Sometimes on the weekends places like Lake Louise and Banff become too crowded and extremely busy. A short trip from Calgary, we found some once in a lifetime activities in the Canmore area that place you in the middle of the majestic Canadian Rockies. Canmore is about an hour and 15 minutes from Calgary and about 25-30 minutes before Banff, AB. This quaint town should not be underestimated as it has a lot of shopping, restaurants and daily excursions that will truly make for a fantastic Alberta experience.
Sun - Thu (9 am – 9 pm) Fri and Sat (9 am – 11 pm)
The Kananaskis Nordic Spa is not only a spa but a total retreat with lodging, dining, spa treatments and more. The calming oasis sits upon the Kananaskis Mountains and allows patrons to come during the day to use the outdoor pools, saunas and steam rooms. The cost is $70CAD and you do not have to be a guest at the hotel. This alpine sanctuary is on a first-come, first served basis at the spa lodge reception desk and they limit the amount of people daily. We arrived 20 minutes before the spa opened and we were the first ones in line with about 15 people behind us. This day pass gives you full access to all amenities on site and everything you need to enjoy the experience. We entered the locker room, opened our lockers, got into our suits and robes that were provided. The hydrotherapy cycle (picture 2) provides direction for the best experience; the hot tubs are wonderful in the winter weather and the cold tub was rough, as outside was cold enough. Also, provided in your locker is a scrub that is to be used at the end in the exfoliation cabin; warning: do not put this on your face. After our amazing day the locker room provided hair dryers and a product station, which fabulous as we were heading to Banff for the rest of the day.
Open 7 days a week 8am - 8pm MST
Snowy Owl is located at Spray Lakes, about a 20 minute drive from their main office in Canmore. This was our second dog sled tour we have taken in the area and we chose Snowy Owl tours because it came highly recommended. Our group did the 2 hour self driven dog sled tour, for 2, which I 100% recommend. Upon arrival you are briefed on how to drive/command the sled. One person rode in the sled and the other maneuvered and yelled commands (the more active job). There is an instructor for every 3 to 4 sleds to help if needed. This is quite strenuous and with the increased attitude, even someone in good shape will be out of breath. The scenery of the snow capped mountains surroundings Spray Lake were incredible. It is important not to lie about your weight as total person/sled weight will determine how many dogs are needed to pull the sled. You can tell these dogs are very well cared for, and truly enjoy pulling the sled. At the end we gather for hot chocolate or hot cider around a fire while waiting for our ride back. The only disappointing part was there was a photographer at the end and we would have bought the picture but they cut out the beautiful mountains in the background. Overall, I have to say Snowy Owl is worth the check on your bucket list. Best dog-gon day!