as Highway 93a, is considered one of the most breathtaking drives in the world. Regardless of how you get there, take your crew on a few, or all, of our recommendations and become the Dumbledor of Jasper adventures!
- It’s worth the trip to both Athabasca Falls and Sunwapta Falls. To get to Athabasca Falls, you head south from Jasper on highway 93A for 30kms. To get to Sunwapta Falls, you take the same road south from Jasper for 55kms. Many people stop at the Upper Sunwapta Falls, but if you channel your inner mountain-man and push a little farther along the trail towards Lower Sunwapta Falls, you’ll experience this captivating hidden gem.
- Stop in at Jasper Brewing Co., one of Alberta’s oldest and best breweries for a Crisp Pils or Babe Blueberry Vanilla Ale.
- Marmot Basin is a ski and snowboard destination that inspires lasting memories! Only 20 minutes from the town of Jasper, Marmot Basin offers 3,000 vertical feet (914m) of superb skiing and snowboarding on 1,720 acres of varied terrain. Those who have already discovered Marmot Basin come back for the relaxed and friendly atmosphere, the superb variety of terrain, and the spectacular Rocky Mountain scenery.
- Check out Den, a Stuffed Animal Museum in the basement of the Whistler Hotel. This $3 experience offers a look at the animals of Western Canada in their natural habitat. Regardless of how long you’ve lived in Canada, you are guaranteed to learn something new about the species that inhabit our land.
- Chill by the fire at the Jasper Park Lodge – sipping a beverage – nestled in one of the many cozy chairs – and getting lost in your thoughts as you stare out at Beauvert Lake. HINT – this is where #JasperBeerfest is!
Revelstoke is quickly becoming a world famous destination for outdoor adventure. Home to neat, niche shops, quality restaurants, bike and hiking trails, world-class ski hills, and so much more, Revelstoke is worth the drive. Here’s our list of must-dos when you’re there:
- Check out some of the incredible hikes in Mount Revelstoke National Park – you could take a short 10 minute trek around Heather Lake, or put on your boots and hike 12km round-trip around Eva Lake, enjoying the stunning views.
- If you want to sip and savour what Revelstoke has to offer, make sure you visit Mount Begbie Brewery, Rumpus Beer Co, Monashee Distillery and Jones Distilling. You’ll find one or two of these on just about every menu in town as well.
- Visit the ruins of the abandoned hotel Glacier House in Glacier National Park. After Canada’s deadliest avalanche in 1910, (see below) traffic through this part of the park started to taper off, resulting in the hotel eventually closing. Fun challenge – look for the bathtub somewhere in the ruins!
- No matter what season you are there, head out to Revelstoke Mountain Resort. In the summer, there are great hikes, biking trails, the Pipe Mountain Coaster, and all kinds of activities. If you’re there in the winter plan on hitting the slopes with the longest descent in all of North America and record snowfalls. HINT – this is where #RevyBeerfest is!
Interested in checking out the #BanffBeerfest, #JasperBeerfest, and #RevyBeerfest – Get Tickets Here – albertabeerfestivals.com/tickets/
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