A short drive from Calgary, take the highway AB 1 west of the city and head for the mountains to get away from it all. The change of scenery and pace allows you to reconnect with nature—from spotting wildlife, to witnessing awe-inspiring glaciers and frozen lakes. Hit the road with CSL for an adventure to one of Canada’s best loved regions.
“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean” John Muir
CSL’S TOP 3 MUST DO’S
1. Take the Bow Valley Parkway from Banff to Lake Louise:
Always check road conditions beforehand. When cruising the parkway, there are ample scenic lookouts, and chances for spotting wildlife.
2. Icefields Parkway:
Highway 93 offers stunning views including 100 ancient glaciers, cascading waterfalls and dramatic rock formations.
3. Athabasca Falls:
30km south of Jasper town, the 23m falls are the most powerful falls in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
With blazing speed, incredible ISO range (100 – 51,200) and comfortable grip, the Nikon D7500 is a 20.9 MP DSLR is an amateur photographers dream. For those travelling, there are plenty of helpful features embedded within the camera. Active d-lighting that help compensate for high contrast landscapes and backlit subjects and is great for the bright whites of the mountains.
The curves of the mountain terrain are no match for the 2019 Acura RDX. Smooth and easy control thanks to the responsive turbo engine, this uber fuel efficient compact-luxury crossover is a great vehicle for road tripping.
Inside, leather seats, rotary drive-mode selector and floating centre console operated by touchpad is intuitive and easy to use, and there is plenty of space in the trunk for luggage.
Cons: Slushy melted snow calls out for mud flaps. A small windscreen wiper at the back gets dirty and fogs up quickly.
Favourite Features: Heated seats instantly warm up, the moon roof offers panoramic views of the outdoors. Head up display that project navigation, speed, traffic signs and safety warning alerts in line of sight of driver’s windshield.
TIPS FOR THE DRIVE
►Plan a self guided trip: With a little careful planning and research (CSL used Booking.com to scope a few stops along the expansive Rockies), then get behind the wheel to cover the most mileage.
►Beyond Banff: Banff National Park is a must, but venture beyond the most famous park and you’ll be rewarded with amazing, unspoiled nature.
►Stop at local haunts and unplanned sights: Though you should have an idea of where you plan to visit each day, don’t forget to get ‘lost’ and experience local surprises and hidden gems along the way.
Immediately welcomed with warm smiles and an inviting atmosphere, dark wood tables, rust coloured walls and wood burning stone oven, Rocky Mountain Flatbread creates a sense of homey coziness inside the Canmore restaurant.
Using local Canadian organic flour, produce and meats and showcasing local craft breweries, the proud sense of community extends to programs like EarthBites school garden that teaches students how to grow and eat with the seasons.
I am pondering a stunning view of Mount Rundle from my seat, when a round of artful and flavourful flatbread pizzas land on the table — thin, crisp and piping hot: the fire roasted with bocconcini, Mediterranean vegetables, and balsamic reduction; and Ocean Wise with pesto shrimp. The pasta special of the day, lamb tagine rigatoni is a deep and rich interpretation with large chunks of meat while the house baked cheesecake studded with a textured coconut crust delivered serious flavour.
A delightful stop for a Rocky Mountain wayfarer.
This original travel article first appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.
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